My second challenge for the weekend was to get out of the house and do something I wouldn’t normally do, such as visit an art gallery, museum, or ‘something’.
A spontaneous decision at lunchtime on Saturday to visit my daughter left me thinking I wasn’t going to meet this challenge. Although a six hour drive technically meets the criteria of ‘getting out of the house’, sitting in a car by myself, singing at the top of my lungs, does not constitute something I wouldn’t normally do. The drive did give me plenty of thinking time though.
I could have incorporated this Challenge with Weekend Challenge #3, but that would have been cheating. This had to be something that would push me out of my comfort zone in relation to going to a public place, somewhere with people, and something I would normally feel anxious about.
The opportunity presented itself on Sunday, and although I still feel I cheated a little because my daughter was with me, my anxiety levels were high, and I had to consciously push myself past my fear and do ‘it’.
‘It’ turned out to be going to one of the largest markets I have ever seen! I was already desperate for withdrawal from the world, and on the way back to the safety of my daughter’s home after completing Weekend Challenge #3, when we found the markets by chance.
There were cars and people everywhere! It would have been so easy to just drive on by, but I’m glad I made the decision to stop and walk through the gates. I’m also glad however, that I wasn’t alone.
The rows of stalls seemed to go on for ever. Each of the walkways were crowded with people. My senses were overstimulated by the sights, sounds, smells, and bright sunlight. It was difficult to maintain a smile, make eye contact with people, and be interested in the products the stallholders offered. A stall selling birds – budgies, cockatiels, parrots, love birds, etc – was the highlight, and provided a brief respite from the awareness of people.
Overall, I think I might have only achieved partial points for this Challenge – I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t fully in the moment because I was constantly thinking of escape, and I only made it through about a third of the market before beating a hasty retreat to the car. I did, however, manage to overcome the desire to keep driving, and making a reasonable attempt at enjoying the experience.