November 6, 2010

Things I Wish I Could Do

Mr. Simpleton, over at Living a Simple Life, invited readers to participate in "Things I Wish I Could Do - or at least wish I could do better". I was one of those personally invited (tagged!), to play along.

At first I didn't think I could come up with even one thing, let alone a list. I pretty much accept my strengths and limitations, though I admit that I do have a lot of interests. The more I thought about this however, the easier it got. Here are the things I wish I could do, or at least do better:

1. Ride. Horseback I mean. I was one of those kids who asked Santa for a pony every year. Then begged for riding lessons. I still wish I could have a horse and ride.

2. Play a musical instrument. Not that I haven't dabbled. I took guitar lessons when I was a kid, but was too shy to let anyone hear me. I took piano and viola in college, but couldn't pursue it after that. If I had to pick anything now, it would be piano. I would love to be able to play the classics.

3. Speak another language. I took German in high school, and have tried to relearn it on several occasions. Not being able to use it though means there isn't much motivation to stick with it. I can sometimes get the gist of a conversation in German, but that's about it.

4. Be a master herbalist. I've studied toward this direction from time to time, but have too many other interests to stick with it. And like most other things in life, after awhile I tend to forget what I've learned!

5. Square dance. I am by no means athletic, but this is the kind of activity I could enjoy.

6. Landscape design. This is a thing that really baffles me. I have several areas around the house in mind, but particularly my front yard. It's a large area designated to be our perennial garden, focusing primarily on herbs. It's design has been on my "To Do" list ever since we bought the place a year an a half ago. There are a lot of good books and websites on permaculture. I'm finding though, that understanding concepts and principles is one thing, using them to create a design for a specific location is another.

7. Build things. I have a very basic knowledge of tools, but I am clueless about building. Sometimes I wish I could take an afternoon and whack up some shelves, or some bedding frames for the garden. Not that I couldn't find directions and follow them. It seems to have more to do with using the tools themselves. They feel awkward in my hands. I am intimidated by power tools, and have neither strength nor skill to do it all by hand.

8. Fix things. The bottom line is that I'm not mechanically minded. Oh, I'm analytical in my problem solving, but some things really stump me. My brain seems to be geared more toward aesthetics and design (with the exception of #5 above), than mechanics and function. For example I can see, design, understand, implement, and adjust a complex weave structure on my loom, but if something is wrong with the loom itself, then I'm clueless. I'll look the thing over carefully and still not know what to do. On the other hand Dan, who knows nothing about weaving, will come in, take a quick look, and fix it. Of course, these opposite abilities are why we make such a good team. :)

This challenge is open to anyone who wants to participate. In particular though, I'd like to invite

Barb at Fun With Fiber
Tami at 500 Dollar Tomato
Vicki at Scotch Bush Farm

I have to say that this was a fun exercise. And when you think about it, with a list like this, there's no reason for anyone to ever get bored with life.

Things I Wish I Could Do © November 2010 by Leigh at


Theresa said...

Well, if you ever get out this way, I've got a horse I can put you up on!
Great list and thought provoking post.

Mama Pea said...

Your list was amazing in that it could have been MY list . . . except for the horse thing! We had horses for several years and although my husband loved riding, I never got to the point of really liking it. I wasn't afraid of the horses, it was just me always thinking, "Gee, I'd rather be doing [insert whatever] than trying to stay on this horse."

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I found your blog through Living a Simple Life (where I was also tagged in that last post!). 5 Acres and a Dream is right up my alley! I love to read about people who are living the life I want to have a few years from now. I've subscribed to your blog, so expect to see me around again. :)

Oh, and I made a list too--here it is.

maggie said...

You know, Leigh... You could almost certainly cross some of those things off you list by bartering. You have a number of skills/products others would happily trade theirs for. There are places you can post "want to barter" lists (including craigslist), but if old school is more your style you could start by checking in with a local church organist/pianist and letting her/him know you're interested in making a deal for lessons. They might be interested, or know someone. Also, I built our garden beds with no experience. I made some mistakes with the first one (which eventually actually fell apart!), but the last beds I built are sturdy as tanks. I think my technique probably differs from how a man would do it- but I got the job done fine. And often if you make a mistake, like weaving, you can take the mistake apart and re-do it.

Eric said...

Great list Leigh!

You know, I think you should do the herbalist skill that would be an awesome addition to your quality blog here.

I for one hate prescription drugs and look for natural herb supplements whenever I can, that pretty much do the same thing as the Rx, but without the dangerous side effects.

