Am I a Modern Day Renaissance Woman?

A new term came to my mind when we were talking (around the blog-o-sphere) about not having a single focused passion, but enjoying various things. I was realizing I really like my “100 New Things in 2019” approach to life and don’t really focus on any single passion to a level of mastery. In fact, I’m learning to be happy with “good enough” in my skill set development and having an un-busy life without a single all-consuming passion. Some terms were tossed around – dabbler, explorer – but nothing felt quite right.

Could I be a Modern Day Renaissance Woman?

Following various links on Google: A Modern Day Renaissance Woman (or Man) has an always-learning attitude and is a well-rounded individual full of knowledge across many fields. [There’s also the term polymath and I’ve heard it being used a few times now. But that term doesn’t really flow off the tongue for me.]

A Modern Day Renaissance Woman (or Man) loves learning (has a mindset of continual learning) and enjoys discovering more. She/he is not “meandering” but delving just deep enough to gain knowledge; she/he recognizes that not everything has to be “mastered”. She/he sees & uses patterns across a wide range of knowledge to solve problems. And she/he is continuously focused on personal development blending physical, mental, and social/cultural development.  

How does a MDRW/M improve holistically?

  • Physical development – through fitness, working with her/his hands, and DIY projects.
  • Mental development – by reading constantly, exploring languages, puzzle solving, and building the ability to tolerate discomfort.
  • Cultural/social development – by engaging (spectator and/or creator) in the arts, style/fashion, food, travel, and etiquette; by increasing understanding of symbols and cultural practices.

So Modern Day Renaissance Woman (or Man) … Read a lot – read the classics. Continue to learn how to effectively communicate. Disconnect regularly from social media. Improve your social connections. Learn a new language. Visit museums and art galleries. Travel & explore new cultures. Improve your physical fitness. Engage your senses. Become stronger (mentally, socially, physically) bit by bit.

Except for learning a new language and a lot of travel … I think this describes my life. I love to read and explore topics.  I’m a synthesizer of knowledge and a framework (pattern) finder.  I am intentionally working on improving social connections and living a healthy lifestyle. I love the theater, arts & crafts shows, visiting museums, and a really good dinner and lively conversation.  So I’m declaring I am a Modern Day Renaissance Woman.   What about you?

Picture Credit – Me!

33 thoughts on “Am I a Modern Day Renaissance Woman?

  1. Hi Pat! Found your site because I was looking up why in the world a blogger called me a Renaissance Woman. We homeschool, so my mind immediately went to that time period. Then, upon searching I realized there’s a modern day version! I’ve decided it just might fit me! I have “mastered” a few things in the eyes of others, but I believe we are always learning and always have room for improvement.

    Funny thing…I’ve been trying to “niche” down in my business and focus on one thing and have always resisted just a little. I think I’ve finally found a way to bring it all together! Deborah, Old Ways Made New


  2. I think I fit the description of a MDRW/M almost exactly. I have WAY too many interests to master them all, but I do dig in enough to learn what I need to learn to be “good” at something. For example, I have taught myself how to smoke meat and cook sous vide, even cobbling together my own water oven to make that happen, but am I a master of those techniques? I don’t know. Who’s going to be the judge and what are the criteria?

    I have also taught myself a lot about woodworking. I consider myself to be a master of making Shaker oval boxes, but there are a hundred aspects of woodworking where I am, at best, a journeyman and I’m ok with that.

    I have read a couple of dozen books on nutrition, biochemistry, health and fitness and that has helped me tailor my own lifestyle, but have I “mastered” that area? No way, but I do keep learning.

    I have a keen interest in wine appreciation and I did go so far as to earn my introductory sommelier credential, but do I have the desire and the focus to become a Master Sommelier? No way! I am happy learning on my own and having a level of knowledge far beyond that of the average person, but not that of a Master.

    I have been singing in a choir for 30+ years, but I don’t consider that I have mastered singing. I can read music, I can accurately reproduce a pitch and do some passable sight-reading. I would consider myself an accomplished amateur, but not a master.

    The one area that frustrates me is golf. I don’t want to be a pro. I don’t even want to be a scratch golfer. I just want to get good enough to be a single-digit handicap (scoring regular in the range of 77-83), but I am a loooooong way from that despite my best efforts.

    This way of doing things makes me happy and I think that’s because it is in tune with my nature as evidenced by my ENFP status in Myers-Briggs. I normally do not “dabble”, nor do I become a “master”. I usually dig in enough to get to where I want to be and happily leave it at that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, You were the reason I added in “man” to the description…. because I already knew you were a Modern Day Renaissance Man!

