Always choose on novelty

21 Mar

I have a rule for myself, whenever I have multiple options for how to spend my time: always choose on novelty.

That basically means that if I have a couple of choices for something fun to do, I’ll pick the one that I’ve never done before. I started doing this because I read an article in Psychology Today (awesome magazine, check it out) about how time goes faster as we get older because we have fewer new experiences.

When you’re a little kid, you do something new just about every day. That’s part of the reason it seems to take aaaaages for your birthday to come back around – your brain processes so much new stuff in a year. Then, as you get older, it seems like Christmas is coming every six months – that’s partially due to the fact that most of our experiences aren’t making new neural connections.

One thing I try to do, and this is way cheesy, is “live the life you want to remember.” I try to be involved in a wide variety of things, always be willing to try new things, and live the kind of life so that I have a lifetime’s worth of stories to bore people with when I’m old.

Sometimes choosing on novelty can be scary. I know I’m guaranteed to have a good time if I hang out at my house with my best friends playing games on the weekend. Spending time with someone new or going somewhere different can be scary, and the potential for disaster is far higher. But even if it goes badly, that’s a memory I want to have. So I always, always choose on novelty.

Along those same lines, I decided not to hang around here and have a belated 21st birthday party this weekend. That’ll have to be next week, because as of Friday I am Rhode Island bound!


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