Favorite New Things 2020

For the past few years to keep my curiosity sparked, I’ve set a goal to try new things. I first started with 52 as my first yearly target (one per week) and easily hit that goal.   Yes, trying new restaurants was a big part of that number, but I still did lots of other new things as well.  Then, the past couple of years I upped the goal to 101 New and/or Fun things. With isolation happening, that goal might be challenging to achieve this year, but I’m just over half way to the goal (#60) at just over the half year point.  

Looking back on some of those new things, here are my favorites:

  • Waking up New Year’s Day to watch sunrise over the water in our new beach house.
  • Tim coining the term “outdoor-able” at a craft fair as I looked for new cute outdoor art for the new beach house.  I’m claiming it as new since I then used it repeatedly all spring.
  • A series of new snowbird activities, pre-Covid-19 – Shell Key visit, St Pete Art walk, biking to dinner (from new house), going to new movie theater, first dinner party in new house.
  • Using the jet tub – a new luxury item in new beach house!
  • Binge watching True-Blood.  An oldie I had never seen and so different than the books.  Also, first ever binge watch.
  • Having the beach house garage built, moving things into new house and new garage (and all 60+ to do list items that resulted), and selling the beach cottage. OK, these were not fun new things, but lots of work and a huge sense of accomplishment.
  • Mini-cooper adventure weekend. When you need to socially distance, drive around the countryside in a bright red mini-cooper convertible for the weekend! 

And here are some of the new things I’ve learned since we isolated ourselves:

  • On-line yoga (Yoga with Adriene) – I do yoga now 4-5 days every week!
  • Learning to Zoom, and then teaching my Mom how to do it.   Also taught Mom, virtually, how to use YouTube. Am using Zoom for my foodie club dinners (Take-out-Thursday!) and doing Zumba again on Zoom.
  • Photo digitization – a project that’s been on to-do list for 5 years.
  • Pantry cooking and new recipes
  • Kindle – yes, I know. But I never did it… and still prefer real books.
  • On-Line classes – some good (Science of Happiness – link), and some not so good.  Am in a new series now, learning just for the sake of learning (also a new thing for me).
  • Not sure if it’s always a fun thing, but I have learned to use on-line media more, from on-line cultural events (definitely fun) to watching You-tube videos (too often about the news – not fun).

 

What new things have you done recently? Or what new things have you learned in your time of isolation?

31 thoughts on “Favorite New Things 2020

    1. AGMA, I think that qualifies as 50 new things unto itself. As we are approaching the same thing (timing still TBD), I cannot imagine how we are going to accomplish it… especially with my hoarder husband. I think my “TBD” is because I don’t want to face doing it!

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  1. What a fun list Pat! I’m impressed with your yoga :). I’ve learnt new skills with my family’s lockdown photoghraphy challenges and I’m starting a writing course next week which I’m nervous about but also excited! #mlstl

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    1. Debbie, you’ll have to let us know how the writing course is! I’m taking a lecture series right now oh philosophy. I thought it was going to be on psychology (under that department heading and bad class name), but am sticking with it now as it’s interesting. My course taking is “lecture-only” approach. I only do homework assignments if they sound interesting, don’t go to the chat room, never take the quizzes, and don’t take the final exam. I do take notes and synthesize them for myself…because that’s my learning style. I’ve found this “lecture only” approach is very freeing – no nerves at all!

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    1. Marty, it was just for the weekend. I actually owned a little red convertible for years…. years ago. A red Miata in my 30’s, right after they were introduced. These days, we actually prefer something with a roof so we can take our SUPs/kayaks places. Although, I keep looking at Jeeps in Florida… when we are there full time… maybe!

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  2. Hi Pat, I love the ideas of your list of new things to do. It helps keep you active and keeps you doing interesting and engaging things. I love the little red convertible. We rented a car once in Key West when we were young and poor. We had rented some cheap vehicle that would take us where we needed to go. When we got there, the only car they had was a red convertible- and we paid the original price for the cheap car. We enjoyed every minute of that car!
    Want have I done that is new? We are watching all the Stars Movies. I had seen a couple of them years ago, my husband had not seen any of them. I was cooking during the early days of Covid. I have mostly quit that- too many baked goods led to extra pounds! We are always doing something new to our house- hardwood floors come next week and I am in the process of choosing tile for the bathroom. There are always books to read. Enjoy your new things- and you WILL get to your goal!

