The Preamble to the Thirty Day Scramble
I’ve done similar writing challenges before. I like taking a month to write something every day. It’s a nice promise to myself that I find great satisfaction with when completed. I’m ready to begin a new journey in my birth month as we wind down the first quarter of 2022. But this time, I’m preparing a few more rules that I hope I can stick to. I think of this as a spring renewal time, even on this cold and windy New York Monday. And by letting certain things go for just thirty days, I intend to strip myself down to as ‘pure’ a specimen as physically possible. I can’t revirginize (although I probably already have), I can’t undo ten years of a cigarette habit, and I can’t unring the bells that have resounded so loudly they shoo people out of my cathedral. But I can fulfill promises to myself, even if my defeatist side wants to tell me I can’t.
So here are the seven rules for April that I hope can put me on a new track. Or at least grease the wheels to reset the already-moving cart.
1. Write an entry here every day
No brainer. Did it in June and December of last year. If I had more discipline, I’d write an entry every day. Maybe one day. But for now, I continue my theme of themed posts, highlighting that day and what I felt throughout it.
2. No social media
I’m a little worried about this one. I’ve gotten in the habit of checking Twitter the moment I wake up, lying in bed for an extra ten minutes while I get “read in” before work. It’s my default cure for boredom. I’ll just go onto Twitter and see what the rest of the world is thinking. I’ll wonder why something went viral. I’ll tweet praying someone notices me enough to get my own little viral moment. Or I’ll just get mad and incredulous about some of the things I see people say. It’s not good. It’s rotting my brain. Reddit is doing something similar, as I have endless scrolling to distract me away from doing what it is I need to do. And I haven’t figured that out yet, because I’m so entrenched in the not-real places of the internet. I just don’t feel like craning my neck down, concentrating too hard on what’s going on in my phone that I miss the big, bright world out in front of me. So Twitter and Reddit are no-go’s. I can still watch YouTube, and the only Twitter visits will be to post an entry. Otherwise, no scrolling, no checking notifications. I’m a ghost.
3. No booze
I’m not too worried about this one. I can go long stretches without drinking. Sometimes it barely crosses my mind to have a drink. And don’t worry about me going out. I don’t even foresee that happening when I’m this much of a hermit.
4. No pot
This one is imperative. I’m on the cusp of thirty-six years old. I don’t want to live my remaining years as a middle-age stoner. I’ve surprised myself in going even more long stretches without getting high. Frankly a lot of it has to do with simply smoking something. The inhale, exhale aspect of it. Never mind the mental high that comes along with it. I’ve found I can take that or leave that. I like getting stoned and writing, as I feel an expansion of the mind that takes me all sorts of ‘profound’ places. But I’m getting older. I can feel the blips in my thinking sometimes. And with dementia running in my family, it’s probably best I don’t destroy the few braincells I have left. I’m looking to quit the green entirely, especially as my motherhood window closes more and more. No one wants to be a stoned mom. She’s no fun.
5. No food deliveries
Another imperative rule. Not only is it expensive as hell, it also just fuels my laziness. I know working overnights isn’t ideal for some, but I’ve learned to live with it. However, I’m getting more and more tired as the days go by. Sometimes it’s just easier to bring something in than it is to make it myself. But I’ve been getting more serious about my weight, which has absolutely ballooned in the past two years. I’m finally a member of a health club and I’ve been taking barre classes here and there. The exercise mindset has returned to me. The food problem never went away. I hope by being forced to cook for myself, I can not only save a little money but actually see progress on my never-ending health journey.
6. No soda
I was doing extremely well with this. I completely cut out soda and felt leagues better because of it. Then one day I ordered a root beer float and that was that. I’m not drinking soda every day, but I’m definitely drinking more than I wish I was. So if I can nix it for thirty days, maybe I can nix it all together.
7. No ‘self-play’
This one isn’t actually a problem at all. I’m not a man, so I don’t need to ‘release the valve.’ This is moreso a challenge to see if I can do it. To see what kind of difference it makes to let all that energy flow in and out, recycle through me until it’s actually time to release. I’m thinking Seinfeld “Contest” rules apply: No DIY, but if I can find someone to do it for me, that’s fair game.
And there you have it. My seven rules for monthly enlightenment. I don’t know if it’s even possible. I may crack after the first day. But I hope not. I don’t know how much this will actually change things, but I’m willing to find out. Anyone who wishes can join me on whatever awakening journey you hope to achieve for April. It’s the season of showers, though I predict a deluge when all is said and done. And maybe by shifting my perspective, I’ll finally veer off the beaten path and actually discover my ultimate destination.