A Year Studying Abstinence Hasn’t Reset My Habit Loop. It’s Shattered It.

Earlier today, I received a rejection. The kind you wish you could poker face your way out of, but that has you immediately reaching for a crutch instead.

“I want a cigarette.”

I haven’t had a cigarette in many months. I question the desire: Yep, I really want one – just one – to suck in while I ponder. My hands are shaking, and my heart too. Instead, I grab Mitra’s leash, leave the phone and wallet, and head outside.

I’ve broken my Habit Loop.

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Mini-Challenge #3: One Week of No Comfy Clothes

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.” – Karl Lagerfeld

I don’t really care what Karl Lagerfeld thinks. According to The Devil Wears Prada, I should probably bow at his feet in thanks for the exact hue of the big comfy yellow sweater in my closet I wear over leggings while I type. But whatever. If he came for my comfy sweats, I’d sic Mitra on him.

Well, maybe not this week. Because this week, I’m coming for them myself. Continue reading

Mini-Challenge #2: One Week of No Television

Way back in January, I started the year with a lame half-assed attempt at reducing my television intake. It worked, for the most part — I curbed my habit greatly. But it wasn’t a total period of abstinence since I’d allowed myself one hour or show a day. And as the month went on, I got more and more lax about it (if I didn’t watch last night, would I get two hours tonight?), placing far more weight on removing negative thought instead.

Overall, I failed. My heart wasn’t in it.

So now I’m reframing a bit, and trying again.

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Friendship — Like a Vacuum Cleaner — Is Not Easily Disposable

On Day One of this Challenge, while pondering why I wanted to give up product packaging for sixty days, I wrote:

Side note: I think this also comes from an emotionally-rooted issue of worrying that I’m a disposable person — that I don’t matter to others and so they feel they can easily dispose of me. I don’t want to be that. I want to be a person of value. I want to matter so that people think twice about losing me. Ouch. That’s a big thing to admit.

Last night, fifty-five days in, I sat on my bed and opened up a journal I’d started eighteen years ago. Folded inside of it, I discovered a seventeen-year-old letter from Ben, who’s still a dear friend and now my radio co-host. Lost somewhere on the second page, I found the following sentence:

“…You are 300% wrong about being replaceable…. There will never be another you.”
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Super Easy 3-Ingredient Toothpaste

It shouldn’t have taken a Zero Waste Challenge to make mixing toothpaste from oil, baking soda, and essential oils happen. But it did.

I don’t like sweet toothpaste. I’ve been Tom’s of Maine gal for a long, long while — and, like, the Propolis and Myrrh flavor when I can find it, so the hippy-dippiest of the lot. Anything loaded with sweet stuff,  fake stuff, bright blue dye, and sparkles? Gag.

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Short On Confidence? I’m Channeling My Wonder Women

Last week, I did a presentation for Designers and Geeks about how this whole Year of studying habit removal has helped me “Manage Online Personality Disorder.” A few days before it, my friend Emma came over to help prepare and talk landed at her recent struggle with lack of confidence.

I mentioned how the TeleWonderWoman Challenge List of Five has hands-down been the most productive means of bumping up mine. To my surprise, she loved the idea so much that she immediately threw a name on her own list. By the night of the event, she had a second name.

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Zero Waste Revelation: It’s Not Just About Plastic

I’m finally feeling a bit better, and the world feels a magical place again!

I put my body through a marathon so that I could sit in this moment: Monday, the radio show, home to pack, butcher shop, grocers for bulk this-and-that, crossing state lines, picking up Mitra from my brother, and finally landing at home. Tuesday: two stories turned in, a phone interview for print, another for radio, all as snow fell thick and white.

I’m thankful. That’s a lot for two days, considering this body has done so little for weeks now. I’m with the trees. Continue reading