For seven days in a row I have found something new to try, and it hasn’t been too difficult. This has been a fun challenge because it’s just made me a lot more mindful of what I’m doing with my time, and made me think about how easy it is to fall into ruts and routines. I also discovered that trying new things doesn’t necessarily cost any money, and you can have a lot of fun for free.
Today’s ‘something new’ was a new recipe, because I had the day off and felt like baking. I have lots of recipe books, but I decided to search online for something new, and I found this wonderful Hairy Bikers recipe for Skinny lemon cupcakes with drizzly icing on the BBC website.
My oven is playing up a bit at the moment, so these cupcakes are far from perfect, but they taste GOOD! They have blueberries in them, and lemon icing, which makes them fresh and fruity, and I’m sure they make some small contribution to my ‘five a day’. 😉
This evening was spent doing something I have certainly never done before, so today’s new thing was…
Watching guys get their legs waxed for charity!
My company decided to have a sponsored leg wax for the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, and four of the lads stepped up to sacrifice their hairy legs all in the name of a good cause. Amazingly, no one screamed or cried, but there were a couple of whimpers.
Well done guys!
If you’re feeling generous and would like to sponsor them, there’s a JustGiving page right here.
Today’s ‘something new’ was something which I’m sure a lot of people find very easy, but it’s something I find very hard:
I like plans and organisation, and I’m really bad at being spontaneous, as all of my friends will testify. When I wake up in the morning, I like to have a fair idea of how my day will go and what time it will end. I like to know if I’m dressed appropriately for the activities that might crop up, and have planned my meals and the contents of my handbag accordingly. I know that might all sound very boring, but I just don’t gel with spontaneity.
Now, to some, what I did today might not seem all that spontaneous, but believe me it was…
At lunch time today I suddenly decided it would be nice to meet my mum after work and treat her to a coffee. It’s my first full pay day of my new job, and I wanted to mark the occasion. My mum was working in London today, so it seemed like a good chance for a catch up. A few short emails later and it was arranged.
When it came to leaving work on time to go and meet her, naturally, sudden issues came up and I was delayed. Then I had to wait ages for a Circle Line train to come at Liverpool Street Station, but in the end I got to Embankment and we went to Starbucks for a chai latte and a bit of cake.
It was really nice. 🙂
Today’s ‘something new’ was easy to find as it was waiting for me on an empty Tube seat:
Yes, from today, Time Out London magazine has become a free publication, handed out at train stations during the daily commute. I have, of course, read Time Out before, but it’s a new initiative to make the magazine free. I suppose sales must have been down due to the large amount of content available on their website, and also because of the other free publications which are available in London.
I have to admit though, I’ve never really liked the format of Time Out magazine. I quite like their website, and love the weekly emails highlighting free things to do in London and advertising competitions, but I’ve always found the magazine a bit of a waste of money. So, does being free make it any better? For me, no. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I’m prone to a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), so adding another free publication advertising things to do in London to my already growing pile is actually a really bad thing for me. Every day I can pick up the Metro and Evening Standard, and then once a week I find Stylist and Shortlist thrust into my hands. Sometimes other free magazines like aMuse Magazine pop up too. All of them have online versions as well as paper versions, and all of them are bursting with far too much information and more “things to do” than any human could ever possibly fit in. It’s exhausting!
So, after flicking through my new, free copy of Time Out, I recycled it, and decided not to bother picking it up again. Along with all of these…
My other new thing today is to try to put myself first a bit more. I was supposed to go to a talk tonight, which no doubt would have been interesting, but I wasn’t feeling great and I wanted to go home, eat something warming (veggie sausages, homemade oven chips and Baked Beans!) and blog, so I did. I need to learn that I and only I make my decisions, and I mustn’t feel like I’m under any obligation to do things if I decide I don’t want to do them.
The ‘Something New Every Day Challenge’ is going well so far. I’ve decided to try to keep it up for 7 days, and then after that it will just be as and when I can, as it will become too much to post every day (especially with November and NaNoWriMo coming up…). So, 3 days to go…
I knew it was going to be much harder to find new things to do on work days, and the pouring rain today didn’t help, but I still managed to find something! Today’s new thing was:
Smiling while commuting
Everyone hates commuting, right? Especially if you’re stuck on a crowded train with your face in someone’s armpit, an elbow in your ribs, and someone else’s free newspaper grazing your boob. Commuting really gets me down, and I feel like I have this big black cloud over me all day because I know I have to get back on the damned train again after work to go home.
