Here’s a List of 16 New Things to Try

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Here's a List of 16 New Things to Try | Wit & Delight
Henri Matisse – The Goldfish, 1912

If I were to list the people from my childhood I was particularly curious about, the women in the adult dance class that practiced in the studio next to my tap/ballet combo would be at the top. So would the Suzuki method violin players who were at the same level as me, only upwards of thirty years older. I’d begged my mom to let me take up the craft, yes. But these people were adults with no one to answer to. They wanted to practice?

I strongly disagree that curiosity diminishes as you get older. Sure, if you’re lucky, you figure out the things you like early on and you get to stick with them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t like and try more new things, no matter your age.

A belated joining in gives you an advantage on the early learners in another way, too, in the sense that you may have learned a bit more patience by the time you begin. You know your learning style and if you don’t like what you’re doing you owe no paying parents an explanation for why you want to stop.

But we don’t have to think about that yet! Let’s start by just trying. Starting something new helps keep your brain sharp, aids in stress management, and can even make you feel like you have more time.

Plus, it can be fun.

I strongly disagree that curiosity diminishes as you get older. Sure, if you’re lucky, you figure out the things you like early on and you get to stick with them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t like and try more new things, no matter your age.

You can read a million articles about the plentiful benefits of taking on a new craft/hobby/interest, but sometimes simple fun is what you need the most. If you feel stuck in a rut, here’s a list of new things to try, with where-to-start resources included.

Decorate a Cake

A piping kit, some frosting, and your imagination are all you need here. A revolving stand will definitely come in handy, but don’t worry about not having all of the proper tools. M&M rainbows are just as fun now as they always have been.

If you do choose to invest, take a look at this chart. I’m sure you’ll collect them all eventually. How could you not?

Refinish a Table

The first step: find a piece of wooden furniture. A simple strip, sand, stain, and finish will have it like new in just enough time that you’ll feel like you accomplished something, and you’ll have something beautiful to show for it. Let this video explain.

Learn to Sew

My most recent moment of untamed jealousy was when I saw a friend make her own version of Marianne’s Italy dress from Normal People. I could do that! But I didn’t. But I wanted to! 

Sewing machines are widely available on resale websites and the internet is littered with patterns. Fix the jeans in the back of your closet, turn your least favorite summer tie-dye into a dish towel. Do whatever you want! 

Join TikTok

This one is easy—the algorithm does the work for you. Download the app and swipe for a while until you seem to be getting more of the content you care about. Play with effects, join in a challenge, make dances to songs you like. Post them or don’t, it’s up to you. (And also maybe think about setting a screen time limit on your phone. It gets, shall we say, too intriguing at times.) 

Experiment with Makeup

Lucky lucky! The boom of YouTube has made education widely available for all those interested in glamming up. Find a palette, any palette, and sit in front of the mirror. Find a creator whose style you like and follow along or just go for it like a four-year-old left alone with an open lipstick drawer. This is about fun, remember?

Learn about Wine Tasting

All sommeliers had to take their first sip at some point.

When it comes to wine, I get my recommendations from my friend Sara, a hospitality whiz who is currently training for her sommelier certification. She suggests starting a “tasting diary” via a journal or spreadsheet, tracking what you smell, taste, and feel, and why or why not you enjoy whatever you’ve picked out.

Pick up a bottle you find interesting and Google it to learn about the producer. Follow some somms on Instagram and dive into podcasts like GuildSomm and I’ll Drink to That!. Sip. Read (The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste by Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay is another Sara rec). Sip some more.

Read Tarot

They say that you’re supposed to get your first deck as a present from someone else. I’m not going to argue with the experts, but if you really want to get into it, why not think of your first deck as a present from your present self to your future self?

Find a deck that you find beautiful and an app or book that will help you decipher what you pull. I recommend Jessa Crispin’s The Creative Tarot in which every card is tied to a number of more well-known artworks that help you gain a deeper sense of a card’s meaning. Pull one card for past, one for present, and one for future, or try mind-body-spirit. Read about what they mean!

Try Your Hand at Gardening

Greenery! It’s so important and healing, especially in the winter. If your thumbs are not green quite yet, here are some tips for getting started. Don’t fret; the blooming will come soon enough.

Learn to Code

Websites like Coursera offer great beginner courses that you can take at your own pace. Here’s one that covers the fundamentals. If you want to dive right into the work, try a game like CodeMonkey. Ignore that it says “for kids.” It’s for the young and curious at heart.

Keep Fish

White cloud minnows and platies are very easy to keep alive. (So I’ve heard.)

Practice Calligraphy

If the hard part is picking the proper equipment, we can help. The Speedball Oblique is a good starter set that features a number of nib shapes and sizes. Sumi Ink is a simple favorite choice for many. Grab some tracing paper and a guidebook. Voila!

Make a Collage

All you need is a stack of magazines and some poster board (or any glueable surface, for that matter). Tear and cut and paste until you like what you see. 

Play Piano

It didn’t stick for you when you were little either, huh? Don’t worry. Your dreams of a baby grand may still come true someday. For the time being, look around on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for a nice standard size keyboard to practice on. Download the Simply Piano app and you’ll be making music in no time.

Write

I know Mary Oliver said to write longhand. We should listen to her in most every circumstance, but in this one…you are allowed to do whatever you need to get the words flowing.

Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has long recommended “morning pages” as the way to get started on your artistic journey. Every morning, as soon as you wake up, write three pages in your journal. It can be three pages of “I have nothing to write” or three pages of lengthy dream recounting. Anything. So long as you put something down. Looking elsewhere, Instagram accounts like @brooklynwriterscollective post daily prompts to get you inspired.

Study Herbalism

The best place to start with herbalism is your backyard. Take yourself on a plant walk, gathering all of the different leaves and petals you find—in the trees, on the ground, growing anywhere and everywhere. Apps like PictureThis can then help you identify your findings, while further research will teach you about uses and safety. Elderberry syrup! Goldenrod tincture! Just please don’t consume anything you don’t know.

Make Sourdough

If you somehow haven’t tried it yet or want to try it again, Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe is a winner. 

BY Sophie Vilensky - September 11, 2020

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Great list! I would add “Learn to Knit”. Once you hit your stride, it’s a very calming activity and encourages you to be in the present moment.

Denise

Curiosity is SO impotant, all through the life:-)

Love this list, so stimulating to try new things

https://natashantone.com/

I tried all most all but unfortunately Tiktok which is one of my favorite is Banned now

Wonderful! Really needed some inspiration at this time.

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