Posts Tagged ‘new things’

It’s a sunny Saturday. I’ve already been out for tea at the local coffee shop with my friend, and walked through WalMart getting a few necessaries. We have a birthday party to drop into this afternoon and another errand or two to get done before the day slips away. The pork shoulder is humming along in the Crock Pot and I’m learning how to upload my first video on YouTube.

Uh – what?

Yes – I am almost in my 60s and I’m learning something new today. Don and I try to learn new things every day…maybe not all as ambitious as establishing a YouTube channel and uploading videos, but new to us, nonetheless. We enjoy learning new vocabulary words, especially those that we can use in sermons or conversations. We enjoy using new vegetables in our cooking, or trying new recipes. We cooked bangers and mash for the first time on St. Patrick’s Day.

Recently Don learned more than he wanted to about home repair. Maybe not his favorite activity, but he did it and admits he learned a lot. Installing new windows, creating window wells, fixing sump pumps, replacing a ceiling fan and faucet…Admittedly, the learning is more enjoyable when you choose it, rather than it choosing you.

Rotary phoneSome of us think we’re too old (or too dumb) to learn new things, but I think that’s either a lie you’ve believed or a lazy way to live life. I’m sure you don’t still have a rotary dial telephone or a TV without a remote control. Along the line you’ve learned to use an electric stove and a gas washer and dryer. Maybe you’re really daring, using a smartphone with wifi, sharing iPhone photos of the grandkids on Facebook.

We all must learn new things every day or we’ll die. We’ll be left in the dust of technology and we’ll be boring in conversations. I found a fun and informative blog from a few years ago that shows why new things will enliven our lives, and ways to learn new things  right now via apps and the internet…ways to keep your brain alive and alert. YouTube is full of how-to tutorials, from how to upload your first video (that’s me!) to how to tie a tie or make slime. There are DIY channels to learn a new home or cooking skill, books to read on herbs to plant or window boxes to make. I’m not talking about learning a new language or how to play a musical instrument. It’s the small, incremental steps that make your life interesting…it all starts with making the choice. And NOT believing the lie that you can’t because of…(insert your excuse).

Worst enemyWhat new thing will you learn today?

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Last year I took the month of July to stretch myself a bit. I decided to do a “new thing” every day. Some of those new things were pretty trivial, like choosing a different route to run or take to work. But I also threw in a few things I’ve always wanted to do and never had, like visiting the local art museum, trying out the Cuban restaurant downtown and getting my first pedicure.

Some of the new things were fun, like getting a new haircut and style. Some of the new things were necessary but not particularly enjoyable, like my first ever colonoscopy. You laugh but there were lots and lots of new experiences rolled up into that one!

There was one new thing that I hated. I lost a very good friend to cancer. That one I had no choice about but going through the process with my friend’s family was definitely outside of any comfort zone I thought I had. However I don’t want to experience it again.

Some of my first things have turned into habits. I first gave blood back in November and now I give every 8 weeks. That new haircut back in July has become my go-to cut now. I promised myself to run a 5K in 2014 and I ran three of them, with two more scheduled already this year.

Tomorrow begins April, the traditional first real month of spring. We’ll see some green grass, finally, and maybe a few flowers and budding trees soon. As spring is the season for new beginnings, I thought I’d try another stab at a “New Things Month.” This time I’m choosing to try experiences which I’ve said “I can’t” or “I’ve never” or “I would never” do. I could really stretch the limits with this one so I’m clarifying that I will stay within my own moral boundaries as well as any legal limitations. I don’t want to experience the inside of a jail cell for the first time.

My list includes a few fun things, like trying out sushi for the first time and eating at a Thai restaurant. I keep putting that one on my list but I never get it done. I definitely will in April 2015! I’m also going to encourage my husband to join me in a Meatless Monday, going vegetarian for the four Mondays in April. Since I really, really like meat, I may need to get pretty creative on those days.

There are some classes I’d like to attempt: learning to bake bread from scratch, taking some sort of art class, and Zumba…definitely going to try Zumba. Probably in the safety of my own basement with a DVD. There will be no videos posted on Facebook.

Someone said I should try sky diving. It fits my categories (I can’t, I’ve never, I would never) but it’s really expensive so I think I’ll pass this time. But it may go on my “someday in my lifetime” list. Who knows? I went up in a hot air balloon last fall and I certainly never thought I’d ever get to do that.

What things have you said “no” to? Where can you stretch yourself this month? Add a little adventure to your life. Push past your self-imposed restrictions and live life a little more dangerously. Anyone want to join me in getting my eyebrows waxed?

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