There’s so much satisfaction when a big project is going well. That’s how I feel about this 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge. So far, I’ve loved the experience. It’s been a crazy week for me but one of the bright spots of each day has been the daily challenge activities. I’m having fun doing the activities, I’m being challenged, I’m doing some things I wouldn’t normally do, and other people who are participating seem to be having good experiences too!
The challenge went live on Nov 1, and is meant to help us stretch out of our comfort zones and appreciate that adventures don’t have to be giant to be special. We’re doing something a little adventurous every day for 31 days! (The challenge is now on-demand: 31 Days of Everyday Adventure email challenge.)
Here’s how Days 1-7 went for me. I’m also including some links to the partners’ posts about their experiences so far. If you’ve been participating and want to share how it’s going for you, feel free to add to the comments on this post. 🙂
Tues Nov 1: Write a gratitude list
Today some of the things I’m grateful for are (in no particular order)…
- my family
- the internet and my computer that connects me to collaborators and clients (and makes blogging possible)
- the opportunities I’ve had to go to school and the fact that I can read and write
- the feeling of my still-fuzzy new sweatshirt and the hot tea I’m drinking
- the ability to work on my own schedule
- crunchy leaves, colder weather, the feeling of fall, and the anticipation of everything fun in fall and winter
- the opportunity and ability to create something out of nothing (31 Days challenge, blog, writing in general, arts, etc)
Writing this list makes me realize that despite having a rough few months and feeling like I’m not where I want to be in many areas of my life, I have plenty to be thankful for and that (in a meta sort of way) is also something to be thankful for.
Weds Nov 2: Give flowers to a stranger
Went to the store not really feeling like doing this activity. The first time I did it there was such a good reaction that I’m almost afraid to do it again. I know it’s not going to be the same experience. I buy a few friendly looking purple carnations and go back to the car to take off the price sticker. To prevent procrastination, I decide I’m going to give it to the next person I see.
That’s when I see a guy get out of his car in the parking lot row in front of me, and I hesitate – it seems awkward to give flowers to a guy, because fewer guys have expressed interest in my random activities than girls have, but he’s taking a long time removing leaves from his car and I remember I’d promised myself I’d take this chance (he’s the next person I saw), and the challenge is definitely a good excuse to get out of my comfort zone.
I nervously go over to him. “Hey, excuse me… This is going to sound weird but I want to give you these flowers, just because… um… I hope you have a good day!” He smiled, and said, “Uh, okay” but the whole thing was awkward and I feel like my delivery could have been a little better (and less rushed) so he didn’t feel as awkward about it, which would have been nicer for him. But it was good practice doing things out of my comfort zone, and makes me feel a little happier and more confident than I did prior to doing it. It’s a good reminder to be more focused on doing something nice for someone else instead of wallowing in self-pity.
Random fact: I find out later that purple carnations symbolize impulsiveness, spontaneity, and unpredictability – how fitting!
Thurs Nov 3: Write a bucket list
Since I obviously already have a bucket list, I added three new ones to the list:
- Learn to do the splits
- Stay in an ice hotel
- Complete a photo project
They’re all things I’ve been thinking about adding but wasn’t sure if I wanted them enough to make them an official part of the list, but now they’re official! It’s fun to take a little time to dream about the list and possibilities, and it made me feel happier.
Fri Nov 4: Ask friends for feedback on something you do well
I did this as part of an assessment a few years ago, when I was considering what types of jobs I was going to apply for. I’d asked about strengths, weaknesses, and jobs people thought I’d excel at, and it felt natural and necessary. Today, however, it feels extra vulnerable to ask this question because lately I’ve been feeling very unsure and like I have no direction or skills. Instead of asking the large number of people I asked a few years ago, this time I only emailed two people, feeling really nervous about it the whole time. Their feedback was so encouraging to me to read and it reminds me that it’s okay to reach out for help and support when I need it.
Sat Nov 5: Be a tourist in my hometown
My friend P. and I went on the Seattle Architecture Foundation walking tour of the Harvard/Belmont historic district of Seattle. It was pouring rain but was so worth it. I’ll be including the details in a separate post, but in general it was interesting to learn about an area of Seattle I’d never been in before, and through the combined lenses of history, architecture, and culture.
We also included some food in our experience: hot drinks from Roy Street Coffee & Tea (a Starbucks-owned local cafe concept) to keep us warm on the tour, and when the tour ended, hot soup for lunch at The DeLuxe Bar and Grill, which has a lot of history in this neighborhood. The whole event definitely made me feel like I was a tourist in my own hometown!
Sun Nov 6: This week, read a book about a person doing something amazing
I looked through my list of unread books and saw that I still hadn’t read Old Before My Time: Hayley Okines’ Life with Progeria (cowritten by her and her mother). I’m looking forward to reading it. It’s been a while since I read something that wasn’t instructional for my business, and it’s going to be very inspirational to read about someone making the best of every situation.
Mon Nov 7: Wake up early and watch the sunrise
Last night, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one, even as a morning person, because I was tired, but this morning I woke up at 6:30, half and hour earlier than normal (because Google told me sunrise would be at 7:08am). Originally, I worried it wouldn’t be visible, just that it would get brighter without any color because of the heavy rain clouds, but I’m pleasantly surprised to see a little strip of pinkish color that lasted for about 30 minutes as the sky brightened and it was more evident that there was daylight between the clouds.
It’s nice to be able to take some time to not do anything but watch something slow and wonderful. It’s also been a while since I did this and it surprised me how fickle my attention is now. I actually enjoyed waking up a bit earlier to get started and do something calm in the morning, and now I’m considering doing this one more often!
These are the bloggers partnering with me on this challenge – please take a moment to read their stories as well!
Lara wrote about her Day 1 experience of writing a gratitude list (she’s highlighting one activity per week)
Suz shared her experience from Days 1-5 (she’s doing recaps by calendar weeks)
Randi shared her experience from Days 1-7 (she’s doing recaps every 7 days)
It’s not too late to join us!
The challenge is now on-demand: 31 Days of Everyday Adventure email challenge.
If you’re excited about these experiences and want to share in the fun, sign up! The challenge activities are released via email twice a week, and you’ll get a final email at the end with the full list of activities in case you missed any.