5 Good Things // Be Better this December

The last moments of this year are going to escape you unless you do something about it.

Quick.

One of my favorite conversations to have surrounds the phenomenon of time seeming to go by so much more quickly when we're older. Why does this happen? 

Well, when we're young, the passing of one year takes up such a large percentage of our short lives. Think about it: when you're 5 years old, one year is 20% of your lifetime. When you're 25, 1 year is just less than half of 1% of your lifetime. The frame of reference is hugely skewed. And, the things that happen in one year are so much more monumental because there are so few other points of comparison.

More so than the span of time, the thoughts & experiences we have when we're younger are more likely to be new/novel, exciting or challenging where as when we're older, we're more succetable to routine. When we become comfortable in our routines, our brain tends to take shortcuts. Have you ever driven on auto-pilot, pulling into your garage thinking, 'how did I even get here?' As our brains develop, you could expect that our minds are more active when we're learning or experiencing something new, meaning we're more in the moment and more likely to remember the experience, which helps us pack more new memories in to our heads. Imagine memories are Tetris blocks. Every new memory is different, and they stack on top of one another, layering and building- essentially taking up more space.  

 But if you have the same expeireinces over and over, those are more like little individual 1x1 Tetris squares... imagine the bottom row filling up from left to right, square by square and then poof - that whole row evaporates. Tell me what you did 4 Tuesdays ago. I'm sure 4 Tuesdays ago was disgustingly similar to 7 Thursdays ago. (Ugh, this is the grossest part of growing up.) We're less likely to be experiencing as many new things when we get older, because, "you've seen it all." 

PS: Thank you, Reddit, for having all the answers.

Anyways- back on track. There are just a handful of days left in this year. We have to actively choose to reject the monotony of adulthood. Rebel! I don't want to waste my youth and my brain. And I don't want to waste the rest of 2014! To not waste it in a shopping mall or in traffic. I wanna make it memorable & I wanna make it matter. Here's what I'm doing to make this month rock:

I'm practicing a skill for 10 minutes a day // In just a few weeks I'm going to skip across the Atlantic and run around the land of baguettes and berets. And I know zero French. So I'm using DuoLingo- the poor man's Rosetta Stone. It's an app that has an online component for practicing- meaning I can play with it in my car, on my lunch break, before bed, whenever, no excuses. I have had to redo the basics course like 8 times. So far I've nailed: "Je suis Ahm-buh." And that's about all I know. 

Bang around on a piano, attempt crow pose, order some Blue Apron meals. Do something new.

I'm planning vacations for 2015 NOW // Start a travel board on Pinterest. Figure out where you're going & when. Research how to travel on the cheap. Define what you want to do, what you need to see. Don't have the money? See this post about setting up automatic savings. Don't have the time? Europeans take 4-6 weeks of vacation a year. And some take naps every day! Figure it out! Be smarter than your current circumstances. I'll watch your dog for you. Stop making excuses & start making plans.

Paris in January... a few mini excursions in spring... big plans for the fall. Big plans, my friends.

I'm simplify something // I am obsessed with my morning coffee. But now that it's cold in the AM, skittering around the kitchen in my chonies washing out my & waiting for my french press to brew is becoming a chore instead of a ritual. So now I'm doing pour over. With this and this. Because it's faster, easier to clean & tastes just as good. 

My mascara routine consists of 3 different bottles & 5-6 layers. I fucking hate it. But I'm too vain to change it. I need Latisse &/or eyelash extensions, stat. There is only so much I can do here, people. My point is: pick something easy.

I'm creating instead of consuming // There is so much NOISE in the world. Reality TV, unsolicited opinions, sensationalized "news," tweets, twats, teenagers-- it's all awful. I'm getting bombarded with so much shinfo (shit info) every day that I feel suffocated. I'm trying to stop taking it in as much so I can make room in my brain for creation instead of consumption. I'm putting my phone away more. I'm skipping small talk. My TV is off. 

If you are going to consume, make sure it's quality. Yes, yes, quality is subjective... but I think we can all agree that an episode of The Newsroom rots your brain 42% less than an episode of TMZ. And a cup of tea will hurt less than a bottle of whiskey.

Learn something // I really think my brain is experiencing atrophy. I rely too much on IMDB & Google for memory recall & I think I'm letting too many neurons in my head disconnect. We have to counteract the cell death by learning new shit, people! Don't be lazy- give your brain a workout. Here are some of the most interesting topics I've come across recently:

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe & Practicing Minimalism on UnFancy

Decision Fatigue on Elite Daily & with Tim Ferriss in Podcast form

The Zen Habits Gift Guide is very appropriate for the season

See a theme here? They say that mastery of a subject comes when you can teach it. So take what you've learned & share it with someone else. What are you learning? Tell me!

Every year I'm alive, things get better and better. Things get more fun. I can do more things. I grow, I change & I challenge myself more. I laugh harder, love harder, fall harder, trust more & am more certain it's okay to put my authentic self out to The Universe as much as I can. (See Exhibit A: this blog.) Share with me & make this last month of the year one for the books.

xoA