| I was listening to an interview with Laura McKowen, and she mentioned that early in her sobriety journey a woman told her “I have a happy little life“. Laura recounts that she was furious – she didn’t want to settle for a happy little life. In the book, Build the Life You Want, Arthur Brooks reminds us that happiness is not the goal and unhappiness is not the enemy. What does this mean for those of us who have ditched booze and notice that life might feel a bit dull or ‘little’?
I think it leads us to novelty – the quality of something new or unusual. I was reminded recently that ‘time flies’ when we are doing the same thing over and over again. But, once we throw in a bit of novelty, things stand out, giving us a point of focus that helps time slow down. When my three children were growing up, we vacationed at the same river for 18 summers, only missing two or three. When we reminisce about the Smith River and camping with the cousins, it’s hard to remember what happened which year. Yet our family trip to Boston is etched in our memories – it was the only time we visited the glass museum. The only time we watched the Red Sox win at Fenway Park and the only time we walked the Freedom Trail.
A couple of weeks ago, my daughter asked me if I wanted to go line dancing. The last time I line danced was probably at a wedding and once I did some kind of dance to ‘Achy Breaky Heart’, but there’s a reason I was asked if I was interested in taking lessons . We laughed, stomped and stepped on a few toes with 70+ strangers. It was a blast and definitely a memorable night.
So, the next time life starts to feel boring, or you start to question if life is really all that fun without alcohol, I invite you to try something new or unusual. A little novelty might be just what you need!