Life is full of all kinds of things. Here, I will write about whatever else just strikes my fancy, because, hey, this is my blog. Just expect this page probably to fill up with all kinds of odds and ends and miscellanea. I suppose this is the web version of that catchall drawer everyone has in the kitchen and/or office: you never know what you may find. Here’s hoping that whatever you do find here, you find it to be entertaining, uplifting, inspiring or informative in some way, or a combination of all of the above.
So I’ve been thinking lately again about all the things I’ve found interesting over the years. With my children getting older and finding their own interests and getting involved in activities, I am telling them what I used to do. My oldest, who turns 16 in a few months, plays clarinet in band and has been loving that. She also plays piano and is quite good at it, considering how few official lessons she’s had. She doesn’t really feel passionate about singing, though. She also loves art; she’s loved to draw and paint for years, and her creations are just astonishingly beautiful and true to life. My third daughter, who is going to be 10 in a few months, has decided she wants to run track at her elementary school (they do this for fourth grade!). It cracked me up a bit when she said she wanted to try shotput. My girls are petite little things, willowy and trim. So when the 9-year-old said, “That shotput is heavy! My arm is feeling, well… not very strong,” I had to laugh. I said, “You’re not exactly a beefy kid. The people who do shotput are usually a bit beefier than you. You, well, you’re more veggie.” But, hey, if she wants to try that (and the long jump and high jump), then great.
This younger one also decided that she may very well be interested in drama. I’ve taken her to see some plays, and after the most recent performance, she voiced her interest. Not surprising. My oldest has never shied away from public speaking; in fact, she’s quite good at it. But she’s never wanted the spotlight or wanted to perform in that way. But the 9-year-old, well, she is more of a spotlight gal. I think she’ll be great up on the stage.
These burgeoning interests are reminding me of all that I used to do. I performed in community theater as a young person; in fact, as I informed my 9-year-old, I was the star of a play at the university where my dad taught when I was in 7th grade. It was great fun. I helped out stage-managing and performing at our Playhouse in the Park in high school during the summers; I would have acted more, but I had band camp and other activities during the summer that interfered with the schedule. I marched in band for a couple of years. I played piano. I enjoyed singing.
Talking about those activities now with my girls, I miss those days of involvement. Now, I’m just as heavily involved in life, but with different kinds of pursuits, more “adult,” “responsible” things. I work a little, editing other people’s writing. (That’s at least something I get paid for.) I write and review books (a pursuit for which I am not paid). I volunteer with a variety of organizations, right now the band boosters. Mainly, I run a household, which is pretty demanding and complex work, but it’s not focused on me; it’s focused on my husband and children. But sometimes now I miss holding a French horn in my arms and creating lovely music and being right in the middle of a band that’s surrounding me with all the harmonies of 60 instruments working together as one. I miss standing on a stage and reciting words someone else has written that inspire or amuse because I’m bringing them to life. I miss all the cool stuff I did that brought out all my creative juices.
Now I’m exercising my abilities to bring out my children’s juices (hey, I’m a juicer!); I’m refining my interests and learning to manage my time and resources, exercising restraint. I can’t do it all, not at once, but I can do a few things that really inspire me the most. For now, that works for me.