On Trying Things Out

It can happen any where, any time, any place.  I see an ad, overhear a conversation, see it in an Adult Ed magazine.  Whatever “it” is, I see it and say to myself, “I want to try that!”

“Try” is the key word here.  I decided I wanted to try flying on a trapeze.  I also wanted to try walking on stilts.  Just to try it.  I didn’t want to become a pro and join the circus.  I might just try it once and declare I’ve had my fill.

If this happens to you, here are my suggestions of the best ways to go about “trying” things:

1 – Take an adult ed class. They’re cheap, they’re short term, they’re taught by people who teach the subject because they like it, not because they earn tons of money to do it.

I’ve taken adult ed classes in Stilt Walking and Making A Living Without a Job among other things.  (For more info on the latter, check out the book of the same title by Barbara Winter.)  The instructors were people that had a skill or a knowledge that they loved sharing with others.  And for a very reasonable price, I got to try out a new skill and a new lifestyle.  I didn’t stick with the Stilt Walking, but the Making a Living Without A Job session changed my life.

2 – Visit the library. Want to learn to crochet?  Thinking about walking El Camino?  Interested in starting a garden?  At one time or another, I’ve been interested in all three.  Head over to your local library – I’m sure someone’s written a book on it and your librarian can help you find it.  As above, I’ve found librarians are people who have the ability to help you find a book about anything, and they love doing it. And it’s free (but please do support them and make a donation once in a while!)

No time to visit?  Go on-line.  In a lot of towns, you can search your library catalog on-line.  Many libraries are even part of a network so if they don’t have the book you want but another library does, you simply request the book and it gets delivered to your local library.

3- Visit the bookstore. Same as the library.  I recommend a local bookstore as opposed to a big chain.  See my piece on talking to strangers.  You can learn a lot talking to the folks at your local bookstore.

4 – Peruse craigslist. Want to try rollerblading?  Think you want to ride your bike across Iowa?  Before you go out and spend all that hard-earned dough on a pair of skates you may only use once, check out craigslist.org for your area.  My $80 craigslist-purchased bike got me across Iowa fine, and I’ve gotten over the guilt of not having ridden it since.  I surely got my $80 worth out of it:)

5 – Ask around. Want to learn Italian?  So did I.  You’d be surprised how many people know someone that speaks Italian once you start asking around.  And chances are one of them would love to help you learn the language, too!

So go ahead.  Try it out:)

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