I’m adding three new things to my life this year, to explore and develop, and if things go well, adopt as official passions. I made this decision because I find being a beginner so invigorating! Since no bridge player will teach me bridge (Don’t get me started. Bridge players hate to teach beginners and don’t want to play with them.) and golf will never be a thing for me, I landed on my new learning challenges quite naturally.
They are, in no particular order: Bird watching. (Are you yawning?) Flower Arranging. Photography.
The bird watching and photography arose because I’m going to Alaska next fall. Mobiles are fine for restaurant foodies and selfies, but I don’t want to stand in front of a glacier with a cell phone. On a recent trip to the U.S. I went into Best Buy and asked for the camera section. In the old days there were aisles of cameras, but now, there were a total of 15 cameras to choose from.
A pleasant half hour with a personable “product specialist” and I walked out with the perfect sized Sony with a good zoom lens and neat tricks. Sophisticated enough, but not too difficult a learning curve.
So now I’m going practice and develop my eye before the trip so that I’m not staring at a whale fidgeting with the “on” button. My work will appear in the virtual gallery known as Instagram.
Next, the birdwatching. The packing list for the Alaska trip suggests binoculars. I got right on that. Don’t want to be in a group of people oohing and aahing through their binocs and me just standing there. Shocked to find prices into the hundreds and thousands of dollars. “It’s all about the optics,” everyone kept telling me. Did my research and purchased a good pair at Costco. Love Costco. They do their research and present you with the best at a decent price.
My high school BFF Jeanette is “an avid bird watcher.” (Is there any other kind?) I’ve often admired her lyrical nature trips with friends, wading the breezy shore in October, ambling through damp forests on warm winter days. People who birdwatch are crazy about it. Could I get crazy about it too? Seems like such a friendly, civilized, eco, way to spend time outside and meet new people. She’s coming to Tropica for her winter break and she’ll pass on her tips as we bob in the lagoon watching flamingos, cormorants, pelicans and all the other tropical birdies.
Now, flower arranging. Used to be a fusty business. Thank goodness millennials made it chic and sexy. Cruise Instagram and Pinterest and you learn there’s a bevy of bright, talented young women with thriving floral design boutiques that make you want to open up shoppe. Swallows and Damsons in the UK and Fox Fodder Farm in the US for starters.
Since I live in Tropica, my arrangements are going to be more…tropical.
So…that’s me in this second month of The Year of Living Passionately.
P.S. Another thing I’m doing is catching up on all the Oscar nominated films so that I have an opinion on awards night. My DD taught me to live stream on my compu, so every night is movie night at my house.
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