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    1. Michele, I’m still cooking myself and meal planning. Not baking, so it’s actually not been putting on extra pounds (yeah!). I was chatting with friends on Zoom last night and 2 of them talked about how hard it is to find the actual materials for their home projects – apparently DIY home project work is huge right now. I had also heard that getting any type of exercise equipment is a challenge, too and another friend confirmed she had a hard time finding free-weights to buy. Oh, and thanks for the nudge…. I did get Disney+ and watched Hamilton!

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  3. Hi Pat, you are smart to set little challenges for yourself. I think it is what keeps us going, especially right now. Malcolm and I drove over to Sarasota for a short break last week. I have always wanted to see Pine Key and explore more of the barrier islands on your side of the state. I fell in love with Venice and Punta Gorda. Can’t wait to return there when life normalizes. I will have to add Shell Key to our list of places to explore on the West Coast.

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    1. Suzanne, I actually want to return to Shell Key as I loved it…. I’m an avid shell collector! Shell Key is only accessible by boat/kayak; there is a water shuttle from Pass-a-Grille. I went to Shell Key with a charter yoga group, but friends have told me to try a Kayak Tour over there. Of course, I’m also working on the friends with boats avenue! We have not done much state exploring yet, I will put Venice and Punta Gorda on our list.

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  4. Ohhhhh that little red mini! I want to have a drive in one now. And yes to learning more online stuff and appreciating all that it offers when we’re stuck at home so much. I’ve become quite proficient at Zoom and FB video chatting – and my Kindle has had a LOT more use while the library was closed and then when I found that free download site for books. The world has changed and I think we had to change with it or sit at home and fall into despair – not going to happen on my watch!
    #MLSTL

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    1. Leanne, isn’t it the cutest? We had so much fun driving it into the country for the weekend. We had won the “weekend experience” at a charity event last fall; won being a relative term (a donation was made). I picked the convertible, hubby choose the manual transmission, and red was a surprise when we got there to pick it up. I don’t think I’d ever buy one… there is hardly any backseat or trunk. But it was super fun for playing around a couple of days…. we went to a county park, took a ferry across the Ohio River, stopped at a farm stand, and even ate a picnic lunch. All very conscious of social distancing.

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  5. I certainly feel greater connections with everyone because we are all affected in some way by COVID and its horrible restrictions and possibilities. Australia was doing reasonably well until 2 weeks ago and one state, Victoria, has shot so high with cases, everyone is in tight lockdown. Where I am is less affected but we are all being cautious about visiting family and friends. Stay safe and well! Denyse #mlstl

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    1. Denyse, So sorry to hear about cases going up there. I had the impression Australia was really fighting this well. Over here, some states are better than others. It’s also interesting to see what one state thinks is “high” versus another. Having homes in 2 states means I follow news in both pretty closely. In Ohio, when we passed the 1,000 a day new cases, the governor started talking about mandatory masks everywhere. In Florida, the weekend they had over 10,000 new cases, they opened Disney World. Yeah. So what’s high in Victoria?

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  6. Enforced isolation gives the opportunity to learn new things. Looks like you’ve used your time well, one of my isolation projects was to digitise photos and paperwork. Being a genealogist I have a huge amount of genie paperwork, very happy to report that it’s all done

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    1. Jennifer, I did the photo digitization project myself in the first 2 months of isolation. I’m working now on a coffee-table book of some of our trips…. now that I have all digitized photos. I’m hoping it will look more “professional” than a standard photo album. A few of my friends have done them and I’ve always enjoyed looking at theirs.

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      1. Organizing and digitizing my pre-iPhone photos has been high on my post-retirement list of fun projects (versus the chores like cleaning out the basement). It occurs to me that the photo project would be good way to rouse myself from my pandemic-fatigue malaise, starting with researching options. Did you use a service or scan photos yourself?
        Liz

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      2. I used a service – LegacyBox. Look for a coupon, as it’s not cheap. If you go online and establish an account, you’ll start getting coupons. They go as high as 60% off (seen it twice in this past year). Or Groupon has had coupons as well recently. One thing – make sure you upgrade the delivery option if your Post Office is incompetent like mine. Or get the “cloud” delivery (beyond my skill level). Our local Post Office lost the return shipment … I had 48 hours of hell (believed everything lost!) until they found it. I’m happy with the outcome and planning to create a coffee table book with some of our now digitized travel photos (next pandemic project!)

