Cold turkey

Two things collided this week to set up this post. The first was K saying on Tuesday that she’s not going to drink alcohol for a month (and now that I’ve said it here, she has to stick to it, right?). The second was reading Moderation, Addiction and When to Say When, over at Be More with Less (I really like the tagline: life on purpose).

Apparently it’s Lent. I don’t actually know what that means – and I refuse to google it – because I am blissfully ignorant of most religious stuff. I managed to spend all of my religious classes with my hands over my ears chanting “lalalalalalalalalalalalalala”. Two years at a boarding school where we had a weekly assembly with churchy stuff in it, a mid-week morning chapel service, chapel on Sundays and grace before meals, and I know jack shit about whatever religion it was. (As an aside, why on earth is the MSM reporting George Pell’s opinion on climate change as though his view on the topic is equal to that of a climate scientist? The man has an imaginary friend in the sky, for fuck’s sake.)

The reason I’m writing about how little I know about Lent is that I don’t want you to think I’m giving something up for Lent. This isn’t about Lent – whatever Lent is. This is about it being April in a few days.

In her Moderation post, Courtney Carver poses this statement from Inside-Out Simplicity:

I could never give up ________________ for the next 30 days!

I was going to say alcohol. But first I had to check my diary to see if there was anything on that I wanted to drink at. Which probably means I should give it up, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, I’ve got something more important in mind.

For the next 30 days I will give up wasting time.

This is a continuing theme on this blog as I struggle through my second year of my PhD, being robbed by the time thief and alternating between feeling like I’m not doing enough and not actually doing anything. And judging by your comments, a lot of you are struggling with similar feelings.

So, here goes: From today, March 24, until April 22, I won’t waste time.

No pfaffing around on the internet, no spider solitaire, no seven-tabs-open-I’ll-read-it-later. If I click on a link I have to read it all and then close the tab. And I’ve downloaded freedom so I can block my internet access. But this is about more than just my doctorate – it’s also about doing the things that are always on my list but never get crossed off. So, when I write in my diary (the 2011 type, not the Dear Diary type) things like “go for a walk” and “call the builder” and “call Wendy”, I’m putting a time next to them and at that time I will do those things.

Now, I guess we need a bit of structure to this. Tomorrow is Friday, so each Friday between now and April 22, I’ll share with you how I’m going and – hopefully – you’ll share how you are going with whatever challenge you’ve set yourself. I’ve put a 30 widget on the right and a 30 tab up the top, so you can find it easily. You can join in from today, or you can do a mini-version. We will be accountable to each other.

So, 30 days. Are you in?

Come on, don’t be shy. What better way to do this than as a group? It can be anything. Maybe you want to cook breakfast every day for a month. Or go for a walk after dinner. Or read two chapters of a book every day. Anything, it’s up to you.

27 responses to “Cold turkey

  1. Bwahaha. No Catholic will mistake your 30 days of abstinence* with Lent. As the Man always tells me, (every freaking year) “Why do they say 40 days of Lent? It’s 4o fucking 6 days. The bastards rip me off every fucking year.” (Catholics have such a beautiful vocabulary don’t they?)

    I certainly need to be held accountable for my time wasting. Though I think my giving up sugar for lent will be much easier than 30 days of abstaining from procrastination. Can’t I give up vacuuming instead?

    • I whole-heartedly support your decision to give up vacuuming. The only thing more boring than vacuuming is putting away the washing. Dull dull dull.

      So Pirra, are you going to give up procrastinating with me? And report back each Friday?

      • At the moment, procrastination is the one thing I am excelling at, well, that and producing awe-inspiring amounts of phlegm. Will you be doing the 30 day thing at another point in time? Cause I will totally get on that band wagon then.

        For now a sugar free lent with an ass kicking cold/flu thing is more than I can handle.

  2. Leechblock as a firefox addon might also be good, as I know with my thesis I do require looking up stuff on the internets, but it lets me block things like twitter, facebook and other time wasting sites.

  3. Rhiannon Saxon

    Can I get back to you? April is such a busy month…Crazy Stuff on every weekend and I am still having loads of trouble acclimatising to the school-run. (Got my license 2 months ago – a week before my five-year-old started school)
    Also starting psych visits this month.
    I AM thinking of getting back into doing some drawing…but yeah, at the moment, procrastination is really my forte.

