“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Breaking New Ground

I’ve been using the local library a lot to do my work because I’ve found that I am undistracted and can stay focused there, which allows me to be very effective with my time. Yesterday, I checked out a library in another town for the first time. I had intended to do this for a while, but when I look back on it, “fear of the unknown” is what had stopped me in the past. You may be thinking, fear of what? Really, I’m not sure. Fear that I wouldn’t like the library. Fear that they didn’t have internet access for me to do my work. Fear that it would take work to maneuver through the stacks of books. Fear that it would be a waste of time. Maybe it was a combination of all these things–that are really ridiculous excuses. Well, when I got there, I loved the atmosphere. I didn’t know exactly where things were, so I simply asked. I found comfortable workstations with a beautiful view of the outdoors and with great internet access. They even had a nice beverage station where I could purchase a cup of coffee/tea. So I happily sat down and worked for three hours. And of course, I thought to myself, “I wish I had come here sooner!” And the best part is that I haven’t even explored the entire library or looked through the stacks of books. I’m sure I’ll be making some new discoveries the next few times I’m there for a visit.

What’s my point? Do you ever get so caught up in your routine that it becomes boring, dull, lackluster, not-so-much fun anymore? We see and do the same things and go to the same places day in and day out and before long, we put a veil over our eyes and we miss or ignore the intricate details of what is going on around us, simply because it’s become so familiar. We bias our perspective because of what we think “is” and in some ways get lazy with our vision. We think we know what to expect so we don’t bother to pay close attention. But there’s something exhilarating and exciting about venturing into the unknown and discovering the new and the different. Time and again, I find that these types of experiences wake me up, give me a jolt of energy and make my brain cells happy. And it doesn’t have to be anything earth-shattering for this to happen. Driving down an unfamiliar road and discovering something interesting or trying a new café or listening to a new artist’s music or checking out a new library are all things that work. And the more we get into the habit of shaking it up a bit in little ways, the more likely we’ll be inclined to try the big, bold things, like travel to a new country or jump out of a plane. : ) No, I don’t have that in my immediate plans, but I won’t say that I will never do it. In the meantime, though, I am going to make it a habit of breaking new ground…

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