2020 30-Day Minimalism Challenge

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

One new thing...

 
This post is inspired by several things…
 
  • artist and maker bloggers I enjoy following who regularly share about new things they're learning or making, 

  • moving to a new home that has required creating new patterns for moving through our days and spaces, giving me opportunities to experience and learn some new things.
 
  • receiving Christmas gifts from sons that inspired me to explore new things,
 
  • injuring my hand somehow that makes my old stand-by crafts too difficult to do right now,
 
  • and finally, repeatedly finding grocery shelves empty of some basic things I normally buy…
 
It's hitting me recently how life requires me in various ways to try new things, learn new things, find new ways of doing things...   more than I want to.  Or so it feels in the moment.
 
Thinking about it, I suspect this is a reality in most of our lives.  Change happens so fast we are often forced to adapt and learn or be left behind.  I do my fair share of grumbling when someone sees fit to fix that which isn’t broken, but eventually I get with the program and often find out this old gal can still learn new tricks. 
 
Sometimes learning new things comes out of necessity, or a decision to make life changes.  Or world events...  like a pandemic?
 
When shopping last week and finding prices of beef continuing to climb, and the chicken section empty for the second week in a row, I began to consider that I’d do well to explore some new recipes.  While I have no intention of giving up meat, if I can’t even count on buying chicken when I stop for groceries, it’s definitely time to find more meatless meals we’ll be happy to eat.  Don’t get me wrong.  I can totally enjoy spaghetti without meatballs, or a veggie sub, or a mushroom pizza.  I often order just a salad when eating out, and I can be happy with a bowl of cereal at the end of a tiring day.  And I'm a tad proud that for Christmas dinner I made a meatless lasagna (as well as a traditional lasagna) because middle son’s girlfriend is vegetarian, and honestly…  I almost preferred the meatless one. 
 
Almost.
 
Let’s say I could get used to it.

Anyway, thinking about exploring new recipes got me to thinking about challenging myself to buy a new-to-me food item every time I grocery shop.  And then I got to thinking… it’s all well and good to respond to things changing around me, but why not be intentional about exploring new things – just for the sake of learning or experiencing something new?  Why not once a week, challenge myself to interact with one new thing?  A new food, a new activity, a new person, a new idea to explore, a new skill to learn…  just for starters.   Hence the title of this post: One new thing…
 
So I’ve decided to do that.  And share about it once a week (if possible) here.   I’m not going to set goals or make rules.  I want this to be a discovery process, not a to-do list.   Actually, the challenge may be better worded this way:   I’m simply challenging myself to record here one new thing I explore, or learn about, or interact with… each week. 

These new things may be easy things, or they may be hard things.  These things can be spontaneous, or even imposed on me by external circumstances. Or they can be things I purpose to do.  It doesn’t matter.  I don’t actually think it will be all that difficult.  I think this challenge will more often be about recognizing new things than creating new experiences.  What I think will be interesting (to me) is to look back and (hopefully) see at least 52 new things I did, or that happened to me, or that I learned…  and be surprised at how often the opportunity to do something new in a year’s time happens. 
 
I imagine new things happen in your life fairly frequently, too.  I didn’t begin this challenge, or even this post with the thought of asking others to join me, but wouldn’t that be fun?  I would love to have company on this year-long journey if anyone wants to join me. 
 
From the outset I intend to not express any sense of oughtness that something actually needs to be posted every week.  There’s no “keeping up”, or “getting behind”.  I won’t make apologies or excuses if I don’t post something every week.  After the last two years I think most of us recognize that much in this life is out of our control. 
 
I’m also giving myself freedom in how/when these new things happen and when I record them.  For example, I may have two new things happen in one week and chose to write about them on two different weeks.  I may or may not tell you that if it happens, but I mention it in case that idea makes the challenge sound more doable to someone considering joining me.  The timeline of exploring and discovering new things is not what is important.  But rather, the process of growing, and taking note of things going on in my life that might have previously gone unnoticed is the real value of the challenge.
 
So anyway…  join me if you want.  Feel free to grab my graphic below and use it on your blog.  Or make your own, if you want.  Or don't use a graphic at all.  If you do join me, or even if you’re just following me, please comment on my blog from time to time to let me know you are.  I’ll enjoy checking in on you, too. 
 
Since this post is already long enough, I’ll write another post later in the week with some new things I’ve already done in these early weeks of 2022.  Hopefully my examples will give you a better idea of how simple and fun this idea can be.  I hope it will be fun.  And enlightening.
 
