A few years ago when I was turning 50, I decided I would mark that anniversary by attempting to complete 50 NEW things during the year. I created a list of possibilities and slowly began checking off boxes.
Some of these were actually 50 additional things rolled up into one such as my attempt to read 50 new books or try 50 new foods. (I was already a pretty adventurous eater so “50 new foods” was a tough one because it was difficult to find foods I hadn’t tried). Other items on the list were things I always wanted to do and required research to find the right opportunity (like glassblowing). Others were not on the original list and were only added after an unplanned experience presented itself (such as getting into a mud bath at the top of a volcano).
Many of these activities included other people who either participated with me because I guilted them into it (my husband and children) or friends who had also always wanted to try a particular activity or visit a certain place. Once I published the original list on Facebook, mostly in an effort to make my intentions public so I couldn’t back out, others started asking to join me whenever I scheduled something that interested them. It seems that many people think about doing something but don’t have the time to figure out exactly how to go about doing it. I love to plan and research so I was happy to do the leg work and have others join in on the fun. This was the original idea behind this newsletter which was called, what else - 50 Things - when it started. I had hoped to offer new ideas as well as concrete steps for actually experiencing a variety of unique activities.
It’s important to point out that many of the original 50 Things were solo events. These were particularly enjoyable because I could spend as little or as much time at the location or on the activity as I liked. There is also something special and very different about experiencing something new alone. If you can’t find anyone to join you (or don’t want to), that is perfectly fine. Some things are better experienced alone.
I continue to try new things all the time but I think everyone should have a set plan or goal to do so and even more importantly, a public proclamation about it. Once other people learn of the experiment, they will want to join in. This can be welcome, especially if you choose to do something personally uncomfortable, or unwelcome if you would really rather have these experiences by yourself. The important thing is that you start.
Oh…and a “50 Things” type of activity doesn't have to center around a major life event like aging half a century. This newsletter will provide weekly ideas to add to your list plus short reviews of things I have dabbled in and checked off.
Start wherever you are and for whatever reason you want and you will be glad that you did. In a year from now, you will be amazed at all of the new things you have experienced and learned and the new, and much more interesting, person you have become.
P.S. - The 50 Things idea is being morphed into a book with the same name as this newsletter - “Dabble” - to encourage others to try out many different things, and hopefully many that may never had been considered before. If you’d like to get a sneak peek at chapters as they are written, just sign up here. Thanks!
Great project, I really miss those journey blogs from the internet today, it's all just affiliate and product reviews anymore haha. I'll follow along, much fun!
Thanks for the inspiration! I’m working through my own list for the rest of 2022 … and can’t wait to do another in 2023. I like to divide the year into quarters, similar to the seasons. Helps me avoid overwhelm. Anytime an opportunity pops up, I’ll do it. But spacing things out reduces the mental clutter :)