JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for March 2013

‘I began to suspect that life itself has a plot’

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How do I happen to believe in God? … Writing novels, I got into the habit of looking for plots. After awhile, I began to suspect that my own life had a plot. And after awhile more, I began to suspect that life itself has a plot.

— Frederick Buechner, “Listening to Your Life” 


Written by Jessica

March 26, 2013 at 1:36 am

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7 reasons why I knit

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Funny story: I started out the year with the goal (not resolution, because I don’t believe in resolutions) to run more this year.

What has actually happened: I’ve not run much (more than last year!) but I’ve certainly been picking up my knitting needles more and making things.

Yeah, I’m gonna to blame the snow/the cold/the general feeling of not wanting to leave my house on that one.

I picked up this hobby about three years ago, in Florida, when life was super boring and I needed to get out of the retirement community bubble I was living in. The group I met with was made up of mostly 30- and 40-something stay-at-home moms who I had near-nothing in common with. But they showed me how to knit, and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

I put my projects down for a year or two, and didn’t do much, but lately I’ve made a lot of stuff, and I’ve been thinking about what it is that I like so much about knitting, even though I’m still a novice (in my head!).

1) You can make some pretty stuff







(Apparently my interest in knitting coincides with my interest in becoming a model…jk)

2) It impresses people.

People don’t expect anyone under, say, their grandmother’s age, to know how to knit. And treat it thusly as a mystery. It’s really just two types of stitches in an endless amount of patterns. And I guess knowing the right type of yarn/needles and yarn “tension” (how tightly or loosely you hold the yarn you are knitting) are important too.

3) It’s something that I can do while watching TV or movies

This not good for the running goal, but I have watched the entire first series of “Girls” in the last month.

4) It can be repetitive, but it also demands your attention

If you’re like me and prone to getting stuck in your head, feeding your more neurotic tendencies and obsessing over things (read: boys), it’s good to break out of the cycle and focus on something that is concrete, and work with your hands.

5) It makes you think.

When you are knitting, you have to interpret patterns, count, keep tabs on what you’re doing. It’s really a mental (not in a crazy way) task.

6) Knitting requires setting a goal, and reaching it

Some people are dreamers, others are doers. I tend to be idea-oriented, but lack in the follow-through. Ask my editors how many stories I’ve dreamed up but have died for the lack of following up. Yeah…

But seriously. You commit to a project, obtain materials, and step by step work to completion.

7) There is community in knitting

Knitters are some of the coolest people, ever. And they’re everywhere! And are willing to generally help you out and make you laugh in the process.

And…I would like to round this up to 10, but those really are the best reasons. 🙂

Do you have a hobby? What do you like about it?

Written by Jessica

March 19, 2013 at 12:09 am

Tempus Fugit.

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It just struck me that a year ago today, I received a very important phone call in Florida.

I actually missed it in the middle of a busy day of work. In between writing about who knows what, I happened to glance down at my phone and saw that I missed a call and voicemail from the 815 area code, and then proceeded to FREAK OUT because I was waiting for a call about a job in Illinois.

I slipped out to the balcony of my newspaper’s office. It overlooked a fountain, palm trees, and a parking lot and was a spot I where I previously took at least two phone calls from other employers telling me that they were going to pass on hiring me.

Then, it (the impossible) happened. After nearly two years of trying to move out of Florida, I got an offer. An exit route from a pretty terrible office environment appeared, and I walked back to my desk with a new perspective.

It’s insane how quickly the last year has passed by, and how much more change has come with it. I loved living in Illinois (despite its quirks), found a sense of home there, then things changed again and I ended up moving a lot closer to my real home.

What’s interesting about my current job is that everyone I work with has seemingly worked for the company for a long time. Institutional knowledge runs deep. I like that sense of permanence, but it’s hard for me to grasp working anywhere for 5 or 10 years. Especially since I’ve worked for three companies in the last 3.5 years (I’m not a job-hopper, I promise, though).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this — and maybe I don’t really have to go anywhere — but I wanted to note the occasion, and maybe marvel a little at it.

Where will I be in another year?

I’m not sure, but let’s hope it does not involve a new job or address.

Written by Jessica

March 7, 2013 at 4:32 am

And, I’m off…

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Of OK Cupid. For now. I’d like to meet people in this place called “The real world.”

Let’s see what happens. 

Written by Jessica

March 3, 2013 at 12:27 am

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