The Suitcase Lady


December 30, 2015, 1:32 am

When I worked for a library, I visited schools each May to promote our summer reading programs. My pitch to the kids was simple: Come to the library this summer or your brains will turn to mush. Your teachers will not appreciate your mushy brains returning to school in fall.

The other day I was sorting my art closet and pulled out a portfolio from my college years. My own words came back to me. My brain has gone to mush. Without constant practice, skills once acquired can vanish. “Use it or lose it” is more than a catchy saying, it applies in many instances.

I would have to practice for years to relearn drawing and painting skills I once possessed. Ditto for playing the viola, singing and German conversation.

But all is not lost. I have made conscious choices to put work, practice and time into other areas. Teaching, graphic design, writing, cooking, friends, animal welfare and travel happily occupy every moment of my days.

Our American culture idealizes those super individuals who excel at everything they touch. I believe that most of us can be content without being superstars. Choices and resolutions that make us caring, happy people suffice.

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