Seventeen: New Things


“People are very open-minded about new things – as long as they’re exactly like the old ones. ”  – Charles Kettering

“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.”  – Barbara Sher

My 22-year-old self had two very adventurous roommates, so when I suggested that we try to do Five New Things a week they were up to the challenge. We went on walks to the seawall when a storm was raging. I gave an outrageous tip to a nice server. I wasn’t jumping out of an airplane or dining with celebrities, but my everyday activities had more flare because I was stepping outside of any lazy tendencies.

Age, obligation, employment, and health issues have a way of tempering these sort of daily adventures down. My attention now goes to guiding little people away from danger and towards fun. Times when I consider my own livity are concentrated into discrete chunks, and I’m not always that spontaneous.

Then I came across Lu Ann Cahn’s “I Dare Me” in the bookstore. This 50-something-year-old journalist was asked to step into social media, and started blogging about a year of firsts – 365 days of things that would kick her out of feeling stuck in life. It’s a comical read, and reminded me that excitement and change happens at any change. The book features several suggestions in each chapter on new things to try, and a plethora at the tail end of the book. If you’re looking for a dose of inspiration, give it a read.

What have you always wanted to do but never done? Could today be the day?


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