Friday, November 16, 2012

I collect hobbies like hobbyists collect stamps

One of the ways I stay happy is by constantly learning new things and adopting new interests. My newest "thing" is indoor rock climbing, but it's only the latest in a long history of dabbling...

When I was a newlywed, it was knitting. I took a class at a yarn shop across from the old Children's Memorial Hospital in Lincoln Park and then got to know the motley crew of knitters during weekly open knit nights. I also revisited two of my high school activities in those years, playing second base for my agency softball team and taking a pottery class at a local studio. Oh, and there was the fall I played co-ed flag football, which didn't kindle in me much of a passion for the game, but it did clue me in to the strategy behind the tackles.

We moved to Oak Park in 2003 and I found another local yarn shop (it's since closed). I oversaw the initial updating and decorating of our house and knitted the biggest, most complicated project I've ever completed, a 6 foot by 5 foot cabled blanket, but then Zoe arrived and parenting a newborn became my all-consuming passion.

By the time she was 1 1/2, I'd stumbled into the world of mom blogging. It's hard to believe now, but in those pre-Twitter and Facebook days, I was updating my blog two or three times a day, sharing videos, my own commentary on news stories and the requisite kiddo updates.

I was still in the thick of blogging when Ada arrived. She was just a few weeks old when I nursed her through sessions at BlogHer 07. But I longed for new challenges. First I changed jobs. Then I joined our Montessori school board and promptly got myself elected co-president. I decided to learn Hebrew and spent one year mastering the basics and a second year learning cantillation in preparation for my adult bat mitzvah. After two years on the preschool board, stepped down and then allowed myself to be recruited for our synagogue's young leadership training group.

Meanwhile, I joined Derby Lite and started skating 1-2 times a week. I joined a book club that meets once a month. And just last month, I dropped into a few open climbing sessions at FFC. I've since started their beginner climbing class!