Hello! I’m Jacqueline!
I love books, my dog Mitra, hugging trees, the city of New York, and my family.
I also love to overthink. Like, a whole lot. I ponder life and love and being the best me I can be. Which is how I got here.
On June 21st of 2016, I was stuck. At thirty-four years old, I was broke, single, and battling another siege of my chronic illness. I was happy… but sorta going through the motions. Then a few random things happened together and I got so fed up with Facebook and online dating that I quit all social media and dating sites for forty days. It was weird, and hard, and I journaled and over-thought the entire time. But by day forty, I was a changed woman moving in three dimensions again. Staring this single-sick-broke trifecta in the nasty eye, I decided to question more learned habits that maybe aren’t serving me so well. So I slapped a goal and a title on it and here we are – My Year of Abstinence: Abstaining and Observing. Every Day. For One Year.
From June 20th, 2016 to June 21st, 2017, I dedicated a Year to studying habit abstinence. To taking out instead of adding in. To saying “no” instead of saying “yes”. I observed how the habitual actions that flood my days – often without me even noticing them – affect:
- My health
- My social interactions and
- My overall sense of self.
I chose “Challenges” that interact with these questions, and put journal entries up here to track my thoughts and hold myself accountable. As time passed, I started exploring studied folk who’ve come to conclusions in medicine, neuroscience, psychology, culture and the like, to see how my shifted habits compare to others out there, and what explanation there might be for why things have so changed. Some of their lessons now dot these entries.
How To Navigate This Site:
There are 8 Challenges studied during this year. Some explorations posted daily; others weekly. If you’re so inclined, breeze through post titles within the topics you’re most curious to learn more about:
- 1. No Social Media (40 Days)
- 2. No Shopping (90 Days)
- 2.5 Find True Love in 27 Days
- 3. No Sugar (30 days)
- 4. No Holiday Loot
- 5. TeleWonderWoman (Negative Thought) (30 Days)
- 5.5 Everything Bagel Days (4 Days of ALL)
- 6. Zero Waste (60 Days)
- 7.1 No Coffee (7 Days)
- 7.2 No Television (7 Days)
- 7.3 No Comfy Clothes (7 Days)
- 7.4 Quitting Time (7 Days)
- 7.5 Everything Bagel Focus Days (4 Days)
- 8. Zero Daily Habit (Final 40 Days)
- Chronic Illness Living (posts related to this study and living with illness
Some posts are a bit more user-friendly than others, with wisdom from smart people tossed upon my observations, advice on how to make my lessons yours in a fraction of the time, or simple recipes from things I’ve learned and love. I’m updating these regularly now. Here are a few of the most popular:
- How I Transformed In 365 Days of Taking Habit Out and Letting Life In (the last post)
- 40 Days of Social Media Abstinence (the first post)
- Going Off of Sugar for 30 Days and Expecting No Miracles
- The Minimalist Pantry
- Short on Confidence? Channel Your Wonder Women
- How a Month of Wonder Women Power Poses Brought Me Focus
- How I Make Almond Milk (recipe)
- 3-Ingredient Toothpaste (recipe)
And for those who want to try this idea out for themselves, I’ve crafted a Your Year page to get you going.