(#112) Creating Experiences

Think of the coming weeks and months. What experiences (small or big) have you planned that will create wonderful memories for you and those you love? 

During the last week of December 2011, I conducted a 52-week review of my life. The process went like this:

  • I printed out the 52 weeks of my 2011 calendar.  All my personal appointments and my professional opportunities.  Everything was printed. I color-code my calendar appointments so that I can easily see categories and projects (like: writing, program development, program rehearsal, program delivery, campus activities, house projects, meetings with friends, dates with my wife, and so on).
  • I went to a local beach coffee shop, found a quiet corner, and started my 52-week review.
  • I made note of what activities took up most of my 52 weeks–and which ones did not get much attention.

It was eye-opening exercise.  While I knew that campus teaching, writing, and program delivery would take up a lot of time, I was shocked by what was NOT there.  Or at least, what was NOT there enough times.  I found that important things like lunch with friends was not as prevalent as I had thought.  And while my wife I spend quite a bit of time together, I felt like we could have done more special things.

The activity, in short, re-emphasized the importance of balance in life for me. My wife and I have always been on the same page about the importance of experiences over material possessions.  We will always remember our experiences (especially peak experiences) but the things in life will often (mostly?) lose their luster over time.  Consequently, we renewed a promise to make sure we had one special or stand-out experience each month.  It could be huge and distant (like a major trip) or small and local (like a concert at the beach).  It had to be something out of the ordinary for us; something we both could enjoy; something that would create a memory.

So far in 2012 we have been true to our promise.  Some months we have made time to create two unique

(Photo by Steve Piscitelli)

experiences.  From the outside looking in, these experiences might seem small. From our perspective they are significant.  For instance, take this weekend.  We went to Alachua, Florida and dedicated time working at the Retirement Home for Horses at the Mill Creek Farm.  What a wonderful facility for old, abused, and neglected horses. We spent Saturday morning grooming the horses and cleaning their hooves.

Video recommendation for the week:

Generally, we gave them love. And they loved us back.  That was a wonderful experience and we added to it.

When we finished giving the last carrot to a horse, we drove west to the Gulf of Mexico and the sleepy fishing

(Photo by Steve Piscitelli)

town of Cedar Key, Florida.  We spent the night in a quaint motel, had a great dinner, listened to music, watched a tropical rainstorm come off the Gulf of Mexico, and talked of our day.  A great experience. We have wonderful memories.

A colleague told me this week that she and her husband were going to do a “staycation” at the end of July.  You know, shut off the phones and emails, stay home, and enjoy the family.  That reminded me of something my wife and I did in 1998. That year we took a “virtual vacation” here at the beach.  For four days we made believe we were on vacation.  We planned for it—and loved the “getaway” that we created.  I eventually wrote an article for the local paper about the experience.  It was titled Best vacations are those at comfortable, easy-to-reach sites.  I concluded that article with these words:

When our trip was over, we were relaxed. We had been away for four full days.
The mail was piled in the corner of the table and the newspapers,
still in their bags, stacked in the corner of the kitchen. We had much to keep us busy –
so much so that we didn’t complete all the activities we had planned on doing.
(Guess that means we’ll have to come back next year!)

We are “going back” for our August 2012 experience. 

Think of the coming weeks and months. What experiences (small or big) have you planned that will create wonderful memories for you and those you love? 

Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!

REGISTER NOW for my August 8, 2012 P.D.Q. Webinar “Study Skill Strategies: Success in the Classroom and Beyond!” Click here or paste this link into your web browser: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6856101855536438784

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please pass it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and join in–or start–a conversation (www.facebook.com/stevepiscitelli). Also, if you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Have a wonderful week!

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
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1 Response to (#112) Creating Experiences

  1. Pingback: (#136) A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2012 in Review « Steve Piscitelli's Blog

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