An essay from public radio’s “this I believe” series
This weekend, I got a group of friends together and we went bowling. I can’t even remember the last time I went bowling (it could have been 20 years ago). I made plans in advance of the weekend. This was one key bits of this activity, because I can really easily arrive at the weekend without plans already made. Sometimes I don’t make plans because I’m really busy with work during the week, but sometimes I’m just not paying attention. But whatever the reasons, I end up being more isolated than I’d like for the weekend.
We laughed, we wore ugly shoes, we threw some gutter balls. A couple of friends who did not know each other previously met and had fun together. It was silly and fun. and it was lovely.
Here is my latest effort toward my 2014 goal of doing something new or that I used to enjoy but have not done in a long time. I wrote a list of things to do for the year several months ago, and I have added to that list, but it seems that I am just as likely to think of something on the spur of the moment toward this goal.
Last night, i read someone’s blog post about writing letters (yes, letters), physical letters to international pen-pals. Wow, I did that so many years ago, and have not even thought about it since then. But, hey, new/interesting experience right there, right? so I went to a couple of international pen-pal sites and signed up. (Sites that did not look like they were slightly veiled attempts to find lovers/marriages) Most of the folks on the sites seemed more interested in email writing than snail mail, so I’ll have to see how much response I get. I would only like 2-4 pen pals anyway, as any more would be too many to feel I could keep up with. so we’ll see what comes of that.
I also am working on organizing a group of friends to go bowling (something I have not done for at least a decade). It sounds like a fun / silly outing for the winter.
I have dropped off on posting about the zero-to-hero. Partly because some of it seemed to be things I was doing anyway (chinking out new blogs, making comments), but also because I am feeling like this is just another procrastination-related activity that has started to feel isolating rather than anything else. I don;’t want to do things like get rid of the games on my laptop, just to replace it with something that leaves me feeling the equivalent.
So, at this point I think I will revert to my original plan of tracking my efforts and increasing contact with folks in my life and at doing something new each week, with occasional extra posts as I am so moved, and leave it at that.
I have been thinking of removing the games from my desktop, well ever since I purchased my laptop. Although I can enjoy playing solitaire or a couple of other games, I also can get caught up in playing too many rounds of the game for too much time. So, this was to be my 3rd new thing for the year — flush the games.
This was not so quickly accomplished as i had though. Trying to drag a game icon toe the “recycle bin” did not work. The “delete” function in the games folder did not function. Finally I found instructions online that allowed me to delete the games that I have never even used. ok, bye-bye. But although that will free up some memory on the computer, it really won’t help me have less ready access to the games I have been playing. More online searches for instructions, naming specific games. Interestingly, It looks like I can turn them off, but not fully delete them. (Seriously ?? surely solitaire and spider solitaire are not vital to the machines workings…) But at least there is a much greater time factor involved in accessing the games, so at least it will be much less likely to just start playing.
So some games are gone, and some are in a closet with a locked door that I have the key to…. I suspect that will be enough ( although I would actually like the satisfaction of completely eliminating them), but if I do find myself still wasting time to the point of grogginess, I will re-visit this and figure out how to really get rid of the remaining games.
I have started realizing that I do not know how to rest. I can keep going strongly for a while, then reach the point where I am not being effective or efficient, but I still need to get things done. Instead of doing something really useful (take a long hike or something) I might do something mindless — play solitaire on my computer, read a detective novel, watch sit-com re-runs — which if I only did it for 1/2 hour or so probably would be good. A short little “turn my mind off” interlude. Unfortunately, I tend to still feel a bit fried after that half hour and keep reading/ watching/ playing. And then I end up feeling groggy and heavy rather than rested.
I already had an “about” page, but I have added a little bit of text and a couple of photos. The top photos is narrow-leaved plantain in bloom (a completely different plantain than the banana relative). Although commonly considered a weed, it (and the closely related common plantain) also has medicinal uses. One simple, but really useful, way to use plantain is to make a poultice for insect stings and bites. Rub (or chew, if that doesn’t gross you out) the leaf up, then apply to bite or sting.
Here’s an image of common plantain: