Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: What were you doing when you were ten?

So I am sitting in a tiny little dentist office in Headington (area of Oxford) and I’ve just grabbed the clipboard from the funky red-headed receptionist.  I’ve settled into a rather comfy chair by a stack of magazines.  I situate the clipboard to start filling out the form and find it funny that there is a pencil attached to it instead of a pen.  I unclip it and begin to write my name.

As I grip the pencil I feel my heart beat a bit faster.  Can this really be?  Is this the real thing?  Where on earth could this have come from?  It’s been close to twenty years since I have seen anything like it.  I’m almost star-struck…

And you won’t believe it, but I am holding a Lisa Frank pencil.  That’s right, all you kids of the 90’s, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s the legit thing.  A neon pink pencil with a sort of leopard print design inside some stars and the little eraser holder is even shiny blue like it should be.  I can’t help but look around the room at the other patients and smile.  I want to shout out, ‘Did you all get Lisa Frank pencils too?’  I begin to wonder if the red-head pulled it out of her trapper keeper that she found hidden under her childhood bed at her parents’ house or something crazy like that. I have to fight the urge to steal it rather than slip it back into the office clipboard.

– – –

A few months back I went to a women’s forum event hosted here at Oxford for women academics.  I attended (even though not an academic myself and came as ‘married to an academic’) and greatly enjoyed the thoughts and discussions.  When going around the room to introduce ourselves, we had to state our names, why we were in Oxford, and what we were doing when we were ten years old.  Amazing introduction, right?  It was fascinating to hear what every woman around the room was doing when they were ten.  Most of us were from different cultures and continents but many of us commented on doing things that still somewhat could be considered important to us today.  Holding that Lisa Frank pencil and reflecting on ‘what I was doing when I was ten’ has really gotten me thinking lately.  What were my dreams, desires, and visions for my future when I was ten years old?

What were yours?

For me, the past few years of growing, moving, changing has involved a great deal of self-discovery and self-awareness.  It’s been a love/hate journey of where I have come from and where I am going.  I’ve learned a great deal about how to understand, consent and ‘live into’ the woman I am, the woman who I am becoming and to look back upon the woman and girl I once was.  The idea of looking back…thinking back to when I was ten, used to be somewhat of a challenging thing to do. It’s funny though, because now more than ever I wish I could sneak back in time and sit down for tea (or maybe for a pack of gushers) and chat with my old self.  Not to change or teach or ‘enlighten’ the ten year old me, but just to listen.  To listen to what I thought about when the world seemed so big…or rather so small.

Hmmm, not our typical food for thought, but something fun to think about this Monday:

What were you dreaming about when you were ten?

Are any of those dreams similar to what you still dream of today?  Are you living them?

Did any involve tall, dark and handsome, robed academics? J

And do gushers and Lisa Frank still exist?!


I mean yikes!  Just check this guy out? 

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2 thoughts on “Monday’s Food for Thought: What were you doing when you were ten?

  1. Yes! I remember all of this. Trapper Keepers, Lisa Frank, stickers, Gushers…Those were the days. Jason & I have a joke we have come to call “Snapshot.” It started when we were first married, and I told him about how sometimes I wished I could just send a picture back to my 13-year-old self, saying not to worry about how things went through middle and high school, that I’d make it and things would “turn out all right.” Well, one morning, I came to the breakfast table in my pajamas, with my hair unbrushed and looking very sleepy and discombobulated. He then coined the phrase “Snapshot!” which made me laugh, because would he still make all the same choices, if he knew this would be his breakfast partner in 10 years? :) Every so often, we’ll say “Snapshot” if we see one another in particularly compromising positions, and it’s been hilarious a few times. All in all though, I know I’d be relieved and excited to have a look ahead at our current life from the viewpoint of a 13-year-old. Not exactly what you were asking, but that’s what it made me think of :)

  2. Keeley, I love that! We definitely do something similar. I think it’s so important to stop and look at and savor the moments that make up our lives: to laugh at them while they are happening and then to treasure them away in our hearts and to pull them up again many years later. Even when they involve us looking ridiculous. So funny!

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