Trying New Things
I don’t know about you, but I really love trying new things. It might be new food, new recipes, new activities or just even a new way of doing old things. I am told that by changing the way you do things, you force your brain to keep active.
Do new things
I have no trouble at all doing new things, in fact I am so good at doing new things, I often move on before I have fully mastered the skill. Then some years later, I have to remember how to do it, and I have forgotten entirely!
These last few weeks, I have been doing new things
- I have tried my hand at stone carving. That was really fun. I spent 5 or 6 hours using a hammer and a chisel on a large chunk of sandstone. Next week I get to try mosaic. I am so looking forward to it.
This is how it started
and this is how it ended!
- I have built a new website (It is live, but under wraps at the minute, until I get it the way I want it) It is really to publicise my metal work.
- Once a week, I have been trying a new recipe. Some work, others don’t. So what? Many years ago, I had a colleague who always ate the same meals each week. So if it was Friday he always knew what would before tea. He reckoned it made things easier to shop etc. I thought – how boring!
- I got some new types of enamel, which I have really been enjoying myself playing with> It has fired me up again about making things. I had really slowed down. I was sort of stuck, but they have really got the creative energies going again. The red on these hearts is just stunning, and I love the grey & black texture. Very understated.
- Yesterday I walked in a different part of town. I had driven through, but I had never walked through the streets and looked around me. (I have lived in Edinburgh for 40 years!). I never thought to take a few photographs. I should have done. It was a lovely almost warm February day.
Do old things in a new way
Try these simple activities
- Use the scraper to clean out the shower in your other hand. How weird does that feel? It takes so much longer and you really have to think about it. I am right handed, and I normally start at the door and move round the shower to the right. But when I used my left hand, I was really awkward, until I realised I had to work to the left. then it was easier.
- Sit in a different place when you next watch TV. Look around you. You’ll get a totally different perspective of your room. If you’re like me, you’ll notice things that need fixing or dusting… But it makes me more alert, I am less likely to fall asleep in the chair. Strange isn’t it.
- You have a journey to make. Go a different route. Look out the window and see what is happening. The scenery will be different. You will be more aware of your surroundings.
- Change a few things in your cupboards around. I admit to finding this seriously confusing. I want a cup, I reach in cupboard X, but it is now in cupboard Y. It is really frustrating, but you are making your brain create new pathways. (Though to be honest, some years ago the cupboards fell down in our study, one of my first ever blog posts. Two years on, I still reach for where something used to be… )
Do you feel different?
I hope so. Change is good. It is so easy to get into a comfortable (some might say lazy) routine, particularly when you are retired. Being forced to change when you are very fixed in your ways is difficult, but if you keep your body and mind flexible, it is so much easier. These ideas are only a starter, to give you food for thought.
Keep changing and learning. Your brain will thank you!
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