Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday Thirteen #333

Thirteen things I wish I had done differently growing up:

1. Watched my weight. Up until I married at the tender age of 20, I did not have a weight problem. It crept up on me after I took a bunch of hormones for infertility. Suddenly there was poundage.

2. Exercised. I have always been rather sedentary - give me a book over a jog any time. But I would have been much better off if I had fallen into a regular exercise routine when I was a teenager.

3. Learned to cook. I do okay - I can roast chicken, and follow most recipes, but I don't know how to make a soufflé or crème de anything. I would like to be able to fix real, wonderful, and healthy meals.

4. Learned how to eat healthily. This ties into to #1 and #3. I grew up in a household where as long as you weren't hungry, you were eating healthy. I thrived on bologna and catsup sandwiches for a time, along with gallons of southern sweet tea. To this day diet books stymy me. I can't for the life of me understand how one tiny little ounce of chocolate can turn into 13 pounds. Seemingly overnight. It's like the worst kind of magic, with Aunt Clara performing a nose twitch with a broken wand.

Me in 2012.
5. Gone to college right out of high school. I obtained my BA 12 years after I graduated from high school, and my masters only two years ago, just barely managing to finish before I turned 50. I wish I had gone on and received a Ph.d. and become a college professor sometimes. I think I probably would have been good at it.

6. Learned to be less introverted. I am very shy and quiet (though some might think otherwise) and I do make friends easily. I love a lot of people and feel warmly toward even more, but I am not a person people call with invites for luncheons or anything much else, for that matter. This is a skill I think I could have learned easier when I was younger. I might still learn more about it now, but I think it's too late for it to make a major impact.

Some of my blogging friends when we met in RL in 2009.

7. Learned more "crafty" things. I am not very good at such things as painting, sewing, or creating stuff from broken whatevers. I have done some cross-stitch in the past and it was passable but nothing to write home about. The best compliment my art professor in college could come up with generally was "that is a nice line there," when she looked at my work. One nice line out of bunches of squiggles.

8. Kept less stuff. I am not up to hoarder status, thank goodness, but I do tend to be a packrat, especially with things like books and papers. Now I need to get rid of it.

9. Kept a list of books I've read. I did not start doing this until about 2007, and I have read at least 50 books a year every year of my life. So my list should have 2000 or more books on it, instead of about 450. I can't remember every book I ever read, that's for sure.

10. Spent more time outside. I was an indoor girl, always had my nose in a book, and while I would occasionally take a walk through the fields and forests that surrounded the farm I grew up on, I did not partake of them as I should have. Nor do I do this today as frequently as I would like. Things need to become habits.

11. Spent time looking at the spiritual side of life. I was raised outside of an established religion and my spiritual examinations, which did not really occur until later in life, have been and continue to be all over the place. I wish I had started sooner. I don't have time to cover them all now, much less truly understand anything.

12. Learned the names of herbs, flowers, birds, and other wildlife. I have learned some of this over the years but I would love to be able to walk out in the field and say, "this is a dewdrop" or "this an anemone" or "this is bloodroot" or "this is a trillium" or "that bird is a spotted watusy doing the meringue" or whatever. Instead I have to take a field guide with me and look things up.

