As much as I like routine, I tend to stick with the tried and true. I am a creature of habit, down to my clothing, hygiene, and the foods I eat. Sometimes a habit can lead to a rut, though, and a rut can sap your soul dry. Here are some things I’ve tried for the first time recently that have kept me away from the dreaded rut:
- Audio books: Free public-domain audio books on LibriVox are like, the best thing I’ve discovered recently. For a minute there (okay, more like a couple of years), I was convinced I couldn’t enjoy recreational reading anymore because of the cone dystrophy in my eyes which causes poor central vision. Doctors only told me to follow the words on the page with my finger, but it was a dear friend of mine whom I can truly thank for giving me the idea to listen to audio books on this site. Currently I’m “reading” Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography and enjoying it immensely. I’m not sure why I had never considered this simple solution before, but I sure am glad to have discovered it.
- Walking just because I can: Used to be anytime I went for a walk I had he mindset that the purpose was exercise, which in turn was for the sake of losing weight. I spent the better part of three years being obsessed with the number on the scale, so I treated physical activity like a means to an end. Now when I go for a walk, I enjoy my surroundings, I look up, I meditate, or I window-shop, and as I do it I am thankful for each step I take and that I even have the ability to walk.
- Wearing a bikini: Yes, for the first time in my adult life, I own a bikini. When I thought about it, it seemed ridiculous that I didn’t own one; I’m young enough to rock it, and I truly no longer look at my body with an unjustifiably critical eye that judges and says, “You’re fat.” Sure I have a little cellulite and stretch marks, but so do something like 90% of women, and I’m pretty sure a lot of those same women go ahead and wear their bikinis proudly. Why shouldn’t I?
- Belt, for fashion – not function: This is kind of embarrassing, but my mom laid out my next day’s outfit for me up through my freshman year of high school. I’ve never considered myself a stylish or trendy person, and tend to wear whatever doesn’t look completely frumpy and is comfortable. Visualizing outfits is just not my thing, to my chagrin. I did try something new today and put a belt on over my dress for pure fashion’s sake, and thought it looked pretty good. Maybe I’ll even do it again sometime!
- Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen: My friend and I went to this happening ice-cream shop while we were walking around downtown tonight. They serve ice-cream that is made with liquid nitrogen. They have exotic flavors like strawberry balsamic. We shared the lavender chocolate flavor. It was delicious and not cloyingly sweet. The end.
- New hairdos: Like fashion, I’m pretty clueless when it comes to hair, and didn’t even know how to french braid up until this week (I’m pretty sure that’s a cardinal sin for women). Anyway, I’ve been looking for ways for the outside of me to match my new inside, so I’ve been watching this YouTube channel with this really upbeat likable girl who does all kinds of hair tutorials. I’ve been practicing my braiding and today I did this:
- Looking up: There’s something very mood-lifting about looking up – at the sky, and the tops of trees and buildings. I make it a point to do this often when I’m out and about. My friend says that it must cause some kind of chemical process in the body that produces the mood-lifting effect. All I know is that looking up brings me awareness of the wonders of the world and my role in it; it’s a good feeling. And like my friend says, it’s like seeing a new painting every day when you look at the sky.