Tuesday, March 6, 2007

10 Things Tuesday—Essentials…

This week’s list reviews the 10 things I find to be the most necessary to my existence.

1. My pocket knife. I have had one since I was about 10 years old, and I am rarely without it nearby. I have a small Swiss Army knife currently, and I have come to rely on it as an extension of my hand. I carry it with me everywhere and use it all the time. This one has a belt sheath, which is great! I can keep in on me without the inevitable damage to my pants pockets that comes from storing them there. If I don’t carry it in the sheath (such as when I’m at school), it lives in my 5th pocket. Finally, a good use for that 5th pocket!

2. My laptop. I have been so happy since I got this machine! I bought it originally to do graduate school, but it has been so valuable to me in so many other ways. I use it at home, at school, at the library and at numerous WiFi spots (including my garage) in my area and, together with the next item on the list, I am able to accomplish so much more, so much better, than I have ever been able to before in my life.

3. The Internet. The web is my first source for information and inspiration of all kinds. I love that I have access to the entire world whilst pajama-clad and basking in the comfort of my living room!

4. Coffee. I am a coffee drinker. I usually have two cups a day, one in the morning on the way into school (accompanied by a bagel or toast) and one in the evening after dinner. I use a small French press to make it at home (I’m the only one in my house who drinks it), and I love the rich flavor that it gives. I try to take a few minutes to just sit and take pleasure in drinking it slowly. It’s a sort of meditation done like that and, when I take my coffee in this way, it treats me well. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 11. I had my first cup with a little milk and sugar, and instantly fell in love with the taste of it. My friend’s mother gave it to us, to warm us up after we’d been playing out in the snow that winter. I have no idea if it was appropriate to offer an 11 year-old a cup of coffee at that time or not. A parent would never give coffee to someone else’s child today, although most parents would not hesitate to offer children a bottle of (fully caffeinated) soda. The logic of this escapes me.

5. A Car. I love to drive! I love to go on roadtrips! Cruising in the summer with the windows down and the radio playing on a warm, summer day is one of my visions of a perfect moment. I can drive damn near anything, but I prefer vehicles with manual transmissions. It’s part of the experience I love the most. Something about being able to feel the road.

6. Food. Apart from the obvious reasons for why this would be included, it’s presence on my list comes from the fact that I am a gourmand. I love food! Although the term gourmand implies excess, I really try not to overeat that much. For me, it’s less about quantity than it is enjoyment of what’s there. Buffets, for example, are marvelous things because I can sample a hundred different foods all at one time. Cookouts are great, too, because there’s such a culture of community that goes with them. It doesn’t matter who’s there, everyone gets along when there’s grillin’ goin’ on!

7. Summer weather. I am a child of summer. I am active then. I am happy then. I am at most peace with things in my world when it’s warm outside, the birds are singing and it’s light out until 8pm. I feel strongest when I’m outside in summer weather, and I’m far more motivated to do arduous tasks at that time of year than in the winter. I’m just so much more energized by summer than any other time of the year.

8. My automatic pencil. This may seem like an odd choice for this list, but consider that I am left-handed and I have what can be politely described as unique handwriting. It is much easier to write in pencil because I don’t run my hand over the ink before it’s dry (thereby saving my long-sleeved shirts from certain ruin), and I have the added benefit of being able to make corrections to anything as I go. Why an AUTOMATIC pencil? The answer for this lies in the fact that it is always sharp. Regular pencils get dull after just a few lines of writing. I have this thing about writing with dull pencils. I like my leads to be SHARP. With .5mm leads in my pencil, I never need to worry about writing with dull lead.

9. My solitude. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a person who very much enjoys his time alone. Even if it’s not productive time, just being able to sit and be is healing and comforting to me. It brings me back to center and rejuvenates me. It also compliments my need to be around people, which, although not as essential to me as my need to be alone, is certainly something I value.

10. Wifeness. Yes, she makes this list, and not simply for all the mushy reasons. She and I have built for ourselves a nurturing, supportive, enjoyable, productive life, and I have found that, while there may be times I need to do things away from her, it’s not nearly as much fun and I’m not nearly as right with things when we’re not together. Put simply, she's an essential part of my happiness. I'm grateful every day that we decided to do this together.


Anonymous said...

I like your list! We have things in common except for the following: Pocket Knife, Coffee, and the automatic pencil and the Wifeness. Mine would be the Husbandness. I cannot live without my husband! Also, another thing we have in common is that I'm left-handed too! The way I deal with my smudges is by wearing the new product, SmudgeGuard. That is one tool that is essential to me now.
Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne said...