Try a New Thing

I have been going to thrift stores since I was in my 20’s. Having someone say to me that they just found a really great thrift store is reason for a mini-celebration. I was surprised to read in Jon Katz’s blog this morning that he loved, Liddy’s Closet, a thrift store right here in the tiny town of Cambridge. I have passed by that shop for a year (since it opened) and have never gone in….never gave it a try. Why?

I can find all sorts of reasons but the truth is, that I can get stuck in a groove (or rut!) regarding all kinds of things; food, stores, routines…I have noticed this tendency since I’ve gotten older….have written about it here too. The tendency for life to get smaller if we don’t stay aware. My mother was a nurse, and a long time ago, she said to me, “I hope that I don’t turn into one of those old people who talks about their bowels all of the time.” I remember being sort of disgusted and thinking, “What?! Why would that even be a topic of conversation?!” Now, I sort of know. I don’t talk about it, but I think about it more…yikes!

It seems the smaller life gets, the more significant little aches and pains, bodily functions, (and malfunctions), grow in importance. Something needs to be my focus. If it is not on what I want; expanded life, happiness, peace, giving, leaps of faith, new opportunities…. it will be on what I don’t want; smaller life, decay, suspicion, worry, attempts to keep life “safe”.

Trying something new adds the element of positive anticipation to life. …why not try something new today?…(I know what mine is going to be!…thanks Jon). What about you? …..and as always, please share it with all of us here!

23 thoughts on “Try a New Thing”

  1. Wow!
    Mary, you have no idea how much I needed to hear this message before I headed off to work today.
    Thank you

  2. Again, Mary, the synchronicity of this blog is amazing! My very best friend and I met yesterday for lunch. Haven’t seen her since October, as she spends the winter in FL. She is exaclty 10 years older than I and we were discussing this very thing… we’re trying NOT to become irrelevant as the decades fly by. We both agreed that we are now doing and saying things that we vowed we would NEVER do or say as WE aged.

    She said that, looking back on the time that has passed, she realized that each year she became a little less motivated to do things….everything became too much trouble….and (the biggy), there wasn’t much left that she hadn’t experienced, so it was all kind of dull.

    Another friend of mine, who is this friend’s age, has had the same overview. They’re both shocked at their own attitudes, but both say it just seemed to happen.

    So I’m waiting and I’m watching ME to see if I find myself going down that path as I move toward the age they are now. If so, I’ll accept it for what it may be, a natural stage of ageing ,but I will also attempt to remind myself, once in awhile, to get out there and rock my own world, if only for a day.

  3. As ever, your blog is a great way to start the day: wisdom and a laugh. Thank you.

    I would add one bit to your mom’s wish, that I hope to not be one of the seasoned citizens who talks about bodily functions/lack thereof IN RESTAURANTS, at a level of noise that shares the conversation with all of the surrounding tables! My sympathies, but ….sheesh!

  4. I agree with Suzanne’s comment that the synchronicity of your blog is truly amazing. I was just talking to a friend the other day about the importance of making a conscious effort to get out of our grooves and patterns on a regular basis. This spring I tried kayaking for the first time, thanks to a friend’s suggestion and discovered a wonderful new activity. This week another friend and I tried a new art house move theatre downtown. We saw a great l documentary about building a high school for kids in Kenya while sitting in the front row of our intimate theatre (maybe 50 seats) – and with our feet UP on the ottomans provided! Wow, what luxury! Then we ventured over to the new Austin (TX) City Hall – a fabulous building that was truly designed to be open to the public. An art exhibit was on display that took us to all three levels of the building, back into the office areas (even next to the majory’s office), and out on the 3rd floor deck overlooking Town Lake – what a great experience! AND one I would’ve missed if I hadn’t suggested trying out this new theatre. Yes, it’s so, so important that we continue to dare to do new things – no matter our age.

  5. Thanks, Mary. And I love Sue R.’s new-found movie theatre experience! I love trying new things! Today I am venturing to NYC, alone (which I have done before) to meet my daugther. In NYC there are endless opportunties to do something new! Have a great time with your new experience today!

  6. Thanks entirely to you Mary I’ve just been to my first Zumba class. I loved the exercises and everyone was very friendly, although I was probably the oldest one there. I love thrift shops too (here in the UK we call them charity shops). Why pay £30 for something you can get for £3 and help a worthwhile charity at the same time. Thank you for all your insprirational, positive and enlightening thoughts.

  7. I too have passed Liddy’s closet and not gone in. I did see Jon Katz’s blog about it too. So I guess I am being sent in that direction.

    My husband (who is 13 years older than I am) had a quote in our home in Fla. that said something like “many people congeal at a certain age and never go further in life…others never congeal and are always growing” – it was a goal of his and became one of mine….which I am sure is why we retired from the hot, stale state of Fla. to the mini-mecca of creativity called Cambridge, New York.

    I went looking in my bedroom through my husband’s things to see if I could find the exact quote about “congealing”. Instead I found his silver wedding ring which he no longer wears…outgrew it…but our son asked us to look for it as he might want to use it for his Wedding on July 3. My husband had looked all over and not found it! It was black, as silver gets from disuse. I polished it back to its original shine: RENEWAL – isn’t that what Thrift Shops are all about?

