I know we’re well past New Year, but at the beginning of the year I had decided that – post Covid – I was going to try and do some things I had never done before, go places I had never been, and learn things I had no clue about!
It wasn’t a New Year resolution, just a realisation that the clock is ticking and there’s a great, big, beautiful world out there, just waiting to be discovered.
Don't go through life, grow through life
- Eric Butterworth
But I also resolved to do more of what I enjoy – and take time to savour and appreciate all these new experiences. I’ve always enjoyed eclectica and serendipity so now I was planning to do more of it – if that is not an oxymoron. The Urban Dictionary defines eclectica as: ‘The act of being eclectic; having no set defined preference’.
A word of caution: I was reading that while being a bit eclectic and free ranging is essential for the ‘more mature’ it definitely pays younger people to focus. Not to the exclusion of everything else of course, but the focus of discipline in a particular area does seem an essential feature of modern life.
Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.
- William Cowper
Of course, these new experiences would need to be fitted around the normal routines and responsibilities of life – as well as the slow clawback out of lockdown. So I am still at the very early stages of exploration. But it’s funny how a different attitude has already changed how I approach things.
A night at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow – waiting for curtain up!
I never had a negative attitude towards learning – but never a very positive one either, unless it really interested me. The result was that I did poorly in school and college at subjects that weren’t holding my attention.
I think back and shudder at what I could have learned with a bit of application. How many times have I muttered to myself ‘I should have stuck in at school.' Anyway, we live and learn – or at least we should, and I certainly plan to keep widening my horizons.
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is that you're stupid and make bad decisions.
One area that I did not pay much attention to was human biology – including my own! I am one of these fortunate people who has been pretty healthy for most of my life. But that was certainly not as a result of any focused effort! And, I am discovering, that does not work quite as well the older you get. So a bit of a shift is required on my part.
Fun is just another word for learning
- Raph Koster
I was laughing to myself when I discovered the phrase ‘Suicide by lifestyle’. I had not heard the expression before – whether Bill Bryson came up with it I do not know, but he has certainly popularised it in his book, ‘The Body: A Guide for Occupants’
So I want to make sure I don’t finish myself off as a result of my own lifestyle and I have started paying more attention to my diet and exercise routine. But increasingly I am enjoying learning about things that would never have previously been of any interest. And I think it comes from the decision to adopt a different mindset.
Get on yer bike! Clydebank, The Forth and Clyde Canal
So I’m looking forward to unexplored territories ahead! Watch this space.