Monday, August 29, 2011

how do YOU do it?

Are you a person who invites new experiences? Are you someone who enjoys the unknown adventure? Do you find yourself excited at the prospect of trying something you've never tried before? Does the idea of "new" foster exhilaration or dread?

I've often wondered why it is that most "grown-ups" are loathe to try new things. Not in the sense of a new car or a new couch or new clothes. Mostly folks get pretty excited about that kind of new. I'm talking about the "new" of experience. A new job. Or a new city. Or a new path. "New" as in "never-before-experienced". For the most part it appears these same folks view "new" with great apprehension....and large fear.

Why is that? When do we lose the eager anticipation that was so common when we were kids? How is it that we view "new" as "scary"? Doncha wonder about that?

As I prepare to embark on yet another new adventure, I find myself as eager as I was the first time my parents told us we were going on vacation. I was about 12 at the time; we'd never been on a real vacation before and the prospect of going to some new place, doing all manner of new and exciting stuff was almost more than my little head could handle. I was so excited I could hardly sleep. I was bouncing off the walls for weeks, likely driving my parents nuts. I was....AGOG! They told us there would be horseback riding and hay rides and hiking expeditions. They said there would be lots of other kids to join in the fun. They said that we would be there for a whole week...and when you're 12 years old, a whole week seems like a life time. I couldn't wait to get there.

I did not, in all my musings, ever feel one iota of dread or fear. I didn't think about poison ivy or bee stings or getting thrown off the back of a horse. I didn't even consider there might be kids I didn't like. None of those things even occurred to me as I waited for the day of departure to arrive. All I thought about was all the fun "new" stuff I was going to do.

I can still remember those feelings of anticipation. I can still recall the thrill of arriving at that resort and seeing all the other kids playing in the pool. I remember the smells and sights and sounds of that place as if I'd gone yesterday. And every time I think about it, I get excited all over again. Feelings that I carry with me any time I am faced with something "new" I am about to experience.

I think it's so much more fun to anticipate new experiences with this kind of attitude. It sure beats the hell out of dread. Beyond the fun factor, there is also another huge advantage to that kind of eagerness: it is the difference between enjoying the "new" and .... not so much. It is the difference between expecting the best and fearing the worst. It is....the driving force behind every end result.

What I mean is: you get what you expect. Every single time. If you're expecting something awful to happen, you're most likely going to have something awful happen. If, on the other hand, you're expecting the very best to come from this new experience, you will, more often than not, get exactly that. The very best. Even if the "new experience" happens to be something that is, by most others, considered to be terrifying. It just depends on your own personal perspective. If you're terrified, it's most likely going to be a terrifying experience. If you're anticipating some fabulous result, then you're quite likely to see that fabulous result in short order.

Know what I mean?

I'm offering this up today in joyful response to a brandy new adventure I am about to embark upon. I want very much to share the happy expectations so that you might tweak your own perspectives just a tiny bit. So that the next time you are met with some "new" thing, you can make up your enjoy the process with the eagerness of a 12 year old going on her first vacation.

Pack your bags! It's gonna be a BLAST!


Merry ME said...

Ahh, this couldn't have come at a better time. I'm just beginning to learn about what causes and has been causing my fear for so many years. And it may just be that my inner 12 year old was/is scared of so many things that new experiences became times of dread rather than adventure. I do hope this is going to change as I learn to calm and comfort the little girl shaking in my shoes.

Can't wait to hear about your adventure. When will we know?

Lucy said...

Excellent! I feel the excitement in the air!