This is not about my dog, who is not yet old, nor particularly interested in tricks.

And I’m not really old, but old enough to get a bit stuck in long-term habits, including the mostly conservative and rather boring way I tend to dress.

Every now and then, I think it’s good for the brain (and maybe the psyche, too) to try something new. So, after years of resistance, I decided to try wearing a bow tie. A couple of my colleagues at Campbell sport bow ties regularly, and they look pretty spiffy, so I thought it would be worth a try.

It’s amazing how hard tying a simple bow can be, especially when looking in a mirror and trying to mentally translate left to right or front to back. The bow tie came with written directions, and I watched several YouTube videos on how to tie a bow tie (amazing how many there are!) and propped my laptop on the lavatory, so I didn’t lack for direction.

Theory and practice are different things, however, and my fumbling fingers didn’t take to it naturally, so it took me a bit longer to get ready for church than usual on Sunday morning. Perseverance pays off, however, and eventually I was able to fuss and fiddle and cajole a decent looking bow that stayed tied.

Hopefully all that mental engagement may have enlivened or engaged a few new synapses in my brain — and maybe one day I can tie both my shoes and my bow tie without undue effort. I’ll have to rely on others to tell me if the new trick is worth the trouble.

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