I once read an interview with Simon Pegg where he said he tried to learn something new every year to keep the brain working, so he would teach himself how to play a new musical instrument, or have a crack at a new language, or something new. Anything to keep the mind working and inspired as we all take the long slide towards decrepitude and death.
It sounded fairy logical to me, so I've been giving it a go. Last year, I memorised the Rubik's Cube algorithms that let you solve the puzzle toy in less than 90 seconds, (although I sometimes still get stuck on the second-to-last movement, where you need the corner cube, and that can cost me another 45 seconds.)
It took months to get the hang of it, and I watched that video up there over and over and over again until I could follow what the dude was saying. It was literally painful - trying to get my heads around the twists and turns gave me a headache - but I still fucking got there.
Knowing how to solve a Rubik's Cube is beautifully pointless and thoroughly satisfying. I'm always, always willing to show off to other people how I do it, and it's a healthy reminder that I can still learn a new skill, even if it doesn't get me anywhere in life. Maybe I'll put it on my CV.
I'm going to give origami a go this year. That looks just as frustrating and rewarding.
Originally posted on the Tearoom of Despair on April 2, 2019. I never got around to the origami, and never got the cube solved in less than 45 seconds. There are limits.