**This is the fourth in a series of posts of FAQs.**
The idea of trying one new experience each week of the year came to me in late 2010. I had just gone through a painful divorce and was seriously depressed. Someone told me to read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, a memoir about finding joy again after divorce and depression. While the book is beautifully written, I resented the newly divorced author’s ability to travel the world for a year at her publisher’s expense. I was stuck living in a house I could no longer afford with my two adorable but demanding preschoolers. There was no way I could eat, pray, and love like Elizabeth Gilbert, but I wanted to find my sense of wonder about the world again.
I was once the girl who backpacked through Europe, volunteered in the Amazon Rain Forest, hiked to Machu Picchu, and visited rural Mexico just to see the winter hibernation site of Monarch butterflies. I missed the excitement of trips like those, but most of all, I missed the sense of curiosity I once had. The sparkle was no longer in my eyes. I wanted, no, needed to find a way to love my life. I was determined to have a little adventure in my life every week, even if it was something as small as a new exercise class.
My adventures ranged from the spiritual to the mundane, but I really looked forward to them. As I tried new things, I felt my depression lifting and in its place, I found joy.
When 2011 was drawing to a close, I didn’t want my year of adventures to end. I decided to try 52 new experiences with my children in 2012. I want them to experience life to its fullest, and I want to be right by their side, doing the same.