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sardines and saurkraut

We’ve been slogging through winter for so long here in Minnesota that I’m starting to wonder if we will ever see sun again or if there really is green grass under all that snow and ice.

I’ve reached the point where my anger about and distaste for winter has started transforming into an intense restlessness — the kind that senior editor Anjula Razdan detailed in her 2006 article “Everyday Adventures.”

“When you hear yourself talk about being ‘restless,’ or ‘stuck,’ or you find yourself frustrated by little irritations, you’re probably in need of an adventure,” New York–based writer and workshop leader Judy Wolf told Razdan back in 2006. “If you hear yourself saying something like, ‘I wish I could do that, but …’ then you are definitely overdue.”

Beyond restlessness, other signs that you may need a simple adventure include boredom, apathy, big sighs, and constant frowning.

Sigh. I fit this description perfectly. It was time to get out!

So last weekend — desperate to move despite the below-zero temps — my boyfriend and I decided to walk the skyways of downtown Minneapolis.

We parked in a ramp, and began exploring. It had been years since I’d been in the skyways, and it felt like a mini-adventure.

Sure, most businesses were closed because it was Sunday. Sure, we got lost a few times. But it felt nice to be in a “new” place, when really we were just experiencing the city from a new perspective.

“Everyday adventures are essential because they enrich our lives and help us route our attention away from life’s hassles,” Razdan wrote. “They help us see things with a fresh perspective, and, perhaps best of all, they open the door for us to reenergize our lives with more fun and creativity.”

Our Sunday outing got me thinking about other “new” things I’d tried recently — like my first ever visit to an organic hair salon. I walked with away with a great cut, and I felt so good about the toxin-free products they used on my hair.  (For more on the importance of using toxin-free personal-care products, check out “Beauty Beware” and “Beauty Makeover.”)

That’s not an adventure, you might be thinking. But according to Wolf, it is:

Even painting your toenails bright pink or wearing a neon-color tie to work qualifies as an everyday adventure, says Wolf, as long as it falls outside your comfort zone. After all, adventure is, above all else, a state of mind, an openness to doing something unfamiliar that has the potential to expand your spirit or your perspective. —”Everyday Adventures

See how easy this everyday adventure thing can be?!

Need another example? After listening to a session on gut health and fermented foods during the The Future of Nutrition Conference a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to incorporate more gut-friendly foods into my diet. So when my coworker and friend, Maggie Fazeli Fard, offered to share some of her sauerkraut and sardines during lunch recently, I gave them a try — and actually liked them. I was floored!

All three of my novel — but simple — experiences illustrate how trying something new can bring unexpected happiness and joy. As David Silberkeit, author of  A New Adventure Every Day: 541 Simple Ways to Live With Pizzazz (Sourcebooks, 2002), told Razdan: “Engaging in simple, daily adventures allows us to form supportive bonds and hopeful attitudes that help us through life’s rough patches. It can open us to new possibilities and also help us feel more at ease in a world that sometimes feels rife with uncertainties and instabilities far beyond our control.”

So cheers to you, winter. Here’s to trying new things throughout 2014, exploring new possibilities, feeling more at ease, building resilience, and broadening my perspective to all the beautiful, unique things happening around me each day — even if they’re a bit covered in snow.

Thoughts to share?

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