25 February 2015

Everything Different.


the sea, brighton,
One perspective. 
It can be a lonely business being a writer.  I like to take the lap top into town sometimes, purchase a coffee whilst perusing the passers-by and be away from the distraction of domestic drudgery.  It’s much more fun than being at home and the very best way to get things done.

There’s never any shortage of something interesting to see in or near Brighton.  There will be people with green, purple or pink hair.  There will be an array of bright and breezy coloured weird clothing combinations and business persons - suited and booted - will mingle with the sandal-wearing vegans dressed in hemp.  Plus, of course, depending on the venue of the day, there’s always the possibility of working with a sea view.

It struck me recently though, that I sit in the same places, in the same cafes, ordering the same things in them and, lovely as they all are, it felt like time to shake it up a bit.

sea, brighton,
A different perspective.
My first few forays were unnerving.  There wasn’t always WiFi for a start.  Or anywhere to plug anything in when my battery was getting too low.  At least when you’re familiar with a place and they’re familiar with you, these things are a given. (I always ask permission before using anyone else’s power and you can’t always find someone somewhere new!).

Then there’s the parking issue. I HATE paying over the odds for that when the cash could go towards something nice for lunch instead, so that threw me a bit too and it was quite hard to continue my ‘Everything different’ drive. 

Plus, the kids didn’t like it when it came to the week-ends. We’ve been going to alternative parts of the beach – or *gasp* not going at all.  Even just walking in the opposite direction has rattled them and they haven't appreciated my daring little detours when we're driving.  We’re playing more board games, watching less movies (if you don’t count the shedload while the little one was ill in half-term) and generally just jazzing things up.  It seems they needed it equally as as much!

But then, then, oh then, after a few months of this, I found myself back in an old haunt and, for a moment, considered sitting somewhere really out of character and ordering a liquorice tea, in order to, you know, keep the whole new change thing going.  However, I treated myself, instead, to what would have been my usual fayre.  The pleasure took me by surprise - it felt like I’d come home.

For a start, it alleviated any lurking loneliness.  The familiarity of my coffee was a complete comfort and joy.  And I realised why we pick our places and we stick with them until we’re perhaps, too stuck - it’s because we've chosen them over and above the rest for a reason.  They suit us.  We love them.    
We've enjoyed ‘Everything different’ - it certainly has its place.  Getting out of a rut has been good for us all, but it has also brought extra pleasure to what I was already doing and where we were already going.  The children have become more (graciously!) adaptable and the exploring and venturing further afield will continue, spoiled as we are with a wealth of opportunity where we live - between the foot of the Sussex Downs and the coast.  Now that the kids are older, it's time for us all to spread our wings a little further.

Just don’t let me dye my hair.

Have you tried anything new lately?

sea, brighton,
A change of viewpoint. 

35 comments:

  1. You never know if the something old is the better option until you're faced with a new option to try it out against. Well done for trying something new in order to be able to do this. Great post as always x

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  2. Thank you Tania. Thought you might mention those Jellied Eels you tried in a similar drive!

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  3. Change makes things interesting. I think it's good to shake things up a little bit now and again plus, I agree, it's a great example for the kids. On a similar note, last year I made a pledge to always accept invitations if we were free (rather than evaluate whether I wanted to go to something and then possibly make a polite excuse if I didn't feel like it). It meant I accepted quite a few invites to things I wouldn't normally do or socialised with people who I knew less well thereby cementing some more casual friendships - which was good ( apart from one rather hideous dinner party experience but hey ho!). That said, slipping into our comfort zone, whether it's socialising with people we're closest to or even going to our favourite coffee shop does always feel rather like going home - and I don't think anything quite beats that for a feeling of relaxation and being at peace with oneself . x

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    1. Thank you so much MP. Good for you for trying new people - now that's brave! Would love to hear about that dinner party ;) I'm glad to get out and about and with the kids so young I've just stuck to what I can cope with on my own and it's been great, but now it will be better! Thank you for such a lovely comment X

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  4. So lovely to read this post and know that others feel the same. It's good to get away, to try new things, but nothing beats the rhythm of familiarity - I suppose as long as the routine is a pleasant one to begin with. Maybe it's an age thing? Does it come in phases? Children love routines and then they grow up and want to explore. At our age, there is such comfort in what we know and cherish - but we have always got to make sure we aren't resistant to new things - as Mummy Plum has said in her comment.

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    1. Thank you Trish. It's good to know I'm not alone as well! I'd never thought about the age thing, but definitely discernment comes with that so it's probably a factor. There's comfort in a rut yet I'm glad we feel the need to leave it and return to it more out of choice than habit. Thank you for your input :)

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  5. Well you know how I feel about my lovely little spot in Coco's. I am pretty conservative by nature so I tend to hone in on the places I like and know well. But what am I doing that's a little bit different right now? I am completely overhauling my lifestyle. Lots of yoga. Began running again this week. Also just started an candida detox which I know is behind a number of my health problems. My health is my number one priority at the moment..... also looking into a general over haul on my diet too. I am getting back to a lifestyle I used to enjoy before Little A came along. So far, so good. X

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    1. That all sounds wonderful and yes I do know about your lovely little spot in Coco's. The familiar is important with so much change around with little ones and all their demands! You're moving on in many other ways - brilliant! Thank you xx

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  6. I really awful for staying at home and not wanting to do anything! It really doesn't bother me if I don't leave the house for a few days - does that make me sound very odd? However - drum roll please - I'm taking a Barre class on Sunday with some people I don't normally socialize with. I have no idea what to expect, but since I danced a lot when I was younger, I'm quite looking forward to it. Now I just have to find my ballet shoes...