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  7. Good for you, Pat, for setting goals and trying new things. Some new things I’ve done recently: new baking recipes, cycling to explore various parks, paddling to and within Toronto islands, reading new-to-me authors and their books. Have a great week!

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  8. I love the example you set, I will try doing it, but I may set my goal numbers low. Anything over 10 new things in any time period would be a success. Does blogging count as new? it has only been 7 months since I started, and maybe 5 1/2 months +/- since I discovered a blogging community through MLSTL and Senior Sal. Also mastering the art of recording and loading brief pieces on line and Sunday Services. It is only the last 3 weeks I have been able to get it done without a mini-crisis, so I was able to relax. I am doing NOOM, so newly considering healither eating and paying attention to what goes on my plate and into my mouth. I enjoy your posts and congratulations on the beach house and new garage! blessings, Michele

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    1. Michele, there are no rules, really. When I started, I was inspired by another blogger who did the 52 New Things (one a week) and she offered up things like: drive a new way somewhere, try a new recipe/food, read something from a new genre. I think it’s opened me up to experiencing life more mindfully. In the world of blogging, maybe it’s adding pictures to your blog (if you’ve never done that) or links (if you’ve never done that). With Noom, probably lots of new things! When we were eating out, I tried 32 new restaurants one year. Sounds like tons, but some were lunch dates with friends, some date nights with hubby, some couple dinners. I loved finding new places to go! One new thing I keep thinking of now is home delivery of groceries….quite the change!

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      1. Pat thank you for so many great ideas! I am a list person. I started a blog journal, where I am listing names and locations of bloggers I follow, posts I have shared on Esme’s Seni Sal and MLSTL, if nothing else to keep track of what I have sent where. That would be a good place to start a list like this. Blessings for the coming weekend! Michele

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      2. Michele, I keep my tracking list in my daily journal myself. I started once to keep track of bloggers I’ve “met”, but found over time that many bloggers fade away (I’ve been blogging 5 years now), so stopped that list. It was disheartening to see “lost friends”.

        Also, I’ve blogged about new things before, if you want inspiration for more ideas… here’s 2 links:

        https://retirementtransition.blog/2018/06/04/soar-activation-52-new-things/

        https://retirementtransition.blog/2019/05/06/new-things-tracking/

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  9. I’ve experimented with sourdough starter and homegrown sprouts. New experiences are often related to food!? I’m taking a few courses via Seniors’ Center Without Walls, the latest being Confront the Discomfort (managing anxiety) and relationships with adult children. There have been some outings to the local giant tourist attraction statuary within a 1-2 hr drive. Another friend and I have explored local cemeteries where there’s so much history and community to be found.

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    1. I had to laugh at your “related to food” comment. Yes, for me to! When my “things to do this summer” list began it was all about food… I intentionally had to add other stuff in. I’ve never heard of the Senior Center without Walls… will look into it. And thank also for the nudge for me to re-plan the cemetery walk we missed because of bad weather. I’m a fair weather walker! Have a great week.

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    1. Tom, with so much time at home, I started taking some on-line classes just for fun. I don’t take any quizzes or tests, and only do assignments/homework if it sounds like fun. Basically I listen to lectures on stuff… and my biggest challenge then is to get my movement in during the day. I’m taking a philosophy class now… mistook it for psychology (bad title) … but am finding it interesting!

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  10. Good for you, learning new things an’ all! I’ve been working from home (so has my husband, which has been a transition in itself…). So what I have learned (somewhat) is patience…and that I need to get out and walk (which I’ve been doing a lot of). Now that we have some nice weather, I’ve been gardening and tomorrow, we are going to our vacation property in BC for a week. I can tell you, it will be a welcome reprieve from being home 24/7.

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    1. I definitely need to be walking more. My challenge is I’m not a walk by myself kinda person … my walk & talks with friends was how I got my walking in. Just started again in last couple of weeks, so getting better!

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