It had been raining for a week. Not the romantic “let’s hold hands and dance” kind of rain, but “the government is shut down, might as well make everything gloomy” kind of rain. After one really long week, the sun came out and shone brightly through the Fall colors. In that happy moment, I decided to launch a small project that I had been thinking about for a while. I am calling the project ‘Doing one different thing – a day’.
Now these different “things” have to be only somewhat different, not drastically different. That is, we are not talking about running off to Rome, bungee-jumping or eating exotic meals. These are not your bucket list items nor your new year resolutions. The idea is to Think small. Act casual. Keep it manageable. Give the routine a small twirl without struggling a lot. It has to be something you have never done before or not done in a long time, and it has to be intentional. So let’s say tomorrow 30 strands of my hair suddenly turn gray (argh!) then that does not count as a different “thing” because that was oh-so-not-planned-for. Each thing in itself may not seem that great, but together they are awesome if one can do this over a period of time. Just coming up with different things to do is fun (and challenging as I soon realized), and the randomness of it fulfilling in a subtle way. So without further ado, this is how my week #1 looked like:
- Day #1: Played basketball with my son. It was a long day at work, but I let the evening chores wait and went outside to play (I typically never do this). My son scored more baskets than I did :-) but it was a great start to my project.
- Day #2: Tried the “crazy” push-ups. In my excitement, I told my gym instructor all about the project and said that I was thinking of doing more number of push-ups than my usual ‘dropping-dead-in-3’ limit. Well, she got all excited and told me to do the crazy (she called them “intermediate”) push-ups, where one leg is hanging in the air, and then hands are on a wobbly ball and all that. So I did.
- Day #3: Wrote a letter to mom in my native language. This was so much fun. I wrote it in old-style marathi and even though the words flowed easily, I struggled a little with the script syntax. The letter is mailed and will be a surprise for mom.
- Day #4 : Tried to bend a spoon. Okay, don’t laugh! Didn’t succeed in bending the spoon, but I gave it a good shot. Remember the scene from The Matrix? Totally like that. And then I felt so relaxed after staring at the spoon for 5 minutes that I closed my eyes, let my head plop instead of the spoon’s and took a small nap. Totally worth trying this thing, I am telling ya!
- Day #5 : Attended a Krav Maga class. Went for a trial introductory class of Krav Maga (the Israeli self-defense technique). This was a total opposite of the spoon-bending experience for I was very awake and ready to go ‘punch-punch-kick-kick’ after the class.
- Day #6: Picked up the phone and called an old friend. This one was a no-brainer. It was great catching up with an old friend and he recalled that we were probably talking after a gap of 3 years.
- Day #7: Trashed my toothbrush. Well, more precisely, kept my regular toothbrush aside and got the electric toothbrush out. Oh, and used it too.
That’s it for now, people. I am not sure how long the experiment will continue, but it’s been good so far. If you want to try it out, go for it and remember to consult me if you need ideas for things to do. First 3 ideas are totally free and then there will be a small fee after that. After all, in the spirit of this game, I would like to earn lots of money from my friends and that will be the one different thing I would be doing that day. :-)
EDIT: I did this for 30 days, every single day. It was hard and I got quite a kick out of it. A friend who read this blog told me later that she thinks of me and tries a new thing every time she feels old. I am finally associated with old age or trying new things or something like that. Yay!