Cold turkey week three

For those who haven’t been playing along at home, this cold turkey stuff is about my 30 day challenge. I want to be using my time more productively and so made myself accountable to you.

Like any new habit, the first week goes really well because you’re focussed on it. The second week isn’t as good, but still ok. Week three is a bit blah. That might also have something to do with spending the first part of this week as a snot factory, oh woe is me-ing on the couch amid my midden of used tissues.

As I type this, I have 12 tabs open. Twelve! So much for productively reading and then closing each tab as I find something. Apparently it takes 66 days to form a habit, so I shouldn’t be expecting years of multi-tabs to be fixed in just 21 days. I think I like Lifehack‘s version better – they reckon a habit will stick after 30 days. I guess it depends on the habit you’re trying to create. Adding something specific, like going for a walk every morning, or eating a piece of fruit with lunch, is a lot easier than a vague idea about being more productive. Which is not to chicken out, but to acknowledge that it’s a pretty difficult task I’ve set myself.

I don’t have a lot of childhood memories featuring my Dad – he worked a lot, but every Friday was Lolly Night when he’d come home with a huge bag of sugar for us and we’d meticulously divvy it up so everyone got exactly the same number of lollies – but he always seemed to do things as he thought of them. When he opened a bill, he’d write a cheque straight away, put it in an envelope and into his briefcase. Well, that’s my memory of it. He might have been writing love letters to my Mum or a list of swear words to randomly send to someone. I don’t even know where all our current bills are, let alone when they’re due. Some are probably on the coffee table under brochures for appliances, half a block of Lindt sea salt chocolate and a picture of a toilet I like. The others are maybe in the pile of stuff on one of the chairs. Maybe. For the last seven or so years I’ve been paid monthly, and each month I just pay the same amount on each bill that I paid the month before. It usually works out ok. I’m not a very good grown up. (I do, however, have a gold-lined cape and rollerskates and hula hoops and a shitload of plastic accessories, so I’m a pretty good adult-sized kid.)

Clearly I’m also easily distracted. So, week three, much harder to keep up the productivity, but still better than I was before I started this challenge. How is everyone else going?

49 responses to “Cold turkey week three

  1. Firstly, love that toilet.

    Secondly, gluten free chocolate chip cookies are sugar free right? Didn’t think so. I made a batch for the action-boy because his challenge was to eat gluten free. I ended up eating half of them. (In my defence, the choc chips are teeny tiny ones and there’s only four Table spoons of sugar in the whole mix….my will power is woeful.

    Other than that I have been very good.

    • Isn’t the toilet great? It’s very expensive for a toilet ($850), so it’s in the spreadsheet (obviously ManFriend is in charge of the spreadsheet) and we’ll look at everything and decide what to do cheaply and what to go crazy on. Talk about being a middle-class lefty wanker – I think going crazy on something in a renovation is spending $850 on a water-saving toilet.

      Don’t know if you’re in Sydney, but my friend Monica makes delicious gluten-free goodness. Her company is Baked by Monica and you can find her on facebook. I highly recommend the dark chocolate fudge and the dark chocolate rocky road. Actually, who am I kidding? I highly recommend everything she sells!

      • I am in Canberra…(remember the husband works at ADFA thing)

        Having major digestive issues, gluten is a no no for me as well as the Action-Boy. We aren’t coeliacs but we are gluten intolerant. I’ll have to look her up. Whilst I am quite good at gluten free cooking, gluten free baking not so much. (Probably because I have a tendency to NOT follow recipes. Oddly enough I bake non-gluten stuff very well. The only sweet gluten free thing I can make very very well is triple chocolate gluten free cheese cake. Which well, has an ass load of sugar so I can’t make it right now!)

        But fudge…hmm, fudge is good. (And I can’t subject my son to his mothers woeful attempts to make gluten free sweeties. Except the choc chip cookies. They are pretty okay.Well, they’re edible. Fuck it, I’ll just look Monica up.)

        • Oh yeaahhh, ADFA. *light goes on*

          ManFriend got sick a while ago and couldn’t eat anything with wheat or oats or brown onions or prawns or lettuce in it. All very random. So I started using potato flour and rice flour and xanthan gum. Having done all that, I now say stuff it. Use the Orgran gluten-free flours for baking. Orgran pasta is pretty good too, the texture is right.

          • I heart Orgran. Love their lasagne sheets. (I usually make my own if I don’t have them, but that mean NOT GF)

            Best GF bread I have found is Wiz something or Something Wiz. The dough is actually dough like. So I can make dinner rolls/ bread rolls, cheesy scrolls type things for the Action-Boy and he doesn’t feel so freakish. (It actually tastes like bread rather than cooked paste.)

            Next time I am in Sydney though, I will look your friend up. (My Dad lives that way and well, Rugby League is played there.)

