AN INTEREST-ING LIFE Elizabeth Willis Barrett April 2010
I was talking to a friend one day and she happened to mention that she couldn’t think of anything wonderful that she wanted to do. Really? I couldn’t relate to that because my interests are so varied and numerous that this life will definitely not be long enough to fit them all in. I suggested several things that she might be able to throw herself into, but she had a negative response for each one. Either she had already done that certain activity—sewing, scrapbooking, piano—or it just didn’t appeal to her at all. I even took her “interest shopping” once to see if I could get some excitement flaming in her heart for something.
She did purchase a skein of yarn, a pair of knitting needles and a book on making baby afghans, but so far she hasn’t tried to make even one stitch and that was four years ago! She’s probably very irritated with me for suggesting something that was just going to sit around making her feel guilty. If there’s one thing none of us needs, it’s more guilt.
Better than yarn and needles, I wish we could have purchased for my friend the bursting exuberance I feel for doing and learning and becoming. I’m thankful that that feeling came with me.
If time and energy were boundless, I would first work on writing. There are about five books rattling around inside my head that I wish could just be shaken out word perfect. I hope they will one day find a place in print. Along with being a writer of books, I would like to become a great essayist and submit my work to magazines or have my own column in a newspaper.
I also want to be a photographer. Not just a point and shoot one, but a many lenses and tripod photographer that knows how to catch grandchildren at their most impish and landscapes at their most glorious. I would love to follow a great photographer around and have her teach me all her tricks. Then I’d want her to show me how to Photo Shop until all my pictures looked absolutely stunning.
I’d learn to fiddle if I had time. I love to hear great fiddle playing. I’d take in some banjo lessons, too. And I need to work a lot harder at playing the guitar so that I can play with confidence.
It would be really fun to sing in a women’s trio again—working out parts and arrangements and getting the second just right. I love to sing second. And although I can already play the piano, if there were time, I would like to work on chording and playing by ear.
My sister in law spends hours ballroom dancing. She’s lost weight and has never been more fit. Yes, ballroom dancing would be a great pastime, too, if my husband would do it with me.
If I didn’t have family responsibilities, I would join National Speakers Association and become a dynamic and well-paid public speaker. It is so satisfying to wow an audience and maybe give them something new to think about. I’d develop lots of talks for CD’s and record and sell them. Time or no time, I’m for sure going to develop a fabulous presentation to teach about drug testing and prevention. That is a much needed topic.
Being a Life Coach would be very satisfying, I think, or developing seminars especially for women. I’d love to help women find their way—after I found it myself, of course.
I really want to get a great family newsletter started, one that the kids would look forward to receiving each month. And I want to produce an annual fabulous family reunion that no family member would want to miss.
I’d like to be a good gardener—there is a lot to learn about gardening. And flowers—I’d love to spend time learning to cultivate and arrange them. I also think it would be fun to become skilled at machine embroidering or machine quilting.
I truly wanted to learn to speak Spanish for a time and went to lots of classes for that purpose. I hope I find time to work on Spanish again. And if life were long enough, I’d like to learn to draw—especially cartoons. Then I could illustrate my own books.
When, along with all of these things, I throw in hiking, biking, family history, scrapbooking, the Silva Mind Control Method and a strong desire to organize and scrub the house from top to bottom and side to side, it doesn’t look like I’ll be needing anyone to take me “interest shopping” in this lifetime. And maybe not even in the next. I hope not.