31 Days of New
A month ago today I vowed to try something new every day in January. Despite my complete disbelief in New Year’s resolutions, I created a list of must-tries (from sea urchin to spinning) and set out to check them off, one by one.

Now here I am, the day before my set end date – plenty of “new” under my belt – feeling, well, completely unprepared to let go of this little adventure I’ve just begun. But before I bring on the sap – behold, a look at my final week:

I turned off my phone for a day – and detoxed from Facebook, too. Going Facebook-free was easy, but phone-free? For lack of a better word, it was strangely lonely. (A sign to try a phone detox more often, I think.)

I gave blood. And failed. So, to clarify, I attempted to give blood. Halfway through the donation, I got lightheaded and the technician (a Josh Hartnett clone with a fondness for Twilight one-liners) told me I would need to stop. The blood I had given wasn’t enough to be deemed useful. It was a (disappointing) testament to the fact that – as valiant as our efforts are – we all have limits.

I vowed to eat clean. In other words: only simple, whole ingredients that grandma can recognize. As part of this, I tried satsuma, a kind of citrus fruit (thanks, Whole Foods), and learned how to seed a pomegranate.

I wrote my name in Elvish. Yes, a stretch, but amazing what you can learn on the Internet these days. (Try it, then go ahead: indulge in Second Breakfast.)

I did Paint Nite, which is, basically, a wine-fueled group painting class. My lack of artistic ability has never been so apparent, so I’ve taken the liberty to instead show off my friend’s skills, above.

I ate dinner at a restaurant alone. Okay, okay, I holed up at my favorite little Chinatown enclave and got my Bibimbap fix, book in hand. A far cry from going solo with white tablecloths, but… baby steps.

Now, where to from here? Not back to my pre-January rut, that’s for sure. The simple act of choosing the new (no matter how small) over the comfortable has been seriously invigorating. I’ve learned to push myself out of my comfort zone, to make every day count.

So I’ve gone ahead and made another vow: I vow to shake up my year. And I urge you to try it, too. Nay, not 365 Days of New (which I can imagine would be quite fund-depleting), but one new experience a week until the ball drops and 2014 is upon us.

Skydiving? Bring it.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

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January 30, 2013