      The idea or being happy with just engaging in something (for the fun and not mastery), learning something and not worrying about mastering it (or passing the test to prove your knowledge) … that is a shift in thinking for sure from my working days… especially for this ISTJ. [Can you & I be more different!?]


      1. Gee thanks! Haha. Yes, ISTJ and ENFP are pretty different, BUT, there are degrees in each of those descriptors. For example, you can be a really strong extrovert or barely an extrovert, so maybe we’re not as far apart as we think. I am pretty strong in E and N, but less so in F and P. In fact, I have tested as ENTP a couple of times and ENTJ once, but my latest, more thorough evaluation firmly establishes me as an ENFP.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always had many passions, interests, projects going at once — and often thoughts that what was once valued as genius is now often labeled as unfocused, ADHD, etc. Think of the DaVinci’s of the world that had a plethora of talents and interests. Embrace your MDRW!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had a chuckle. Unfocused, dabbling, jumping into new things to explore, a plethora (love that word!) of interest… yes, these are not things widely appreciated in today’s achievement productivity culture. But, embracing my MDRW is helping me feel more comfortable with the enjoyment of engagement and not worrying about mastery.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. And you are a published author. So proud of you. I am a dabbler. I try a little of this, a little of that but I am not ‘fluent’ or accomplished in anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like the term ‘Modern Day Renaissance Woman’, and it certainly sounds like you are one! The idea of delving into a variety of learning experiences and not attempting to master them is appealing and interesting. Great post! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re definitely a MDRW Pat – and that’s what keeps your life interesting and engaging (and gives you lots to blog about). I think Midlife is the perfect time to explore and to continue in the process of flourishing – I’d like to think I’m a MDRW too 🙂
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, isn’t it a wonderful term? I’ve just read something else about “staying engaged in life”…another great phrase. Now I need to consider what I’m going to learn about next.


    1. Jo, I had a LOL moment when I read this “I’m definitely a renaissance woman & man”. I was thinking… what have I missed?! Damn those commas.Sorry, just had to tell you. As another writer, hopefully you will LOL too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooohhh, I like your term “Modern Day Renaissance Woman.” Even before I knew what it actually meant:) It sounded weighted and worthy. Then, I really liked the description. It suits you well. Thank you for sharing. Gorgeous photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, just found your comment in my spam folder ?!? I like your idea of too many things to enjoy… but saw another niggle today about adult lack of passion coming from childhood experiences. I’m gong to keep looking into that idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been having some problems with WP spam lately but I think it’s fixed now. Thanks for breaking me out of spam prison. I’ll be interested in learning more about lack of passion and childhood experiences. But, I think there’s a big difference between Lack of Passion = lots of interests, but none rising up to “passion” level and Lack of Passion = indifference and complacency. I wonder if that’s what they are talking about.


      2. I’m going to delve deeper but it was not indifference, at first glance. I might have to sign up for a seminar to get more info, but I’m hoping some googling might uncover it first. 🙂


  8. Hi Pat,
    I like this! I’m a learner, and I love to explore, but rarely feel like I need to take anything particular to Mastery. I’ve been like this all my life…but when I needed to master something, you can bet I was like a dog with a bone!
    BTW, reading the book and getting good stuff from it. Have the kindle version so have to take some time to print some of the worksheets as old-school works better for me in these cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, I am so glad you’re getting something out of the book. I’m old school as well – it was one of the key reasons I went the not-just-ebook route (even though I actually make more money selling the ebook version). I’d love if you’d do a review on-line about the book when you’re done. (More reviews moves you “up in the algorithms”!) And yes, I think you are also a Modern Day Renaissance Woman too!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Pat,
    i will add another letter to MDRW/M. How about “Almost” or “Developing”? So we would have AMDRW or DMDRW. The reduction of words to letters is a modern trend that sometimes gives me a boggled mindset. You kindly at least told the readers what these stand for. After reading your article I decided that I am “almost” there. I am not good at consistent physical fitness, but I do work a lot more now with my hands doing pottery and tons of gardens. It took me a while to be comfortable with tolerating discomfort in both of these activities. I read everyday, and love travel and learning new languages. However, I also have to do more to disconnect from social media! Today is a good day to start!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Since a Modern Day Renaissance Woman is all about growth, I don’t think you need to add in developing or almost. I think you are there! And I started to use the letter reduction because I kept spelling Renaissance wrong as I type! LOL


    1. Donna, You would think I would like a term like polymath with my technical background. I was surprised to hear it used just the other day describing someone… it’s nice to have a new word in my vocabulary at least.


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