Archive for September 16, 2012

What’s On Your List?

Does everybody out there have a list of things that they want to do when they have the time? I have a lot of things on my list but, unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time for fun things. I barely have time for the not-so-fun things like washing dishes, washing floors, and doing laundry and, to be honest, I’m not engaged in a lot of soul searching about whether I’m going to be lying on my death bed worrying about whether I should have cleaned the windows earlier in the fall instead of waiting for Christmas vacation. Unless, of course, my death bed happens to be tomorrow in which case I definitely should have but now that the mourners are here, would somebody grab the Windex and hand out paper towels? Thanks! And cross “windows” off my To Do list on the fridge. And that drawer of socks that I was going to try to find the matches for? I think you can go ahead and toss those, too, even though it is totally wasteful. I probably won’t sit straight up in my casket, but who knows.

While I really do regret not having time to do household chores properly, there are other things that I’m worried about. For example, a wonderful lady that I knew was counting the weeks until her husband’s retirement when they were going to go traveling. They had never taken the time to travel before, for they were busy on vacations with the grandkids, or house maintenance, or getting the car worked on. They were happily planning their trip around the world, but the husband died suddenly of a heart attack just before he would have been able to retire. She works retail now to eke out her social security, and mournfully warns all the young people “Follow your dream now, while you can! Never put it off because you do not know what tomorrow will bring.”

My own mother was a *very* talented artist. She put her paint and brushes away when she was working as a nurse and caring for my stepdad at night, then caring for him full time. She said she’d have time for that later. Well, it’s later, and her joints are now swollen with arthritis, and she has a tremor that makes it impossible for her to do any art work. Even her beloved sewing is becoming difficult.

I feel like I’ve been putting my entire life off waiting until I have time, and yet I never do. Perhaps I’m having a past midlife crisis here (since I don’t think we can call being in one’s fifties exactly MIDLIFE). Anyway, were I free to do whatever the hell I want (which is the name of my current list), here are a few things that are innocuous enough to print for public inspection.

Crocheting and Knitting: I used to know how to crochet when I was a child but, over the years, I’ve forgotten. I can single crochet and double crochet if I were forced, but not easily. I can’t make scarves and hats like I used to, and I would like to have the time to just sit down with a ball of yarn and practice. Ive tried to teach myself to knit with pretty poor results. I need some actual lessons. The yarn I would like to practice with would be wool yarn, of course. Oh, snap! We’re back to that old time thing again, for the wool must be washed, dyed, dried, combed, and then spun.

HATS! I would like to make some woolen hats from my fleeces. In the past, I have checked out the prices of hat forms. YIKES! Okay, I would have to make my own. *sigh* That danged old time thing rears its ugly head yet again. The wool must be washed, dyed, dried, combed, and felted. Some folks wash, dry, comb, then lay out to felt or spin, and THEN dye. There’s no right order, but it is ALL time consuming.

Then there’s weaving. There is SOOOOOOO much that I do not know and want to learn but, again, it takes a whole uninterrupted day just to warp my loom! I’ve had an entire uninterrupted day in, oh, NEVER. Not for a long time, anyway. And, of course, the wool has to be washed, etc., then spun and, if not previously dyed, then dyed in the appropriate colors.

Painting! I am not nearly as good a painter as my mom used to be but, then again, I hardly take out my paint. Painting once every three or four years does not keep a person in practice and, in fact, I keep trying to remember how I used to do it.

Woodcarving! I would LOVE to be able to simply sit down and make the wood chips fly again as I try to free the form within the wood. My problem with painting, woodcarving, woodburning, decorative concrete making, etc., isn’t just the time that it takes to do it. Nope, when I’m engaged in some form of creative work, I seem to enter an altered state and lose all track of time and focus so intently on what I’m doing that I will look up, hands cramped, and be astonished to find that it is nearly time for the alarm to wake me to go to work in the morning. Yep, I’ve worked completely through the night oblivious to the time a LOT, enough so that when the dinner is over and the evening news is on and I have a half hour to myself, I don’t dare pick up any hobbies.

Decorative concrete making! I have so many patterns in my head for things that I want to make, but not enough time in the day to get started.

I’ve always wanted to teach myself how to paint cars, too.

A friend of mine retired and is going back to work. She’s @ 70. “What is WRONG with you?” I inquired.

“My day just seems so long and lonely!” she said. “Remember, my family doesn’t live here!” I could not quite grasp the notion that she had no hobbies to indulge, and she couldn’t quite grasp the notion that without a job, my day would STILL be stuffed full of things to do!

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