Along with my New Year’s resolution to read more books—rather than just stuff online—I’m trying to do more active listening and looking. I walk a similar route to work, or take the same buses, and it’s easy to zone in on the sidewalk and mask the traffic noise with headphones.

But I noticed a new store had opened along my commute, and it had done so without me noticing for weeks, probably. In October, the storefront was vacant, and now it wasn’t. So I’ve been redoubling my efforts to keep looking around at my familiar paths and sights with new eyes.

Some things that help that:

  1. Drawing things I haven’t drawn before
  2. Trying to memorize details of a shop or a corner so I’ll notice when it’s different—and it rains a lot here, so things are often different when wet
  3. Slowing. Down. As. Much. As. Possible.