A healthy community is made of individuals who are better together than apart, and I want to thank you for your feedback and encouragement over the past week. I’m so glad that the challenge is fun for you and helping you to stretch outside of your comfort zones!
I’ve definitely benefited from this challenge too, and part of that is just knowing that you’re there doing this with me. The accountability and camaraderie is nice to have especially in difficult weeks.
A special shout out and thank you to my blogging partners on this challenge: Suz from McVagabonds, Lara Krupicka, and Randi from Life’s Simple Adventures. Their bios are on the challenge page (it’s not too late to join, by the way!), but you should check out their blogs as well. They’re all doing amazing things and are wonderful people to know!
The second week (days 8-14) seemed to go by really quickly! I think some of the activities were a bit more challenging than last week, at least with the schedule I had, so they didn’t all get done on time but I managed to do all eventually (except for the introduction to a neighbor one – I tried, but they weren’t home, so I still need to do that).
Tues Nov 8: Compliment someone you don’t know
Being completely honest with myself means that I have to admit I wiggled out of this one a bit. I’m still feeling off from last week and it just seems like a lot to go out of the house to randomly find a person to compliment. That’s the downside of working from home, I guess: I can go days without seeing someone I don’t know.
Since I’m in the habit of giving compliments to perfect strangers on normal days, I feel like this is less of an issue that I don’t do it today in person (Yes, I know it’s to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones, so I acknowledge I’m not really going “all in” on this one).
I decide to compliment someone I don’t know via Facebook. I search for “friends of my friends” to get a list of profiles and go down the list to find someone interesting. I come across someone who looks so friendly and cheerful, and I message them to tell them so, also acknowledging that I’m sure it’s weird, and making sure they know I don’t want anything from them except that they have a good day.
I feel less comfortable about this activity, almost the same as the time when I sent letters to strangers, a little bit like this-is-too-odd-and-not-in-a-good-way. It’s not just because I told myself to do it for some goal – I felt better about the 100 thank you notes in 100 days even though it’s for my list, but maybe it feels more genuine when you know a little bit more about the person. I’m very aware that commenting on someone’s apparent friendliness is quite similar to commenting on their appearance and it’s weird to get that from someone you don’t know, so I’m nervously hoping that my (genuine) compliment is taken as a nice gesture vs creepy.
Day 9: Record something ordinary in a way you normally don’t
I’m postponing this one until tomorrow because I ran out of time (where did today go?!). But I did get a reply from the person I messaged yesterday and she was really happy about it, so I feel relieved.
(Day 9 catch up on Day 10): I don’t usually take photos because I like just being in a place or moment and I feel like stopping to take a photo separates me from it. But today we’re doing something different so I take a photo of the keyboard and mouse, which I see every day and never think about.
It makes me a little sad to think that this is one of the constants in my life, like a symbol that work has become such a big thing and some days it doesn’t feel like I have anything to show for it. At the same time, it also made me feel grateful because I have technology and access that some people still don’t have. Also, I’m working from home (or wherever) and have a lot of freedom, and I’m grateful for that too. I realize that I’ve already forgotten my gratitude list from Day 1 of the challenge, and I’m amazed at how stepping back can actually help me be more present and make me focus on the little ordinary things.
Day 10: Write your favorite quote on sticky note, leave it for someone to find
I choose my current favorite quote (by CS Lewis: “You are never too old to make another goal or dream a new dream”) and write it on a sticky note to put on a table at my Bible study group. When we break into small discussion groups, I notice it’s gone and think, Someone must have liked it and kept it! That’s exciting! 🙂
My discussion group leader starts the group by saying, “I want to read this quote someone left on the table because we were just talking about CS Lewis” – and she reads the quote on the note!
I’m secretly thrilled (I don’t want to say anything and it give away that I put it there, somehow it’s more fulfilling when people don’t know where the notes come from). This is the second time that accomplishing this goal has made people happy (story of the first to come soon – I forgot I haven’t shared that yet).
Day 11: Introduce yourself to a neighbor you don’t know
The neighbor I chose wasn’t at home. I think it might be because of the three day weekend. 😦 I’ll try again later.
Day 12: Go on a scavenger hunt
I was really looking forward to this, because I love scavenger hunts! (I’ve even done a scavenger hunt for two of my birthday celebrations in college.) This time, though, I decide to do something a bit different and try gamification of something that I don’t like doing – cleaning. Here’s what’s on my list:
- Something I haven’t used in >1 year
- Something to throw away/recycle
- Something to give away
- Something to fix/repair
- Something I need to buy to make things more organized ___
- Something I have two of but only need one
- Something to put in the right spot (because it’s currently in the wrong spot)
- Something I like that I need to move to where I can see it/where it’s better displayed
- Something that needs to be cleaned
- Something to use up (for example, almost empty bottle of lotion)
Then, I set a timer for 1 hour, put on music, and try to get as many as possible. When the hour is up, I found all but 1 (the “two of” item). It wasn’t as much fun as a normal scavenger hunt but definitely more fun (and more efficient) than regular cleaning. I’ll probably do this again.
Day 13: Contact your favorite celebrity and ask what’s on their bucket list
My current favorite celebrity is Lucy Liu (who plays Joan Watson in the TV series Elementary), because she seems so nice and funny in interviews. I also like her because when I was younger and saw her on TV and movies, I remember thinking that she looked like someone I could know in real life. I’m biracial and don’t look like either side of my family (or really, anyone I know), and that makes it hard to feel like I belong. Seeing Lucy Liu on TV or in a magazine made me feel a little more like I belonged in this world. I also like that she’s not just a token. In Elementary, probably partly because of the writers and partly because of her portrayal, they don’t ignore that her character is Asian and a woman, but they don’t make a big deal about it either. It’s like she has a confidence in herself and her heritage that allows her to just be a person. It’s definitely something that I want for myself too.
I write her a card (explaining why I like her and asking: What’s on your bucket list? and What’s the best advice you ever received?). I’m sending a self-addressed envelope with postage and a piece of notepaper so she can write back if she has time. It would be amazing if she replied but I’m not really expecting it.
Day 14: Take a selfie with a stranger
I was planning on doing this at a coffee shop where I sometimes work, but then plans changed and I didn’t go to the coffee shop (or anywhere), so this is another that will wait until tomorrow.
(Day 14 catch up on Day 15): I go to the bank and take a selfie with one of the tellers there – When she asks if she can help me with anything else, I tell her I have a funny question: Can I take a selfie with her? She’s super surprised, and even the guy next to her turns to look but then quickly turns away, trying to mind his own business. I explain: “I’m doing a challenge for my blog and I want to take a selfie with a stranger. Is that okay?” Suddenly I’m super nervous and giggly. It seems so silly. When she says yes (and seems to be amused rather than weirded out), I quickly take it (OK not so quickly, takes forever for my camera app to load for some reason) and then thank her a bunch and wish her a good day. That place really hires/trains their staff well – they’re all super friendly. That was definitely a fun one!
As I mentioned, I have bloggers partnering with me on this challenge – please take a moment to read their stories as well!
Suz shares her experience from Days 6-12 (she’s doing recaps by calendar weeks)
Randi shares her experience from Days 8-14 (she’s doing recaps every 7 days)
And if you missed it, the first week’s recaps are linked to here.
Are you participating? What’s been your experience?