8 ideas

So I could go into this whole long diatribe against modern American busyness…

About how we run our kids around to do all the activities, because we’re afraid if we don’t they’ll be deprived, or wounded at their core, or emotionally stunted.  Or they won’t get into a good college because they haven’t done enough activities, relative to their peers.  And then they won’t get good jobs.  And then they’ll be poor and sad.  And they won’t be able to drive their own kids to all the activities.

And that wouldn’t be fair, and life is all about fairness, so… Continue reading

something that may be worth your time


{via here}

Quite often I forget to talk.  I love listening to people and watching them.  And writing about them.  I’ll be right there next to people, all sad when they’re sad, and elated when they’re happy, and feeling like I’m there in that story they’re telling, and I feel so alive and wonderful and social, and then someone will inevitably lean over and whisper to me, “You’re so quiet tonight, Shannon.  Everything OK?”

And every single time that happens I feel surprised, because I feel like I’ve just been animated and loud and jovial.  I’m so completely OK.  I just wasn’t the one talking.

What happens is, I really enjoy observing all manner of people, but I don’t necessarily want to interact with them, and so I don’t have a lot of friends.  And I think I’m OK with that.  Except when people think there’s something wrong with me.  Because then I start thinking…maybe there is something wrong with me.

Nobody was like me in high school.  I did what I had to do to escape that a year early.  I thought there’d be people like me at college.  There weren’t.  Sophomore year, I had an early appointment  with my advisor–the head of the chemistry department.  He wasn’t in his office, so I sat outside his door and tried to stay awake.  I heard two voices down the hall in the lab.  I could tell one was my advisor, and then realized the other was the professor who headed the biology department.  They were laughing and talking.  They were laughing and talking about someone.  A girl someone, because it was and one time she did this, and she’s just really odd, and kinda nutty

They were talking about me.  I slipped out of the building.  That was my last semester at that particular institution.  I took my weirdness elsewhere.  But after that I still had this feeling that, yes, I must just be kinda nutty.

Until…about, I don’t know, five years ago when I took a Myers-Briggs personality test.  I know, it’s just one personality theory, and I shouldn’t base my perceptions on what it says, but it did help me understand myself a bit better, and why I am the way I am.  Turns out, I am what is called an “INFJ“, which is the least common of 16 personality types (like less than 1% of the population), and INFJ’s are very private, observant, sensitive loners who often feel, well, weird.  When I felt that there just weren’t other people like me, that’s because there literally aren’t people like me.  And if I do meet people like me, we aren’t likely to speak, because we’re too busy listening and being our strange, reclusive selves!  There’s a certain peace in knowing you’re not alone.

I’m just writing all this to say that I think everyone could benefit from taking one of these tests.  It may help you understand why you make decisions the way you do, why you interact with other people the way that you do, why you do or do not enjoy certain activities, etc, etc, etc.  It can most certainly help with career choices, if you just aren’t happy in your profession, or in relationships–figuring out that person you’re with, and helping that person you’re with understand you.

I made my kids take the test because I can use all the help I can get funneling their interests and honing in on their strengths as they make their way toward college.  In my daughter’s case, the test didn’t really tell us much we didn’t already know about her, but it led us to discover the profession of recreational therapy.  I didn’t even know that was a thing, but it would suit her to a T.  And in my son’s case, it gave him some insight into his ideal work environment (preferably quiet, not micromanaged, no managerial responsibilities, a good amount of research autonomy—things he’ll have to work hard to attain to, but that will bring him to a place of great joy.  He wants to be a metallurgist, by the way.)

Anyway, maybe try it yourself?  If you haven’t already?  Here’s a good test.

New year, new knowledge?

And Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving Ramblings

Do you eat wheat?

Almost a year ago, on a whim,  I decided to quit eating wheat.  I was tired of feeling tired, and I thought Why not? Maybe it will help.  It did.  I’ve gone from taking iron supplements every day to never taking iron supplements (with the exception of a few days this past summer–that old familiar heartbeat-in-my-ears-low-bp-fast-pulse-ugh).  I don’t know why this is.  And I don’t feel like dissecting it.  Does white flour impede iron absorption?  Was I not eating enough of other things because I was filling my belly with flour?  Do I have an intolerance to wheat?  I don’t know.  All I know is that, for me, no wheat = so, so, so much better feeling.  And I don’t really miss it, not much at least.  I miss pumpernickel bread.  I miss The Donut Friar.  It’s OK, though; I have a brilliant strategy for that one.  I’m just never going to go to Gatlinburg ever again.  See?

