Old Dog? Meet New Tricks. New Tricks? Meet Old Dog.

I want to learn to do something new.

Not just because I’m getting older and I’m afeared all the brain cells that I so assiduously trained as a young dude are withering away under the assault of daily habit and a contracting sphere of interest. Although, admittedly, that is part of it.

No, dudes, the thing of it is, the reason behind this burgeoning interest in the new is I feel like I’m rather stagnating. I look at Hyper Lad and I see a kid that thinks nothing of popping in a new video game and then learning on the go, improving his game play and immersing himself in a new world. He picked up a saxophone in sixth grade and never looked back.

I see my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Moving Forward, who decided one day to participate in a triathlon and started training, never looking back. Now she’s completed not only several half Iron Man distance races (covering a combined 70.3 miles), but also an actual Iron Man distance event (covering 140.6 miles). Her job also forces her to keep learning new stuff every day. It’s called professional development and it’s mandatory.

I envy them both.

I, on a third hand, seem to continue doing the same things over and over again. I’m back in a classroom teaching, which is a slight variation on my last time on this side of the desk. I continue to write, which only involves a refinement on what I’ve learned previously and — hopefully — building on it to get better.

I want something completely new and different.

I think I’m going to try and learn a musical instrument. I’ve said it before, I know. This time I think I mean it.

See, when Zippy the College Boy went Down Under last summer, he accidentally participated in a world record. He and his cabinmates in Rustic Pathways happened upon the world’s largest ukelele play in. They wanted to participate, so Zippy the College Boy, purchased a rather inexpensive ukelele.

Said ukelele now sits on top of my filing cabinet. Staring at me. Mute. Accusing. And begging to be played.

I believe I might actually attempt to assuage it’s mute plea for meaning. All I have to do now is find an online site that will help me to learn the instrument. I’ve been assured by some folks that the ukelele is one of the easiest string instruments you can learn go play.

It will have to be. A large part of playing a musical instrument is keeping in rhythm. That is difficult for me as — I have been assured many, many times — I have no rhythm.

Still, I think it’s a risk I’m going to have to take. I feel the urge to do, rather than consume.

The way I see it, as long as I don’t get the urge to strip naked and run around the airport, I should probably listen to those urges while I still can.

I’ll let you know how it goes. If you’re lucky, or unlucky, depending on how you interprete it, I might even be able to upload a video of me playing. Sorry in advance.

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