I clearly remember my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Fararro, changing our desk assignments often. While most kids love the thought of seat changes, Mrs. Fararro had us mix it up so much that it got to the point where eyes would roll and we’d begrudgingly move once more to a new spot in the room of our tiny school. She called it “changing our light bulbs” and boy did she believe in it.

I clearly remember my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Fararro, changing our desk assignments often. While most kids love the thought of seat changes, Mrs. Fararro had us mix it up so much that it got to the point where eyes would roll and we’d begrudgingly move once more to a new spot in the room of our tiny school. She called it “changing our light bulbs” and boy did she believe in it.


What I now know is that Mrs. Fararro was preparing us for life events yet to come. Her philosophy of keeping personal environments fresh and interesting was dead on. As I entered into a period of life where our family moved several times during elementary, junior high and high school; my light bulb changed, but I was ready for it. Now as an adult, I seek out opportunities to “change my light bulb,” to have new experiences and to welcome change with open arms. Change makes you better at everything, so jump at the chance to find it.


Start where you live


Sometimes doing things differently is the best way to get your cylinders firing again. Move your furniture around, especially in spaces where you need creativity or stick-to-itiveness. If you’re struggling to stay on budget, recreate the space where you manage finances and let your brain adjust to the new format. Studies show that our brains operate like muscles; they grow when we use them. So get busy and grow that brain of yours.


Learn something new


I feel blessed that I frequently learn about new topics in order to write about them. I enjoy the process of being clueless, reading everything I can on a topic or industry and then putting it into words for my clients. Of course the clueless phase includes a bit of fear that I might not be able to grasp the new topic, but it inevitably passes. Look for opportunities to learn something new. Start out clueless like me and you’ll revel in the knowledge to come.


Never stop doing


If I could, I’d ask all our family members to stop giving gifts for birthdays and holidays and instead give my kids experiences. And I don’t mean typical kid-specific trips to children’s museums or zoos. Challenge yourself and your kids. Take a Segway tour of your city, train for a local 5K together, start a family book club. Finding ways to do things outside your comfort zone is just the challenge we need to find more of life’s loves and successes. Here’s to what you haven’t done yet! 


Molly Logan Anderson is a freelance writer who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Mike, three kids and two labs. Join Molly on her family’s journey of living a frugal life and making financial freedom their reality in her columns or visit her website at www.mollylogananderson.com or on her blog at www.butterfliesandmudpies.blogspot.com.