From the Left



How My Son Encouraged Me to Experience More New Things

Bonnie Jean Feldkamp on

My 8-year-old son likes rocks. He wants to know how different stones form, how they get their color, where they're found and the folklore surrounding their properties. I, too, love stones. My jewelry collection spans the decades and is filled with gems such as turquoise, smokey quartz, carnelian and picture jasper. My son flipped through my encyclopedia of stones and gems and placed a sticky note on every page that described a stone we had in the house.

His newfound interest reminds me how important our hobbies are. Not only do we cultivate our passions, but through special interests we also find our people. Shared hobbies foster friendships, and to discover your hobbies, you have to get out there, experience life and try new things.

I took my son to the local stone and gem shop. He asked question after question of the shop owner about specimens that filled the rooms. The shopkeeper even took us in the back room to show us items not yet on display. My son was thrilled, and I was grateful for the shopkeeper's kindness. When we went to pay for what we'd chosen, the man handed my son a large hunk of red Indonesian amber. My son was grinning and already saying that "amber is a resin and not really a stone." Of course, the man already knew this. He told my son, "Your enthusiasm bought this one." My son's face lit up.

The excitement of discovery for new things and new people really brings joy to life. It's so much fun geeking out with someone who totally gets how cool something is. That's why hobbies are such an important part of life. Not to mention they also help us relax, lower our blood pressure and find our creativity. In a culture that stresses productivity and the grind, we have to find space for things we love that aren't about the work we do to make a living. My son inspires me to keep exploring, to keep finding new things that excite me.

A few nights after we went stone shopping, my husband and I walked into a four-hour sourdough bread-making workshop. My husband and I have been together for 17 years. We hold our once-a-week date night as mandatory for our relationship. Most of these nights have revolved around eating. Whether we get carryout or sit in a restaurant, we eat.


It's time to shake it up. Instead of planning around a menu, I want to start planning around an adventure. Sure, we ate the sourdough bread we made, but we learned something new, and I want to keep that going. Whether it's a museum exhibit, taking in a show or learning how to do something new, I want our date nights to focus more on exploring new things together from here on out. After all, I already know that he is my forever person. So, let's go explore!


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