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Activities to Try in 2023


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Another year brings opportunities to deviate from what has been planned or the routine and dive into something different. This deviation need not be connected to a job, home, or even family. In fact, it can be a simple activity. With eleven months left in 2023, there is still plenty of time to engage in a new activity or maybe revisit one left behind.

The following snapshots are intended to encourage the imagination, and some exertion, both mental as well as physical. However, they do not contain full instructions.

Instead, they highlight certain aspects of these activities and provide some basic information.

Archery

There are few thrills in life that rival those you experience when you draw a bow. All at once, a blend of tension, strength, and power surges through you. Of course, the draw weight varies as does the type of bow used; it could be a traditional recurve bow or a long bow in your hands. Perhaps it is a compound bow that you grip.

Whichever the case, in these seconds as you anchor and aim, right before the arrow is released, there is aggressive concentration on the bullseye ahead. It seemingly taunts you with its fixed and inanimate state, as each worry and distraction is set entirely aside for the purpose. It is about you, the target, and the great precision and force it takes to arrive there. Then, the arrow is loosed. You are living the metaphor. The bullseye must be reached.

The value though of this repeated action is in the marshalling of one’s thoughts in a single direction, regardless of outcome. The euphoria derived from that is rewarding and can endure.

For your health and safety, consult a trained professional for complete guidance in the sport.

Solitaire

There is a pleasing organization and structure to Solitaire, isn’t there? In this case, we refer to Klondike Solitaire, by far the most celebrated version of the card game. The stakes too are non-existent. The game can also boost your spirits and serve as a stimulating diversion with a series of choices made that are unrelated to pending, adult responsibilities. A single player and a standard 52-card deck is all that is required; try it screenless with physical cards. In this game of solitaire, the tableau consists of seven card piles and the foundations that are built from it. There is the stock and the waste as well.*

The object of Solitaire is to discard the cards by building the deck into a sequence and by suit from Ace through King. When the entire deck of cards makes up the foundation, the player has won.

So how did such a delightful game come to exist? Solitaire’s origins can possibly be traced to somewhere in Europe hundreds of years ago, with France being a suspected starting point. But this familiar pastime is without a detailed past.

Still, there is documentation of an engraving from 1697 showing a French princess playing a version of the game, while it has also been speculated the game was invented by a mathematician to entertain King Louis XIV.* Its true history notwithstanding, Solitaire continues to draw us in, keeping us guessing at our own games, in the present.

Painting

Each of us spends hours admiring art made by others. But what if we used those hours to make some of our own? What satisfaction could it generate? That is where painting comes in. With this pursuit, there does not have to be an objective in mind or any picture on hand as inspiration, though there could very well be both.

Having a few necessary pieces of equipment matters though. A canvas or a piece of wood, a brush, and of course, paint, will jumpstart the process. Move down the aisles of any craft store and you are bound to find acrylic, oil, as well as watercolor paints. There is an abundance of choices.

Brushes are numerous too. There are flat, angle, and round-tipped brushes, just to name a few. But once one of those brushes is taken up in earnest, your curiosities and creative freedom must take precedence. When its paint-covered bristles are first pressed against the blank surface, every emotion or instinct, be it positive or negative, propels you into an artistic odyssey that is solely yours.

There is no scarcity of hobbies to choose and adopt from. But perhaps one of the three activities above can elicit calm and invite catharsis, whether the need for either is pressing or not.

*USA Today. 2022. How to play Solitaire

 

 



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