Whether we like it or not, we are all creatures of habit. There might be a coffee cup you choose every morning out of the fifteen other coffee cups available to you. (Mine is a dainty white porcelain cup with the name Martina written on the back in red script, and a weird picture of an animal that is half cat, half racoon. I call the cup “Catcoon”.) You probably get in the shower and proceed to wash your body parts in the same order every single day without ever noticing it. You rarely take a different route to work or eat something different or unexpected for lunch. Your day is a parade of activities that is as common and placid as gray slacks and a white button down.
So, blow it up.
Start small. Try choosing tea instead of coffee on Thursday. Order Moo Shu Pork instead of Sweet and Sour Chicken when you get Chinese take out. Read a book from a new author, or better yet a new genre. Go jogging outside instead of running on the treadmill. Go shopping at a different grocery store and buy an exotic fruit you have never eaten.
It seems silly, but little tiny changes in your day can lead to big changes in your life. I know, I know, I sound like Oprah. But bear with me for just a minute. In the past month and a half I have had nothing but free time and a very clean slate. My entire life changed in the course of two weeks. I moved. I went from living alone in a small flat to living with someone in a much bigger place. I changed neighborhoods. I got a new job. I have an oven. My weekly karaoke tryst was taken away. But instead of fighting the tide, I dived in.
I started cooking things that I have never tried before – some to great acclaim, some straight to the garbage. I found new restaurants, new bars and new ways to waste the infinite amount of time on my hands. I had forgotten that I am a creative person. I hand made a goofy looking doll, I made a colorful cover for a very “Czech looking” notebook, and I even fashioned a festive DIY shirt for the Prague Pride parade. I found a few new places to sing karaoke and was quickly asked at each why I don’t have a band.
If you never try new things, then you’ll never know if you are changing and growing. Five years ago I tried on a new country and found it to be a pretty good fit. How’s that for thinking outside the box? I’m off to the movies. And, for the sake of doing something different I am going to get a small popcorn instead of a large. Oh yeah, I know how to walk on the wild side.