Tiny tip: seek novelty in your old age

Notice in a park: Hataitai to City Walkway. Alien abduction zone WARNING
Don’t let this alien abduction notice stop you walking on beautiful Mount Victoria, Wellington!

Tiny tip for well-being in your old age: welcome novelty with open arms

Did you know that new (genuinely new) experiences such as a different kind of puzzle or abduction by aliens are good for you? Humans need novelty, and not just when we’re young.

My mother Celia would have adored this notice: “Alien abduction zone WARNING.” She would have camped out beside the sign, semaphoring a message to all aliens in the area: “Pick me! Pick me!”

That’s a bit extreme for you, maybe? But Celia epitomised the open mind that we’re now told is one key to a happy healthy old age. She was a clergyman’s wife who kicked against restrictions—within reason. She climbed in the Himalayas in her 60s, just to visit her daughter and son-in-law in the depths (or rather heights) of Nepal. She volunteered to sail into the nuclear testing zone of Mururoa, representing New Zealand’s grandmothers — and was most disappointed when not accepted by the organisers.

Her message to us was always something like this: “Go on! Out you go! Have an adventure!”

Adventures can be huge or tiny. But don’t save them up until you retire. Now is the time to explore novelty in many forms: new places, new activities, new ideas, new puzzles, new challenges. They might be right here in your home. They might be just around the corner. You’re far too young to be a stick-in-the-mud. Go on—do something you have never done before. Often.

Why? For your lovely plastic brain, which grows stronger with novelty. For your pride. For confidence. For fun. Go on! Have an adventure!

22 thoughts on “Tiny tip: seek novelty in your old age

  1. anne leueen says:

    I agree 100% with this. Leaving the adventure until you retire is pointless. Do it now. You can still have more adventures when you retire as well. I’m still having adventures! And waiting to be abducted by aliens ! 😄

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Good luck with that!

  2. srbottch says:

    I love your message. Now, if I only would follow it. I am so boring. What happened? I know…MARRIAGE! 😉

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Boring is vastly underrated.

  3. Alien Resort says:

    You can always visit Alien Resort.

  4. Sadje says:

    Absolutely right, on paper at least. In practice, well I will have to think on it…….

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m not quite ready for the aliens. Maybe in ten years’ time.

      1. Sadje says:

        Same here!😃

  5. Cathy Cade says:

    The downside to leaving it till you retire is your body. The spirit is willing but the flesh is moving on stiffer legs these days.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Exactly. Just w

      1. Rachel McAlpine says:

        Just when you need it most (the headlong dash towards the flying saucer) your body will not let you. Durn.

  6. I think this is a great way to live!

  7. mpardi2013 says:

    As a child I learned S.O.S. in Morse Code and used my first flashlight to beam it into the night sky. No response yet. But I have spent a life of travel and various experiences under the seas, across the land, and through the skies. Considering the hassles of some travel, and the increased risks of illness, I sometimes think I prefer to read the book.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Meantime those particles of light are still travelling through space with your boyhood message. Which was—what?

      1. mpardi2013 says:

        My message would have been, Take me out of here, had I known that much code. I was the poster child for alienation, so going with aliens would have been quite appropriate.

  8. Does it say anything about me that I read “For confidence.” as “For continence”?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      The science on this question is incon…clusive.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I did go on the virtual reality rides at Universal Orlando, much to the shock of all concerned. Nothing like having Spiderman coming at you while you wear 3-D glasses to take a few years OFF your life, not add them.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      What a buzz! Good for you.

  10. Leaving the adventure till one retires is wrong, as someone above observed, but if you have done – well, no choice but to have it then. Hope my brain’s plastic enough …

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Of course, go for it! Plenty of fun in the bucket.

      1. Bucket? So THAT’S where I put my bucket list …

%d bloggers like this: