Today in My History2001: The Auld Sod
2002: I'm Specialized
2003: A Pledge for DSL
2004: The Auld Sod (rerun)
2005: Kiss Me, I'm Irish
2006: Luck of the Irish
2007: I've Been "Puppied"
2008: Lovely Things
2009: Open Mouth, Insert Foot
2010: Teen Agers
The Mystery Spot
Books Read in 2011
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IT'S EXHAUSTING TO BE OBSESSIVE
17 March 2011
I don't necessarily believe in astrology but there are just some things you can't deny. Virgos are supposed to be neat and tidy and every Virgo I've met is. Along with the many, many good traits of Aquarians, they supposedly get completely involved in projects or hobbies or whatever, and then one day they are finished with that project and move on to something else.
I told that to Peggy (also an Aquarian) once and she scoffed. "I never do that," she said, until I reminded her that she had told me about her involvement with stamping, how she had bought all of the stamping equipment she could and then decided one day she wasn't interested in it any more.
Boy, is it true for me. I can think of a host of things that were my passion over the years. I remember my "plant years." Claiming that I have a brown thumb, I never met a house plant I couldn't kill. But then one day a house plant someone gave me didn't die, so I decided to try another one. In short order I had a veritable jungle in my living room and plants hanging all over the house.
The Davis water isn't good for house plants, so I carried water from Sacramento whenever we visited someone there and used distilled water when we didn't. I bought plant food. I bought macramé hangers. I talked to my plants. I was totally into plants.
Then one day I stood in the living room, looked at this jungle that had completely taken over my life and said to them: I don't care about you any more. You can all just die. And they did. One by one, I hauled them out to the garbage as they began to wilt or turn brown.
My days as an indoor gardener were over.
So many other hobbies went that way. I have a huge stash of scrapbooking material that I will never use for scrapbooking because the more involved I got with the internet, the less I was doing with scrapbook (the project also became painful after David died).
During my cake decorating period, I bought every shaped pan I could afford, all the fancy tips and lots and lots of special equipment. Then one day I just didn't want to do it any more. I still do, rarely, but dust is gathering on all that equipment.
When I took up biking, I bought a fancy bike and all sorts of fancy equipment--speedometer, mileage counter, fancy basket and I can't remember what else. True, it was my accident which took me out of biking prematurely, but I would have eventually tired of that too.
We had 70 foreigners living with us from 14 countries over 10 years and one day I just decided I was finished with it.
I was a LaLeche League leader for 7 years, helping new mothers learn how to breastfeed. I was the newsletter editor, I was on the state board, I helped organize a convention. Then I remember the day so clearly. I was leading a meeting about getting started at nursing. I looked around the room and thought to myself "if I have to hear about one more pair of sore nipples, I'm going to scream!" Fortunately I had trained several other leaders and that was the last meeting I ever led.
I even find that I am loving my SPCA vacation. I feel guilty when I get pleas for foster homes, even briefly, but there are nearly 50 names on the mailing list that comes around and I resist the temptation to take on another foster when we are all, us and the dogs, enjoying this break (of course, I will always say yes to orphans).
I see myself doing the same thing with the Compassion kids. I am so involved with Compassion right now, becoming involved in the sponsoring community, enjoying getting to know people. I know that sooner or later this will pass -- I hope not for a long time, because I love the kids, but I know that there will come a day when I will reach my limit.
I don't remember what I saw two days ago or where I saw it. It was something about pen pals. Innocently I clicked on a link. It was like Dorothy opening the door to the Munchkin land. All sorts of web sites and publications and lists began tumbling out, one more interesting than another. I discovered that there were still people who cherish letters that you send in an envelope to someone else. It's encouraging to find out how many of them are people under the age of 30.
"I'll just check one more," I'd say to myself and next thing I know I'd be looking through five more lists. There are slim pickings for older folks who enjoy writing. In fact I found I was reading the "old guys" listings for people younger than my children. I had downloaded five issues of Sandbook, a magazine for people who want to write to pen pals. Each issue is about 40 pages long.
Ultimately I sent out eleven letters, heard back from (so far) four who would like to be pen pals. I set up several folders for incoming and outgoing letters, and wrote four letters, each of which is 4 full typewritten pages long (with no cutting and pasting). I have a new "pen pal" folder in my bookmarks and have a host of new sites I want to check out.
I recognize the behavior pattern. I wonder how long
this will last before I stand here looking at my computer screaming "I don't care
about you any more...you can all die!) (I hope not for a very long time.)
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