New Years Day is kind of my favourite day of the year. I don't tell many people this (because I realize it makes me a 60 year old) but I do everything I can not to go out on New Years Eve, because I want to be in bed early so I can get up at 5am on New Years Day, bright eyed and bushy tailed, to greet the new year. A fresh slate, a new start. I swear the air even smells better early in the morning on New Years Day. And it probably helps that I live in a place where we're enjoying beautiful, warm, sunshine weather most New Years mornings.
Anyway, this year, I divided my life into different categories and wrote a bunch of things I'd like to do/change/accomplish in each one. I know. Categories. I'm pretty much the nerdiest New Years Resolutioner out there. But they were pretty great categories: Spiritual, Education, Family, Career, Physical, Intellectual, Social and Other.
The Other category (which yes, makes me even more nerdy then someone who simply has 'categories') essentially came down to one thing: I had realized that I was becoming just a little frumpy in my attitude to life, and that it would do me good to have some fun and make the effort to go out and make some memories. A few years ago I went on an overseas holiday, and ended up having some really fun experiences (parasailing, fourwheeling, sailing & snorkeling in Mexico) and I realized when I got home again, just how good it had been for me emotionally to let my hair down and have some fun.
I hadn't realized the value in that before. But I've now come to believe that it's really great to occasionally get out there and try things you haven't done before; to experience something different. It seems to me that giving yourself a little jolt from your every day life can work as a kind of reset button - pulling you out of any little ruts you might be stuck in and giving you fresh energy to get going with things again.
Of course, you can't just go parasailing in Mexico whenever you're feeling like a reboot (besides, if you did it too often it would stop being a jolt from your everyday life and become boring... hah! So it's kind of lucky I can't afford to fly to Mexico every four months!). And besides, there are all kinds of things you can do to change things up a little that don't cost a fortune.
Last year when a friend visited from overseas we went to Morton Island for the day. I'd never been before and I had no idea just how close and easy it is to get there, but it's only a 45 minute ferry ride from Brisbane. So close and yet by the time we left at the end of the day, I felt like I'd been on a 2 week holiday. I absolutely loved it. And I don't even really like beaches! Again, it broke things up a bit and I was refreshed and more productive when I went back to my 'life' again.
So under the 'other' category this year, I wrote 'visit Morton Island four times'.
(Now, in the spirit of full disclosure I should probably admit that I haven't actually been at all yet this year *gasp* and since it's September, I probably won't get there four times, but I'm hoping to go at least once with a bunch of my family who I've promised to take with me next time :))
But to turn now to one of my actual 'Others Category Success Stories': Another thing I put in the 'Other' Category, was to attend a bunch of different live sporting events this year. My 'Le Tour De Sports' as I've affectionately come to call it (in my head. I've never actually said it out loud because it could sound just a little nerdy).
I love cultural events, and I get out to a fair share of concerts, plays, musicals, etc. But I've never done live sporting events here in Australia, and as an actual Aussie, I figured I should have some of these experiences at least once.
So far, I've been to a Rugby League Game with Dad, Jonny, Jessima and Jessima's Dad Derrick. We saw the Broncos play the Cowboys at the beginning of the season, and I loved it. Such a great atmosphere!
Unfortunately, we lost. I was a little sad as we stood up, but then as we walked out of stadium I started to talk to Dad and the others about something else, and one look at their faces taught me an essential lesson about Rugby: When your team looses you have to be upset for at least an hour afterwards. And you should probably talk about everything that went wrong...
Next I went to see a soccer game at Suncorp Stadium: Australia playing Japan in a World Cup qualifier match.
Loved, loved, loved it. We won (yay!), and the Japanese fans were at least as entertaining as the game on the field. They cheered all. night. long. They even had massive drums in the stadium (don't ask me how they carried them through security) and the drums accompanied their chants all. game. long. I woke up in the middle of the night chanting 'Nippooooon, Nipponnnnnn, Nippon, Nippon, Nippon! But we won. So take that Japan :)
And then recently, I went to see my first AFL game with my brothers Robbie (huge AFL fan), James, and Jonny, Jonny's mate from America, and my Dad. And it was a fantastic night out. Again, the atmosphere. But it was the game itself too. Great to watch. Plus the Suns (who we went for) were the underdogs and against all odds they won against Carlton - which was huge. Carlton's coach has since been sacked, which should give you an idea of just how huge an upset it was. Such drama! (perfect!)
And I must say - in AFL, the referees are even more entertaining then the players. Those guys are hard core when it comes to waving their flags around. So if you ever somehow got bored with the football, you could just watch the strange side game the referees seemed to be playing. Awesome!
Before the end of the year, I'm also planning on seeing at least a 20/20 Cricket match, and a Tennis Match at the Brisbane Open. Because so far, my little tour has been going extremely well :)
SO. While nothing (nothing) can beat working on the spiritual stuff in your life if you want to be happy. I have found that spending some time in the 'Other' Category is also hugely beneficial when it comes to coping with life. It's therapeutic to let your year hair down and have a responsibility free laugh every now and again.
Besides, as any computer lover (or hater) knows, if your computer is getting just a little sluggish, there's nothing like a reboot to get it firing from all processors again!