Since 2009, the former Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and current distinguished scholar-in-residence at UTD has struggled with an unusual chronic lung infection that impairs her quality of life. Combining her determination to live as fully as possible with her highly developed artistic vision, she committed to doing something new every day, a practice that “invites the exploration of an ordinary day and making it extraordinary.”
Pitman recently met me for lunch to fulfill her 1,856th day of SN. She explained how doing something new every day since July 2012 has helped her celebrate big and little things and has encouraged her gratitude, creativity and mindfulness. Driving home, I thought about how SN naturally nourishes hope:
Illness focuses your attention on lost opportunities. SN opens your eyes to the possibilities that remain.
Illness shrinks your world with its big and little losses. SN expands your world in new directions.
Illness takes away your sense of power. SN exercises your power to find and create joyful moments.
SN can help in the pursuit of happiness during and after illness. If you commit to doing SN, you will begin every day with hope of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting or feeling something new. Day after day, that hope will help foster the motivation, courage and fortitude needed to find and create moments filled with meaning or joy. Those moments make life worth living.