The class almost didn’t happen because the director didn’t think anyone would want to tinker with sentences for seven weeks. To his surprise and my delight, Beautiful Sentences opened with a waiting-list 10 students long.
The writing class felt like a gathering of kindred spirits. We introduced ourselves by sharing our favorite sentences, and then we played “who wrote it?” The game involves, that’s right, guessing the author of various sentences. For example, can you guess who wrote the following:
- “I’m anything but fine. I feel like the sun has set and not risen for five days. I’m in perpetual night here”.”
- “She talked all the time and at first it was about people and places.”
It’s a bit tricky, so I’ll give you the answers: the first sentence is EL James from 50 Shades of Grey, and the second is Ernst Hemingway from A Moveable Feast. Surprisingly, the entire class thought the first sentences was ‘more beautiful’ than the second.
Is this post nerdy enough for you? ‘Cause I’m about to go all out and confess that I belong to three book clubs. That’s not a typo — I legit read and discuss three books a month. I created a graphic of the top-rated books from my clubs:
My nerdy-ness will cease after I tell you about a recent article in The WSJ that featured ‘the most popular books that no one reads.” Interesting, right?
Researchers mined Kindle data to name books people quit after reading after 25%, 50% or 75% of the novel. Their findings? People rarely finish 50 Shades of Grey or The Great Gatsby, but they absolutely never finish Capital in the 21st Century.
Do you finish every book you start? Are you learning a new skill this summer? Get geeky and tell me your favorite sentence.
A few weeks ago, a friend said that our actions between 5pm and 10pm reveal our priorities. She rationalized that most people spend 9 to 5 working for a paycheck, but that we make our own schedules after we clock-out. When I got home, I mapped out my weekly activities to see if there was a correlation between my priorities and my weekly agenda.
My findings? I devoted the majority of my week to The Big Three (faith, family, friends) and also spent significant time pursuing creative passions (writing, photography, design), community projects (volunteering), and physical goals (yoga and running). That’s all fine, of course, but it seemed like something was missing. Can you guess what it was?
No – it’s not the pillows. I’ve been wanting to make the pillows for a while, and today I had the time (and the fabric) to sew some beauties for the couch. The missing element, however, was a growth experience. I’ve pursued the same passions for years and years, and I felt something was needed to inspire change and expand thinking.
My conclusion? Volunteer with a new organization (I now tutor every Wednesday afternoon), work on a skill (I’m taking a writing class at The Loft), and meet new people (I joined a women’s group at church). I’m two weeks into the tutoring program, and I’m positive my student has taught me more about life than I’ve imparted about reading and writing . And as for the church group? Instant respect and admiration for the women I’ve met. The writing class begins in two weeks, so I’ll keep you updated on that front.
The activities align with my original ‘priority categories,’ yet also inspire new ways of thinking about the things that matter most. Part of me wants to try something more radical – run a marathon or take a business class – but the little changes will work for now.
How do you prioritize your time? Do you look for growth-opportunities?
Like that keyboard photo? Check out http://deathtothestockphoto.com/. Graphics made with the Rhonna Designs app. 🙂