I have noticed something over the last 4 weeks as I get into this experiment… coming up with “new” can be taxing.
Doing something new takes planning and research and coordinating with other people and someone to watch the kids and extending invitations and making bookings and decision making… and energy.
A few years ago I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and one of the points Rubin makes is about the actual work that goes into making things better. Some of the stuff that can make you happy – things like decluttering, getting more sleep, exercise – aren’t just efforts you stumble into. They take focus, intention, negotiation and quite often, some sacrifice of some kind.
Decluttering can feel amazing, but to get to the amazing part you have to actually do the decluttering. You have to move the boxes and make the excruciating Marie Kondo decisions and buy or scrounge up boxes and bags to put the stuff you are getting rid of into and and pack it all up and drive to the secondhand store and, and, AND…
And don’t even get me started on exercising.
I am only at the end of January and there is this little part of me that seductively whispers in my ear when I am feeling particularly tired and lazy… won’t it be nice on Jan 1, 2023 when you don’t have to plan something new for the first time in 365 days… you don’t have to do anything, you know… who would knowwwwwwww…
Come on, Little Voice! We’re still in January, for heaven’s sake! Give me a break, this is fun, remember?!
I have set up some rules for myself for this experiment:
#2 and #3 are already giving me a headache: #2 I have to do the at least two times per month, and #3 I have do it with other people.
By having to do the same thing two times in a month I am ensuring that I don’t just do something on the fly without thought. Not that being spontaneous is a bad thing, but I know myself. I will end up trying to take shortcuts and counting something too easy-peasy. By doing it more than once it also gets me invested to a greater degree. I know where I am going, I know where and how to book the excursion. Maybe I’ll get to know the owner a little bit (if it’s a business) or I’ll experience a slightly different version of the same experience.
Doing it twice also encourages me to have the experience with more than one of my “people circles.” The first time I went axe throwing I went with John, the second time I went with my mom. Both very fun but obviously two very different vibes (both vibes had an edge of competition in there though – my people tend to be competitive!).
The “involve other people” rule is there to make sure I don’t sit at my computer by myself and take a million courses I find on edX (you know that site where you can do free courses from Harvard, MIT etc?). Left to my own devices I can burrow like a hedgehog in hibernation with an internet connection so this is there to ensure I get out of the house.
I am guessing I will get into a groove with all of this soon. I have, along with the rest of the world, been even more of a hermit for the last 2 years that I might otherwise have been with all these covid shenanigans.
Taxing or not, I am feeling excited. There is a bit of electricity in this, you know? I can feel it.
I am conducting an experiment: I challenge myself to try something new each month in 2022. Here are my (self imposed) rules. Let me know if you have ideas on fun/interesting/novel things I could try in the comments. Or join me, that would be even more fun too…