How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.– Annie Dillard
It was heartening to hear that people are working on their life lists from the faculty member who took one of the templates to a meeting to the library director in Jackson, Tennessee, who sent me his list.
A life list is a way of keeping your goals in front of you. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the term ‘life list’ may have the tendency to make you procrastinate when the clutter of individual days get in the way. It can be like a student in a web course, who, since he doesn’t see his instructor every day and has several weeks before anything is due, may start putting off his work until it’s too late.
But our Library Life Listers made a good start this month. Here are some of our updates:
- Stayed out past nine only to discover that people who stay out past nine wake-up with goop in their eyes and ringing in their ears.
- Cooked several new dishes ranging from bleh to blah to eh.
- Parlez-vous Francais? Nope
- Cooked 3 dishes this month: Chicken soup, beef soup, and a pasta dish. (Since no trips to ER ensued, considered a success).
- Practiced piano. (Now recognize 3 chords without having to refer to my chord cheat book.)
- Read 4 books.
- Wrote a short story.
- There were no concerts I wanted to attend this month, but I did sign an online form asking The Decemberists to come to Nashville.
- Did not stay out after 9 but am blaming the snow for that.
- Did socialize with folks I’d not seen in years, but since this was at a funeral, I can’t take credit for going out more.
Allison (from here on out known only as the Overachiever)
- an excellent (flute) performance at my little brother’s wedding in May. (I’ve begun working on the music and outlined what I need to work on most.)
- stay at the top of my linguistics class at MTSU. (Well, I have an A so far. I realized last night the goal of staying “at the top” of the class might be an arrogant one! Also, I’m realizing that I don’t really care that much about doing better than everyone else. I’m in a class full of intelligent, hardworking linguaphiles, so I’m not sure how feasible this goal is anyway! I still want to do well in the class, so I’m not rewording my goal just yet–I want to observe how it affects my thinking about the class and my efforts.)
- translate the book of Esther. (I almost gave up around verse 3! Either my Hebrew’s horrifically rusty or translation just takes longer than I remembered (probably a little of both). A friend proposed the idea of translating the book together, and while this hasn’t started yet, the idea was motivating enough that I decided not to give up. I now have a schedule to keep myself on track, and I’ve met my goal for January.)
- Find some worthwhile-seeming way to work toward solving the problem of homelessness in Nashville. (This is just a matter of doing some research and working some volunteer time into my schedule, but I haven’t done it yet. However, I have started carrying around $1 bills (rather than no cash at all), so that I’m always ready to buy a copy of The Contributor.)
- Write some things I’m proud of. (I’ve written some.)
- Become more fluent in Spanish. (I’ve attended worship a couple times at a Spanish-speaking church. As soon as I buy the right kind of adapter cord for my iPod (a specific goal for this week!), I will be able to listen to Radio Lingua podcasts in the car.)
- Somehow improve the ESL classes I help teach. (I have begun thinking more deliberately about this. Last night I asked the multilingual TA in my linguistics class about the German class she teaches; some of what she said about her teaching methods assured me that I’m on the right track.)
- I am one week away from being full weight bearing on me broken leg!
- Every chance I get I tell people about how great TEL and MERLOT are.
- Student reactions to learning about MERLOT are usually very favorable. They especially like that it is free and available 24/7. MERLOT workshop is on Feb. 15 for nursing and biology students.
- The student portal for MERLOT is coming along. We are meeting today to talk about. Stay tuned…
- The app is being worked on.
- I am working with Green Sleeves and the Tenn. Environmental Council to get more trees planted in Davidson County. I am also working with my church and Sound Forest.
- Cycling for Libraries Conference I am still working on. I would like to go to TLA this March to talk with other librarians about the idea. It’s in Murfreesboro this year. March 23-25.
As February arrives, I am reminded of my life lists, and first and foremost am thrilled to say that setting a goal to read 2 books a month really did inspire me to do so. This month’s choices were “Plain and Simple” by Sue Bender and “The Year of Living Biblically” by A.J. Jacobs. Also, I read “The Midwife’s Apprentice”, a juvenile lit book and really enjoyed it. I plan to continue piano studies privately as well as continue growing my collection of clawhammer banjo tunes. This has been a blast (the piano has been lonely sitting in my office neglected, however). Walking is pulling at me as the days warm, and I’m planning to hit the road eventually. Eating more good foods is helping me keep my immune system boosted. I’m not giving up all sugar, but feel depressed at not going the “all or nothing” route. It is me. I am a failure….See what I mean? I turn another year older on Saturday, perhaps the greatest item on my list is to try to give to others in a loving manner. I think this is the most important life goal. And on we go down the long road…
Check in with us next week!