Library Life Listers: Life is What We Make of It

One of the problems with the bucket list is that many of the items on it take such a commitment that we can’t imagine finding the time, energy, and/or money to accomplish them. One way to prevent that is to treat them like any goal and have a plan for fulfilling them. According to researchers, one effective way to reach goals is to set an “if-then” plan.

It works something like this: Let’s say that one of your bucket list items is to run a marathon. Now most of us aren’t going to wake up tomorrow and run 26 miles. So you have to come up with a plan. That much makes sense. But what seems to make a real difference is to state  this way: “If it is morning, then I am at the track.” Or more specifically, “If it is a Monday, Wednesday, Friday morning, then I am running 7 miles.”

Various studies have shown that this sort of “if-then” planning can make a real difference, so give it a try.

Now for the life lists:


Learn French: Still working on it, but not terribly motivated. French lessons mostly motivate me to cook, which led to the yogurt cake I baked over the weekend (file this under life list item #4).

Paint dining room/paint shelves: I painted a coffee table, so I get half points, right? I also looked at paint colors for the dining room and planned to paint it last weekend; however, I got a tummy ache from life list overload. (Jolly Librarian editorial comment: I think it’s obvious by now that Emily is a life list excuse maker.)

Jolly Librarian:

Reading: Still reading Les Miserables. I am now on page 500. For any other book, that would mean the end is in sight.  But no, I’m still about 70 pages from the middle. Really, I’m not quite sure what else can happen to poor Jean Valjean.

Writing: Am still plugging away, averaging a page per day.

Socializing: Attended a dinner party last Friday where a five-year-old bashed his head on a coffee table and proved once again that scalp wounds bleed profusely. Another reason not to socialize.


an excellent (flute) performance at my little brother’s wedding in May

My accompanist and I have spent the week perfecting the final selection of music for the ceremony (“I Love You Always Forever,” Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” and “Because You Loved Me”) and for before the processional begins (“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” “Trumpet Tune,” “Trumpet Voluntary,” the Bach/Gounod “Ave Maria,” “Air on a G String,” “Music for a Found Harmonium,” and possibly “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms” and Schubert’s “Ave Maria”–we added those last five to our selection of pre-ceremony music just this week). We’ll most likely have to abridge both Pachelbel’s Canon and “Because You Loved Me,” but we don’t know exactly how long it will take to seat the parents and grandparents, so we worked out three possible combinations of shortened versions of those pieces. At the wedding rehearsal Friday night, we’ll see which arrangements will work best. We also made arrangements to borrow sound equipment and a sturdy music stand (I only have a wire stand–not optimal for outdoor performances). I think Saturday will be fine.

translate the book of Esther

I’m to Esther 3:8–just barely behind schedule.

work toward solving the problem of homelessness in Nashville

I bought a copy of The Contributor this week.

write some things I’m proud of
Had an idea the other night and started writing. I have a long way to go with this one, but it’s an idea I’ve been afraid to tackle before, so I’m proud I’ve started on it.

become more fluent in Spanish
I read a few pages of a Spanish children’s book one night before bed…but that is all!

give my best to the ESL classes I help teach
Emailed my co-teacher to consult about the upcoming class.


My leg is continuing to heal.  Sometime I think I can tell the weather with my leg.  It hurts more when it is rainy.

 I continue to tell everyone I meet about MERLOT and TEL.  Last week I told a little girl selling lemonade in the Sylvan Park neighborhood about TEL. 

 Today I toured the Library of Congress trailer exhibit.

 I am still working on my Cycling for Libraries ride for next year’s TLA pre-conference.

 Pam: (It is the Jolly Librarian’s humble opinion that Pam could benefit from some if-then planning.)


  • Playing clawhammer banjo is my new joy. Not only is there the goal of teaching it as part of the new Vol State bluegrass curriculum, but it is a personally satisfying, fun expression of my heart. The tunes are wonderful, the various tunings soulful and creative, and I seem to have the knack for it since I already know the neck and string layout (It’s a totally different right hand technique). The challenge is stimulating.
  • With this said, playing with friends and going to some upcoming old-time jams is calling my name, so performing out has taken a detour to performing ‘in’, while I get my chops up and then attempt to join in some jams. Have started picking with an old friend once a week for practice and fun, as well.


  • No real routine. Scared of the boredom of locking down a particular routine I guess.
  • Have checked into the Sportsplex for swimming hours. Am thinking of walking the greenway once a week. Still, no routine, daily workout.
  • Am working out at work with squats and stretches, neck lifts (hanging off my bed—you know, the TGP’s (Turkey Gobbler Prevention exercises). Never more than now have I been more inspired and determined to strengthen my muscles as I get older. I have no intention to not stay strong. I need me.


  • Still ‘studying’ A History of Everything by Bill Bryson. Best book, besides “Don’t Know Much About Mythology” by Kenneth Davis I’ve ever read—as far as a learning book.
  • Started new book, Packing for Mars, but just can’t get into it. Am enjoying reading Bill Bryson’s The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America. He is just dry and witty and funny and intelligent and…love Bill Bryson.


  • Have pulled back eating heavy at night. Doing better. Determined to come back down nearer to 130.

 ORGANIC FARMING / Farmer Gadd Chronicles

  • Green beans are up!! And, so far, nothing has eaten the new sprouts!! Am getting ready to put in okra, more peppers, eggplant, more beans, watermelon, cantaloupe and replant squash!!
  • Onions and radishes are glorious!! Tomatoes slow to start, but they’re coming along 😉


Been taking time to call my mom more. Have not written so much. Just been ‘out of the mood’. That has got to change. With letter writing—it is such a heart thing that I don’t know how to treat it as a “must do” thing. Still, it seems that if I don’t set a ‘goal’, that it just doesn’t get done. Any suggestions on this discipline thing, fellow listers??


  • Spent an hour and a half cleaning bathroom. Trying hard to stay on top of things. It’s getting easier. Love the calmness of things clean.


  • Have not done this. Just too scattered and disinterested and impatient when I am hungry. Too distracted to take time to plan a meal. Help!

New additions to my Life List:

  • Buy a little pull-trailer and boat and go to the lake with my family (sister and her kids).
  • Go kayaking
  • Revisit the Rocky Mts. in Colorado and go canoeing
  • Retire and live on a small boat docked at Old Hickory Lake in the summer and at a fish camp trailer in Florida in the winter
  • Travel to Machu Piccu
  • Travel to Rome
  • Visit Greece and see the Parthenon
  • Visit the Great Pyramids

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