With the end of 2017 (the crap year that it was), and the start of 2018, I made a commitment to open myself to trying new and different things over the next 365 days. The point was to take myself out of my comfort zone and expose myself to new experiences in my everyday life. January was full of firsts for me… it made me appreciate what I know and love, and opened my eyes to a whole world of new things to be discovered!
My first ‘first’ of the New Year was trying brandy. I’ve always admired those that drink a snifter of brandy. Right or wrong, I have this mental image of someone drinking brandy as being elegant and distinguished, and someone who knows what they want. It’s like a step up in adulthood to go from beer/wine to brandy… or so I thought. Needless to say, I did not enjoy drinking brandy. I did, however, enjoy the brandy when I added it to some wine and made boozy sangria! I’ll stick to the drinks I know and leave the elegance to someone else!
Next I went snowshoeing for the first time. What a blast! I thought it would be a bit like walking on water, which it’s not (well, not that I know for sure). You sink into the snow some, and it’s a lot of work, but so much easier than trying to walk in deep snow! It’s also a great way to get into nature when it’s snowy and cold outside! It was a great workout and I can’t wait to do it again!
My next first was dog-sledding. This is an item that has been on my bucket list for years. Before going, I did a lot of research about kennels and ensuring that the dogs are well cared for. I found a great company out of Huntsville, Ontario that loves their dogs, and came with a lot of positive reviews. Watching these beautiful K9s run with their big tongues flapping in the wind was amazing, and I feel so lucky to have had the experience that I did. The scenery was beautiful and the dogs stole the show! And here’s a piece of information that you probably don’t know (unless you’ve been dog-sledding before): dog-sledding is a whiffy sport to participate in if you are a passenger in the sled. Did you know that dogs can run and poop at the same time? If you’ve never witnessed this before, well, you’ve missed quite a spectacle!
And my biggest first was to quit smoking! This actually is a second for me, as I’ve quit once before, but for these purposes, we’ll call it a first! It’s now been 37 days since I’ve had a cigarette and the most important thing I can say is that I don’t miss it. Not in the slightest! I do not miss being tied down to standing in the cold for a cigarette. I do not miss smelling like an ashtray. I do not miss spending close to $15 per package of cigarettes. I do not miss knowing that with every cigarette I was shortening my life expectancy and increasing my risk of health issues. I AM FREE! It is not easy, and some days I crave badly for the nicotine, but I remind myself how far I’ve come and have so far decided that I’m not willing to take any steps backwards.
2018 has just begun. I hope to set up just as many ‘first’ opportunities for the remaining months of the year. It can be such a rewarding experience to open yourself to trying new things, and whether the experience ends up being positive or negative, to say that you tried something is better than having the regret that you didn’t.