Some weeks ago, I started writing in a new notepad that I had grandly labelled “Projects & Plans”. Separate to my journal, this pad was to be dedicated to recording ideas and then, where necessary, developing them. I had the notion that channelling all such thoughts into one place would create a focus and a forum for expansive and positive thinking, ie that I would come to associate the pad with “good ideas” and thus short-cut to creativity once I opened its pages. So far, so good. Pages include everything from good ideas that had come to me during one particularly contented Quaker meeting to a list of those who I buy Christmas presents for. There are also brainstorms of things that I want or need to do by the end of the year, outlines for little projects I’m trying to develop and, one of my favourites, a page focusing on all the things that I am already looking forward to in 2013 (@lifethroughanamateurlens, if you’re reading this, your wedding is one of them!).
Another page in “Projects & Plans” has the rather hopeful title “Trying new places”. One of the spurs to begin the whole pad was the feeling that I had become stuck in a bit of a rut and that my life had become a bit, well,stale. Trying new places, having new experiences, is tried-and-tested women’s magazine advice for breaking out of such feelings. I was determined to give this a go, although I probably should have picked the broader phrase “Trying new things” as that more aptly captures my aim. First item on the list: visit the botanical gardens with my friend Beth. This was a classic case of being more conscious about one’s behaviour creating a change in behaviour. I’d wanted to go for ages but just never quite got round to it. The simple thought “I want to try new things” instinctively led to the thought “Let’s go to the botanical gardens!”, and we had a lovely relaxing afteroon, eating ice-cream and drinking hot chocolate in the autumn sunshine whilst being serenaded by a jazz band.
Last night, I entered items #2 and #3 on the "Trying new places/things" list. Having to spoken to Beth again, I’m off to a charity darts night next week with her and some other friends. I’ve never watched darts live before and I can’t honestly say it was top of my dream list in the way the botanical gardens was, but it sounds hilarious and definitely fits the criteria of novelty. #3 is having a private tai chai lesson. I’ve fancied having a go at this bodywork practice for a while but haven’t had the opportunity, so when I saw it advertised as an optional extra during a spa weekend that I’m going to in January, I jumped at the chance. I booked it yesterday evening, along with two different massages (not new experiences, although enjoyable nonetheless).
And what is the #4 of the title? Quite simply I am going to tag this post “new things”, so that I can easily refer back to it when I get more new experiences to reflect upon. Having moaned several times in the past about not being able to find old posts, and not knowing how to tag, I decided to seize the moment and do something about it. Here we go. Best part is, once it’s done I’m off to add “tag blog posts” to the list in my great Projects & Plans pad.