    • Congratulations on the driving. It seems like just a few weeks ago that you said you were going for your test. Nice work!

      You know, you could make a deal with yourself to draw every day. It would be some “you” time in all the craziness…

  4. Screw you nwn, now it’s on the Internet it’s going to be harder to worm out of it!
    Before I started though I sid give my self a couple of free passes though. First is a boat trip next weekend with a group of English friends; being stuck on a boat sober with a raft (ha, see what I did there?) of pissed limeys is more than I could possibly bear.
    Second in my best friend Leecee is coming from NZ and a catch up with her would not be complete with out some wine drinking, cheese eating and p&p watching.
    Aside from that though, going to give it a crack.

  5. I’ve been trying to reset my internal clock setting my alarm for 6am in the hope of having mornings that aren’t full of screaming panic and near-missing of buses. I hereby commit to actually getting up when the alarm goes off, instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, every morning, yes, including weekends, for the next 30 days, beginning tomorrow. (Too many commas. Can’t be bothered rewriting.)

    That being the case and it being nearly midnight I suppose I’d better go to bed.

    • Rhiannon Saxon

      You can do it! And don’t be too hard on yourself if you have an afternoon nap occasionally! (Last time I fell asleep on the couch my 3YO decided that chocolate milk was in order and tried to mix it up with an almost full 3lt bottle of milk and some topping – the topping ended up around his mouth but I didn’t see any in his cup – there was however, milk all over the coffee table (camphor-laurel slab so has nice cracks to store milk in order to smell really good) and carpet underneath (to smell really good)….*groan*….2013…both in school…Bring. It. on.)

    • Never apologise for a comma. I use them liberally.

      That’s a noble plan. I am useless at getting up early without a reason imposed by someone else. When I have to start work at 6am or 7am, I’m up without a snooze because I’ve set my alarm for the latest time possible, but otherwise, I’ll snooze until the alarm gives up.

    • I have the same getting up issues. I know it must be harder when you have kids and shit to do that you can’t when they are up, but try going to bed an hour earlier.
      That’s the only way it works for me.

      • Nope not harder when you have kids. Actually, when they are little it IS harer to fudge with the snooze button, but the older and more self sufficient they get…the longer they creep around the house like church mice in the hopes that Mum will sleep until lunch time and forget that she needs to give them school work and stuff. (FTR I have only done that when I am sick. They still live in hope though.)

      • Believe me, I’ve tried fixing it from the go to bed earlier end for many years! We’re actually approaching the point where the oldest child’s bedtime is creeping up on our ideal bedtime, evenings offer very little kid free time anymore – I get that when they’re at school. (My paid job is 2 – 3 half days a week and can be done from home.)

  6. Harer? WTF? No I am not smoking crack I swear. Harder, that should say harder.

  7. Pingback: Cold turkey week one | the news with nipples

  8. Wait for me, I need to get on board! ARC grant application due in a couple of weeks and I keep pootling around blogs instead of writing it. (umm, oops.)

    Also, have you read Susan Maushart’s “The Winter of Our Disconnect” about going “screen-free”, with her three teenagers, for six months?

    • Hi orlando, welcome to the News with Nipples. Sounds like you’re in.

      I haven’t read it, but I do know of it. I’m not sure I want to go completely screen-free, but the times I’ve lived without a tv (or made it a pain in the butt to watch by putting in a hallway, or unplugging it so I need to retune it each time), I’ve suddenly found a lot more hours in the day. ManFriend and I don’t watch a lot of tv, other than the news, but we do watch a lot of dvds, which can suck up your evening pretty quickly.

  9. I will give up my diary for 30 days.

    Oh wait. I don’t have a diary.

    I will install a diary app, and give THAT up.

    And – a twofer – I will give up plotting how to smuggle a pork-chop into our (vegetarian/vegan) household and eat the shit out of a poor dead piggy. (Three years with only small mis-steps, and yet I still fantasise about a pan-fried porkchop with nothing more than salt and supermarket bread… have never actually done it, but have plotted and plotted).

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