There are only a few places in the city that offer any sort of knowledge about herbs, but you never know if they're just trying to push a particular product to get it off the shelf or if in-fact it would work for my situation.

I think having a neutral source, such as your blog, would be an excellent tool for others to get the knowledge before we buy.

Just a thought, I know you already have a lot on the plate!

Keep up the great work!

Elevated Simplicity Blog

Leigh said...

Theresa, I would definitely take you up on it too!

Mama Pea, if we had enough acreage, DH would want a horse too. But he isn't interested in riding, he wants a horse for plowing!

Laura Jeanne, thank you for the visit and comment! Memes like these are such a great way to find new folks with similar interests. I'm on my way over to visit your blog too.

Maggie, I hadn't thought about the bartering section on craigslist. Good idea. Of course, relearning piano is pretty far down on the list, actually. Once I get the time, I want to start spinning and weaving again. :)

Eric, thanks for returning the visit and comment! I understand your feelings about prescription drugs, and know how difficult it is for you to feel dependent on them. I think of all the things on my list, the two that I will definitely be taking steps toward are master herbalist and landscape design. And I agree, a blog is a great place to share the information, especially when the sharer isn't trying to sell something. Thanks for the encouragement in that direction.

Anonymous said...

Interesting list. Amazing how similar it is to what mine would be except I can fix things.

Tami said...

Thanks for the tag, Leigh.

I had to laugh cause horseback riding is right up on my "wish list" too. I sure had horse fever bad growing up. I would ride the neighbors horses whenever they took pity on me.

The last time I rode was about 5 years ago and man did my butt take a beating...

You'd think there would be somthings we'd grow out of. (grin)

I posted my list on my blog...just click on my name.

Alison said...

Love this idea, Leigh; I'll definitely be co-opting it for a post of my own sometime in the future.

Woolly Bits said...

I would like to have one ability most people probably find hilarious - I'd like to be able to drive a car. I used to live in large cities and never had a need for a car, but out here in the countryside it looks a bit different. I wouldn't need to own that car, but we could borrow or rent one, when needed.
some of the ones you list would be on mine too - the horse riding, the herbalism (I know and use a bit, but not enough for serious ailments), the instrument. even the language! I pick them up ok, but as they say over here: you loose what you don't use. mandarin or kantonese would interest me... one of the big wishes I have - when people talk to each other in a different language, I'd like to be able to understand - and surprise them by talking in between in their own language:)) oh yes, and I'd like to weave well - something you don't have to learn anymore:))

bspinner said...

Thanks for tagging me Leigh. You've got a great list! Fun way to learn about our fellow bloggers.

Leigh said...

Evelyn, I envy you that!

Tami, you were quick! Thanks for playing along. It's pretty neat that so many of us have similar things on wish lists.

Alison, I'd love to see your list!

Bettina, not so strange. I grew up in the Chicago area, where lots of folks didn't drive. The public transportation was so good, and cars and insurance are so expensive (including parking because it wasn't safe to leave one's car unattended on the street), that quite a few folks didn't own cars or drive. My kids didn't get their drivers licenses until university and my DIL still doesn't drive. It is a useful skill though. :)

Barb, I'm so glad you want to join in. Folks don't usually say thanks for being tagged. :)

Vicki said...

Thanks Leigh for including me in your challenge. All your wishes were great and I found myself agreeing with every one of yours as I read along although the language I would love to speak is french since we are so close to Quebec here. I tried not to copy your great ideas too much lol. Thanks again!

Leigh said...

Vicki, thanks for playing along. It's interesting how similar everyone's wishes are. I'm on my way over to read your list. :)

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Maybe I should write a list like this one. Inspiring. Thank you for the look into your desires.

Leigh said...

Melissa, you should definitely join in! It's a fun exercise and motivational for goal setting.

Nicki said...

I love your list! So much of it reminds me of what I feel might be missing in my own life. What is mine?
1) I'd love to be a herbalist, I have read lots of books and dabbled in bits and pieces. There is time for more.
2) I have started beekeeping after many years of dreaming about it - but that gave me time to read and learn.
3) Write a book - but what about. I don't feel I have an interesting life, enough that people would want to read about it and I don't have the imagination to write fiction.
and there is so much more......
I love your blog.
Thank you for the information about keeping chickens on deep litter. I shall change tomorrow.

Leigh said...

Hi Nicki, Beekeeping! That's something else I should add to my wish list. You're right about having time to study, learn and prepare. That's why I try to not regret what I can't do or have, and not be in a hurry to get it. :)