In my attempt to be a disciplined blogger I’ll begin this post by addressing the first point in my December 25th blog which, of course you remember was, “how do I fill the days without just filling the days?”.
Well….in addition to devotedly attending pilates sessions two mornings a week all year I signed up for two weekly discussion groups, one focused on social and political issues and the other on foreign relations. Not only am I very interested in the topics but they had the additional attraction of beginning the first week of my “retirement”. Next I signed up for a contemporary art appreciation class at the New School. It turned out to be an amazing learning experience for someone who knows very little about the art scene. My friend Merry who introduced me to the New School class also introduced me to some great women and we wound up having lunch every week before the class (maybe my favorite part of the day!) Our class homework consisted of visiting galleries and museums exhibiting the work of artists chosen by the instructor as topics for his weekly lecture.
In addition to becoming an art expert (hah!) I discovered that it’s important to pay attention to the museum and gallery hours-it’s not fun to “shlep” all the way downtown to the Whitney on a Tuesday only to discover Tuesday is the one day of the week the Whitney is closed! I also discovered that gallery visits feel less intimidating when I am fulfilling a homework assignment rather than, as on previous occasional visits, fighting the uneasy feeling that I was taking up space when I was only window shopping. Without the guilt I felt the gallery staff seem almost appreciative that I paid them a visit!
It was very surprising but only logical that by filling my days with things that interest me I would meet many new likeminded and interesting people (hence numbers 1 & 2 on my list converge). This happy blending has provided opportunities to attend events I might never have known about or, even if I did, never planned to attend. One such event immediately springing to mind was a Saturday evening performance of gospel music performed by artists who had never previously sung professionally. At this concert, held in an auditorium in the heart of Harlem on a hot July evening, I once again came face to face with the magic of embracing new experiences even if , at first, they appear to be out of my comfort zone.