Stray thoughts strung together

These are some of the random things crossing my mind this week:

I don’t remember which Jane Austen book I was looking up or why I was looking it up in the first place, but in the comments section of it either at Goodreads or Amazon, someone wrote, “I’ve seen all her movies!” That struck me funny – as if she were a movie star rather than an author.

In my Things You Might Not Know About Me post a while back, I forgot to mention a major one: I can’t type. At least, not like you’re supposed to. Somehow I never had a class in it. I developed my own method (using only 2-4 fingers), and it is so ingrained now that I don’t think I could learn the right way. When my husband and I were dating in college, most girlfriends typed their boyfriend’s papers, but in our relationship, he offered to type mine. I also make tons of mistakes and hate when that shows up in my writing, making me look ignorant. I know how to spell – just not how to type. I try to let most of my writing sit a bit and come back and check it later before publicizing it so I can catch more typos that way.

We were watching America’s Got Talent one night, and whenever the “danger” acts come on, someone always says, “Don’t try this at home.” Recently I thought, “But…all these people started out by trying this at home.” Nevertheless..don’t try this at home! Those acts are not my favorite anyway – I don’t enjoy seeing people risk life and limb for entertainment.

Dontcha hate when someone calls and then doesn’t leave a message?

It seems that one of the current decorating trends is open shelving in the kitchen. Am I the only one who doesn’t like it? It just seems busy to me, plus the shelves would be constant dust magnets. I’m not a big fan of subway tiling, either – that also looks too busy to me. I’m not a fan of tile in general: the times we have had it, keeping the grout clean was a major frustration. I wonder if I’d be thought of as the “difficult” client in those shows. 🙂

When people talk about having accountability partners, it seems to me that it’s easy for that to cross over into doing things because you know you’re going to have to face that partner about it rather than doing it as unto the Lord (Ephesians 6:5b-7: “in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.”) I’ve heard people say things like that. For instance, a friend who was memorizing verses with another friend mentioned that she needed to work on her verses so she wouldn’t be ashamed when it was time to say them to her friend. I do think the Bible teaches that as Christian brothers and sisters, we’re accountable to each other, but personally I don’t know if these partnerships are the best way to work that out. I know that they seem to be a help to many, so there are probably ways to do it with a right focus.

Mittu asked me recently what I had on my “bucket list, which, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” I had to think about it. I don’t travel well, so going exploring and seeing sites aren’t on my ideal list of things to do. The only two places I can think of that I’d like to see some day are the “Anne of Green Gables” house in Prince Edward Isle and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Rocky Ridge farm, her last home. But I don’t want to see either of them enough to make the effort at this point. I’d also like to visit where my son lives in RI some day. We were just talking about that last night. My one overarching thing I would like to do is write a book. Or two. I thought when all the kids graduated and the busy school years were over, there would be time for more writing. Not so far, at least not in wide open swatches like I thought there would be. So I struggle with how to arrange my time and whether that desire is from the Lord or a personal ambition. Most of the things I’d like to do someday involve learning something: how to play the piano or cello, how to quilt, how to use Photoshop, taking voice lessons. Except for Photoshop, I don’t know if I’ll ever delve into those. I have often thought that the practice it would take to be able to play music enough to enjoy it would probably be more than I want to put into it at this stage. That’s another aspect of “middle age” that I should have mentioned in a recent post: when you know you only have so much time left, you become selective about how you it. But I do want to keep challenging myself and my brain with new things, and from time to time I do entertain thoughts on those possibilities. For now, most of my ambitions are quiet ones: finishing some of the projects that are in the back of my mind to do, spending time with loved ones, reading, blogging, etc.

How about you? Do you have any burning ambitions to pursue with the rest of your time on Earth?

9 thoughts on “Stray thoughts strung together

  1. I really dislike open shelving, too! I always wonder how people keep their dishes clean. I feel like I would have to wash them (at least the bowls or plates on top of a stack) before using them.
    Grout is an issue for me, as well. I have a difficult time cleaning the shower in our master bathroom because of it!

