I’ve really changed in the past year, finding new ways to spend my free and personal time. I’ve surprised myself, actually. I’ve moved on from writing, which was once something I had to do. It used to make me happy. But at some point this year, instead of sitting in front of this screen, wondering where the words went, or feeling bad because I had nothing to say, I stopped questioning it and gave myself permission to pay attention to other things. It felt right; it felt like it was time. And so, as I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve been working out regularly and absolutely love it, and I’ve also discovered that I enjoy cooking and potting.

And I really welcome these changes, these new habits. Parts of me have felt stagnant — the not-writing-and-feeling-that-I’m-supposed-to-be writing indeed contributed to that — but I’m glad that I’ve become curious again.

There are a number of other things I’d like to do, try, or get back into in 2017.

  • Taiko drumming. I watched a taiko demonstration several months ago at the Buddhist temple in town and grabbed a card for a free first class. I’ve yet to go, but it’s on my list for January. Watching and listening to the performance, I felt like I was part of it, just sitting in the audience; I can imagine how powerful the experience can be if you’re actually helping to create it. The blend of a physical workout, music, and the element of meditation and trance very much appeals to me.
  • Surfing. I’m going to the Big Island soon, just for a week, but I hope to have time to take a surfing lesson — it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but have been a bit scared. I have no skateboarding or snowboarding skills whatsoever — and in fact am terrible at both — but I love stand-up paddleboarding and love being on the water. I also plan to return to Hawaii in July, when my parents will be in Kauai, and am considering going to a surf camp (of course, this depends on if I enjoy the lesson).
  • Watercolors. I took a watercolor class in eighth grade, which was taught by my beloved French teacher. I learned so much, from stretching the paper to picking out paints and brushes to various techniques. I don’t think I was any good at it — much like how I’m crap at drawing today — but I enjoyed the process immensely. I remembered this class on a recent drive — a woman had set up her canvas at the edge of a vineyard a few minutes from my house, and she was painting a lovely country scene.
  • Gardening. I’ve recently started making soil and potting succulents, which are sprinkled around the house and on the deck. We have construction work beginning next week to excavate and level our lot, and I’m looking forward to having a big playground of planter boxes, raised beds, and all sorts of pots. I have felt so ignorant all of my life not knowing much about gardening and growing food. I’m excited to learn.

6 thoughts on “Next”

  1. In India, Jyotish astrology is a big thing. It’s a little different from western astrology… anyways all the Jyotish astrologers were predicting Trumps victory. I was thinking about it now because it sounds like you might be entering a different period in your life – which could be cool. I always found music satisfying in a way that writing never was for me. I can get really excited by words, but the level of intensity is never the same as it is with music. The good part about writing is that it can be done alone, whereas music becomes magic, when it’s created with other people – but then it also requires counting on other people to be there. I have run to writing whenever I get fed up with people. Good luck with all your new ventures, sounds exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this, Sreejit. Both writing and music have been important to me, and I understand what you mean. Your comment reminds me of something my younger cousin, a singer, wrote to me, when I described how I’d struggled writing my manuscript years ago, and even when I tried to revisit it recently on my other blog. As a singer, art has always been about connection to him — to the music as well as the people he’s making music with and in front of. Feedback is pretty immediate in a live performance, but as a writer, it’s harder to see how well I connect with others, even on an interactive, ever-changing space like a blog. And in a musical performance, the moment ultimately passes. But in this solitary act of writing, I think I’ve been stuck in a one particular moment for so long.

      I think, ultimately, that’s what I’m realizing by opening myself up to more things — even, or especially, to seemingly everyday, mundane things.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The past few months I’ve stumbled onto the same feelings ~ I look forward to writing again, but not just sure when the moment will come and it is relaxing not worrying about it. The reason behind this feeling I have mirrors yours, in the sense that I’ve taken to chasing opportunities again which keeps things in a good balance. A little diversity (or a lot) in life is such a good thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Keeping things in balance is a good way of looking at it. For the past few years I’ve found myself retreating more and more, but not channeling that into a process like writing — which is unhealthy, I think. So I’m glad I’ve discovered these new interests — that they’re all away from a computer screen, and that some have me interacting with others, while others are still largely solitary, which I crave and need, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the fact that you have allowed yourself a space to write about whatever you want, including everyday things and whatever flows naturally. It reminds me that this is a great way to speak to people and connect with people and that it’s okay for posts to be simple and straightforward sometimes. They can still be inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

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