One of the things I most enjoy about my little “Questions and Answers” book is that every time I open it, it surprises me. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. March 17 is always St. Patrick’s Day. Naturally, I expected a question that would somehow relate to the holiday. Something about snakes, maybe. Or about the color green. A question, perhaps, about parades or traditions.
Today’s question is this:
What new activity have you tried?
Oh, dear. I’m in big trouble. I haven’t tried anything new lately. That bothers me. I’m someone who advocates trying new things, going new places, meeting new people. One of the most exciting aspects of life, I believe, is breaking free of our little boxes, moving out of our personal space, getting out of the comfort zones we create around ourselves.
I used to actually mark dates on my calendar for new activities. Gnu Days. That’s what I called them. I’d randomly throw them onto a calendar with no thought whatsoever, then when that Gnu Day came, I would head out for someplace I’d never been before.
In recent years, my life has become much more predictable. I’m very much a creature of habit, and yes, I’ll admit, I enjoy the comfortable routines of my life.
I write. I cook. I tend to domestic chores. I spend time with my husband and our family.
It’s a good life. I’m happy.
Each day, I do try to learn something “gnu”. I enjoy reading new books, and I’m always trying out new recipes. Still, learning, reading, cooking…those are still familiar activities.
Part of the problem, perhaps, is that I’m old. Or, according to one daughter, I’m ancient. What that means is that over the course of my life, I’ve already been there, done that with about everything I’ve ever wanted to try. I’ve learned to type, to take shorthand, to speak and/or read several different languages. I’ve learned to sew, to knit, to crochet. I’ve done carpentry and car repairs. I’ve even learned to walk a tightrope. Don’t ask about the juggling, though. I tried. Oh, yes, I tried. I just wasn’t very good at it.
I sing, I dance, I play the piano. I can coax a tune from a few other instruments, too. I’ve tried origami — another rather unsuccesful endeavor — and I thoroughly enjoy photography. I’m an avid history buff with a special interest in the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and presidential history.
And that’s just the beginning. The list of hobbies and interests goes on and on. The pity is that I don’t have time to pursue them seriously, so most of them have become “hit and miss” over the years.
Well, there is candlemaking. And soapmaking. I’ve already discovered the fun of making perfumes, body scrubs, and bath salts, and my Amazon shopping cart does hold soapmaking supplies. I just haven’t been bold enough yet to click the button.
Why do I hesitate? Maybe it’s because I’m concerned about adding something more to an already very full schedule. Maybe it’s because I look around my crowded house and wonder where I could possibly put any more craft or hobby supplies. Or maybe it’s because I’ve gotten out of the habit of trying new things, because I’ve somehow gotten so comfortable in my little rut that I’m reluctant to get out of it.
So, yes, I’m going to head to Amazon. I’m going to click that mouse button, tell them to load up one of their drones — or whatever they use these days — and send me my soapmaking supplies. And the next time anybody asks what’s new in my life, I’ll have an answer ready.
What’s new in YOUR life?