“A Simple Act: 365 ways to cheer up your day and the day of others”

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?


8 thoughts on ““A Simple Act: 365 ways to cheer up your day and the day of others”

  1. lynn

    Well, I try to visit and comment on a new blog a week. Does that count? 🙂
    I love this idea! I would find coming up with a new idea a day difficult, but you have found the perfect tool in your agenda. I look forward to reading how your new adventures go!
    And, Billie…. really? Never eaten Cheerios?? That seems so un-Canadian!!! teehee

  2. Arlee Bird

    I don’t try new things as much as I used to do. I don’t feel like I’m stuck in a rut in a bad sense, but I do have a routine. Now I just need to get an organized routine established to help me reach more goals. What you’re describing sounds like a way to enrich one’s life.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  3. admin Post author

    Hi Arlee! Glad to “meet” you. I felt the same way, and that’s why I decided to give this a try, because I found I was stagnating — and I don’t like that! Routine is fine — but there has to be bits of new strewn in, just to keep things interesting. However, the thing I did today did not come from my agenda — I went to your blog, saw the A-Z Challenge, and signed up! A little bit afraid, I must say, and I’m having a little difficulty figuring out how the whole thing works — but I’m going to give it a try. Yay me. Look at all the new people I get to meet in the month of April! (And thank you for that new thing!)

  4. admin Post author

    Hi Patricia! Nice to meet you! I like your friend’s idea, and will check out her blog. The cool thing about trying something new (or something you haven’t thought about doing for a long time) is it gets the brain pan working. And sometimes my brain slows down to a near crawl. (Esp. in the winter) So, I am ever hopeful that it will get me out of hibernation mode and back to moving forward, fearlessly. (Whew! That’s a lot to dump on trying a new thing every day!)

  5. Elizabeth Twist

    Hi Eileen! Nice to meet a fellow Canadian woman writer. I followed your here from the A-Z Challenge page. Looking forward to learning more about your “try something new” challenge and also to reading your A-Z posts. It *is* all about stimulating the brain pan.

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