Happy Despite!

I can’t stop smiling on the inside today. Which seems silly, considering that nothing has changed .I’m still sick, single, and broke.

I still had a breakdown last week, accepting how sick I am now. I canceled going to yoga three days in a row because of how much pain I had to manage, and how exhausting managing it was. I’m scarily behind on deadlines.

But I’m smiling on the inside. Continue reading

The Minimalist Pantry

A few days ago, a friend texted me a picture of the café he was in, saying it made him think of me; the cafe uses all recyclable or composite compostable goods. What a pleasant reason to be thought of. While this Challenge has been super rough in some respects, I am really enjoying how it’s causing me to simplify.

Later that same night, while warming my simple dinner and listening to the Minimalists podcast episode on Health, I cleared out the pantry of things I don’t need. And I realize I eat in what you could call a minimalist way. Continue reading

I’m On a Self-Self Help Plan

This is my year of abstinence. The rules are bendable. I can adapt them as I go.

I’m reminding myself of this fact because I need to do that right now.

My body hurts. In a moment of awareness, yesterday I broke down and accepted that I’m ill in a way that’s far from my baseline of “chronic illness.” It’s applicable to my current study of Zero Waste in that it’s just too hard to get enough food into my home right now by the rules I set for myself two weeks ago. So, I’m adjusting them.

Gently, in a way that feels genuine and true to the ethos of my study and the health of my body. In a way that’s not a cheat. In a manner I can live with. In a way that will help me sleep better tonight, knowing that tomorrow I won’t be putting my body in further harm by asking it to do what I know it should not.

Continue reading

Practicing Zero Waste… In a Body With Zero

On an alternative plane of time and space, I see myself:

I hand wash delicate handkerchiefs inherited from my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I can see the sun through them where they hang, and I smile. It doesn’t hurt the muscles and joints in my arms and back to wring or lift them to dry.

I blend almonds and water into milk; my face erect, my movements quick and determined. The sound and dim stove light don’t threaten a migraine I’ve been tempering for days.

I spend an afternoon easefully popping into one store and another, stocking up on meat, and produce, and coffee, exploring cheerily with energy and gusto. I don’t spend day after day timidly moving from bed and then falling back.

I see her — that other me — clearly. Continue reading

Zero Waste – Week One

So far, so good!

I’ve decided already that thirty days is too short a Challenge to truly study removing excess waste from my life and space, so I’m extending this to a sixty-day Challenge! Because here’s the thing about this first week: throwing out plasticky-things without using them is wasteful and against the purpose of this Challenge. This is not about going to Zero in a day–it’s about assessing for lasting change. So I’m not going to not finish the frozen meat in my freezer, the pasta in my cabinet, and the products in my pantry and closet for no good reason. Instead, I’ll spend some time observing my packaging habits as I finish things, and then replace them with Zero Waste options as I go… or nothing at all. Continue reading

Challenge Number Six: Thirty Days of Zero Waste

Today’s the day! I’m very excited about this Challenge.

I’m constantly shedding items that I don’t need, and not replacing them with new things. This started a year ago when the Goldilocks Movement‘s “Happy Starts at Home” cleanse worked wonders for reconfiguring my emotional ties to with material objects. The No Shopping experience then had more stuff making its way out of my space. And now I’m here, reworking my relationship with stuff on an even deeper level. Yay.
Continue reading

You’ve Gotta Really Want to Change

Today, I’m functioning from bed; nursing a migraine that made itself known as soon as I opened my eyes. I’m planning the next Challenge, which starts Monday, and I am so excited for it. It’s gonna be hard. Technically, it’s gonna be the hardest one I’ve done so far. It means giving up one habit that breaks into a thousand small habits. It takes research and planning. I’m nervous. But I really want to do it, and I’m itching to start.

That’s what every Challenge needs to be.

Removing television… wasn’t. Continue reading

Everything Bagel Days #1-2

It’s 8:30 pm on a Friday evening, and I’m just about done working, because sometimes that happens. But my week was satisfying and my laundry is clean and the light outside my window is that cool misty grayish brown color that makes me love love love working at home in New York City on a solitary Friday evening. Across the street, some apartment windows are dark, some glow orange, and some eerily blue. The branches of the tree and the iron railings of the porch flanking the house directly next to me tonight seem more vividly defined against the light from my window than usual, their shadows deep and ominous.

It’s a Raymond Chandler kind of New York City evening.

Anyway.

Continue reading

How a Month of Wonder Woman Power Poses and Television Abstinence Brought Me Focus

“January will focus on increasing my confidence by catching negative thoughts and refocusing them onto Queens.”

That’s how I wrapped up the focus of this Challenge when it began a month ago. I had a two-pronged plan that, admittedly, sounds strange: I’d cut my television consumption down to one episode or movie per evening, and I’d capture every negative thought and flip it into a positive arena through Amy Cuddy’s power poses. The idea hit this Year’s requirements: the removal of negative habits I want to change that will affect my social interactions, health, and sense of self.

And yet recently someone looked at my “one hour of television” and asked: Is that enough to count as abstinence? The question/judgment irked me for a while. Then I realized it’s not that person’s fault — it means I haven’t articulated the true, intimate, lasting, THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN EVERYTHING ELSE significance. So here I go: Continue reading