That’s the title of the agenda I purchased for myself at the beginning of this year. I bought it to keep track of my life — and I’ve found, through trial and error, that an actual physical agenda works best for me. I needed something that showed me two weeks at a time, with enough space to get the details of my day down. Something I could keep open on the table, so I see it every time I walk by it. In other words, something I wouldn’t tuck away and forget about.
I noticed the title, and thought it was kind of neat. The suggestions for how to cheer up your day on every page intrigued me. However, after I started using the thing to keep track of my life, I quit noticing the suggestions. Until last week.
It was something that my friend Billie Milholland said to me after she came back from a writing retreat (which sounded both adventurous (normal for her) and fantastic. (Again, normal for her. She can find the fantastic in just about anything.) She was telling me about one of the talks the organizers had set up. Author Kat Richardson talked about how to find what you REALLY want to write about. (I’m paraphrasing, because, of course, I didn’t start writing stuff down until Billie was half through describing what she had learned.) Most of it had to do with really examining what you do in your life, figuring out what really delights you, and drawing from it. But the final thing she said was — Do something you’ve never done before, every day, so that you can expand your list of things you can write about. Then Billie ate Cheerios, something she’s never done before. (But I’ll let her tell you about that experience!)
This conversation made me think about what new thing I could do every day that could expand my horizons. Then, as I was writing down a meeting Billie and I are both going to, I realized I actually have something right at hand that I could use. The 365 suggestions in my agenda.
These suggestions run the gamut from setting up a block party to letting someone else go before you in line. Trying a vegetable you’ve never tried before. Writing a haiku about your day. Test driving your dream car. Creating your own holiday. (My own Christmas, any day I want! I love it!) Sending a letter instead of emailing. Playing like a child.
I’m going to try it. for a while, at least. To see if I can get in the habit of trying new things — or at the very least, things I haven’t done in a very long while. Should be interesting. Heck, it might even be fun!
Do you try new things, or are you stuck in a rut? How do you get yourself out of it? How do you put easy joy in your life?