            • I haven’t had lasagne in ages. The weather is almost getting cool enough for a lasagne afternoon to fill the freezer. We sometimes combine it with a stock afternoon. Fuck, we are pretentious wankers. *buries head in hands*

              • Rhiannon Saxon

                I have just STARTED stock afternoons – when chicken legs or whole chickens are marked-down-for-very-very-quick sale (I have mentioned we are stupidly broke?) I simmer them and then use half the stock and chicken to make soup and the other half to make jambalaya or biriyani – (With home-ground-spices)…as well as being wanky, it is MUCH CHEAPER!

                • Because ManFriend and I don’t roast too many chickens these days (it’s a lot of chicken for just two of us), we get a bag of carcasses from a nearby chicken shop for a dollar.

                  • Rhiannon Saxon

                    That’s a very good idea. I should look into it. Although for the four of us and with a big freezer, it is handy to have soup and jambalaya and so on frozen, especially as picking up Craig from the ferry wharf in the evenings means I am out of the house between 5 and 6 PM most evenings and that really puts a crimp in feeling like cooking dinner!
                    (I have a ‘normous freezer courtesy of a very generous friend who gave me a lovely big cheque for my 30th birthday…and same friend is paying for my flight to WA. Big gratitudes.)

              • I’m making lasagne tonight. I just decided right then after reading these comments. Though I must have been planning to do it sometime soon as all the ingredients are in the fridge/freezer.

                The toilet is awesome. I want one, or possibly two of them. When my increasingly mythical renovation happens.

                • It might be a Sunday lasagne afternoon for us too. We have some mince in the freezer, from the ethical meat club we’re in. (Oh god, the wankery, it burns, it burns.)

                  • Rhiannon Saxon

                    I am going to indulge in a little slightly-dodgy-ethical-arguments here and say that our reduced-for-quick-sale-totally-unethical-meat-collection is just, you know, SAVING the meat from being THROWN OUT, and therefore, we are just one step down on the ethics food chain from being Freegans or Dumpster-Divers.
                    *apologetic cough*

                    • Don’t worry, that’s the only slightly ethical argument I could use for buying the chicken carcasses. I know it is bad bad bad to buy chicken from non-ethical-raised-by-Scandinavian-virgins sources.

        • Rhiannon Saxon

          So Deek’s bakery then? (EXPENSIVE! But grain-free.)

        • Pirra,

          if you’re in Canberra, you have to do what all the other gluten intolerant people do – go to EPIC and buy Sam Amore’s AMAZING GF chocolate brownies. The friands aren’t bad either!!

          • Okay, GF brownies….just where is this EPIC of which you speak?

            • EPIC stands for Exhibition Park in Canberra and is near Dickson/Mitchell northside. The farmers markets are held there every Sat (except this one, when they are off due to the Folk Festival) and the place to get all your local veg etc. Here’s some info: http://www.capitalregionfarmersmarket.com.au/information.html

              • D’Uh! Of course it stands for Exhibition Park! (I’m a southsider, only time we have ever really been northisde is to go to Belconnen and Raiders games. (Although, this time round, we were in Parkside Apartments while we waited for a house….and we discovered the Dickson pie shop. Lucky for us we can’t eat a lot of gluten and it’s a bit of a drive away…otherwise I’d be pie shaped.)

  2. Rhiannon Saxon

    The bill thing was very, very familiar. AS was the sense that one is not a very good adult. VERY familiar.
    Today I drove myself to the doctor, which is a rather adult thing to do, I feel. Tomorrow I am flying to Karratha which is terrifying as I have never been in a powered plane before in my life.
    (The ‘powered’ thing is a reference to the fact that while I have never flown in a commercial aircraft, I have in fact FLOWN a two-seater glider-plane. Which my very own joystick and control panel. Yep. Craig gave me a flying lesson when we had been seeing each other for two weeks, as a Valentine’s Day present. In fact, I ASSUMED he was going to pay an instructor. In fact, he WAS the instructor. Awesome.)

    • That’s an excellent present! What a lovely guy.

      I was wondering when you were going to Karratha. How are you feeling?

      • Rhiannon Saxon

        Sad and disbelieving. Also sick with bronchitis and cross that I have lost my one-day-a-week secondhand bookshop job.
        The grief comes and goes. My sister Guin has been posting lots of old family photos on FB and remembering has been good and also painful.

        I don’t think it is going to feel really ‘real’ until the funeral. Or until I am staying in her actual HOUSE which will be very strange.

        One a 30 day motivation challenge thing – what with the cold AND the grieving, I am shelving it until next month.

        I am going to the National FOlk Festival (The best forum for a middle-class lefty wanker to proudly proclaim one’s working-class heritage…*cough cough*) which I LOVE and have been going since I was 12
        And a week later I am catering at a Samhain gathering…
        SO I have lots on this month.
        *Next* month I start seeing a psychologist, start trying to get housework and also drawing-or-something-otherwise-creative and then have to start looking for a new job…!

