Do you Need to Do Something Different?

Question: What do sheer tights and beef hearts have in common? Answer: They’re things I’ve tried for the first time this year. And I need to do more of them as doing new things is good for your health. You see novelty actually causes the brains to make new cells which in turn keeps the brain younger and healthier as you get older.

A few posts ago I was talking about how to make a ‘fulfillment’ bucket list, but then I realised I haven’t talked about my real aim for this year – and that’s to do as many ‘new’ things as possible.

Now normally when someone says that you think about doing big things like visiting giraffes on the African Plains, but I’m thinking more about trying a new food, drinking in a new pub, trying on a piece of clothing or make-up colour you’ve never worn before. Every single day we’re faced with the opportunity to do something new in our life yet we mostly fall into the same behaviour time and time again. There’s a few problems with this….

  • It makes life boring – and pass faster than it should. Ever noticed that the first week of a holiday goes slower than the second. That’s because you’re experiencing more new things and that actually slows the speed at which you notice the passing of time.

  • Variety helps your health:  for example the more new foods you try the more different nutrients you take in, the more new things you learn the more brain connections you generate.

  • It also helps you learn things about yourself. By adulthood many of us have set attitudes to things which we never challenge – ie you’re sure you can’t wear skirts – but you haven’t tried since you were 20 and weighed three stone more than you do now.

So, what have I learnt recently carrying out my new aim?

  •  Beef hearts don’t taste squishy. When I’m on holiday I’ll eat the weirdest things, yet in the UK I’m far more squeamish. So, the other night, I was at the London restaurant Ceviche (also a new experience) and I thought – blow it, I’m going to eat the oddest thing on this menu. It was called Corazon and it was beef hearts on a skewer – and while I was expecting them to be slimy or squishy like liver, they were actually more like steak. Oh and the rest of the meal was amazing so if you get the chance you need to go there!

  • I’m not grown up enough to wear sheer tights: I have issues with sheer tights – they seem far too mature for the image of myself that I have in my head, however I was wearing an outfit that didn’t work with opaques and it was too cold for bare legs – so on went the Kate Middleton tights. And this one I was right about – I hated it. I spent the whole evening convinced people were staring at my legs thinking ‘look at the old lady tights’. It completely sapped my confidence. I won’t do that one again.

  • No-one laughs at you when the white ball goes off the pool table! Due, I believe, to the fact that I didn’t go to university and so didn’t spend my early 20s in a student bar, I can’t play pool. Due to some rather traumatic experiences during PE at school, I also don’t do things I can’t do – ergo, I haven’t played pool in years. So I did and I still stink at it, but nobody else in the pub cared, even when the white ball bounced across the room. And it was quite fun too. This one I’ll do again – although I wouldn’t go betting any money on me at any point.

So, what’s next on my list…..I want to go to the theatre on my own; I want to brave a Bikram yoga class and a trip to Japan later this year has the actual theme ’embrace the madness’ where we try to do the most bonkers things possible (all suggestions gratefully received below).

My question therefore for you – is what can you do today that you haven’t done before?

Update: I have been to the theatre on my own – I went to see Matt Smith in American Psycho and it was brilliant, I still haven’t done a Bikram Yoga classs – and my trip to Japan was brilliant. You can see the post about my trip to the onsen here (and then fall down a little wormhole into the others from there if you like)

Main giraffe images from this thing on? Talk to me, it's lonely down here

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