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Variety

Have you experienced a time when nothing is really going wrong in your life but you find you’re feeling down and depressed? One possible reason could be you’re sick and tired of doing the same things over and over again, day in and day out. Maybe you don’t have any goal you’re working towards. It could be you don’t have anything to look forward to, or perhaps you’re just bored.

Having variety in one’s daily activities is proven to promote happiness.

I love doing things I’ve never done before: rock climbing, going to the Hari Krishna temple for the Singing Bowl concert, people watching at the mall with my dad, eating ice cream in the middle of a soccer field with friends. These are some of the things I’ve enjoyed. It’s fun to shake things up a bit!

When eating out, ask the server what their three favorite menu items are and then choose one of the entrees they’ve suggested. Trying something different can be an adventure!

Go on a road trip to a place you’ve never been before. Shop at the local stores, attend a few events, strike up a conversation with some new and interesting people.

You might be ready to take up a new hobby – playing the guitar, making jewelry, flower arranging, digital scrapbooking etc. Keep your mind sharp by learning something you’ve never tried before. If you really want to switch things up in your life, sign up for a community education class like computer basics, therapeutic dance, sewing or psychology. People tend to be the happiest when they’re learning and growing.

Every year my family gathers from far and wide for a family reunion. Our activities could have a variety of settings - in the mountains, by the ocean, at a park, in a gymnasium or in one of our homes.

Here are some of the activities we do:

- Frisbee, baseball, basketball

- talent shows

- sitting around a large table sharing stories and memories of growing up

- barbeques for the boys

- tea parties for the girls, (we’re all dressed up with fancy with hats, scarves, broaches and gloves - lots of fun!)

- a family dance party

- camping with singing and stories around the campfire

One of the most requested activities is a basketball game. All the boys are very good and extremely competitive. They take their basketball seriously. One year I begged them to let the girls join in instead of just sitting around the sidelines cheering and talking as usual. It took a minute to convince them that this was a good idea but they finally, reluctantly let a few of us play. Not many females took advantage of this rare opportunity; only me and a couple of my teenage nieces. The estrogen drastically changed the dynamics of the game. None of us knew the rules, so we were fouling and traveling all over the place.

Each girl had their own little quirks and idiosyncrasies. The girls put lots of dance moves into their plays and were way more vocal than the boys. My brother noticed that my right leg flipped up in the air and I made a high pitched squealing sound each time I went to shoot a basket. Everyone thought this was hysterical. They all teased me ruthlessly, making fun of my atrocious form. If someone tried to steal the ball away from me, I would scream. It was the funnest thing I ever remember doing at a family reunion!

We made some awesome memories that day. I am so grateful that instead of just going along with what we’d always done, I put myself out there and asked if the girls could play too.

Be spontaneous. Break out of your comfort zone. Move forward whenever an interesting opportunity presents itself! Variety truly is the spice of life!

 
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