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It's Never Too Late to Learn

They say it's never too late to learn. Famous artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, didn't begin painting until age 76.

Reddit user classycatman asked "Redditors who discovered and mastered a new hobby in middle or late age, what was it, why did you start, and how did you master it?"

Here are just a few skills others have picked up later in life. Maybe you'll find a new hobby too.

Off the Land

I decided at the age of 27 I wanted to hunt and fish for all my food. I know 27 isnt middle aged, but its a damn late start to hunting, most hunters start with their dad as a kid. I come from a non hunting and fishing family, so it was very foreign to me. I had no background in it, and no clue how to get started. Lots of googling, book reading, and podcast listening got me to a good start. I went from never firing a gun to killing my first buck in the span of about 3 months. I became obsessed. I now bowhunt, gunhunt, kayak and offshore fish for every bit of meat I eat. Been living that way for 5 years, so I guess you can say im pretty good at it.

Visual Arts

Animation and 3D modeling assets for movies, games and TV. I've always been artistic but never really thought about what I wanted out of life as I normally put other peoples needs in front of my own. I turned 30 last year and applied for an art course in the local college, got accepted and now a year later I've just found out I've been accepted onto an animation course in the main University in my city. It feels weird because I never imagined myself doing this or enjoying it but I really do love it.

Voltron

It might not be such a big thing, but recently I started buying and building Gundam build kits. The first one took me nearly 16 hours to complete and I'm starting to get better and better at making them, especially the stickers, those things are damn hard to put on.

Board Life

Started skateboarding at 31 - on and off, never more than 3-4 hours a week. My findings after 1 year: - it's hard - it hurts - it's extremely fun.

We Got the Beat

I'm 44 now and I just started playing the drums three years ago. I was always one of those guys that basically drums on the steering wheel, desk, lap, anything I could find when listening to music. Then finally at 41 years old I decided to gift myself a real drum kit. Can't say that I've mastered it since it takes a long long time to master drums. If there really is such a thing as mastering the drums. Considering the many play styles, genres of music, and just about endless techniques to master, I will have plenty to keep busy with. All in all though I absolutely love drumming and wish I would have started much younger in life. Either way it is a fantastic Hobby.

Something to Draw On

I started learning to draw when I was 34 years old. I always figured I was a crappy artist, since I was comparing myself to my twin brother. Growing up, he was "the artistic one" (side note don't label your twins in comparison to each other), and he drew way more often than I did.

When I was 34, I told him how I wished I could draw. He told me to pick something fun to draw, draw every day, and see how my skill improves.

So, I started drawing chibis. My first ones sucked. I drew every day. I read books and found Pinterest tutorials. I started keeping a drawing journal, in addition to learning and practicing.

Now, I'm 36 years old. I still consider myself a beginner. A large percentage of my pictures still suck, especially when I'm trying something new or ambitious. I've learned to accept that. I've also started drawing things that I'm really happy with, and it is refreshing.

Fun Fitness

I took up Krav Maga in my forties. Beating the crap out of each other is way more fun than running on a treadmill for an hour.

Treasure Hunter

Well, I'm 33 and I've been Metal detecting for the past 2 years and I must say it's something that fulfills me, researching places of battles, of old abandoned towns, digging stuff that has been buried for over 300 years it's a unique experience.

Design Line

I took up game programming. Everything's free now. Blender. Unity. Visual Studio. Unreal Engine. These were all things that would have been hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when I was in my 20s back in the 90s. And there are so many thousands of great tutorials out there for everything. It's the golden age of Indie Game Design.

I'm not a master yet. But I've made a few things that people seem to enjoy.

Purl One, Cast Off

I'm 47 and earlier this year had surgery on my foot. Bed-bound, foot elevated. I've always wanted to learn how to knit, and figured I could use my recovery time doing something useful. I bought cheap yarn at a local craft store, one 'how to' book, and found some really good tutorial-type YouTube channels. Had my surgery in early January, and as of right now I can knit hats, scarves, mittens, and socks. I can do cable knitting and fair isle knitting (only 2 colours so far, next project will use 3). I can knit on straight needles and in the round. I currently have two goals: knitting Christmas stockings for my husband, my 6 children, and myself, and knitting myself an Icelandic sweater. I realize it's sort of an 'old lady' hobby, but I find it so relaxing and rewarding.