Holiday get-togethers can be awkward, though.  Mac & cheese, stuffing, gravy, rolls, pie, cake, breaded anything…can’t, won’t, not worth it.  And I’ve decided that instead of developing a permanent pastime of watching people eat whilst I fidget with my hands, I’m going to attempt a new strategy of preparing stuff I can eat and trying to peddle it.  It might be an epic fail.

But the fam is getting homemade sweet potato chips, turkey biryani, horseradish deviled eggs, and cardamom pear crisp.

And the mac & cheese with the bacon for the freckly blue-eyed guy.  Sigh.  I think I have a quarter cup of flour in the house.  Somewhere.

And that will be Thanksgiving.

I’m looking forward to Christmas at my parents, though!!  My mom makes breakfast!  She makes me as many sunny-side-up eggs as I want, and I sit and eat my delicious plate of runny yellow goo and I’m so deliriously happy.  Those eggs are like the best part of Christmas for me.  I like the dark, joyful, desolate ride home after Christmas Eve worship, and then that plate of goo the next morning.

And then I’ll start thinking of Passover…quail, herbs, honey, oh my goodness…now that will be a wonderful meal, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Happy Thanksgiving.  E-mail me if you’re going to be alone and sad, and I’ll see what I can do about that.

My husband’s going to be not happy that I just wrote that.


Flex & Flexibility

So my wee friend Amy (wee because she’s like five feet “tall”–her husband just carries her around in his coat pocket) is teaching a class at the Premiere studio complex in Seymour.  I went last night and it’s a great class.  I like the name, for one–very Jane Austenish, don’t you think?  And the music Amy plays during class is very Jane too.  It was just a really relaxing, gentle stretching class with some yoga and Pilates elements.  Love.  Would be great for dancers, runners, or anyone just wanting an evening wind-down after a long day of being a person.

So nice to see this kind of thing in Seymour.  Amy’s not from around here, and she definitely has brought her NotFromAroundHereness with her, in the best possible way.

Just go.

7:30, Tuesday evenings, Premiere, Flex & Flexibility.

doodling + guts

My friend Stephanie, my Ninja Sewing & Art Master, showed me this book a few weeks ago when I went to pick up my daughter at her house.  Of course she was drawing with my daughter and her own daughter.  Of course she takes the time out of her super busy schedule to do stuff like this with her kids.  I got the book, and, yep, this zen doodling is indeed very relaxing.  It’s hard to not slow down and breathe deeply when you’re drawing.



I like doodling on blank cards because I have eleven nieces and nephews under the age of sixteen, plus my own kids, and one of those stinkers is always having a birthday, and I am quite frequently without card.  And it helps to have one handy.

And totally unrelated (this blog could probably be called “Totally Unrelated”)…look at these plush organs.  The tonsil!  The liver!  The appendix!  I just signed up for their newsletter!

I’m a little bit sick right now, so maybe I won’t be as excited about the plush organs in a few days.  They’re awesome, right?  Right?

little ditties + news

More great workout music I’ve been enjoying.  Just thought I’d share.

We Walk on Water–Shonlock

Crowns & Thorns (Oceans)–Kb

Nothing I Can’t Do–Tedashii

Unbelievable–Owl City

My Everything–Owl City

Oh! And my friends at Strange Little Breakfasts and A Game Fitness and I are working on something splendidly fun for the Seymour community!  I’m very happy!  It involves food, exercise, and friendship.  All at once!  Sweet-mannered culinary school graduate…check.  Encouraging, people-loving fitness instructor…check.  Quiet exercise nerd (me)…check.

It’s going to be great.  And you know why?  Because God is going to be there too.  And when He is in something, well, that’s when things get amazing.

So more on that soon.

Bye.  Happy weekend.