As we quickly approach the end of May, I thought it was time to update my status on the 52 New Things Project.
When I first conceived of this idea to try at least 52 new things during the year, I didn’t have any real plan. The smooth-walled ruts of complacency were closing in on me and I simply wanted a mechanism to ensure I didn’t settle into a routine of same-ness with each passing day.
Armed with a spreadsheet – which eventually evolved into categories – I started to populate it with ideas. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you already know that my curriculum vitae of fulfilled adventures is long and varied. I worried briefly that it might be challenging to constantly find new things to explore.
It quickly became apparent however that adding variety and new-ness into my life was not going to be that difficult at all. It didn’t have to be a heart-stopping adrenaline rush like many of my adventures in the past. It could be as simple as trying some of the unusual fruit and vegetables that I would otherwise ignore at the supermarket.
My current list has 88 items on it, broken down into 8 categories:
* Exploring Toronto
* New Experiences
* New Recipes
* New Foods
* Personal Development
As I contemplated ideas, I created a few guidelines for myself. For example, a New Food had to be something I had never tried before – like Vegemite or False Elephant Snout and a New Recipe had to have something unusual or unique about it – not simply another chocolate cake or vegetable soup.
My failed version of Polka Dot Cake fell into the ‘unusual’ category, but it really deserves a story of its own.
As of today, I have completed 44 items on my list.
Some items in the Personal Development category involved establishing new habits – like a weekly yoga class and strength training twice a week. I didn’t consider them “accomplished” until I had successfully worked it into my routine for 3 consecutive months.
… and yes, the irony of creating new routines is not lost on me.
I’ve had some great adventures like visiting Niagara Falls on the American side, or going to the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto – both of which I would recommend.
Others, I would probably give a pass on if ever the opportunity came by again – like the Float Spa experience in a sensory deprivation tank … or kumquats. Sorry, to all of you who love these little citrus bites. They just don’t work for me. I’m willing to concede that it’s likely because a decent tasting citrus fruit is hard to come by in Ontario.
I set the bar pretty low on some new things – like creating a Twitter account. I may now have a Twitter presence but my activity is sporadic at best. I just haven’t invested much time in developing exactly how I want to use Twitter.
On the other hand, some new things are proving to be a little too challenging – like 33 days without sweets. I’m hanging my head in shame on this one. It doesn’t sound that hard, does it? Apparently I have issues and I may need to re-work this challenge before I can come anywhere close to breaking this bad habit.
One recent adventure is the source of today’s post title. I recently took a drive to the small town of Elora about 90 minutes from Toronto.
Admittedly I had passed through Elora once before – 35 years ago – when I first moved to Toronto, but this day I got a chance to actually explore some of this lovely little community.
Overall, I’m rather proud of my progress to date and I have some exciting new things to look forward to in the months ahead.
Maybe you’re feeling inspired to try a few new things yourself … I hope you’ll tell me about them. They in turn may also inspire me.