New Things – Tracking

Part of my retirement lifestyle vision is to try new things.  This year I set a goal of 101 New and/or Fun Things.  I added fun because I worried that since I tried so many new things the last few years, and I’ve kept doing many of those new things, 101 totally new things would be too challenging.

In April, Leanne (over at Cresting the Hill), perhaps inspired by all the April A to Z bloggers, stated she was doing an A to Z of New Things this year.   Maybe her hitting Q early in the year (she quit her job, a prelude to retirement perhaps) gave her hope of getting all the letters also!  

So could I make my New Things an A to Z list?   This is an update on my New and/or Fun Things goal, exploring that possibility for tracking.

Museums for M was an easy one as earlier this year, I did a slew of them during our Snowbird Adventure – The Dali, The Ringling, The James, and St Petersburg Fine Arts.  I’ve really enjoyed them and even went to the Burning Man exhibit (a B?) at our local Cincinnati Art Museum.

B’s are ubiquitous! From lots of Bike Riding in Florida, to joining a Book Club (been on my to-do list for 3 years), to taking a Ballroom Dance class.   Dance in general seems to be a new thing this year because I also took a Line Dancing class (probably L as it’s a harder letter to get).  I don’t think either dance class will become recurring, but both were a lot of fun. 

F is for Food Tours. After enjoying them so much in Florida as a “tourist”, we did a local one here in Cincinnati and had a blast as well. Yes, food is a big part of my life, so new Restaurants for R is a given. This year so far I am up to 21 new restaurants tried – the local Restaurant Week, my Mid-Week Foodies Club, and Foodie Friends all help here.

Another element that is a big part of my life is Theater Going (for T) and we’ve been to five different theaters (in 3 states) seeing 9 different live performances so far this year. Dinner and the theater is my go-to date-night activity!

Should I cheat and put Axe Throwing in the X box since that is such a challenging letter to achieve?  Yes, we tried an evening of axe throwing and hubby loved it so much, he wants to do it again!  There is another new thing becoming a recurring fun thing.  Cooking classes, mid-day movie dates, yoga class, and Zumba all fit in here – new things in previous years that have become recurring fun things.

A few other more unique new things were Poetry Writing (P) at a Women’s Writing Circle, trying Shuffleboard (S) at the St Petersburg Shuffle Board Club (so much fun, another new thing that will be recurring), and a local Yoga Hike (Y) sponsored by LL Bean.

I’m actually up to over 60 New &/or Fun Things so far this year.   Some letters will be challenging – Q for sure, but H, I, J, K, U, and V also feel like letters that might be difficult.  They have been difficult to identify on other A to Z lists I’ve done like my Jolts of Joy.  

Whatever way I track (101 or A to Z), I’m enjoying trying new things and continuing to do the fun ones.

What new thing have you done recently?  Anything with Q, H, I, J, K, U or V?

Picture Credit: Me; Spring Flowers continue with blooming peonies.

40 thoughts on “New Things – Tracking

  1. I’ve been blogging for over a decade and didn’t even know this A to Z thing was big. I enjoyed your list and all the comments. Perhaps as I move forward in this retirement gig i will do an A to Z. Now off to look up your Jolts of Joy post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! You’ll have seen I’ve used the A to Z for listing a couple of times on my postings. I think it’s a fun, creative way to capture things. I love lists and word play!


  2. I just love you A-Z new and/or fun things idea. I was surprised to see axe throwing on your list, because I just tried it for the first time as well. I never did quite get the hang of it, but I had fun and didn’t injure anyone! Thanks for linking up with our spring bucket lists.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Pat! I’ve never done the A-Z List of New Things myself but I can see where it would be fun. And I enjoyed hearing how your list was coming but I also enjoyed reading everyone else’s suggestions. I do think that trying new things and stretching our boundaries is important at any age, so I congratulate you on your fearlessness! I look forward to reading about how you end up filling in those letters. ~Kathy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, I’m not sure how much is fearless. Most of these things are not really far out of my comfort zone. I saw a Ted-talk on doing 100 things you fear, and just could not see myself doing that. I fear danger and pain too much and do not trust my physical capability to keep me out of those things. But, I still enjoy trying new things at the edge of my comfort zone. So that’s where I’ll stay most of the time.