  2. What an interesting post; maybe stray thoughts could become a semi regular feature? Seems appropriate on a “stray thoughts” blog! I wish you’d learned to type — that would be so handy for you now. I remember as a child wanting so badly to play around on a typewriter, but my mom wouldn’t let me. She didn’t want to “mess me up” for the proper way to type 🙂 I have to say that the skills learned there are some of the most useful I learned in school. That’s interesting that you don’t enjoy travel. I love it — wish I didn’t in a way since it is expensive. I understand fully about not wanting to put in the effort at this point to do certain things. For instance, in some ways I’d love to learn another language to the point of fluency. But it would take so much effort, and when, realistically, would I use it? I’m behind you 100% on writing a book. You’d make an excellent author!

  3. Your post certainly resounded with me on several points. I feel that middle age thing too but think of all the things I’ve wanted to do or learn and I want to do so much! I’m not much of a big traveler either any more except to see family or friends. My dream vacation was always Hawaii but at this point, I don’t know if I had the money for it that I’d want to go. I stood up and applauded when I read about you writing a book! (well, not really but you get the idea). You definitely should do that! I played violin in orchestra in high school and always thought I would like to have played cello but I didn’t want to have to lug it onto the school bus to take it home for practice. Anyway, I think you should find your passion and just go for it! As far as decorating – I do like the open shelving in kitchens but not the subway tile. You probably would be a problem on a design show because they are always pushing the subway tile! As far as typing – my mother insisted on me taking a typing class in high school and am so thankful. Enjoyed your post here, my friend!

  4. Great post Barbara! hmmm, there are lots of things I would like to do but with the fact that I still work full time, care for grandma, and have a husband who doesn’t like to fly long distnaces; I won’t be going to Europe. I’m sure once I get to retire we will find things we want to do. 🙂

  5. There’s so many things I’d love to do but unless I win the lottery they don’t seem to be too attainable, at least not right now. But visiting PEI and Anne’s house is also on that list. I’ve always loved to type and it was one of my favorite classes all through junior high and high schools. I find it really relaxing actually. I had to laugh at your observation of America’s Got Talent because that is so true! I’m not a big fan of the really crazy dangerous stuff either but do like the acrobatics (which can be dangerous if something goes awry) . So I guess I like some danger but I do have a line where it isn’t enjoyable anymore.

  6. I just had a conversation with my daughter in which I pointed out that memorizing the books of the Bible in order (for my confirmation classes) was one of the most useful things I learned during my childhood education. Typing class was another. (As I pointed out to her, the only time in my life I’ve ever used calculus was to pass the test in high school.) I also had a conversation with my mom this weekend where Anne of Green Gables came up. She and my aunt took a bus tour of Eastern Canada a few years ago, and apparently didn’t see the Anne locations. I asked her how they possibly could have missed that in Prince Edward Island. The answer? They spent too long in a quilt store and missed the group excursion.

    I have been to Rocky Ridge Farm (and most of the other Laura Ingalls Wilder sites). Still want to travel. I am planning to take one of my “bucket list” trips next year in honor of my 50th birthday and have been thinking I should come up with some new goals.

    I also hate the open shelving in kitchens. Agree that it’s a dust magnet and looks junky to me.

  7. That’s so interesting about typing! I’d’ve never guessed from your thoughtful and thorough posts that you had any typing challenges. You’ve certainly reviewed enough books on such a range of topics and have written lengthy posts that I can easily imagine you writing a book of your own.

    Having spent several months with dear friends in a study of Heaven and how the renewed Earth will be open for explorations, how we will leave our current impediments behind, I’ve found myself easily putting off those goals. I like visiting other places, but the travel part is no fun. Time and patience to learn new languages or instruments or other skills… Lots of things that fall off my short-term to-do list. For the last couple of years, orienting to new jobs has taken up so much mental space that even the things I enjoy doing day-to-day have moved to the back burner. But I’m ever consoled by the promise of the New Earth 🙂

  8. Hi Barbara, There are a few things I would like to do while I still can. I would love to take one more cruise. I would like to see San Fransisco and Yosemite again. I would like to shoot a gun at a gun range. After my dad died 4 years ago, I was so depressed, I did not want to do anything. I felt like what’s the use, I am going to die anyway. But The Word, family and friends got me through it. God wants me to enjoy life. My dad said I would be okay because of my faith in God and the love of my family. Anything I get to do is a plus. I really enjoy my Bible journaling! I think you should write a book and don’t fret about typing. 🙂

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