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 spanishpod.com)
  • 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(urbanspoon.com), 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