I love it because it made me stop in my tracks. Thinking about it, I realise that this has probably been my life motto all along.
I am in a new job that I enjoy because I am doing and learning new things, or new ways of doing things, all the time. As a consultant, it is one of a few new jobs that I have started in the last eight months.
Outside of work, we travel to new places all the time. When we do go back to somewhere we have been before, we (literally) go out of our way see and do things we have never done there before.
On our fourth trip to Amsterdam in April, we hired bikes to ride out to the tulip fields, ate every Dutch delicacy we could find and dressed up as pirates on a hired canal boat. These were all things we had not done before and it made the short holiday with our friends most enjoyable.
Flirting with your first time
On reflection I have realised that you don’t have to travel far and wide to experience something new.
Hubby and I have started doing something for the first time…
Gardening is something we have done for the first time. We’ve spent hours in our garden, weeding, digging, sweating, and laying seed. Finally, after weeks of toil and hard work, we have finally started to grow some grass! Albeit slightly patchy, it is green and lush and I am so proud of our efforts.
We have also purchased garden tools and power tools for the first time. Learning how to use an electric drill to put together some new shelves was a whole new experience I didn’t think I would enjoy as much as I did.
Another first: I recently paid for a haircut without a Groupon and pre-booked another appointment for six weeks later!
Ok, perhaps I am late to the starting block on this one. Everyone around me seems to pay for a cut by their regular hairdresser, but this was a whole new experience for me and another step on the path to growing up and looking after myself. It’s a good feeling.
Finding ‘first time’ inspiration
In the same vein, I have also started using the NHS Couch to 5km app to learn how to run. Having always been a team sport player and spending the last two years recovering from foot surgery (excuses, excuses!), I am a complete novice in the running department.
I was inspired to get fit by an old flatmate. One day he said he was going for a 5km run for the first time because he wanted to do a triathlon for the first time. We shrugged off his determination and thought it was going to be a short lived venture. Five years later, he has just been selected to represent Australia in a world event in Chicago.
This is the kind of success you can achieve when you do something for the first time.
Be mindful: that ‘first time’ feeling
According to research, new experiences and challenges stimulate the brain to produce dopamine, affecting movement, motivation and the feeling of pleasure. As humans, we need to introduce new activities and experiences into our lives to continuously improve our mental and physical health.
With Mental Health Awareness Week just passed (11-17 May), perhaps we should be mindful of how we think and feel impacts on our behaviour and happiness. In the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime and, in 2014, 11 million working days were lost due to stress, anxiety or depression.
Be mindful, give your mental health a boost and try something for the first time.
Try a new restaurant, visit a new networking group to meet new people, start a new hobby like gardening or photography, travel to a new destination, explore an area of your home town you have never been before, take a class, or resurrect an old dream.
There are many fun and inspiring things that are available to us in this amazing world that we live in. So, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
Also by Jacqui Moroney:
Read more of Jacquie’s Honeymooning Nomad series about life as an Aussie expat and visit her website www.neverendinghoneymoon.net
IMAGE: Flickr.com/kris krüg