      • That is the coolest Valentines Day present ever.

    • Brilliant Valentines pressie! I’ll be thinking of you over the weekend, hope it’s full of hugs and memories and the beginnings of healing for your whole family.

      • Rhiannon Saxon

        Thanks Mim, I do appreciate it. It should be good in many ways, seeing my WA family and meeting Elanor’s friends. Most of my brothers and sisters got together at Mum and dad’s house the afternoon that we heard about her death, and got photos out, and talked, and cried…and rang me at regular intervals as I was on my own up here! So this time at least I will be with everyone.

  3. that is a cool toilet. They have them in the Vegie Bar toilets in Melbourne and everyone is always running to the waiters to tell them their toilets are broken!!!

    Rhiannon, you have really never been in a plane in your life? How very 19th Century (and sustainable).

    I am not sure about the 66 day thing but a bit over two years ago I decided to start doing yoga every night for about 20 minutes for a month and see how I went. Two years later, and I would say I do it (mostly for 30 minutes) 5 nights a week. The default is if I am home and I am not sick, I do it. Sure, sometimes I don’t feel like it but it’s such a habit now that it seems harder in a strange way NOT to do it. Now I just need to break the habit of gobbling down chocolate afterwards…

  4. I’m calling a week 3 do-over for me. I haven’t gotten jack done around here. Yeah, that’s kinda all I wanna say about that.

    I’m glad you’re still going strong, though. Just go on ahead without me & I’ll catch up in a bit 🙂

  5. It’s school holidays, the entire family is drifting inexorably towards being nocturnal. Don’t know why I ever thought this would be a good month to opt for early rising! Will try to get back on track this week. I don’t think I’ll be getting up at 6am while we’re camping at the historical reenactment conference over Easter though, what with the freezing cold and the no electricity and having to start a fire in order to get a hot drink. The trick is to stay in bed till after the kids have got cold and bored enough to get the fire going for us.

    • Rhiannon Saxon

      I haven’t camped over Easter since having kids…it may be slightly less fun but it is a lot more ENJOYABLE staying at Mum and Dad’s, having hot, hot, cosy, HOT showers, drinking coffee and tea straight from the kitchen…for free…and then dropping off the kds at my sister’s place and heading off to the National instead of hobbling over freezing icy pebbles for miles to the communal toilet and shower blocks surrounded by other hungover people in pyjamas, and then rushing back with damp feet-in-socks to the campsite to stuff around with butane gas stoves (fire-ban.) to slowly boil water…nah.

  6. First of all, I am really enjoying reading your blog and look forward to my daily digests.

    Second of all – and on a less positive note – I seriously dislike that type of toilet that you’re thinking about. While I understand the appeal in terms of space-savingness, I don’t like having to stand over the dirty thing to get to the clean things. Ya know??

    Anyway, now that I have proven myself to be a complete nutter, I will conclude…

    But, great blog and I look forward to making a more worthy comment soon.

    • Ah, but if you flush with the lid down – like I do – so wee and poo particles don’t get thrown into the air, then it’s ok. With a toilet like this, I can save water and be a little bit OCD at the same time.

  7. Should have plenty of time on your hands since you were given the shaft from news. Devastated for ya, Kimmie. Just devastated.

    • Um, what? TaDA, I don’t know where you get your information from, but I wasn’t shafted from News or anywhere else. Hope you don’t take financial advice from whoever told you that. I do recall that you suggested I go to a costume party as David Penberthy, so I have to wonder about your motivation for being here.

  8. I’m doing well with my book reading challenge. I have nearly finished Ben Pobjie’s book “Surveying The Wrekage: http://benpobjie.blogspot.com/2011/03/it-is-very-exciting.html

    It’s a pretty funny and brash collection of essays and ideas from a writer I kind of have admired for a bit now. Also a kind of nice local bit of writing considering I was reading that British Bad Idea Anthology the week before.

    As for the challenge, well, I’ve nearly caught up with now doing 2 books in 2 weeks. Had to basically knuckle down and find quiet places to read. Thursday was really a productive day. I wasn’t working or having much on that day except for shopping so I just thought – “there ain’t anything to do, I’ll spend that spare time sitting down and reading”. My only quandry now is which book to read next. I honestly have no idea what to read next. I really like non-fiction, but maybe a bit of poetry or fiction is something I should look into.

    • That does look like a good book. I’ll have to check it out.

      I’m also a big fan of non-fiction, although a while ago I read James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker, about a male doctor who might have been a woman. It’s historical fiction – the sort of thing I normally run a mile from – but it was so beautifully written that I recommend it to everyone. ManFriend also loved it and his mother used it in her classes teaching English as a second language.

  9. Pingback: Cold turkey week four – the end | the news with nipples

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