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    1. Oh there's no need to feel awful. I can imagine life is much simpler when you don't want to go out. I go stir crazy with the kids and students and feel the need to fly away sometimes! Perhaps this is a phase for, perhaps not, but you're not odd! You're you and fabulous! Fantastic news about the new class - best of luck with it and thank you for commenting and sharing!

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  7. Ooh I like this post a lot. I think it's very important finding the balance between doing familiar stuff that makes you feel comfortable and safe, and trying new things just to try how it feels. New stuff feels so illicit sometimes! Even if it's something as simple as going for a walk on the beach and having a coffee after school drop off rather than coming straight home to the housework and writing. I'm like Older Mum, I'm trying to overhaul my health a bit this year, doing pilates and jogging, cutting out a lot of carbs and sugar, and drinking so much water I feel like I'm going to float away. Starting a new habit like that is the hardest thing, once you're into it and it becomes the new normal, it's not so tough after all. xx

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    1. Thank you Ruth - glad you enjoyed it. Thought I was going out on a limb a bit tbh! You're so right about some things becoming the new normal and you can't bear a water habit :)

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  8. A change is as good as a rest they say, but then they also say there's no place like home - they (whoever they are) are right on both fronts - the comforts of the familiar are even more welcoming after being away!

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    1. 'They' say quite a lot don't 'they?' And they're normally right - so glad you understand :)

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  9. You're right. Habitual stuff is comforting and brings us peace. In busy lives, not having to think about where to go for a coffee removes one extra decision that has to be made that day. However, getting stuck in a rut because the habit has become too ingrained, starts to weigh heavily, and it's the time to do something different so you can better appreciate the familiar.

    You live in a beautiful part of the world. It's good to make the most of it. :)

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    1. Thanks Sarah - that's a useful way to look at it - one less decision is a welcome relief! A rut can suddenly feel like a trap and you're right - it's time to explore our beautiful part of the world more - like you do yours :)

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  10. I so need to get out of my rut! I'm starting yoga and doing a bit of a health overhaul too. Hopefully that will be the start of something amazing!

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    1. I loved this post Anya, and I so agree with you. I may even try going out to a café to write, it certainly can't hurt.

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    2. One day Polly you'll just spring out of that rut and surprise yourself! No doubt this health overhall is the start, as you say! X

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    3. Thanks Catherine - it's great not to be distraced by all the jobs at home that need doing - all the up and down to deal with laundry / cleaning / cooking etc means you don't really relax. Aside from anything else it saves on heating costs! Good luck - do let me know how you get on. I promise it doesn't hurt! :)

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  11. Couldn't agree more that writing is a lonely profession. I'm always looking to try and shake things up and make life that little bit more interesting. Great post as always Anya, well done for spreading your wings a little and daring to explore.

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    1. Thank you Izzie and it's a kind of bittersweet thing - I love being alone and can't work with anyone else around but it has limited appeal in the long run! X

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  12. Wow, lovely photos. And good for you too, that's great! I always try to push myself into trying something new, going somewhere different (which comes as part of the package when you live abroad I suppose) but I always find it gives my confidence a boost when I manage something without getting lost/injured along the way! :D

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  13. I've never thought about venturing out to write, I usually sit at home and then get distracted by the washing, the children or watching the TV. I love the idea of going somewhere new to see if it inspires new thoughts and writings

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  14. Ohh I love this Anya. I often go out to write and I can see why you are choosing new places to do it, I must try it sometimes but yes the comfort of the familiar is really good too. See you Tues. Mich xx

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  15. oh I would love the choice and freedom of Brighton. I know it well as the husband is from Worthing, that place along from 'Hove Actually' I love everything about Brighton, the Lanes, the pier, the marina.

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  16. What a great post Anya, and I really love the idea of going out to write, I must try and do that.

    Good for you for trying new things as well. xxx

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  17. Ah I love this Anya - we really don't appreciate the everyday things until we have a bit of a change x

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  18. oh thank goodness it is not just me! We can take things very much for granted can't we when see them everyday. Its only when we try that new something that we really appreciate the "old" Love this post

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  19. Ooh - I love that the changes made the familiar even more enjoyable again! Wonderful post. I guess getting out of your comfort zone make that zone even MORE comfy when you return! x

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  20. Isn't that why we go on holiday? So we can enjoy something different, and appreciate home a little more when we get back? Lovely post

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  21. I commented on this the day you published it but I wasn't signed in and it doesn't then retain it whilst you do, although I am sure blogger/Google used to. I think I said something along the lines of, it is great to try new places but also great to keep with the comfort of familiarity. I know I oscilate between the two. LOVE the photos xx

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  22. Only just catching up, so a bit late to the party, but I found this a really interesting thought. My life has been nothing but chaotic and completely changeable over the past couple of years and yet the one thing it has taught me is that I yearn for familiarity and comfort even more the longer it goes on! I'm excited by the prospect of returning to my hometown, a place that until a few years back I had no desire to return to (I did spend my first 18 years there, living in the same house, after all!) Suddenly I appreciate it with fresh eyes. This is perhaps over a longer time period than you mention but everything works in cycles of differing lengths, doesn't it?

    Fab post, it really got me thinking. I love the fact it made you look at things differently (and how the kids were thrown for a loop... I think perhaps it is because so much is "in flux" when you're growing up you cling to those things even more, but it's still good to shake things up once in a while!)

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