A Jack of Some Trades

Picture by Melinda Modisette

Featuring NEW writer Julia Ross!

During the time between my zoom classes and studying, I have been picking up and dropping new hobbies to distract myself from boredom. Sitting in my room, I am often struck with fits of creativity and energy that disappear within an hour. 

When my mother and I went to Lowe’s to buy flowers for our flower bed, I was in awe of the sheer number of tiny plants that I knew would look beautiful perched on my dusty windowsill or suspended from my ceiling. After buying numerous cacti and succulents in strange containers (one of the containers is a glass bulb with a woman’s face painted on the front), I realized that I had no idea how to suspend objects without tearing irreversible holes in my ceiling. So, I now have a variety of plants sitting on my bedside table–just another unfinished project that I have started during quarantine. Not only do I now have a small nature reserve in my bedroom, but I also have unfinished poems, drawings, and sheets from a therapeutic coloring book scattered about. On my desk is a vegetarian cook-book, with a tab on a vegetable lo mein recipe that I know I will never make. 

Outside is my skateboard that I bought when I was ten — the skull painting on the bottom of the board a constant reminder of my month-long rock phase. Once a day, I head out to our little cement patch that functions as a basketball court and attempt to achieve an ollie, a beginner trick that allows you to jump up with your skateboard. My journey has been long and tedious. 15 to 20 minutes a day of practice for the last 19 days has been just enough time to allow me to improve at a bizarrely slow rate; what started as a jump that sent me about one inch into the air has now become one that sends me about two inches into the air. If I continue at this rate, by this time next year I should be able to complete a standard ollie of about 1 foot!

In addition, I now have a new repertoire of half-learned songs on the ukulele. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley and “Ripple” by The Grateful Dead are just two songs that I can now say that I know, but when playing in front of friends I will have to find some excuse for making 20 consecutive mistakes.

So, I think from all of this I learned that completing projects is not my strong suit, but I have fun with them anyways. I can call myself an extremely amateur cook, decorator, skateboarder, poet, and musician.  And, maybe if I could just gather enough motivation to focus on one activity rather than 10 different ones, some great work could be done.

Have any ideas for a positive event? Leave a comment. We would love to hear your suggestions!

One thought on “A Jack of Some Trades

  1. “Let there be songs to fill the air… ” beautiful, Julia.; you are certainly a strong model for how to deal positively with this challenge of COVID-19. MrN


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