Monday 30 May 2016 – The project begins

1 June is the start date for my 30 days project, where I’ll be exploring a range of new ideas and habits for 30 days to see what works for me and what doesn’t. As I explained in my last post, the challenges will be a mix of simple habits and more detailed explorations into different topics that interest me and that I’ve collected over the past few months with a vague intention of acting on. The plan is that I’ll have one easy habit and one big idea on the go at any one time, and I’ll start a new challenge every two weeks or so.

I decided to start off with an easy habit for the first month, which is 30 days without alcohol. I’m not sure that “easy” is quite the right word, but it’s something I should be able to do without having to think too much or upset my routine. (This was deliberately timed to happen when Farm Bar is closed for the winter. Say no more.)

Consider it Dry July in June. I’m actually starting today. I had my last beer for a month last night. Slabs bought it for me last week.

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This was 10% alcohol. Very intense!

I don’t really know what to say about this challenge.

I do have a couple of alcohol-free nights each week, but I can’t remember the last time I went for a whole month without it. Probably when I was pregnant! Nine months in fact. About this time ten years ago come to think of it. I think the key to this challenge is to be aware of the times I do drink and have something to replace it with ready to go if I get the feeling that it’s beer o’clock.

In the next couple of weeks I’ll be planning the first challenge that is based on ideas and thinking.

I think I know what I’ll be doing, but I want to let the ideas develop before I commit anything to writing.

I also decided that I needed a name for the project. “The 30-days project” doesn’t have much of a ring to it. So thinking about some activities I did and some a-ha moments I had at a retreat a couple of weeks ago, I came up with the title “stepping on the cracks”. I realised that whenever I try to draw something, it tends to be straight lines, and that I colour within within the lines and that this art could be seen as a reflection of my personality. I once, when asked to do a doodle drawing, observed the following:

The idea was to draw a shape and split it into sections and doodle or make our mark. I noticed everyone else did round shapes – spirals, circles, ovals, abstracts. I did a triangle. Perhaps that says a lot about me – straight lines and angles. Left brain rules. It also included the words “Don’t step on the cracks” and “Stay within the lines”.

I think I was very dryly reflecting on myself with those two phrases rather than seriously instructing myself to comply with those rules. Anyway, very long story short, being straightlinesgirl is all perfectly OK and isn’t something I need to “fix” BUT there’s nothing stopping me drawing curves or swirls or colouring outside the lines or making a mess. So I think what the project is all about is being who I am, but not letting that prevent me from doing anything else (which was principle number 1 that I wrote about last time) – and seeing what happens when I step on the cracks and colour outside the lines.

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