small pleasures along the path
The original plan was to experience 65 new things in the year before my 66th birthday. And let me confess right now, I did not complete the original plan. Hell, I couldn't even come up with 65 new things to fill out the plan.
The plan initiated an "experience" list. I found that a list was a great starting point, one that motivated me to enter new areas of interest and activities. Some experiences challenged me, like walking the breadth of Spain along the Camino Francés de Santiago. Some forged community by hosting Second Sunday Suppers where strangers share stories over food and wine. Some brought insight into other cultures by observing or participating in their customs, beliefs, and arts. But all had a common thread I didn't fully appreciate, one of opportunity to deviate from my comfort zone and widen its influence.
But life is not a plan, it's an experience with unexpected detours all along a path. Three years have passed since the first planned event and I have now abandoned the structure of the project. The abandonment began towards the end of the Camino when, hobbled by tendinitis, I found pleasure in a slower pace; in small every day events, places and people that come to focus if you just look around rather than always forward to the horizon.
I now find the "list" to be organic, that it moves and mutates within your space and time. It has no need for a plan, it just needs a life to appreciate the small pleasures along the way.