Getting A Thrill

Monday, November 8, 2010
”Some people get a thrill knitting sweaters and sitting still.” -- Stephen Sondheim (Gypsy)

I was listening to NPR’s Fresh Air this weekend and Terry Gross had musical composer Stephen Sondheim on discussing his work. In high school I always assumed I’d like Stephen Sondheim’s work a lot, since “Send in the Clowns” is one of my favorite songs, but an Introduction to Theatre class in college that featured a lot of Stephen Sondheim quickly squelched that thought. After watching Bernadette Peters in Into the Woods and A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum I’d had enough Sondheim to last me a long time.

Still, my curiosity was piqued when I heard him on Fresh Air. I’m not sure Terry’s interview changed my feelings for the man. (I simply don’t care for his musical sensibilities and he probably wouldn’t care for mine.) Yet, I found myself particularly interested when they got around to discussing the above line from Gypsy.

Because there’s been a fair amount of sitting still in the weeks since the museum closed and I do like my knitting.

What struck me about the lyrics of “Some People” was how it once again enforces the rather American notion that we can’t find true happiness unless we leave everything we know behind us and stick it to someone (preferably "the man"). As a person who lives within an hour of her childhood home, I find this a somewhat trying notion. I get the whole following your dreams thing, but I’m still uncertain why all dreams lead to L.A. or NYC.

But I do understand the fear of falling into the trap of “same ol’, same ol’.” Despite my claims of being a self starter and an independent worker, I’ve proven to be easily distracted. My days seem longer now that I’m not working out of the home, but time as a whole seems to have sped up. It’s easy to schedule things in the middle of the day that interrupt the flow of the entire day.

It’s not to say that things haven’t gotten done. My first novel query came back with a response that the person was no longer working as a literary agent. (Ha, there’s a likely story, I thought, but I do know for a fact that he just hung up his literary hat this past week.)  I’ve been reading a lot of good books. And let me tell you about the socks I’ve been knitting . . . .

However, knitting socks (despite the thrill) doesn’t get any bill paid. It’s time to start getting a thrill from getting some work done.

What do you get a thrill out of?

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