Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy
One woman’s quest to do one new thing every day of the year, what she learned, and what we all can gain from her journey…
In 2009 veteran journalist and eight-time Emmy award winner Lu Ann Cahn was feeling angry and frustrated. The economy was tanking. Her job was changing. Budgets were being cut. She resented the new technology and social media she was being asked to embrace at work. In a word, she felt “stuck”.
Cahn’s daughter encouraged her to try blogging, and after some thought, she decided to write about trying something new every day for a year. Little did she know, that “Year of Firsts” would change her outlook on life.
For 365 days Cahn made a point of doing something she had never done before, some as simple as performing an old task in a new way, some creative and extreme:
Riding a mechanical bull Eating a scorpion
Speaking to a complete stranger on the street
Smoking a cigar
Shoveling horse manure
Zip-lining across a crocodile-infested Mexican lake
Spending a day in a wheelchair
Walking her dog backwards
Taking a drum lesson from a famous 80’s rocker
In the process she discovered that “firsts” were the antidote to “stuck.” I Dare Me is Cahn’s journey, but it’s more than just a memoir. It challenges readers to confront their own fears, and encourages them to try their own “firsts.”
This is an easy read, in some ways simplistic. The writing style flows well and you can follow everything the author is trying to say. I’m so very happy that the author is a cancer survivor!
I found the premise of this book to be fascinating and felt that it would have some interesting insights, in a different way than some of the others in this genre have been dishing out. Like taking off 6 months or more and travel around to find yourself… So many people are unable to do those kinds of things. With that said, I was a bit disappointed with some of the ideas, but as it’s not my journey I am trying to hold back. I don’t want to sound snarky, but I think that my feelings I share next will. It’s all perspective so bear with me.
“Go to the Movies by Myself: Day 30”, seriously a lot of people do this regularly, I will be going tomorrow, yes by myself. The author feels proud of herself…??? for that??? why??? Because she has the ability and money to go and see a movie, with no worries other than that you are there alone. Again, why? Keep in mind this is early in the book.
“Spend a day in a Wheelchair: Day 208”, each first has a quote that goes with it some great ones are in this book. For this one it is…
“The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~Scott Hamilton”
Now this quote is lovely but in the real life of disabilities it’s a little bit of a platitude. It’s always sunny type of statement. Even with that this chapter was one of the best of the whole book and the things the author suggest at the end of it are awesome. We should do this with kids at all of our schools, because in real life this can be anyone, one bad fall and anyone can be in a wheelchair or have a disability. Hopefully it will make people more aware of how they are treating others.
“Just say “Yes”,
Didn’t we just go through a time trying to teach women to say no because they have to much on their plates?
“All you have to do is get there, take it in, and experience it.” Buddhism anyone?
“Bake and Decorate a Cake from Scratch: Day 277”
Like that’s never been done before, i just thought it was funny and ironic.
My biggest issue with this book , is that so many of the “firsts” cost money, oh the author says do little things that don’t cost a lot of money, but here is a list of some of her ideas.
“Eat at the most exotic restaurant in your area.”
“Go to the Farmers’ market… “
“Enroll in a class… “
“Learn a new language. “
“Take a day trip… “
“For once, let your hairdresser do whatever he or she wants.”
“Get a real makeup lesson with a professional makeup artist.”
“Downsize. Try a tablet computer.”
“Make a bid in an online auction.”
Some of things cost big bucks!!!! Some of the things many of us don’t have, computer, hairdresser, vehicle for a day trip.
Saying all this, doesn’t mean the book didn’t have some very interesting ideas for everyone. Take time and do things for yourself. Find ways to live in the moment and give back, all very important things to help women (people) be the best they can be.
I recommend this for people who enjoy looking at how other people live and what they are trying to learn about themselves.