[Editor’s Note: Saving Memories Forever Co-Founder Jane Baker shares the importance of interests and the stories they can tell about our past.]
Interests are a funny thing. Many of them seem to come and go as if a passing fancy. Others start at an early age and evolve over time.
I grew up in the Northeast. To a large extent, my interests as a child reflect the region and time in which I grew up. I spent hours outside: sledding down the backyard hill and skiing during the winter; tennis, camping, and dog training in the summer. I loved them all, especially skiing. And, I loved stopping on a ski trail to listen to the trees creek in the soft wind.
I loved animals, too. Growing up, we had a dog named Buckie whose “training” I oversaw. Nowadays, I guess you’d say that Buckie and I focused on agility training. But I can’t say that he liked it very much or that I was a patient trainer. I loved horses, too, and I’d walk a mile down the road to visit with the closest herd. Equipped with bags of carrots, I was a real favorite – at least until the carrots ran out or I tried to sneak onto Red Saddle’s back as she rushed away. Yes, I ended up in the mud a few times.
There was a time when I loved cooking. Specifically, the fancy meals like shrimp bisque and bread-stuffed flank steak that my mother would cook occasionally.
Today many of my core interests have been modified. I’m now a middle-aged Midwest woman. I no longer ski, but I do still like the muffled quiet that snow brings with it. I still love the company of animals—especially ones that don’t move too quickly. Our two fat cats serve that function admirably.
I also like to read, learn, and travel. In many respects, these interests work together. For years, now, I’ve belonged to a book club. I especially like historical fiction books that teach me the history behind the story. Frequently these stories take me to unfamiliar places and times. Call it the couch potato version of travel. I also like to write but bristle at the idea of deadlines. I do think that I’d like to write a book one day. I’d enjoy that process and the feeling of accomplishment.
Sewing? Obviously not. Cooking? That fascination sputtered out over the years, although I do like cooking special meals and love the connection between holiday meals and family stories.
The big shift in interests has come in the areas of community and family. Community has become more defined, more limited, and more focused on our small circle of close friends. Where contacts and connections once held sway, they are less important to me now. My family? It’s a balancing act of loving, connecting, and letting go while focusing more on the little daily things in the life that I share with my husband.
Interests. They change over time. They reflect who we are. What are your interests? Maybe it’s time to start sharing them with the next generation so that our stories aren’t forgotten.
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