Friday, December 10, 2010

Getting Creative

I've spent the morning sitting in front of my homemade sun lamp and getting creative and inspired. I usually look inward for this kind of activity, but today I thought I would check in with the rest of the world.

I tried googling "things I haven't tried." It didn't get me too far. It did yield one site that I think I'll follow via RSS for awhile AND this eery and inspiring video. The music really makes it.

Later on, I came upon a host of Bucket List(wikipedia) sites that tried to tell me the 10-150 things I could or should do before I die, or if I had 24 hrs to live, etc... I learned a few things as I looked through these lists. Foremost among them was: make your own damned list! the number of people who just copy and pasted was ridiculous. Don't mistake me. I think that a lot of people share common interests and sometimes we need to be inspired by others, but when "eat jellied eels from a stall in london" yields 4090 results in google, the time has come to call "plagiarism."

Now, I'm not making a bucket list. I don't want a list of things I'll die wishing I'd completed. I'm trying for a list of things that I can actually achieve -- today, this week and this month. And what if I were to make a bucket list?


Huh?!? That was easy. Now, I'd better get started.

Just to take care of some business...

  • Dec 6th - Walked a brand new route home from work. Sounds stupidly simple, but the new views of buildings you always see from the same side really got me into a philosophical mood.
  • Dec 7th - Signed up and paid for SCUBA certification Anyone want to guess where I'm going yet? I don't remember who I've mentioned it to, so you can "guess" and I'll still be impressed :)
  • Dec 8th - Took both of my kids to the doctor when nothing was wrong. We booked a time and spent it talking about some of the health choices we've been making (just to kind of be productive about it). I told the Dr. that I figured she could use some good news for a change instead of dealing with problems all day long. I loathe medical appointments and don't want to pass that on to my kids.
  • Dec 9th - Drank a freakishly sweet and flowery root beer (a root beer review website, if you can believe that). James, occasionally gets me to try new drinks that he's into. If this was ever one, I don't remember (and for my purposes, that's just as good)
  • Dec 10th - Made a one word bucket list. I didn't mean to. It just happened. I think that makes it O.K.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Revisiting a Week of Firsts

In a lot of ways my life is a mantra about trying new things, but I don't often think about it and I certainly don't put pressure on myself to perform new things on a particular schedule. This was a hard week. I found that I had put a lot of pressure on myself. Not only to try 'new' things, but pressure that the newness in some way be special. I found myself pre-judging everything as too mundane, (even though I apparently said something about that in my last post) or too close to something that I had done before. I believe Wendy thought I was an idiot much of the time as I struggled with finding something suitable. It's a good thing that she was around, though.

Twice I was in the final throes of desperation. It was approaching 8 or 9 pm and I hadn't chosen a new thing to do, yet. Wendy's stellar memory would recall several things I had done that day. "But, I wasn't trying to do those things," I would whine. Yes, I can be a whiner -- and sadly, that's not something new for me. But, you know that, don't you?

Broadway Roastery "Melange"
with Silver Buffaloberry

  • Nov 25th - Xbox Kinect. Something I've really wanted to do.Had a lot of fun with Anna and Ian and got a good sense of the tech. I think I prefer the Move's strengths, but what I'd really like is a combination of the two.
  • Nov 26th - counting in mandarin. Learned that my powers of memorization have vastly decreased. I'd like to forget that ;)
  • Nov 27th - winter berry picking: Silver Buffaloberry which lead to (what I recollect as) the first time I've combined berries with coffee. It was an interesting experiment. Definitely an art for art's sake kind of thing.
  • Nov 28th - 4 Spanish apps for iPhone. Filled 1st blueboxes. Learning about recycling.
  • Nov 29th - Spanish Lessons (via
  • Nov 30th - disassembled camera lens
  • Dec 1st - new cheese: La Tentation de Laurier
  • Dec 2nd - ebay purchase
  • Dec 3rd - Made "pan" porridge. Gave Blood. I really enjoyed giving blood. I had James for company which, I'm sure, made all the difference.
  • Dec 4th - All You Can Eat sushi at Wasabi(, in Regina. Leo's RCM Silver Medal Ceremony. While this may seem like something that Leora did, I can tell you that as a parent, it's definitely all about me!
2010 RCM Silver Medal Recipients -- Voice

  • Dec 5th - started research into a PS3 project that I've been wanting to do. Backed out of a physical "play" situation due to feelings of inadequacy. This last one is so unusual that I can't think of another time it's happened--certainly not as an adult. I thought I should include it, because I've learned in my time with Wendy that not everyone feels that newness is inherently good. Maybe this is why.
What did I learn?

I'm a newness snob. I found that the most difficult thing so far is trying not pre-judge what I'm doing. I constantly tell myself that something isn't new if it isn't immediately exciting, if I've done something "sort of" like it before, or if I think a lot of other people have done it. That last one is a real killer: not only to do something that I've haven't done, but also that no one else I know has. You can guess how big my list would be if I adhered to these ridiculous criteria.

Paying attention is tricky. I sometimes 'caught' myself doing new things without realizing it. Other times, I didn't notice and it took an outside perspective to bring it to my attention (Thanks, Wen). It made it impossible to participate knowingly. You'd think that it would improve some 'in-the-moment' quality, but I'm trying for more of an awareness approach right now.

There is new and then there is NEW! While I'm trying to just be aware and engage in the most general sense of newness, there is very clear a qualitative difference. I don't know all the variables yet. Fun helps as does risk and/or lack of familiarity. That's all I've got right now. I know it seems pretty obvious, but I'm just collecting data right now.
An unrelated picture that turned out really well