I’m proudly reporting that I’ve reached my 2015 goal of adding 52 new experiences to my life … and in fact, have gone well beyond this target.
When I last wrote an update of my progress in May, I was tantalizingly close to my goal, but now I’m sitting at 65 completed new experiences and I’m declaring this project successful.
My 52 New Things project was not intended to be a high octane list of death-defying activities. I was simply trying to shake up my life which I felt had become a bit too complacent. I wanted to see how difficult it could be to add variety and new experiences into my life. It turned out not to be difficult at all.
Without question, there have been highlights.
- I’ve met 3 wonderful blogging friends this year.
In July, I went bicycle riding with Lynn from Life After 50 after which she hosted me for lunch at her lovely home.
In each of these cases, I stepped outside of my normally introverted bubble to initiate these meetings … to delightful results. Introverted people of the world, take note. It was a reminder that sometimes the easiest way to meet a new friend is simply to ask.
2. This summer’s travels have taken me to 4 new countries – Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland – each have been on my wish list for a long time.
The aggressiveness of this year’s vacation was certainly influenced by my 52 New Things project. How much could we cram into a 2 week period? Apparently, a lot.
I collect label pins – usually flags – from our travels over the past 17 years and they are kept on a large world map mounted on the wall in Gilles’ home office.
Adding 4 more pins to this map was a thrill.
Added to the agenda of this trip was taking a cruise ship from Copenhagen to Oslo. I didn’t think I would ever talk Gilles into taking a cruise, so this overnight trip was the closest I will ever come … another notch on my list of 52 New Things.
3. Being a volunteer driver with the medical team during the 600 km Friends For Life Bike Rally from Toronto to Montreal in support of the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.
This was the type of activity I would normally avoid at all costs … a week-long commitment, away from home, dealing with strangers, camping in tents, in the heat of summer.
In my eyes, nothing about this experience sounded attractive … except it was a worthy cause that was important to my son and “adopted” sons.
As it turns out, this experience touched me deeply. My respect for the organizers, volunteers, and riders in this event overflowed … nor can I forget the moving stories and challenges of all the individuals participating in various roles who were HIV Positive.
The moral of this story is that if the challenge is scary and audacious, take the leap anyway … it is likely going to affect you in ways you couldn’t imagine beforehand.
Over the past 8 months, I’ve tried 18 new foods and unusual (for me) recipes, explored 18 new parts of my city and surrounding area that I’ve never visited before, and completed numerous other experiences.
Trying new things has become a habit – and happily, a good one – like the weekly yoga class I’ve been attending since the beginning of the year, and the strength training I’ve managed to stick with in spite of my ambivalent feelings towards gyms.
I will certainly be continuing this project to see where it takes me during the last 4 months of the year. There are still outstanding things on my list that I don’t want to miss!