Monday, January 11, 2010

"Try Something New" Week

This week I treated myself to a new hand soap for the kitchen: Sicilian Orange, at Williams-Sonoma

It's a New Year and a new decade. Let's open our lives to some new things!

I don't want to be stuck in a rut, boring and predictable, always following the same routines. I don't want to grow up to be a 90 year old fussy elderly woman who has to have things a certain way and can't be flexible.

Flexibility is the key to youth, happiness, and not driving your family crazy.


- Need to pick up or drop off any dry cleaning?

- Freshen bathrooms - 2 minutes each to do a quick sweep or mopping; sink, mirror and counter wiping/sanitizing; toilet paper roll refreshed; towels replaced if needed; and trash emptying.

- Make menu plans and create grocery list for the week

- Do a quick check for any Christmas tree needles that didn't get vacuumed up yet.

TODAY'S PROJECT: Try Something New; Do Something Different

I don't want to eat the same foods all the time (though I don't think my french fry cravings are going to stop any time soon). I don't aim to do the same things every week, and always go to the same places. While it's not okay to constantly crave new things so you never appreciate what you have, it's also not ok to be stuck in a rut.

Rituals and traditions are nice - my grandparents predictably watch Lawrence Welk and eat popcorn for dinner on Saturday nights. The difference between a ritual and a rut is how you feel about it, as well as how it affects others around you. If my grandparents aren't bored doing the same thing every Saturday night; if they still look forward to their routine, and it makes them happy, that's wonderful. But if they are doing it out of boredom or lack of creativity to think up something new to enjoy, it's not good.

When you can't modify your ritual, when your insistence on doing your ritual makes you miss out on a new opportunity, or when it upsets you to not be able to partake in it, then it's a problem. My grandparents can forgo their Saturday night Lawrence Welk tradition every so often in order to see their great-grandchildren's school plays, or go out to dinner with a visiting relative on a Saturday night, and they don't spend the whole time wishing they were home in front of Lawrence Welk.

I have a hard time modifying my "Desperate Housewives" Sunday ritual, but thanks to Tivo I can postpone my trash TV watching until later.

This week I am going to try several new things.

The easiest, most obvious place to start is of course with the foods I eat. This week when I go out to dinner, I won't go to my good old standby Italian, Greek, American or Chinese places. I'll try something new - Vietnamese, Afghani, Korean or Trinidadian. I'll be more adventurous with my palate.

At breakfast this week, I'm drinking refreshing tangerine juice from Trader Joe's instead of my regular grocery store orange juice. That doesn't sound much like I'm switching it up, but it will help me with baby steps towards doing things differently.

I'm also trying to rearrange some of my home decor. I think I pretty much have the house the way I want it - but I don't want someone walking in 10 years from now and seeing the same old furniture sitting in their usual places, the same unburned candle sitting on my coffee table, and the same tablecloth on the dining table.

I don't need to buy any more decor or furniture for a long time, so I'm just going to rearrange a few things to see if I like it better. I've moved the family room couches differently and added a side table we didn't use before. It's handy to have somewhere to set a drink, and the room is cozier with that table holding a candle and framed family member photo.

This week I will try reading a different genre of books - mystery. I normally don't enjoy mysteries, but what if they're more fun than I remember and I've been missing out this whole time? (I think I will pick a short one though). I'm also reading "Psychology Today" and "Writer's Digest" today (and enjoying them!) instead of my usual "Bon Appetit" and "Martha Stewart Living."

I could be really brave and get a new hairstyle, but I am too chicken. I might try wearing different lipstick, rouge and eyeshadow (as long as it's flattering) and something more exciting than my normal boring pale beige fingernail polish.

I spent my Christmas gift card at Macy's on a new style of clothing I haven't tried before. I love it! I will remind myself to wear some of my lovely earrings I own and not just keep the same boring cubic-zirconia studs in every day.

What's something you might do to shake things up a little bit this week?

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