This week I did three new things. In doing so, I realized how few new things I do in an average week/month/year, and how unique and terrifying the experience of forging into fresh territory can be. It’s not like I walked on fire or traveled to Kazakhstan or gave birth to an alien or anything like that, so let’s not give this week more credit than it’s due. But still, I’m just sayin’, it was cool being outside my comfort zone. And by “cool” I mean intestine-twisting, knee-jiggling, silly-giggling stressful/terrific.
The first new thing was a visit Tuesday afternoon to my favorite local radio station, WRSI, to record a few of the essays from “My Nephew is a Poodle” for their moms' blogs "momcast" podcast. Yeah, I know, how cool is that? I brought the kids – perfect homeschool field trip! – and Sierra even got to record a couple lines for her part in my parable “The Tale of the Dung Beetle.” Jaz Tupelo led us gracefully through the process, and she is as nice as she sounds on the radio. I’ll let you know when those podcasts come out.
I took advantage of another generous invitation on Tuesday evening. John Elder Robison, author of “Look Me in the Eye,” shared the lecture podium with me at a grad school class at Elms College, where they offer advanced studies in Autism and Spectrum Disorders and Communication Sciences and Disorders. It was a blast! First, I got to listen to John answer some questions posed by the students. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak, you should take it. John is very funny as well as being informative and insightful. When my turn came, naturally I had to take advantage of the opportunity to spread the word about my book, “Baj and the Word Launcher,” and the use of therapeutic fiction. I also couldn’t resist advocating the benefits of homeschooling for kids with Aspergers. Personally, I think John and I made a great team. Not that he needs any help from me spicing up his act – he is incredibly well-received by his adoring fans. But we had a good yin-yang thing going. Hopefully, I came off as funny, informative and insightful as he. I was pleased to receive glowing feedback from the department head. More potential for new experiences may be popping up on this horizon!
Lastly and not leastly, on Wednesday I rehearsed a new improv form with a person I don’t usually work with. That was by far the most surprisingly nerve-wracking experience of my Week of Three New Things. How unique it was to feel tentative, intimidated and unsure about improvising! I can’t say that I enjoyed those feelings (though I did greatly enjoy the rehearsal,) but I know they were good for me. Growth and change are uncomfortable, it turns out. Really, this kind of comedy “new” is exactly and precisely what I have been hoping for. And I am grateful for the opportunity.
As the Week of Three New Things draws to a close, I want to make sure to send out a thank you to the Universe for these novel opportunities. Turns out that a bubbly belly and racing heart can be signs of evolution and progress. The Week of Three New Things reminded me of what it feels like to be truly alive and present. It will probably come as no surprise to you that I like it.