Today, after 25 years of living in Philadelphia and saying I want to visit Gettysburg, I’m finally going. Strangely, the historic battlefield has become the destination trip to mark my 30th wedding anniversary. (Hopefully, this is not symbolic of any historic battles with my husband; only of our shared interest in the civil war.)
I’m not sure how I could not have taken this short two and a half hour journey to Gettysburg before, but I’m so excited I’m finally making time for this little adventure. Which brings me to the question: What are we waiting for?
What is on your mental list of things you want to do? What new and interesting things are you doing that make you feel fresh and passionate about your life?
Sometimes we get so stuck in our daily routines, work and to-do lists that we start to feel stale. We forget that even the smallest changes can feel like pushing the refresh button on our day.
Try going a different way to work. Have something different for lunch. Get off the treadmill and walk outside. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, take piano lessons or learn how to knit. Spring is a great time to feel like you can start something new. Sign up for that class.
This is also the perfect time to change up your exercise routine. Try biking, or hiking or a yoga class. Push yourself to shake things up. Get out of your comfort zone. Honestly, that’s when the most interesting things happen.
Even a slight attitude adjustment can change up your day. It might sound silly, but I’ve done a no-whining day, a no-cursing day, and a “give out hugs” day. I’m always surprised by what happens. And don’t keep it to yourself. Tell your family and friends, “I’m going to smile all day.” Yes, fake it. Studies show it might just make you feel happier.
Our brains love something new. Do you know how to do a Sudoku puzzle?
I just had a friend show me how to play Angry Birds on my iPad. Waste of time? No. (Well, maybe if you play it all day.) It was fun and made me laugh. It cost nothing but a small investment of time.
Maybe you can’t control your situation at work or home, and you’re not sure how to change that. Maybe you have big changes you want to make, but you can’t figure out how to get there. Doing small new things each day can be like opening a window, letting in fresh air into your life. Taking small risks can help give you the confidence to take on those bigger challenges.
So, I’m going to Gettysburg, and just the anticipation of walking on hallowed ground, feeling the presence of history and doing something I’ve always wanted to do has me smiling. Dare I hope for romance, too? Absolutely.
2011 PA Conference for Women speaker Lu Ann Cahn is a veteran journalist and eight-time Emmy award-winner. In her current role at WCAU she focuses on special assignments, exclusive features and high-profile stories of the day. Her book, “I Dare Me,” based on her blog OneYearofFirsts.com, is due out in hardback from Perigee Publishing November 2013.