Puck Passion

At age 39, I decided to learn to play ice hockey.

I rollerbladed as a kid and would occasionally ice skate on figure skates. Then my son started to play ice hockey and it looked like so much fun, I joined an adult league to learn to play. I've been playing in men's leagues for over a year and was invited to help coach my son's team.

Little Xs

Cross stitch. I came across a book at a library that had subversive cross stitch. I loved looking at old granny things that had swears and snarky remarks on them. It was a fairly cheap hobby to pick up. A lot of supplies you can find in thrift shops. Regardless it's cheap even at store price.

Stroke

Began rowing at 30. It's been a brutal, weird, humbling journey that began with an awkward class and some flailing on the water to near perfect strokes that make me feel like I'm flying and my heart is soaring.

There's no way to just row, just like there's no way to just be. It always feels like more, in a good way.

Handy

Not by any means a "master" at it but, I started woodworking at 35. I'm now 42. I impress myself and my friends. It started out of practicality. I needed a workbench for my garage. I built one. I needed a bookcase. I built it. I discovered that I really enjoy doing it so I picked up some additional tools and I started building more and more complex things.

Edit because this got popular and there were a lot of comments: Here is one of my projects. Like I said, I am not really all that good. I just watch a lot of videos and I'm not afraid to try new stuff. I built this because I needed a good solid bookshelf and I wasn't going to pay $350.00 for a cheap veneered MDF bookcase. This was made out of pine and cost me about 100 bucks in materials.

Upon the Stage

At age 60, without a single second of previous experience, I started acting in live theater. It was local community theater but still... A friend convinced me to try it. I have done alright and each time I try out for a new play I get a better role.

Trivial Matters

I started collecting facts about different countries a few years ago. I had a total of 70,000 that I have organized down to about 15,000 of the best ones.

There's no end in sight and I think that I will be doing this for the rest of my life. Everyday is just a new adventure researching whether Afghan women have triangle or crescent shaped tattoos on their faces or fact-checking whether Germans actually fought side-by-side with Ameiricans in WW2.

Maybe by the time I'm done fact checking everything, I will be able to write a couple of books or do a Youtube series or something. But even if that never pans out, I just enjoy doing this everyday.

I don't think I will ever master all of the histories and intricacies of all the countries in the world, though. But I'm going to try.

The Pen Is Mighty

I started writing at 42, sold a book at 45. I had tried writing at various times all my life but never had thought of really showing it to anyone until I got in my 40s. I just like to write. It gets everything out.

Throwing Clay

I always wanted to try ceramics. So when I had to take art electives when I went back to college about 30 years later than planned, I figured, what the hell.

I didn't expect to be good at it (art isn't really something I'm any good at) but it's so much fun and there's so much science in it. You can completely ignore the science part, or you can go full Mad Scientist and experiment the hell out of it.

Sadly ceramics isn't really a hobby you can easily bring home with you, so while I spent a ton of time in the studio when I had access to one, it's a hobby that's pretty hard to keep going.

Doing the Heavy Lifting

I was approaching 39 I was overweight and depressed. I did not want to start my 40s the same way. I started going to the gym and got connected with a personal trainer who was going to school at the same time. She used me as a guinea pig for all the things she was learning.

I was a sponge who wanted to learn all the things. Long story short, my body type is perfect for powerlifting and she was getting into going to competitions herself. I started training hard with her using big boy weights. So far I have done 2 competitions and hope to do another one next year.

Still with the same coach. Truly life changing.

Like Don Ho

A couple years ago (I'm 36 now) I somehow drunkenly ordered a ukulele from Amazon Prime because it looked cool and because beer.

It turned out that it was easier to just learn how to play the damned thing than it was to return it, and now I play with a group in the city once a week and started up a group of my own at my office because a bunch of other people here got interested in it too. It's become a surprisingly solid source of security and comfort through a very rocky time in my life.

I learned to play it using youtube videos and then once I'd gotten my feet under me I found a group that plays for fun near me and started showing up weekly. There's no better way to solidify and improve your musical skills than playing with other people, and there's almost nothing you can't learn using youtube.

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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