  4. Axe throwing? That gets you points for any letter you choose! You have done so many things, I am inspired. We do new things when we travel, but not so much at home. We really have to get out more. This spring and summer it will be easier to get out and try some things since we won’t be moving or hopefully not contending with any floods! Our area has much to offer, but we haven’t always taken advantage of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michele, I’ve come to realize that this is an element I love in retirement – Trying new things! It is easier when we are in a new place, but I’m now trying to do the same at home. Hence, the local food tour…. which was fun. And the Axe Throwing – it’s becoming a thing here in Cincinnati and we got a Groupon for it. It was hard to find another couple to do it with us…most folks were “nope”. But we had so much fun (and yes, I hit a bullseye a couple of times!).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, Pat – Congratulations on completing so many fun, new things. I would love to read an A – Z List of your adventures. Recently, the majority of my activities have been focussed on our upcoming trekking trip on the Via Francigena in Italy. Following your prompt, Here are some things that I have been doing:
    • Italian Lessons
    • Hiking
    • Vacation Planning
    • Knapsack reduction
    • UV Ray avoidance
    and enjoying the Quiet of the Journey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, I laughed at the UV Ray Avoidance. When I’m in Florida, I slather full body sunscreen before I leave the house and always wear a hat. So, it’s not a new thing to me. I wonder if I should do an A to Z of retirement adventures to date…. that would be a fun 5-year anniversary blog, wouldn’t it? Thanks for the idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Here again, as with my full retirement plan, I don’t keep a running list of new things that I’ve tried and keep track of them. I do have a Someday/Maybe list in accordance with GTD (Getting Things Done methodology) so that I don’t lose appealing ideas.

    Like you, we are foodies to the max. One year for Christmas, my experiential gift to my wife was to take her to 10 new restaurants. We continue the trend now, but less formally. I also made creme brûlée this weekend for the first time ever (pretty good). I roast my own coffee and have tried coffees from every coffee-growing region of the world. I regularly try new beans because you never know what you might find. In the past year, I have identified two new favorites: Bali Kintimani and India Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold. Btw, ‘extra bold’ has nothing to do with flavor. It is about the size of the beans. My next big food endeavor is to take a sausage-making class at Avril Bleh’s this summer.

    I am also a wine aficionado and I keep track of all of the grape varietals I have tried. I just added three new grapes to the list in the last couple of months. My rule is that the wine has to be minimum 90% of the varietal of interest in order to count. So far, I am up to about 140 varietals, but that is just scratching the surface of all known varietals. This will truly be a lifelong pursuit that I will never complete.

    I have also done a lot of non-food-related new things as well, mostly revolving around my woodworking and DIY interests. The next thing I want to teach myself there is welding, but that requires a decent investment in equipment and may have to wait for a while.

    So, thinking back, I have tried a lot of new things. I probably just need to track them a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, I’ve heard the sausage making class at Avril Bleh’s is a really good class! When are you taking it…maybe I should join you?

      What I found fun with the tracking of new things (which I only started last year) was the Aha’s it gave me as I looked back on the list. Like your Aha – I have tried a lot of things. And another was remembering the fun many of those things were – or the feeling of accomplishment. All of those were good feelings! It’s why I’m in year 2 of tracking – last year my goal was 52, which I blew away (new restaurants totally helped!) So it’s 101 this year. The A to Z was just a fun way to look at it… and get some new ideas from folks.


      1. The sausage making class is not scheduled yet, but we are looking at Sunday, June 23rd as a possibility. All of them are on Sundays, probably because the store is closed. I have two friends who will be joining me already, so we could make it a foursome. I’ll keep you posted.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ll offer some ideas for the hard letters. I haven’t tried them all. I’m well versed in quiet times, harvesting vegetables. I did make peach jam last fall, the first time in decades. I’m on the hunt for a kayak; I haven’t decided between sit-in vs sit-on. There are often u-turns in life as with my ageing mother.
    Q – for quiet time. I would often say to my granddaughters – you don’t have to have a sleep but we all have to have a quiet time
    H – harvest (process vegetables from your own garden or a market garden), honey (collect honey from a bee hive), holiday (decorating, baking, cooking), professional hockey game
    I – ice fishing, ice climbing, ice art, ice castles, ice hotel, ice skating, icing (as in decorating with frosting), icecapades (dance on ice)
    J – jam/jelly making, jogging, JUMP venues (all about trampolines), joke a day
    K – kayak, kite flying, karaoke, kaleidoscope
    U – umbrella, u-turn, union, universal, university
    V – definitely vacation, voyage, vagaries, vegetables
    X – X days (days when nothing is scheduled)
    Z – zzzz (as in napping/sleeping), zoos, zinnias, zero

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mona, wonderful ideas! As I said below, the challenge is how many things I have already done/tried, many since retirement. There are a few here however that are very intriguing… making my own Jam. My mom often made blueberry jam when I was a kid… that would be fun to try myself. And jumping on a trampoline…friends have one in their backyard for their kids…. I’m thinking next visit, I going for it! Thanks for the ideas!


