I may have mentioned this before, but I am grateful for lists. I’m a bit addicted when it comes to lists. Lists lull me into a false sense of being organized, they shelter my failing memory and they give me a sense of completion and accomplishment when I check something off. I must confess, sometimes when I am desperate I sneak a little something on to my to-do list that I’ve already completed. I know, it’s cheating, but let’s keep that between you and me.
I walked this morning, in probably the last gorgeous fall morning where the air is crisp, the sun brilliant as it creeps over the trees from the east. Gracie and I had a good long walk, at 130 steps per minute to achieve my required exercise for the day (hold your applause). I discovered something while walking, besides the fact that my jacket was warmer than required. I discovered that I am ready to start working on my list of self-improvement, my learning list. I was recently told that if we aren’t learning we may very well be on the threshold of our demise, and I’m not ready for my demise. Not yet.
I’d like to learn another language. I was linguistically challenged as a high school student, just barely passing the compulsory French classes. I think I would feel some national pride if I could speak both our official languages.
I have a wonderful digital camera that intimidates me, makes me feel slightly less clever when I hold it. I feel a bit like a fraud carting it around as though I know how to use all its digital wizardry. I had a manual 35 mm Pentax for 28 years that I adored because it didn’t do anything except what I told it to. So, I plan on mastering this too-smart-for-its-own-good camera.
I hope to get through Hallowe’en without eating my weight in Coffee Crisps. That may be setting the bar too high.
I’d like to learn Tai Chi or Yoga or some form of exercise that requires me to be still and calm. Relaxation is an acquired taste, one I haven’t mastered, but I think it’s time to allow my brain to embrace open-ness and one-ness and all that mumbo-jumbo.
I want to become the extreme opposite of a hoarder. I want to purge my closets and my drawers of things I think I might wear or use. I want simplicity in my life. No clutter. No “but oh I might use this one day” and meanwhile it’s been gathering dust for thirteen years.
The best list of all will be those things I want to teach my grandson who is due to arrive very soon. He will be surrounded by the loving family of his father; they will become his every day go-to people. He’ll be a lucky boy. I’ll be the geographically distant grandmother so when I do have the wonderful fortune of spending time with him I’ll want to make it really count. I envision us building a tree fort in the forest behind my house. Maybe he’ll want his very own Linden garden. We could go on picnics, down to the river and take Gracie with us. I could teach him to play the piano if he is keen. Mostly I’ll want him to know that I am his, his very own grandmother and he can count on me no matter how many miles away I might be. That will be at the top of my list.
I know you aren’t particularly interested in my life ambitions, but the point of this is to embrace the state of learning. Grandma Moses was in her 70s when she began painting. Colonel Sanders didn’t start his KFC until he was in his 60s and then became a millionaire. (I could find time for that.) Peter Mark Roget developed his thesaurus after leaving his science career at age 70. That is just further evidence than anything is possible when we embrace our passions and keep our brain on the path of learning. Now back to my Grandma list.