At what stage in life did you stop trying new things? When did you decide that enough was enough and you were content with all you had?
Do you remember when you were a kid and everything was new? Foods, places, people. My parents introduced me to things that I had never experienced before and I got to discover whether I liked them or not.
Chocolate - yes. Marmite - no. Horse riding - yes. Roller skating - no. Reading - yes. Learning French - no.
Life was an adventure, it was exciting. When did that stop? When did I decide to stay in my cosy little comfort zone?
Sure I try new things. New York pizza topping - okay I'll give it a go. A different type of book in my book club - I'm up for that. Experimenting with crochet - go on then, let's go crazy! The thing is, they're all safe. All things I think I will like. I don't try anything that I'm not already sure about.
I play it safe.
That's okay. Safe is good. Safe feels, well safe. It's just a little boring at times.
I've been reading Yes Man by Danny Wallace which is frankly hilarious. It's about a guy who decides to say Yes more. To invitations and opportunities.
'I, Danny Wallace, being of sound mind and body, do hereby write this manifesto for my life. I swear I will be more open to opportunity. I swear I will live my life taking every available chance. I will say Yes to every favour, request, suggestion and invitation. I WILL SWEAR TO SAY YES WHERE ONCE I WOULD SAY NO.'
I've been in hysterics, literally laughing out loud and giggle snorting, it's that funny. I'm half way through and I have to admit that I am starting to worry Danny is having a breakdown; but we shall see.
It's not just funny; but also incredibly inspiring. The idea of trying new things, being open to life. I feel inspired; but also a little nervous about the idea.
I've decided to do my own version, not exactly saying Yes more; but trying things I never normally would try. That might be foods, places, events. Who knows. I'm taking it week by week. Just think at the end of the year I could have tried fifty two new things. 52 New Things that might make me Live more, Love more and Laugh more! I will let you know how I get on.
Are you taking on any challenges for 2014? What do you wish you were saying Yes to more? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about people who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.
I'm an author, disability activist, winner of the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition and The EABA for Fiction 2020 and founder of Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (ADCI).
The Choice is available from:
Title: The Choice
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