3 New Things to Try

The spirit of this challenge is to be willing to expand your horizons. This is something I am resistant to, with good reason. I have big plans. Isn’t that enough to attempt this year? Given that this could be a year of massive change and upheaval, shouldn’t I bank my willingness to be adventurous for the stuff that’s wildly outside of my control? Can’t I just have the safety and stability that I crave?

3 New Things to Try

This could have gone in a smaller, more specific direction. Learning to bake yeast bread has been on my someday/maybe list forever. To commit to that means to make it a goal, to study, to practice, to allocate time to it. Now it’s a project. I have too many project, most of which are geared toward immediate survival and long-term prosperity. I don’t need a just-for-fun project right now. So I went for things that are more along the lines of opportunities to be seized as the arise.

New Restaurants

My ex had a favorite restaurant, a national chain. We went there just about every week for years. When we traveled, because they were everywhere, we ate there. She was not an adventurous eater. One of the things that I am most grateful for is the Katie shares my love of both small, hole-in-the-wall eateries and ethnic cuisines. We have our favorite haunts, but we always mix it up with places we haven’t tried before. I want to make more of an effort to try more new places, even if that means checking out the coffee shop across the street from our usual coffee shop.

New Museums

Katie and I will visit any museum we can find. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an art museum, a history museum, or a museum devoted to some esoteric topic. I’d expand this to include zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens, too. It’s interesting to learn new things! hen I lived in New Mexico, people thought I was putting them on about the Telephone Museum, because they didn’t even know it existed. Here in Finland we keep discovering little museums devoted to historical personages and time periods, tucked away in odd places. I want to actively seek out more of these.

New Authors

This one needs a qualifier, because I have a virtual stack of ebooks by authors I haven’t read. What I’d really like to do is expand my sources for recommendations. For non-fiction, I tend to seek out what are considered to be the best books on a topic, and that’s find. For fiction, though, I lean heavily on works by my favorite authors. The past year I’ve done a lot more re-reading than diving into books I hadn’t read before. I also rely on awards and lists. Anything nominated for a Man Booker Prize, a Hugo, or a Nebula gets my attention. That means I’m overlooking a lot of small authors. I need a better process to discover new works.

What I Can Do With This

What I’ve describe above is basically my ideal vacation. Visit museums, hit a restaurant, and find a quiet place to read.┬áBecause I’m looking to seize these opportunities as they arise, the most effort I’m willing to put into them is to steer choices. If someone wants to go out to eat, I can request a place I’ve never been. We already build trips around museums, even if we’re traveling on business. I can pick my reading material based on who’s work I haven’t read before. It’s almost a passive way to expand my horizons, but you can’t say I’m in a rut about everything.

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  1. You and I seem to have the same views on the ideal vacation, Berin! Fortunately, my husband shares them, especially the one about finding interesting places in which to eat.I count any day wasted if I haven’t learned at least one new thing. It doesn’t have to be relevant to anything I’m doing or significant, just something I didn’t know.

  2. My husband was an enthusiastic cook but he’s going blind and cannot see well enough to work in the kitchen any more…. and I don’t have sufficient use of my hands to be safe. So we don’t cook much… ­čÖü

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