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A new interest

A great and priceless thing is a new interest! How it takes possession of a man! How it clings to him, how it rides him!  Mark Twain

Any time that my life is sufficiently without stimuli to create important writing, I am always confident that Mr. Twain will provide assistance. This is the quote that I secured from him, one that seems particularly timely.

As many of us are quarantined or self-sequestered, it’s easy to become stale or grumpy. Restaurants here don’t allow sit-down dining; shopping is an inconvenience rather than anything resembling pleasure and most of us are waiting for something good to happen that will improve our status.

What an excellent time to develop a new interest! At the top of my list is the possibility of writing in a context you have never previously attempted. Write some poetry, for yourself or a loved one. Investigate a new genre such as non-fiction, fiction or essay. If you conduct some research, you will find a contest or a site seeking new contributions.

If that doesn’t ring your bell, take up a new craft. As recently as this morning, I’ve begun researching sewing surgical masks. There are many patterns out there and whether or not they can be used in a healthcare setting, they must be of value to some. That may not be your style. Buy a canvas and some acrylics or watercolors. Get some charcoal and just begin drawing.

And one of the best alternatives is to make reading one of your life priorities. The number and variety of e-books out there is staggering. And it’s a great opportunity to investigate a new subject – there are too many to name. As I tell my students, reading a book is a gift for your brain. If e-books are unavailable for whatever reason, you can order books almost as easily in hardbound or paperback formats.

Call someone whom you haven’t recently reached. Write a letter to a distant friend or relative. Whatever it may be, get out of your head and do something that simply feels good or productive. There are always opportunities to contribute something to our world. Shalom.

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