13. Continued to speak and study foreign languages. I had three years of Spanish and a year of Latin in high school, and while I remember a few Spanish phrases, I've forgotten most everything I learned. There is no way I could carry on a conversation in Spanish, and I regret that.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 333nd time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. #1 -- Haven't done too bad with this. I've managed to maintain instead of gain.
    #2 -- I could do better here, especially in winter. I swear, if I had an exercise bike I would actually use it, and not just for hanging coats.
    #3 -- I do well with the basics. Can't say I've ever had the desire to bake a soufle.
    #4 -- It helps when you have good role models, which my parents were not. I do try to eat more fruits/veggies, and broil or slow-cook instead of frying everything as my mom did.
    #5 -- Did that (BA), not that I've been able to do much with it.
    #6 -- Fellow introvert here. It's not something you ever completely overcome.
    #7 -- I am crafty, though I have always wanted to learn how to knit. I tried teaching myself once, to no avail.
    #8 -- I admit to owning a lot of books, music, movies and craft supplies, but at least it's organized. *grin*
    #9 -- Me too! I started keeping track in HS, and wish I had started sooner. I can remember some of the books read in middle school, but certainly not everything.
    #10 -- Ditto!
    #11 -- Like you, I wasn't brought up to one particulr religion. I had to take a religion course in college (the pain/joy of a small lib arts school), but honestly -- I don't I feel I have missed anything, or am missing anything. I tend to think of myself as more spiritual than religious
    #12 -- This I have been working on, thanks to guided walks at the Arboretum. It's such a thrill being able to look at something and identify it -- and even know a little something about it -- and be able to share that knowledge with someone else.
    #13 -- Ditto that. I had a year of Spanish in HS, a crash-course in Norwegian (summer abroad), and eleven years of French. It's all gone rusty, though I can still fumble my way through French if I have to. My HS Spanish teacher once told me she thought I'd do well in linguistics. Some days I wish I'd listened to her. :-\

    My post: Book to Film

  2. Love this post and 13 seems like it's fun to do. Ah Life, it's what happens while we are busy making plans. Oh, no worries about toting a field guide on birding trips. Even experienced birders will take a field guide with them. Thank you for the picture of the trillium. I haven't seen one since I went into the woods with my aunts in Ohio in the spring. Lovely!

  3. you know, it's never too late missy! i'm working on trying to get in the habit of cooking healthier meals. i cook every night, the typical, meat, starch and veggie that i grew up on, but i want to introduce healthier meals into my menus and hopefully it will become easier. also portion control is another biggie! i don't need two servings just because it was good...what a fun surprise to see a pic of our luncheon. we should do that again! i'm terrible about calling and actually making a plan to get together. it's always in my mind, " i should call so and so and make a date" or i'll say to so and so "let's have lunch or coffee one day" but we never actually plan it...kind of like i did in my comment, "we should do that again"! lol...time gets by us so quickly!

  4. Sis,
    Though I have no room to talk as I have fallen behind in my life dreams and weight issues as well, but you could very easily incorporate #1,2,10,11 and 12 into a daily activity right outside your front door. #3 and 4 are an easy grouping as well. I took a grilling class at Foodies the other year and never knew how simple it can be to cook on the grill. I highly reccomend you look into some classes. If you find something, I'd be very happy to attend them with you!!!!

  5. Many things on your lists fit some of the same things I wish I'd done differently. Your number dad had a green thumb and could grow everything. I took my plants to him when they were dying. He saved them. He always had a bird book beside his chair. I have his book now, but don't look at it. (much) I went to college twelve years after high school, too. Your list really makes me think.

  6. I did watch my weight while young, but it didn't do any good, just made matters worse. It was pregnancy that really put on the pounds. Then when I went on a diet, the kids would follow in my footsteps and stop eating. Even now they don't like it when I can't eat something with them. As to eating healthy, I know very well how to do it, but that doesn't stop the cravings.

  7. I guess most of us have such a list as well; and I bet that many of your items would appear on many other lists (including mine).

  8. It's never too late to start. Pick one or two items on your list and take action today or this week. Pick one that will make you happy.
    Good luck!

  9. I wish I had dated my poetry. I sometimes wish I could have been a better hostess or had the ambition to throw a big party. I sometimes wish I could sew something more than hems.

  10. Love your list! reminds me that I should really get cracking with keeping a list of books I've read and to get serious with PhD now instead of roaming around Asia, the Middle East and Europe. And exercise? Glad to know I'm not the only one :)

  11. I started my list in the mid 90s. I wish I had started sooner. If you see a book you know you read, add it to the list. I read so many books as a child and I wish I had a list, too.

  12. Sorry I'm late visiting!

    It's uncanny how much we seem to have in common, based on this list. All I can say for sure is this: It's never too late to start trying to learn those skills (whatever they are) to use in your life now. As for foreign languages - it's definitely a case of "Use it or lose it" - but you can find sites online to practice, so maybe you can oil up that rusty Spanish, after all! ;)

    Happy (belated) TT to you! :)


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