As summer winds down and thoughts of school and kids’ schedules wind up, I started thinking about all the extracurricular activities my children are interested in and involved with. That got me thinking about how I don’t sign myself up for anything beyond glorified cab driver or parent volunteer for all my kid’s events and activities.
Growing up, I remember my mom had several hobbies and things she did for herself. She was in the bowling league, she took art classes, and she was (and still is) in the garden club. All of these made her a well-rounded human and I think made life better for all of us because she did things for herself. My dad, too, had his own hobbies and interests that he pursued that didn’t involve just being the parent assisting in a kid activity.
When our kids were younger, my husband gave me a guitar. I took several months of lessons and practiced almost every day. I really enjoyed learning a new instrument and don’t really know why I stopped playing the guitar. Same can be said for swimming. I LOVE to swim and had a blast waking up before dawn every morning and learning how to be a better swimmer with Coach Paul every morning before the TC Sharks had their morning practices. Excuses come easily as to why I haven’t maintained my interest in these activities. But the sentiment is that I still would like to not only pursue the things I have tried in the past but also add other interesting things to call my own; balance life as we know it with added things of interest.
A casual art class is a great place to start. Laguna Gloria has quite a few classes that start in the fall for beginners to experts: painting, ceramics, sculpture to name a few. I have also heard of Sacred Arts Studio on William Cannon in South Austin.
I mentioned guitar lessons but piano, violin, accordion or any instrument you decide to pick up and try is something that, if you get good enough, you can come join our 4th of July Standing Band next year!
How about dance classes? Either couples dance classes for a designated date night or any form of dance that floats your fancy. Balance Dance Studio has an extensive list of dance classes to choose from, as well as Ballet Austin or Tapestry.
There are book clubs, bible studies, gardening clubs, bird watching and all other interests that may not cost anything but could add value to your life by meeting new people with shared interests.
If leaving home for another outing is what is keeping you from pursuing an interest, what about online classes? There are language classes, music classes or other things that you can learn from the comforts of your own home.
Whatever your interests are, I think it is most important to keep growing and learning, whether it is art and culture or science and nature. I mentioned quite a few artistic endeavors, but there are also plenty of outdoor activities (rock climbing, running, swimming, etc.) that can fill up your vessel of self-discovery.
Get out there and find yourself!