{April 15, 2012}   What is your definition of “new”?

When I decided I wanted to try 47 new things this year, I received a lot of great suggestions. But some I automatically rejected, because I’d done them before. (See the “Lifetime Experiences” page I recently added for a partial list of things I’ve seen and done.)

My friend Mike suggested water skiing. I tried water skiing as a teenager. (One of the first times I got up on skis, I went a short distance before I fell, and then I didn’t let go of the ski rope until I’d inhaled part of the lake…oops!) So to me, water skiing isn’t a first.  Mike’s reply? “You need to do it…barefoot…over a jump.” I think he gives me more credit for being adventurous than I deserve.

My friend Marci suggested roller skating. “If you haven’t done it since you were 10, it needs to be on your list for sure! I just went yesterday and it was fun!”

What do you think?  To be considered a new thing, does it need to be something I’ve never done?

Or if I’ve done it, can I consider it new if I do it differently? (For the record, simply adding the word “naked” to things I’ve done isn’t going to fly.)

Or is there a time factor? If I haven’t done it in more than 20 years, can I call it new?

So tell me what you consider “new”. And if you have suggestions for other things I should try, share your ideas. Thanks for helping me move outside my comfort zone!


Sam Perroni says:

Julie–I think ” new ” should be defined as something you have never experienced before–like touching the nose of a baby grey whale in Luguna San Ignacio , Baja. You can always “redo” things when you turn 65 and you can’t remember doing them before. Sam

Thanks for the input, Sam. The “never experienced before” rule would make it easier to narrow down things to try. And I am definitely adding “pet a baby whale” to my list…love that idea! Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have to wait until I’m 65 to start forgetting things. I already do that. On the plus side, I can hide my own Easter eggs! 😉

Melinda Gillespie says:

Soo, I thought about this as well, before you even asked the question. For me, part of the getting more complacent as you age thing really got me to thinking about things that I had let slide by the wayside, got too lazy to do them, etc. I think if it is something that you have not recently tried, or mastered then why not throw it in. It is totally different trying to roller skate as a 10 year old, or water ski as a teenager than trying it again at 47. It is a whole new experience in a different mind and body. I say add it to the list after all you are the list maker as well as the rule maker. Melinda

You make some great points, Melinda! Trying some of the activities 30-40 years later would definitely be different than a first experience as a kid. But I fear there might be the temptation to try something like roller skating again simply because it’s not unknown and not as far as a stretch outside my comfort zone. Then again, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it just needs to be something I normally wouldn’t do. Maybe the 47 things will be a combination of brand-new, not done in years and done before but differently this time. I’m going to continue to think on that. Thanks for you feedback!

tina says:

If it challenges your comfort zone and has a different feel and possible consequences, I’d think it’s okay to consider new–or just change the word “new” to “different” cuz you never said Mother, may I?” With the water skiing, you could stipulate must stay up on the skis for at least xx minutes. That would be new compared to your first time and scary because you know how difficult it is. And roller skating as a kid–now you can try roller blades, which is a little different (and easier, I think). Plus-the possible consequences for a mom are greater–a sprain and having to hobble after young kids while on crutches would totally suck vs. sustaining the same injury as a child, which has a fun element: missing school and friends signing cast and all the cool attention. Heinous risk factors related to parenthood and age should count for something. But if you decide to be technical with the “new” criteria, we will have to add to the suggestion list!

Good thoughts, Tina! And now that you mention it, I’ve never had a cast or needed crutches, so if I get hurt trying something new or different, I could kill two birds with one stone! (just kidding) But I will add rollerblading to my list. 🙂

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