The challenge is on!   Are you in?




18 comments:

  1. This is a terrific idea. Meeting new experience on purpose instead of always reacting to it is a good attitude. Yay you. The decision itself can count as one new thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! I didn't think of that. ;^) Of course, Liz, you with your many creative endeavors is one of my inspirations, you must know.

      Delete
  2. Becki, this pretty much describes my life. I was fortunate in that I had a father and mother that encouraged learning - especially my father, who claimed he was not very good at much yet somehow seemed to know how to do a lot of things, even some of them badly.

    Not that you were looking for suggestions (I'll give them anyway), I have found that Udemy can be a great place to get an online class for pretty cheap ($15.00 or less) when they are on sale. Over the last year or so I am taking or have taken classes on Project Management, Japanese, Writing, Getting Things Done, and (recently) Tai Chi. Another good place to look are school extension programs or local sorts of things like living history groups or artisanal groups - they are (again) usually quite reasonable and almost always happy to demonstrate and teach there passions.

    Or, like me also, you can just pick up a book or article and say "I think I can do that - even badly".

    There is a concept - I am not sure who originated it - that says if work to get 1% better at something every time period - day, week, month, year - over time you reap to whole of your improvement (365%, 52%, 12%, 1%).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your enthusiasm, TB. You've made some great suggestions, but I'm thinking you may have missed just how low the bar is on this challenge. I hope I don't disappoint you too badly with how simple some (maybe many, maybe all) of these new experiences may end up being. Who knows though... the year is still very young. :D

      Delete
  3. Neat idea with a flexible plan!
    Purposeful is a word I'm adding to my 2022 word, Easier. I will keep your idea in mind. At present, I'm on a quest to post weekly for the 13 weeks of winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be interesting to read how you are envisioning, and/or how you work Purposeful and Easier into your year, May if you share on your blog. I do like those words. I feel like I could use them in my life.

      Delete
  4. You always come up with some of the best ideas/challenges. I shall enjoy reading about your discoveries in the coming year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marsha. I needed something to do since I can't really join in the fun of knitting and crocheting, or even much stitching right now. It's even hard to hold a book to read. Hopefully this attitude toward noticing the "new" around me will fend off some discouragement I'm feeling over having sore thumbs. Yes, they both are hurting now. Have you ever heard of anything so pitiful? lol

      Delete
  5. Reading this (brilliant idea, btw!) led me to contemplate mindfulness. I know I must learn/do new things on a daily basis but how often am I even aware of it. I think most of the time the 'newness' just blends into the doings of my day and I am totally in ignorance of the entire thing. My new for today is something I discovered whilst watching some family videos our #2 daughter-in-love shared of our grandsons and her family. She's 9 months pregnant and shared a picture of a wonderful handmade bowl which, as it turns out, isn't really a 'bowl' per se but a casting of her tummy. She also shared a video of them throughout the process. Certainly was a new thing for me - and amazingly wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes... this is an exercise in mindfulness - not in the sense of meditation, but rather simply paying attention, and taking note. What I hope is that this challenge influences me towards more gratitude. I had to look up this making a cast of a pregnant tummy. That is a new one for me, too!

      Delete
  6. Great idea! I'll read from the sidelines. (I'm still in the moanin' and groanin' stage over what I consider to be a plandemic. This was no mistake.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be nice to know you're checking in, Vee. Thanks. :)

      Delete
  7. This sounds like fun Becki I'm always a believer of trying new things although I have to say mine are usually craft related, I think it's great to challenge oneself and push yourself to do something new it keeps life interesting. I will be joining you when I can. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will be wonderful if you do! No pressure, but you're so full of good ideas, I think you'll find new things around every corner.

      Delete
  8. Fascinating! I look forward to following along . . . and maybe even jumping in from time to time! (I suppose my watercolor project is at least one "new thing" for this year.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely, your watercolor project would count as a new thing, I'm thinking. I hope you inspire me to dabble in painting a bit.

      Delete
  9. I like your idea of something new, I may join in with you for February as a challenge to myself and they do say if you keep learning or noticing new things you are keeping your brain active and it delays the onset of old age. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon! It didn't occur to me when I first thought of this challenge, but it makes some sense that being mindful of new things, how they affect us, how we adapt and learn... would help the brain in some way. If you join in, it will be fun to see what you post in this regard.

      Delete