I feel like I have some catching up to do as the technologically-challenged late comer to the 12 months of lent, so, in a nutshell…
I’ve come to think of 2008 as the year things fell apart. It started off slowly, in manageable chunks at first, but as the year went on it seemed to build inertia, delivering an onslaught of shitty situations. By October I was beginning to think I was making it all up in some sort of delusional personality disorder, fearing my job would think I was lying that I needed yet another day off to attend a wake or funeral. By the holidays it had finally caught up with me, and I was slightly unraveled, ten pounds thinner and lacking the inspiration to get out of bed most days. And I wasn’t the only one, it seemed that almost everyone I knew could agree that 2008 had been an extraordinarily bad year. Maybe it was a bad alignment of the stars, or maybe the universe was trying to do us a favor and compile all the bad events of the next few years into one year…I don’t know, and I don’t care.
When New Year’s rolled around, I was shocked when I felt a strange sense of hope emerging. I realized I had to put my foot down. The way I saw it, 2009 had nowhere to go but up, even if it continued to throw misfortune my way, I was going to control what I could control, and make the most of that. So I decided to make a few necessary life changes, like to stop letting selfish boys into my life (my new year’s resolution was to kick my douche-bag habit), stop having certain expectations that only lead to disappointment, stop letting myself get overwhelmed and dig myself out of the hole I had fallen into, and finally, to stop talking about going back to school and actually do it.
Back in November when Danne brought up the idea of doing something different every month, I thought it sounded like a great idea, but at the start of 2009, it seemed like a necessity. Writing everyday in January was probably the best thing I could have done to start off the year. Did i actually write everyday? Well, no, but even on the days I didn’t write, I found myself reflecting on what I would have written about, and it turned out to be a very reflective month for me, and set a good tone for the year. Detox February has been a dream so far. A challenge, but something I’m glad to have done. Since I’m already vegan i decided to nix caffeine as well, since the first thing I do every morning is turn my kettle on for a cup of tea. I’ve never thought I was addicted to caffeine because I’ve never turned to it to wake myself up, or cure the jitters, I thought I just drank it because I liked it, and yet, I’ve been suffering mild headaches almost every afternoon, and craving cups of black tea. Two affects I had not anticipated at all. Cutting the booze has also been a great experience for me, because it’s something I’ve never done since I started drinking a few years ago. Like some kind of sign from the universe, at the end of January a friend from school ended up in a bad situation that made him think about getting help for his drinking problem, and if that wasn’t an inspiration to abstain from alcohol for a month, I don’t know what else could be. Like Danne and Amanda have said, when did I start drinking out of habit? In high school and even my first year of college I was terrified to drink or experiment with any drugs due to my own family’s history of substance abuse on both sides. I started drinking cautiously when I was in college, and am relieved to discover that I have been blessed to have not inherited that tendency, but it is something I keep at the back of my mind always, and this detox has been a good practice for self reflection around this issue. This month has been a challenge worth taking for sure!
So- January and February have been a huge hit so far…and now I’m looking forward to learning how to crotchet in March!!