An advertisement for a trip to Yellowstone National Park

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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