Fearful that I was becoming horribly dull, I committed to Do One New Thing each month in 2013. This is the July 2013 installment.

I haven’t done this post in the past few month because my “new things” have been fairly mundane. For example, I am a relatively new golfer and I was afraid to play with better players because I felt that I would hold them up, hit embarrassing shots, and be a laughingstock. Truth be told, my ego got the best of me last season.

This season I committed to playing more, with different people, in different places. And go figure, my game improved dramatically – like 20 strokes dramatically. I no longer agonize through a round, scared stiff of making a mistake. [Side note: stiff was a big part of my problem]. Heck, earlier this season pro golfer Sergio Garcia had to climb a tree to take a shot. Didn’t bother him.

Now I use my still-high handicap to try to score points for my team. It is a very different viewpoint, and lots more fun.

Our friends Eve and Miguel Damian joined us for Easter dinner earlier this year. Miguel is, by the way, one of the top fertility specialists in the world and an all-star surgeon. After dinner they told us about a villa in Tuscany they share with several other families, and asked if our family would like to join them in Tuscany over Thanksgiving. “E come!” we shouted.

Now I have always felt that it would be polite to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the language and culture of a country one was planning to visit. So I am going to learn Italian, despite having virtually no facility for foreign languages.

I bought the full-blown Rosetta Stone course in Italian. I was a little crestfallen to see that mastery of all five sections would take 200+ hours, which would be difficult to finish in a couple of months, but I will see what I can accomplish. Pretty soon I will be slinging bon mots all over the place. Oh, right, that’s French. See how much I have to learn?

Only one problem. I don’t think Rosetta Stone shows you how to talk with your hands. I guess I will have to wing that part.