Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All About Me: My Hobbies

I have had many hobbies over the years that have come and gone, but a few have stood the test of time.

1) Playing piano - I started piano lessons at age 5 in Kindergarten and took lessons for the next 10 years.  When I first started, my parents said I had to play for 5 years and after that I could choose to quit.  If asked during those first 5 years, I would probably have said I wanted to quit.  But there was something almost magical that seemed to happen that 5th year - I got good.  I got good enough that it was finally fun.  I could play songs that sounded like real music. Then I started playing famous pieces like Fur Elise and the Moonlight Sonata.  And piano became an escape for me, a way to relieve stress.

After I grew up, my mom (who also plays) got a grand piano and passed on to me the upright piano I learned to play on.  It's beautiful - a Mason & Hamlin built in 1897 and in our family since the late 40's or early 50's.  My mom learned to play on it, I learned to play on it (as well as my brother and sister) and now my daughter is learning to play on it. 

I don't get to play as much as I'd like these days, but I still love pulling out my favorite music and getting lost in it for 30 or 40 minutes.

2)  Reading - I think ever since I was born, I've loved books.  I learned to read at age 4 and ever since, have been devouring books, magazines and more recently blogs.  Reading provides a source of new knowledge, an escape (hmm, is that a theme?), and a way to connect with others.  Ever discuss a good book with someone?  There's just that connection you get from pouring over the same words and sometimes discovering different meanings in them.  In college, as an engineering major, I wasn't required to take more than freshman English, but I couldn't pass up the Intro to Fiction class.  I'm not too fond of writing essays, but I've always loved reading books and discussing them.

These days, I have a pile of "to-be-read" books next to my bed - some fiction, some non-fiction.  I also have a wish list full of books on Amazon to buy for my Kindle.  I hope that as long as I live, I will always love to read and to learn.

What about you?  What hobbies do you have that have stood the test of time in your life?

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