This is an update from an earlier post. . .
There was a time in my life - around the time I was turning 40 - when everything seemed redundant. Every day was the same as the day before. I woke up every morning in the same house, took the same route to work, went to the same job with the same people, ate the same foods, did the same volunteer activities . . . my life was full and productive, but I was weary of the repetition.
I remember journaling one morning, stating I had probably already done about everything I was going to do! Then I realized, if there were any limitations in my life, they were from my lack of imagination! Things were about to change!
Later that day, I gathered the girls and we went grocery shopping, but this time I set some guidelines. "Today we will be collecting firsts. We will shop for enough food for one week, but we can't buy anything that we've ever purchased before. It has to be a new kind of fruit or vegetable, or a brand that we've never tried."
We laughed so hard I thought they would kick us out of the store! That week we found we liked some products better than the old standbys - and others were truly disappointing - but at least they added variety! One example was guava paste instead of cranberry sauce. This still brings a smile when it shows up at Thanksgiving dinner!
For weeks I actively collected firsts - I would leave earlier and take a new way to work. Or open the phone book to the local restaurant section, close my eyes and point to one for out next evening out.. Randomly choosing books and magazines on unfamiliar topics opened up new worlds!
Small steps helped me build courage! Eventually I traveled to India - alone - and participated in pujas, took an untethered hot air balloon ride, illustrated a children's book, became the managing editor of a magazine . . . Heavens! I even experienced my first flood, lost my home and moved to Baltimore where I am blissfully continuing to expand my collection!
This is my first pandemic and hopefully my last. I’m teaching courses on Zoom for the first time, watching my favorite sports teams play in empty stadiums, and training to run a virtual marathon in October. Who knows how many more I’ll collect before 2020 ends? Shifting my experiences to collecting firsts makes them less unsettling.What firsts have you been collecting?
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!