  8. Three years ago I had back surgery which gave me my life back! I sit at a computer all day, so a year ago I started working with a trainer. She has pushed me beyond what I eve thought I could do. This spring we traveled to Colorado to see my son and his girl friend. We went to Arches National Park. Cody and Kelcey are very active! They took us on a hike that I now call my Biggest Loser Challenge. This was the first time I’ve ever followed cairns that marked the trail to climb rocks and yes, a big hill of sand! I asked my son if he ever thought he’d hike with his mom on this kind of trail. He said, “No, but i’m sure glad I am.” and 3.5 miles later when we finished, the high five he gave me was the best gift he could give me! Priceless . . .

  9. My thanks you as well, Mary. Last night I filled out an application to work in our local hospital’s auxiliary thrift shop. It’s a wonderful, cheerful place because of all the great volunteers.
    This afternoon I am going out to mow my lawm with my new, rechargeable, battery-operated lawnmower. I am so green (in two senses of the word) but will have a new experience.

  10. It’s always wonderful to read these contributions and see what words of wisdom our dear Mary has to offer! Thank you! I am most likely one of the eldest of these lovely spirits (being 68) and I find that I do not have the time for daring adventures as I must stay close to home to care for Mom BUT I am finding that the challenge of caring for us is giving me lots of confidence. I have painted the house, re-wired the outside lights, pulled up carpeting (after a bathroom flood) and put down new flooring . . . the list goes on! And Sue D. I just mowed my lawn with my rechargeable, battery operated lawnmower and it was almost fun! I am learning to be independent and have discovered I can fix almost anything. LIfe is a challenge and I have no time to sit around and think about it!! And . . . I love thrift stores too!

  11. HA! Today must have been “Mary’s Mighty Mature Women Buy Battery Op Lawn Equipment”!! Just got home from Sears with my new weed whacker; lightweight and wonderful and green, too.
    But seriously, Mary, I’m beginning to think our computers are two-way mirrors into what messages we need to hear at precisely the optimum moment. Sue’s mention of synchronicity nails it best—it’s spooky in a good kind of way!

  12. I suppose my “new” thing will be riding a dressage mule this year.

    Sue D. we have a Neutron battery operated push mower.

    Thrift stores are great. I enjoy Goodwill stores a great deal for all the bargains I can find on practically new clothing. I’ve just heard about the Habitat Resale Store. I’ll have to see about that one.

  13. As much as I agree with the concept of trying new things, there does come a time when, to quote an old adage, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” I say to all the energetic posters above: That’s all very well if you’re healthy; but when physical limitations prevent you from doing what you want or need to do, it takes all your energy to keep on keeping on. When you’re 78 years old, are the caregiver for an 86-year-old husband, have just been through a hysterectomy and currently are dealing with a broken hand, a simpler life is welcome. To me, getting older gracefully has meant abandoning grandiose dreams and being content with what you have.

    1. Jean, you are SO right about the limitations that living long can bring us. It certainly sounds like you’ve got enough physically limiting things on your plate right now and acceptance with grace is about all you can muster. But doing something new can be as simple as making a new friend—hello, I’m Cheryl and it’s nice to make your acquaintance. I’m hoping you get all the support and healing you need to ease your burden.

  14. Jean, I understand how demanding caring for a loved one can be, I took care of my husband when he had cancer and then before I could take a breath had to care for my mother, who is now 86. There are days when a cool iced tea sitting in my back yard reading a good book would be a welcome new adventure for me. Take care dear lady, I hope you have some help in caring for your husband and yourself as well. Bless you!

  15. Thank you, Cheryl and JoAnne, for your concern. My church family have been–and continue to be–wonderfully supportive. I apologize for the lapse into self-pity.

    1. Hello dear Jean, – it is the end of my day here in the west in Arizona, and usually I read Mary’s blog in the morning – today it is now late at night – if there is any place to feel safe to share with ones who will be with you, carry your burden with you, and love you, Jean, it’s all of us here on Mary’s White Feather Farm. You mentioned that getting older gracefully has meant abandoning grandiose dreams and being content with what you have. Well, you are an inspiration to us all, my goodness ,you are inspriing us all with a broken hand, reminding us to be grateful for our blessings, and we send them out to you in abundance, Jean. Much love from me in Arizona, Susan

    2. My dear Jean, I don’t see this as a “lapse into self-pity.” After hearing your story, I consider it a momentary need to lay your burden down and take a deep breath among those who can relate and can send love and support.

      Your road right now is uphill, and you SO deserve to take the time to tend to your emotional self.

      Sending you blessings and peace.

  16. At 54, next week, I love nothing more than finding new places to explore, trying to acquire a new skill or finding a new author to read. These things cause me to deviate from my mundane daily life and expend a little energy or time to check them out. Sometimes they become regular parts of my knowledge base and sometimes they don’t quite work out and I let them fall by the wayside.

    Just this year, I learned to become a Master Composter, learned to knit and learned how to cast resin jewelry. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds for me.


  17. Sorry for the delay in responding, I was spending the weekend enjoying my 3-yr old grandson … ouch!! My resisting body is something new! I’ve tried some new things this year, too – volunteering as a mentor for high-school girls (never had a girl of my own!) and as a reader recording textbooks for the blind and dyslexic. But the most unusual experience – and one of the most rewarding, by far, is joining this blog, reading the posts and comments and actually sometimes responding. Not my normal thing, at all … but I miss the mornings when you don’t post Mary. How nice it is to have my morning cup of coffee at White Feather Farm.

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