New Thing #10 - Polyphony
If you've never tried to sing or listen to polyphony, I suggest trying it (and trying it seriously) now! It takes some time to appreciate it, but when you do, you really come to love it, and you realize that it is some of the most beautiful music there is! I had sung a little bit before, but when I joined probably one of the hardest Church choirs I've ever seen this year, I was in way over my head. But I still love it - having to learn it, and absorbing this beautiful music, even for so short a time, has given me such an appreciation for it. There's really nothing like it!
New Thing #9 - Ballroom Dancing
Okay, I know that this is a bit of a commitment, so I totally understand for anyone who doesn't do it - but, honestly, even just looking up a video and imitating the steps is pretty fun, and it gives you such a new scope on dancing in general. It is one of the single best hobbies I can think of, actually, and I'm sad that it took me up until late this past year to finally learn it! (Also, as a side note, not all ballroom dances need a partner, so don't worry if you're not sure who to call!)
New Thing #8 - Edward Feser and His Books
Even if you just read his humorous and profound blog posts, Edward Feser is a genius and his writing is a serious broadening of the mind. He really writes to make you think, and I wish he was better-known. His book on the mind (Philosophy of Mind, which I blogged about a while back, here) was amazing, and he has so many invaluable books on subjects that most authors can't even tackle. Hey, even if you're not big into philosophy, you can pop into his blog (here) and read his philosophical and superhero-comic-spattered thought posts.
New Thing #7 - Silent Movies
Honestly, silent movies are under-appreciated in this day and age. We think they're cheesy merely because they don't have the same special effects of now or the same acting of their near predecessors. They're such a milestone in history, though, and they are enjoyable, even if only for a laugh with some of them. Some of my favorites that I discovered and watched this year were It, Nosferatu, and Lon Chaney Sr.'s Ace of Hearts. I strongly encourage the spread of silent movies - some aren't worth keeping for morality reasons, it's true, but on a whole, they're a very neglected art.
New Thing #6 - Quote Battles
I'm sure, with close friends, everybody's done some bit of movie and book quoting before. But as a whole conversation? Trying to make a conversation that more or less makes sense merely out of quotes is not only usually hilarious, but very fun. It's one little thing I'm definitely not sorry I tried this past year.
New Thing #5 - St. Louis de Montfort
St. Louis de Montfort wrote a lot of incredible books, and I'm honestly ashamed that I didn't get around to reading any of them sooner. My family and I are finishing up his Secrets of the Rosary presently, and copies of his book on consecration to Mary were at Church for most of the school year, so I did finally remedy the situation a bit this past year, but still. I plan to read a lot more of his work in this new one.
New Thing #4 - Singing and Playing
If you don't (and don't plan to) play an instrument, that's fine. But if you do play one that is compatible with any form of singing, let me recommend this extremely helpful brain exercise that not only boost one's playing and singing abilities, but coordination period. Even just learning to play and sing one song is quite a challenge!
New Thing #3 - A New Movie Genre
I never watched Horror movies, or Thriller, and absolutely not Martial Arts movies. But I tried some of those this past year, and was, in some cases, impressed. I'm still not a big Horror or Thriller fan - I can't stand gore, and intensity makes me anxious or bored - but I still found a couple of movies I don't regret watching in the genre. (I did not enjoy every movie I saw, but I don't regret trying the genre.) I definitely never really liked Martial Arts movies - they were always so cheesy, overdone, and violent, not to mention stupid in my own haughty opinion. But I tried a new one this year and actually ended up loving it (in fact... expect the movie Ip-Man to come up in another posts...). And I realized something from it - even if you don't like the genre in general, there's usually at least one movie in every genre that you would like, and you could be missing out on that movie just because of the genre. Besides, there are so many movies out there that totally don't fit the usually genre they're put in - you could be really missing out because of a fault label!
New Thing #2 - Tyrone Power Movies
Okay - this is easily one of the best non-religious things I discovered this year. I love Tyrone Power movies! Not only is he possibly one of the best-looking actors I've ever seen, but his acting is amazing, and most of his movies have great acting throughout them. Not to mention that a large chunk of them are thoroughly pro-Christian and pro-Catholic, as well as being dramatic in story, artistic in romance, and refreshing in their variety of setting - anything from romantic comedy to drama to action/adventure to mystery. The quality level of all of his earlier movies is also extremely skillful, with usually good sound, script, photography, and costumes (as well as, like I said, good supporting actors, including oldies but goodies like Orson Welles and Dana Andrews). I know, I know, I'm recommending a lot of movie things, but, honestly, even if you don't try a new genre or watch a silent movie, watch a Tyrone Power movie, please. (I will willingly recommend a few if you ask!)
New Thing #1 - The Traditional Latin Mass
So... I guess I didn't discover it this past year, but it definitely felt like it, because I haven't been going for very long. It really is just splendiferous, I'm telling you. Even if you're not a Catholic, the Latin Mass is a beautiful, culture-filled experience, as well as a prayerful and historical one - after all, even if you're not a Catholic, this is the way that Christians have celebrated the Mass almost since the time of Christ! Want to see how the Church Fathers and the Apostles saw the Mass? This is as close as you will probably get without a time machine. Again - even if you are not a Catholic, this is easily the one of the most culturally profound Christian Rites, and it is definitely an experience worth having. And what better way to start the year than to explore a beautiful, traditional way of glorifying God?
Well, that's all for now, folks - what did you think? Have any plans yet for things to try this year? Do any of the things on this list sound appealing to you? And now for the big question - what would you have me try this year? List up to ten things in a comment, and I will do my very best to try them and post the results up on this blog! Get creative - recommend anything you like, and I will hear the suggestion no matter what it is. I can't wait to see what you say!