Sunday, 14 August 2011

Challenge II - Sleep

I really like daisyfae's idea of getting enough sleep for a while. I'll need to set my alarm to wake up at 6:00 to get the kids to school starting in about a week. It would be reasonable to be in bed by 10:30, right? And maybe asleep by 11:00? That's still only seven hours of sleep each night, but as a night owl, the idea of going to bed as early as 10:30 is a bit terrifying, so I'll take what I can get.

I can't imagine that this will be a very exciting activity to post about, but I think it will help me A LOT with my general happiness in life, so here I go!

Round 2 — What I'll (not) do

Well, my intention was "I'm going to do one new thing every day for the next 30 days."

Then I started thinking, while it might be an amazing task, I'm not sure how feasible it is, especially since I've already got a lot on my plate. So I'm going with Plan B (and I'll try to incorporate something new into my days, which will help out with said Plan B).

There's an exercise that I've done before from a book called Page by Page by Heather Sellers. In the book, she says if you do it ten days in a row, "your life will change." I've always* wanted to follow through with it. So here's what I'm gonna do for 30 days.

Page by Page, Exercise 13 (page 60)
  • Number a page from 1-10
  • Set a timer for 3 minutes
  • Make a list of ten things you saw two days ago, starting from the morning and ending with the night. Keep your hand moving. If you get stuck, draw slow circles. You want to end up at exactly number ten at the end of three minutes. Don't write a novel at each item, just a few anchoring words to capture the image.
  • Three minutes, one list.
  • Look over your list. Let one item pick you, or if nothing leaps out, do number three. Number three is magic and it always works.
  • Set the timer for ten minutes. 
  • Write the item number and the words at the top of a fresh sheet.
  • Some rules: You must keep your pencil moving. You must write slowly, all caps, skipping lines. Write in simple clear sentences. Don't try to be too fancy. Avoid adjectives and adverbs. Just write in nouns and verbs, very simply, very slowly. 
  • For ten minutes. Write what you see. Write what you hear.

Apparently it's all about creating ritual. And forcing yourself to just write what you remember (and I reckon that after a few days I'll subconsciously be looking for new images/details to try to remember for two days later).   And, as busy as I know I'm going to be, if I can't find make 15 minutes a day to just sit down and do something for myself, then things be needing to change.

I'll type them up and share them, maybe not every day, but there will be thirty lists and thirty sets of observations.

What are you doing?

* Okay, you caught me. "Always" is a bit of an overstatement. I bought the book 4 or 5 years ago, and I've wanted to do it since then.

Wrap-up Round 1 a la Mitzi

The 30 Day Project came just at the right time. I was getting slovenly, and couldn't access the right inner zing to inspire me toward exercise. Un/fortunately, I am obliged to exercise for health reasons. The mental uplift is vital, and the maintenance of steady (decreased) weight is preventative of potential nastiness. Then a score of vanity reasons follow.

Getting out to the sea was an initial form of exercise, as I spent a good deal of brisk walking time exploring the local area. As I have only lived here eight odd months, the walks were exploratory and fun.

Despite the zensome joy of strolling by the sea and my initial stoicism, bad weather forced me indoors and back on the treadmill. The mental leap I made between about day 10 and now is exciting. It used to be gruelling to make it to 30 minutes. Now, it is distance rather than time thatI look forward to achieving. I also have proof that steady jogging of about 4 k's on a regular basis has shifted my shape around a bit. I became reacquainted with my waist which is once again the slightly narrower bit in the middle.

Now that the exercise hit from 30 Days round 1 has kickstarted my health and fitness needs, I may return to a mental challenge. One ten year goal I set earlier this year was to be able to do cryptic crosswords. The more I try, I find I've been able to make more sense of them. However, I don't want an unrealistic challenge. To complete an entire cryptic crossword is still impossible for me, but I can work out two or three clues. Therefore, one possibility for 30 Day Challenge Round 2 is to complete 3 cryptic crossword clues per day. As Monday 15th arrives slightly earlier for me than Northern Hemisphereans, I shall have to decide overnight!

My other desired challenges are: yogic stretching; a daily swim; contimued jogging; resume my learning of Gaelic; and a million other things.

Meanwhile, I will try to blog about a daily jog on my regular blog so that I maintain momentum. I also suggest that the highlight of my 30 Day Challenge round 1 was doing The Bay Run of 7 kilometres with relative ease. It showed how it only took about 15-20 ish days to resume a happy level of fitness and determination. Hooray for all of us, and Bob for getting the party started in cahoots with Daisyfae, and the rest of us tribal types. It's grand to form a fun yet frolicsome collective.