“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
My friend SuperArtGirl wants more excitement in her life, and this makes me wonder, do most of us think this way? We love our comfort and our routines, and then we complain that life lacks a little spice. How about you, my imaginary friend? As for me, I have a folder in my laptop called Zesty And Interesting Things – I look at it often, and troll around the internet occasionally just to look for these things. Truth be told, I am an incurable Pollyanna and I firmly believe that the most exciting things aren’t really things or events, but the wonder and curiousity of looking at the world and ourselves in different ways. The question is, maybe, how do we switch our perspectives, our familiar lenses and ways in which we view the world? Here I offer up an extremely silly challenge. Your mission, should you accept it, is to explore these ideas and experiences…now, we shall not quibble about how you experience them. Read on.
Day one: Eat something you’ve never eaten before.
Day two: Play like a child all day. Oh, you have to work? Make your work play…
Day three: Pick an experience you’ve never had, and would like to have, and spend a day planning how you could get to do it. What does it feel like?
Day four: Be a cowboy for a day.
Day five: Make your morning routine totally different. I am not suggesting you skip brushing your teeth, just mix it up.
Day 6: Play some music you’ve never heard before for at least one hour.
Day seven: Talk to a stranger.
Day eight: Go to a place you’ve never been before, where you live.
Day nine: Make your favourite food, and immerse yourself in the experience of eating it with no distractions – TV, phone, book. Wine and conversation allowed.
Day ten: Find a piece of art you’ve never seen before, and like. Why do you like it?
Day eleven: Wear only warm, soft, comfortable clothes and be conscious of how they feel.
Day twelve: Read something, anything, you’d not normally be interested in.
Day thirteen: Find out something about someone you know that you didn’t know before.
Day fourteen: Write a poem.
Day fifteen: Sing a song. What is the song?
Day sixteen: Tell someone you love them, and why.
Day seventeen: Play with an animal. Cute cat videos are okay, too.
Day eighteen: Wear a pair of wings today. Use your imagination!
Day nineteen: Today, you can be whatever you want and do whatever you like. Yes, you can.
Day twenty: Do some finger painting. Colouring also acceptable.
Day twenty-one: Wear unmatched socks. Does anybody care?
Day twenty-two: After unmatched sock day, we do hats. Wear a hat, any hat. Do you feel different?
Day twenty-three: What is the secret thing you’ve always wanted? Tell someone about this.
Day twenty-four: Get up really early, just because. How is it?
Day twenty-five: Be a cowboy for a day. Yes, you must do this again. It’s important!
Day twenty-six: Today, you shall be a hero. Just do it.
Day twenty seven: Stay up late. Naps allowed to prepare…look at the stars.
Day twenty-eight: What is the silliest thing you can think of doing? Do it. Yes.
Day twenty-nine: Today is a day off. Enjoy. Are you excited?
Day thirty: Today, you can be whatever you want and do whatever you like…and every day. And everyday can be different!
Well, is this really an excitement challenge? asks my imaginary friend. I think it is, in ways that are hard to get one’s head around, maybe. If you were to ask me what the most exciting things are in the world, I would say this: the cry of a newborn baby. The silvery moon shining a path over a calm sea. The endless stars that dance overhead, and suggest limitless possibilities for life and realms beyond…the look of a lover. The joy of dance, and the poetry of snowy mornings, and the cosiness of a fire. Friends whose faces light up when they see you, and animals that teach us how to be more fully alive, and warm, sandy beaches to curl your toes in. Mountain mornings, and meadows to run through, and food shared in loving company…oh, I’ve only just begun, but know this: the most exciting things in the world require eyes to be open to see them, and minds that are alive to possibilities, and hearts that are open.
Much love and gratitude to SuperArtGirl, whose whimsy inspires my life in ways beyond words. Always, she helps me see with new eyes, opens my heart, shows me that the detours on the path are the most interesting places…and she draws awesome cowboys. (That is another story.) I do know that the most exciting people have hearts three sizes too big. You’ve helped mine grow a size …Thank you.
Update: SuperArtGirl is blogging about the challenge here, and it is a fun read!