How I Transformed In 365 Days of Taking Habit Out and Letting Life In

A Year has passed.

This morning, I woke happy. I brushed my teeth with my homemade toothpaste; it dribbled from my mouth when I noticed sunlight speckling in through the window and smiled too wide in response. Mitra and I took to the streets and I let her lead us on an unfamiliar route. I snuggled dogs I’d never met before and complimented a stranger’s shirt. We lazily wound our way home. It’s my hood’s composting day, so I pulled the bin of scraps from my freezer. To it, I added coffee grounds. I blended and pressed the almonds I’ve had soaking for two days into milk, then added their sticky pulp, too. We headed out again, dropped off the bag, I returned to my desk, and I started editing audio for a new client.

This morning was completely unrecognizable from June 20th one Year ago today.

My Year of Abstinence has ended.

A Year of studying habit removal. Of saying “no”. Of taking out to see what comes in.

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This is 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. Continue reading

Essential Life Lessons from Not Shopping for Ninety Days

When considering a challenge for this year o’ mine, I question the potential impact of its affect on three things: how will this addition or abstinence affect my health, how will it affect my social interactions, and how will it affect my sense of self?

On the surface, the no-shopping challenge didn’t seem as cerebral or profound as abstaining from social media for forty days. Nor as hard, to be quite honest. But looking back, I feel refreshed and refocused because of it. And, as it came during a treacherous time that I could in no way have anticipated, the challenge kept certain aspects of my life in check while others ran amuck around me.

But first, a summary of lessons learned

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Fine! So I DIDN’T buy a mattress pad on Amazon at 6am! 

I woke up at 5:50am just now. On a Sunday

I think my neighbors are stil Halloween-ing it up. Whatevs. All I know is this doesn’t bode will for someone’s body. 

After not falling back to sleep and ruminating on deep life stuff for a total seven minutes, I found myself on Amazon scrolling for mattress toppers which, given current deep life ruminations and the state of my high-quality but slightly aging mattress, could be judged an essential purchase. Another seven minutes later, and a very sensible choice was one-click away from being delivered to me within hours of something(one) else coming to my door. 

And then I stopped. And clicked “save for later.” Continue reading

I Sleep No More! My Body Hath Killed Sleep!

Okay, that’s not true.

Not in the slightest. But it’s 3:41am on Day 79 of the No Shopping Challenge and I can’t sleep again because of not feeling so tops and so figured I might as well log in here that I spent about $50 buying a bottle of wine for the radio show team today that I technically didn’t need to buy. But I was in the mood to! I was particularly looking forward to our guest, and a friend of mine is her publicist and was in attendance, and I was once again not feeling my best and so the gesture felt good on my heart. 

And, anyway. It made up for its debt anyway by means of the advice gleamed from my friend afterwards about this very project. Which I shall remain mum about right now, given that it is 3:44am and the pill I finally gave in to taking to knock me out is hopefully kicking in very soon. So, expense admitted, and my brain is pondering her advice, and now it’s sorta swimming funny, too. 

3:45. Night! Morning!

PS: The title is a reference to Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “I thought I heard a cry say, “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep!'” And then of course a bunch of people die. Whoever said Shakespeare was boring, man…

I Just Bought “Find True Love in 27 Days”. Ha!

A few things on this:

  1. I spent $10 on this. If I’m not 100% satisfied, I can get my money back. Evidently. It was “pay what you can afford.” Hence the $10.
  2. I don’t really want to find love in 27 days. I’m more interested in finding other things. But this whole Year is supposed to be about adding and abstaining and seeing what happens, right? So here I am.
  3. I’ve never done one of these kinds of self-help type things. I think they’re shit, honestly. But I’ve never done one. So this is me not being an ass, and trying something new, so that the next time someone asks me if I’ve tried a program on attracting love in 28 days I can say, “No, but I have tried a program on attracting love in 27 days. And it was shit.” If, indeed, it is shit. Then I’ll be able to say I’ve been in a theatre cult, played a part in a pyramid scheme, and tried a bad self-help program. Cause I’m livin’ the 21st-century dream.
  4. Finally, this is purely for journalistic, Love Bites Radio purposes only. You may think I’m making that up. I’m not. Listen to the show, and you’ll then trust me on this. Ben and I don’t pussyfoot around trying stuff for the sake of content. And since my dating life has been sacrificed for the sake of my health, lately, I need content.

I’ll be posting daily. Wish me luck.

I’m on an island and bells won’t stop ringing. 

It’s 12:20 and I can’t fall asleep. Again. Jet lag, still? Body is wrecked but I made it it Portugal (!) and aside from the uniquely, constantly challenging things about living with symptoms that persist and arise again and anew and startle you even when you think you have a handle on this whole chronic illness thing and you find yourself back on the island you love with your father and uncles but are unable to do things you’ve always done here before or articulate things you need to express to them but can’t, I’m still SO GLAD TO BE HERE BECAUSE I’M ON AN ISLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF AN OCEAN and the Acores are insanely beautiful during this in-between-summer-and-fall time of year. And there’s something to be said about doing nothing on vacation. Even if it’s just because you can’t really do much.

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I Bought Stuff. Gulp. 

In my last post, I mentioned buying a new pair of jeans and a pair of sneakers, both deemed responsible and necessary purchases for my upcoming three weeks in the Azores islands of Portugal, where my family is from. I realized I could forgo the jeans for now, since the weather will be warm enough for summer clothes. The new Toms are en route. But once I got to Connecticut I realized I’d forgotten one vital item at home. Continue reading

On Illness and Buying Stuff

I’ve had a really fucking bad string of body days.

There’s no point in trying to detail it and, honestly, my brain can’t articulate the swings of symptoms or their severity right now anyway. I can barely focus on the computer screen.

But, lying in my childhood bed in Connecticut in the same room I’ve been sick so many times over 23 years (which never ceases to feel pathetic), I’ve just landed on something about spending money I hadn’t thought about before. Continue reading

I bought a coffee…

…but I needed it. 

I was out of beans entirely at home, and I was tired, and I had an en unexpected drive to CT and lots of running around to help [my bro] with something. My spoons were low. So it was a necessary purchase. 

$5 spent (for a large coffee with almond milk! Damn you NYC coffee shop!). Sanity saved.