The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy
Common exercises were foot racing, wrestling, boxing, leapfrog, hopscotch, quoits, and marbles. Some Rebs played tenpins after a fashion ironically unique, by rolling cannon balls at the pins, or at holes in the ground.
The mind boggles at Civil War soldiers playing hopscotch. The reference sent me to wandering across the interwebs and I discovered that it was a game invented in Britain during Roman rule. Roman soldiers played it to improve their footwork.
Top Ten Tuesday: Things Getting in the Way of Reading
(1) The laundry baskets in front of my book case. As soon as I fold and put away they get filled up again.
(2) My very-real fear that if I remove one book from Mount Doom, the whole stack will collapse on me and bury me alive.
…oh, wait. Hang on. I’m getting something from the studio here…..apparently I’ve misunderstood the prompt. It’s meant to be things I keep doing instead of reading. Let’s try that again..
3) Work, obviously. You’d think working in a library meant more reading time, but ours is a very social services oriented-library, so books are just in the background for me at work! I spend most of my time (when not updating manuals, printing flyers, updating the website ,etc) working directly with patrons on computers, trying to help them to get information or send information to government agencies, corporations, etc. (Not to mention the ‘official’ work I’m responsible for, like maintaining computers and doing historical research.) I have to hang out at the local bookstore on Saturdays to get my fill of ‘time spent with booky people’.
4) Education. I have an active Coursera account and try to watch at least an hour of content per night, always in the area of IT-related things. It might be Google Workspace management, Python essentials, or even (currently) a history of the internet.
5) Zoning out. Here work comes into play, because after a long day of being constantly asked questions, I want to zone out for a bit. I’ll put on some music and play a mindless game (The Sims 4 and American Truck Simulator are favorites for this), and then switch to something more respectable like a podcast or Coursera. Howeverrrrrr, sometimes I get in a very comfortable space where I’m just listening to music/youtube for most of the evening, at least until 10 o’clock rolls around and I realize I still have to do laundry for tomorrow.
6) PC Games. Mostly related to zoning out, but there are games that keep me thinking and engaged — and not paying attention to the clock at all. I like building things in The Sims 4, for instance. One of the current things I’m fiddling around with is a minimalist high school for the game that is inspired by the School building in SimCity 3000: another is a retro cafe built over a fallout shelter turned into a bowling alley.
7) The outdoors. If the weather is nice out (which, in Alabama, means it’s April, May, or early December) , I’m liable to be out hiking, exploring forgotten parts of the state, or chasing good photos or bird-sightings.
8) Just regular ol’ adult responsibilities and activities. I’m not a husband or father, , but I actively pursue meaningful connection in my life by being engaged with church & civic organizations, and – rule of thumb – -the busier you already are, the more attractive you are to people who need something done, because your sheer business testifies to the fact that you get things done. I’m at the point where I actively have to orient myself with my Outlook calendar because otherwise there’s too much going on.
9) Personal projects. It might be a short story I’m fiddling around with, or a blog/website idea, or something for the garden. It’s possible within the next year I might be engaged in a book of local history (principally as editor – it’s more of a pictorial history with expository captions), so that might become especially competitive in the future.
10) Friends. I spent at least 15 hours a week between work and sleep spending time with friends. This often means hanging out at the Harmony Club, either swapping gossip or watching movies, or having dinner and porch-sitting with others. A lot of my friends are likeminded cranks who insist on socializing in person rather than texting, so we make time to spend with one another on a regular basis. I like spending my lunch alone reading, but if someone wants to meet up at the Coffee Shoppe to check in, I’m not saying no!
Wow, you have an active social life. That’s awesome!
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.
It’s deliberate! I’m aggressive about not letting my computer consume my life.
Working in a library sounds like it would be so interesting.
It’s definitely never boring with some of the characters who come in..
I hope you don’t get smooshed by your Mount of Doom!
I’m working to reduce its height steadily!
“the busier you already are, the more attractive you are to people who need something done, because your sheer business testifies to the fact that you get things done” SO true! On top of that, I take after my dad in that I find it hard to say no… =P
Your in-person social life sounds really fun! I’m a bit jelly, honestly. I’ve made many attempts since I moved to a new city… meetups, church, etc. No luck yet, haven’t met anyone I vibe with. I do like my church though – it’s mostly young families and older folks, but they’re really kind.
It’s early days yet for you, though. I was interested in recapturing the sense of community I found in college as soon as I came back home, but it took YEARS to really cultivate — and part of it was dependent on meeting people whose own social activities (sidewalk nights at the Harmony Club, game nights at another friend’s house) introduced me to others. Patterns and persistence are key, I think…..one thing I do every Saturday morning that I’m off is go by the bookstore and just sit a spell, because other people make a habit of going in there every Saturday morning and we get to know each other. It helps that this is a smaller town (17-18K) so people with similar interests can’t help but continue to stumble over one another.
No. 1 is real! My weekends seem to be mostly filled with doing laundry and folding…
No. 2 reminded me of a book review I’ve read the other day about a man found dead under collapsed book stack (it’s actually a murder story)!
I admire you for still having time for reading besides all these things you regularly do!
Happy reading… 😉
I think it’s wonderful that you prioritize in-person socializing. I need to do more of that myself. My husband and I do try to plan game nights with friends and family and those are always fun.
I like your sense of humor. Good list (and funny anecdotes)
A great list. Zoning out is definitely something that happens to me! When that happens I either fall asleep or watch TV (I do my reading of an evening!).
Have a great week!
Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
Dang ol’ adult responsibilities, getting in the way of fun stuff like reading. Seems like somebody always needs feeding and something always needs cleaning.
I like your list!
Wow, you sound like you’ve got a super busy life! It’s funny how it doesn’t seem that busy until we list it all out like this. And I have to admit that laundry is legit the worst chore ever – mostly because it’s neverending!
I try! Anything to keep sloth at bay….
One of my favorite genres is children’s books, and I was fortunate to work in a primary school library, with a library assistant right there to check out books and put away books. So I basically read all day! lol
You do have a lovely life, I think. I like to be happy-busy, too.
That’s one of the dangers of shelving or discarding….once I start looking through books I tend to find one that’s interesting enough to sit an read properly!
I actually really love reading outside, so I get a lot of reading done over the summer months when the weather is nice and I can lounge in my garden with a book!
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/05/17/top-ten-tuesday-420/