But I have no choice. I can’t afford to live in Zone 1, therefore I must commute, and I must use public transport because I can’t ride a bike and wouldn’t cycle that far anyway! So, today I decided to try to find a way to smile while commuting.
Generally it’s the other people on the commute that get my goat, so I figured I would have to form a bubble around myself and fill it with things that made me happy. The easiest way I know to do this is with music. I often listen to a bit of Lady Gaga on the way to work, but I decided to try something new today… something which was guaranteed to make me smile…
Comedy. Or, more specifically, comedy music. 😀
Here’s an example of something that made me smile inappropriately on the Tube today:
Please note: If you try smiling while commuting your fellow commuters may glance at you suspiciously and think you rather strange, but it shouldn’t matter because you will be in your own little comedy bubble, oblivious to their grumpy moods. The only people I am allowing into my bubble with me at the moment are the gorgeous Tim Minchin, the hilarious Victoria Wood, the ridiculous Bill Bailey and perhaps a little Monty Python.
Today is a rainy, cold, miserable day, and it would be easy to say that it is impossible to try something new on a day like this. After all, I have stayed home in my pyjamas all day with no intention of going out, so how could I possibly try something new?
However, not wanting to be thwarted so early on in the game, I was determined to find some new things to do today.
So, for breakfast I had a toasted cinnamon and raisin bagel with Cadbury’s chocolate Philadelphia for the first time. Yum. The Philly melted and it was better than any chocolate spread I’ve ever tried. Healthier too, I think.
Then, I decided to post this blog entirely with my iPad. I’ve written blogs on my iPad before, but usually use photos I have already uploaded to Flickr. This time I took the photo above with my iPad, edited the photo with the Photoshop Express app, and then wrote this post using the iPad WordPress app. It takes a while to get used to what you can and can’t do when blogging with an iPad, but overall I’m still marvelling at the technology!
Today’s new things are little things, but I feel good for being able to try something new today without leaving the house or spending any money.
I hope I can mange to keep this up during the week!
My friend Gwynnie over at Make Life Magic has started a challenge today, and I couldn’t possibly not take part – it’s the ‘Something New Every Day Challenge‘. Gwynnie says:
Do you ever feel just bored of life? When every day is the same, nothing really surprises you, you drag yourself out of bed to face another predictable day?
What about those things that you’d like to do? Some of us are ashamed of our dreams. You might want to start your own business, quit your job and travel around the world for a year, change your image so drastically that it terrifies you. But something in your head tells you “You can’t… not you. You’re too young/old/poor/dull”. Perhaps you secretly believe that excitement and success are for other people, but not you.
If you’re happy living in an unhappy, limited world, then don’t read any further. Go back to denying yourself the things that you deserve, and feeling bitter when you see people who aren’t afraid to go and get them. But if you want to feel more confident in everything you do, more excited about waking up every day, then read on. Those big changes won’t seem so scary when you’ve been making little changes every day for the last few months.
One of my oldest pieces of advice to friends who feel stuck in a rut, unsure about their own abilities or about what they want to do in life, is this – try something new every day.
Life is so full of possibilities. Why limit yourself to doing the same things forever?
I’m not talking about massive, world-shaking things every day, unless that’s your thing. You don’t have to climb Everest, join a new class every day, cut off all your hair or go sky-diving, although you might enjoy those things. I’m talking about even tiny new things – trying a flavour of tea that you’ve never had before, painting your nails a new colour, sitting in a different seat in your usual restaurant or classroom.
Gwynnie will be posting her own new somethings over on her blog, and I decided to accept the challenge and post mine here.
So, Day #1…
I actually did a couple of new things today, so I’m off to a good start!
First, I went to the British Music Experience at the O2, which was really fab! I probably wouldn’t have gone there if I had had to buy a ticket, but because I went to see Jesus Christ Superstar last night at the O2 I was given a free ticket to the exhibition. Bonus! (Jesus Christ Superstar was A-MAZING, by the way.)
Whilst at the British Music Experience my mum and I had a go at dancing in this dance booth thing, and I think it was probably the first time I ever ‘rave danced’ and ‘ska danced’ with my mum! We also sung Bohemian Rhapsody together – but that wasn’t a first! 😉
Later in the day we went to Wagamama, where I tend to order the same thing off the menu (yasai yaki soba), but today, for the first time, I ordered saien soba – and it was delicious!
Let’s see what I can think of tomorrow, and how long I can keep this challenge going! Wish me luck…