  8. Axe throwing? Wow! That’s something I’d never think to try. I wonder who did it for the first time and said, “This is fun!” Haha! Great list, Pat. You’ve been tearing up retirement. My new thing is creating a simple list of three non-negotiable items that I will do every day: pray, meditate, add to my gratitude list. If I do nothing else all day, I can rely on these three things to carry me through the day knowing I’ve done enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Molly, Axe Throwing is becoming a “thing”. We got it as a Groupon. And it was super fun.

      I like your non-negotiable things. I recently saw a sign that said “Accomplish just one thing today” and often that is my morning journaling. For me, it’s a form of active meditation, although I keep trying to do the breath kind, too. Maybe someday that will become a non-negotiable for me, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the morning journaling is part of my meditation, too, Pat, though I’m finding a lot of value in the ‘breath kind.’ I think wanting to do it ‘right’ holds people back from starting meditation. And part of the perception of doing it right is having the ability to shut off your mind. The truth is you can’t shut off your mind. But observing without judgement what happens in your mind is the real benefit.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to get agreement for my X. Tough letter on any A to Z list! Although we’ve done a few food tours on trips other places, I was surprised how much fun it was even in our own town.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Good for you Pat, lots of new things! Since you asked, I recently took a workshop in Indigo Dying which would meet the “I” criterion. This was really, really fun. Not only did we learn about design techniques but we used “live” natural dye. I’m not a fiber artist, so this was a real adventure for me and I ended up with 5 pieces to use as gifts or use for myself (scarves, dish towels, a shirt, etc.). Kind of reminded me of tie-dye when I was younger, except the outcome what blue/not blue!!!


    1. Tracey, that sounds like so much fun! I’ve recently booked 2 crafts events for this summer – one on hand-lettering and one on silk screening. I’m going to keep an eye out for others…. I enjoy dabbling in these things. Not expecting to become an “artist”, but it’s fun to play.


  10. Sounds like you’re making a great start, Pat. Your list reminds me that we never visited the Dali museum when we went to St. Petersburg a few years ago. But we’re headed there in October, so I’m going to make sure we see it. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, we went on their “cheap night” – I think it’s Thursday for Dali. (every museum in St Pete has a night) For $10, you go in at 5 and the museum is open till 8, which is plenty of time to see things, even with the crowds. Get the headphones… totally worth it. If we are there in October (not sure of fall plans yet); maybe we can meet up!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea, however I had 2 quilts made by someone last year with a bunch of Tim’s older t-shirts (and he loves them). I’m not sure I’m up to creating a quilt myself.


      1. I had a LOL comment… I would never call myself a “crafty type”! I took a silk-screening class yesterday though – I do like exploring crafty things. It makes me appreciate the art so much more.


  11. This is so funny… a couple of years ago, I actually thought that I might participate in the A – Z challenge (fortunately, that crazy notion passed), and I created a list of things to do in retirement. Your post prompted me to find that list.

    Q= Question (as in don’t just accept conventional wisdom about aging and retirement)

    H= Hike, hobbies

    I= Innovate

    J= Jitterbug, Jive (dance)

    K= Kayak

    U= Ukulele

    V= Volunteer

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Janis, Great idea for me to check out my Personal Possibilities and Jots of Joy lists for ideas – those are my things to do list. Unfortunately, I’m trying for NEW things… so the only 2 of your list that fit are Jitterbug/Jive or Ukulele. It’s getting harder to finds thing I have not done already! So maybe my dance theme will need to be continued to get a J.


    1. While V might be easy, vacation is not new. Maybe a new place to go, but then I’d put in on the letter of the place. And no new places planned this year…. we are heading back to our cottage in Florida for some good weather for water-sports. Not new, but oh, so fun!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s