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The power of new

Posted in Life & Love

When I turned 50, on my actual birthday, I challenged myself to do something I had never done before. On that particular occasion, a strenuous hike that required some climbing with the aid of a rope was involved – a tad foolish, thinking back, but I think I wanted to prove to myself my body was still young.

A bit of a tradition was born – every birthday, I vowed to try something a little bit out of my comfort zone. A session with a make-up artist followed and, while I was not totally convinced that what felt like a mask was the best look for me, it gave me the impetus to not restrict these experiments to once a year: trying new things was decidedly fun – even when the outcome was different than expected – and positively therapeutic. It turned out to be a useful tool to examine myself, and my fears.

Then cancer intervened, and that was novelty enough to keep me interested for a long while. But I did notice that I tackled the whole experience as if it were a new project: with fear but also interest and tight organization and I wonder if my approach to trying new things had laid the foundations for a navigation system that helped me through that hurdle. I would like to think so.

Since then, I have said yes to the unexpected, the uninvited or just the plain different more than I said no. Where once I would have declined out of discomfort, now I sidestep the doubts and go for it.

It’s so easy to get set in our ways as we age, both mentally and physically, and, as much as Sundays on the couch are a pleasure I would not deprive myself of, for instance, I have been trying to stay open to other possibilities, even when they fall on a Sunday.

Today, for instance, I became a guinea pig, something that never entered my mind until now. I chose to participate in a study aimed at improving both the mental outlook and the immune system of former cancer patients through various techniques that do not involve medications. Being a guinea pig required I changed my already bizarre and packed schedule around and devote time I don’t really have for the next three months. But it’s in the interest of science and it’s a new experience.

So, my new motto now is “why not?”.

Have you noticed if you tend to embrace new experiences as you get older, or do you shun them?

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11 Comments

  1. Depends on the day with me. I can be totally up for something and on another day react like an old lady who only wants to be left alone with a blanket on her knees. But I will keep this thought with me as I”m confronted with such opportunities. I’d hate to be someone who retreats into complacency and sitting by the fire. I’m always fighting my mum on it!

    January 28, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I am the queen of sitting on the couch, with a blanket on my knees, watching Netflix. But I fight it….going out tonight..

      January 29, 2017
      |Reply
  2. Intanto grazie per la scelta di aderire a un programma di ricerca, lo fai per te ma lo fai per tutte. Condivido il motto “Perchè no?”

    January 27, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Non sono poi cosi altruista. Non credo che parteciperei a un programma di ricerca se ci fossero da prendere medicinali i cui effetti collaterali fossero ancora dubbi…

      January 29, 2017
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      • Nemmeno io, la definirei prudenza … o forse necessità, quando si offre un compenso e chi accetta ne ha bisogno. Ma questo è un altro discorso

        January 29, 2017
        |Reply
  3. Definitely embrace. I think with age comes a certain assurance that no matter what happens I will be okay. Even if I’m not….I will be okay.

    January 27, 2017
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    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I know what you are saying. Wisdom maybe?

      January 29, 2017
      |Reply
  4. This is quite an inspirational post.
    I’d like to think I’ve become better at embracing new experiences e.g. I’ve never been big on travelling, but in recent years I’ve realised that I’ve visited at least one new city each year, so I’ve decided to continue that (even if it’s just somewhere within Australia).
    On a smaller scale, “why not?” also often gets me saying “yes” more often than “no”.

    January 27, 2017
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    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      Travelling is a wonderful panacea, not to mentioning inspiring.

      January 27, 2017
      |Reply
  5. winstonmoreton
    winstonmoreton

    Embrace or shun? Went kayaking up a remote river at sundown y/day with a group of outdoorsies and my son. Wet and out of comfort zone thought, never again. This morning remembering the sunset and camaraderie thinking “glad I did that.” BTW the party leader was 86 years of age and told me kayaking keeps his back strong

    January 27, 2017
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I should try kayaking…but I have this thing about getting unecessarily wet…

      January 27, 2017
      |Reply

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