My name is Jennifer Wagner Baker, and I have an obsessive personality. I latch onto things that interest me and let them consume me. Most of these distractions are fleeting. The initial infatuation wears off, my interest wanes or dies altogether and then a new obsession moves in. Many have left their traces behind: I have a craft room with a closet full of rubber stamps, a polymer clay oven, 3 die cut machines, an embarrassingly huge stash of yarn and thousands of beads. I have a 70” x 70” quilt that is almost finished; I just have to buy more thread for it. A Where’s George stamp hides in a desk drawer. (I am embarrassed about that one, but in my defense, it was a long time ago…I was practically a kid, and obviously had no life at all.) A postage stamp collection, cannibalized when we were short on cash, collects dust in the basement. I spent a small fortune on Reiki training once; the expensive table and a shelf of manuals are now tucked away somewhere near the stamp collection. And when I first got my iPod touch, my husband, Adam, had to hide if from me because I got way too attached to We Farm and We Rule. I let that fabulous gizmo distract my family now.
I don’t do things half way. I jump in head first and immerse myself. And while it holds my interest, I let it take over my life and my thoughts. I’m just lucky tobacco and illicit drugs never beckoned. And that I don’t like the taste of alcohol and find gambling boring. 4 bullets dodged…
My love of reading and writing, however, is a constant that has been with me for more than 20 years. Lately, the writing only gets done in my head. I have probably a dozen novels knocking around in there that just never made it to paper. The problem is that over time each turns into a kind of morphed-out choose-your-own-adventure story with multiple beginnings and endings and twists and turns. I’m old enough now to know it’s time to do something about that problem before I wake up old and bitter about not pursuing my passion.
I’ve always been a reader, but if I didn’t have a great book in front of me, I let other obsessions take over. With my current list of work and family obligations, most recent obsessions were things I could squeeze into stolen minutes…like iPod apps and quick beading projects. I recently figured out, however, that if I have a really good page-turner in the book holder on my Nordic Track, I could kill two birds with one stone. I get more read than I ever did before and I work out longer because I don’t want to close the book. It’s like the perfect busy-working-mom solution. It’s the ultimate in multi-tasking. And my jeans fit better. The only problem is that now I’ve read all these great books and I don’t have anyone with whom to talk about them. (Trust me…Adam’s not interested…I’ve bored him enough already…) I’m thinking of looking for a book club, but I thought a blog would be another great multi-tasking solution; I’d be writing something down for a change and I’d have a place to spill my thoughts about what I’m reading. If anyone finds it interesting enough to read and comment, that would be fabulous.But as my attention span is short, if you happen to notice a few weeks go by with no posts, chances are I’ve taken up hang-gliding, or learned how to needlepoint, or got hooked on some crazy TV drama, or I picked up that half finished sweater I started two years ago, or…or some other crazy obsession has temporarily taken me over. Send me a note with the title of the great book you just finished and try to pull me back to my forever love…I’ll thank you for it.