As I’ve gotten older, my style of socializing has changed. Back in the day, double dating, or going out with other couples usually meany hanging out at a bar. As we got a little greyer, we went to dinner. Now that we’re a lot greyer, we started planning activities. Last night we tried a painting class.
Forgive me if I’m momsplaining, but paint parties consist of you, a bunch of other people, a painting guru, a small palette of paint, a canvas, three brushes and an apron. And wine. You bring your own wine. The guru gives you step by step directions, (literally, mix red and white paint to create pink), and explains things in a clear and easy format (paint a grey line that extends 3/4 of the way down your canvas). You joke around with your friends. You talk about how your own work looks like a Picasso but is supposed to be more realist….and you have fun.
You have fun because your relaxed. You’re relaxed because your out of your comfort zone and you don’t care. (Unless you’re actually an artist, which one of my friends is, and you’re freaking out because you own a very expensive MFA and you think your work is the worst.)
What’s the take away?
1) Socialize- its important to listen to other opinions and points of view. It’s fun to share experiences with people.
2) Be creative- especially if you usually aren’t. It allows you to look at things from a different perspective. It helps keep your brain active.
3) Go out of your comfort zone. Change and new can be good. You might find something you really enjoy.
4) Don’t worry that you’re not very good at something. Relish your imperfections.
5) Don’t do a paint night on the same day as you tried a new exercise routine. My shoulders were killing me.
the painting is not for sale!
I tried a Barre class today. Essentials, the 60 minute class consists of a variety of stretches and lifts that utilize many of the muscles in your body. The goal of the class is to create long and lean muscles, and help increase flexibility. I’ve never been a flexible person. In my youth I had trouble touching my toes and doing splits, and my flexibility quotient has only decreased with age. I’ve begun to dread any activity that requires sitting on the floor. It takes me hours to stand back up. Ok maybe I exaggerate…a little. Last year I ended up with a case of heel spur, most probably caused by not stretching my legs after exercise. So I’m trying to add stretching into my daily routine. I stretch first thing in the morning. I get to the gym a little early so I can warm up my body, and I don’t leave class early and skip the cool down. The foam roller has become my best friend. I think the path to aging gracefully and maintaining a healthy body begins with keeping the body loose.
But……your mind must remain flexible as well. Often, as we age, we become set in our ways. We read the same type of things, watch the same type of shows, do the same sort of activities. There is nothing wrong with doing things you enjoy. There is nothing wrong with having the same hobbies. There is nothing wrong with reading the same authors…..
You need to venture out of your mental comfort zone. Your brain needs exercise as much as your body does. It’s fun to try something new, you may actually like it. And if you don’t, it gives you a fun story.
I enjoyed my Barre class today, even though I really didn’t know what I was doing. Though it was hard, both my mind and body were invigorated. Now, my body might be a bit stiff tomorrow, but that’s ok. My mind is going to be open.
Happy Friday! Try something new!