Just Try It.

Don’t bother with a resolution for this New Year.   There’s abundant evidence that Resolution Road goes straight downhill sometime after January, littered with gym membership cards, strewn with diet cookbooks and half-finished knitting projects (not that I would know).  All those goals we fail to complete just end up making us feel worse than before.

So, don’t set any goals.  Instead, why not let the start of a new year mean that you will try something new – just one beenew thing  that appeals to you– and see where it leads you? Dead end, whole new vistas or something in-between –anywhere, except downhill.

I’ve compiled my own idiosyncratic list of activities that tempt me and I offer it here just to spur you on to come up with your own list.  Check out local colleges, museums, theaters, community service organizations and see what’s available.  You could always take a MOOC too, of course, but, to me, it seems the point is to get out and mix it up with the world a bit.  My list:

The Birds and the Bees

•Things that go hoot in the night.  Monticello offers Owl Prowls on a couple of dates in January.  These are two-hour guided walks in the evening, led by an experienced birder.  Reservations required.

•Help the Honeybee.  Central Virginia Beekeepers Association in conjunction with Albemarle Parks and Recreation is offering a beekeeping course beginning in February.  Learn about hive management, honey production and more.  And it’s worth noting that the Commonwealth of Virginia offers incentives in the form of grants for those starting new beehives.

Food for Thought

•International Cooking.  The Lorna Sundberg International Center at UVa offers weekly cooking classes in various cuisines from around the globe.  These hands-on classes are free and open to the community – and are so popular that participants are limited to one class per month.  Advance registration required.

•Jefferson’s Table.  Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s purchase of a macaroni machine, instructors from Charlottesville’s Speak! Language Center will prepare homemade tagliatelle on Feb 21 at Monticello.  Tickets required.

vintage_elegant_woman_drinking_afternoon_tea•Salon de thé.  Charlottesville’s Alliance Française sponsors a monthly tea at the Boar’s Head Inn.  Discussion is in French, s’il vous plaît, and focuses on a different topic each month.  RSVP


•Walk a dog, cuddle a cat.  The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA seeks adult volunteers.  Training required.

•Tutor.  Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/Albemarle trains tutors to work with adult students in reading, writing and language skills.  Info.

  • Ample opportunities abound for arts volunteers – and seem almost guaranteed to get your year off to a good start.

Pick up a pencil, pick up a pen.

•Drawing for Chickens.  “A class for non artists, those who can’t draw a straight line” at McGuffey Art Center.  “Lots of drawing to beautiful music.”  Who could resist?  Scroll through all the McGuffey listings.

•Write right.  Check out the many offerings at Writer House.  Try your hand at poetry, short stories, non-fiction.  And then?  Submit to Streetlight!


Happy New Year.

–Suzanne Freeman, fiction editor


Bee art by Matthew Gibson




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