Well hey there, it's been awhile since I've posted. I had grand plans of keeping my blog updated during the two weeks I was home in Washington, but the holidays got the better of me and I decided to take a little break from posting.
Good news is that I'm back now, and I did something really awesome that I want to share with you guys.
Sometime in November I stumbled upon a blog post by an former coworker of mine, in which she explained the #30dayfunchallenge and why she started it. If you follow my blog, you'll recognize it from one of my 'I Heart the Internet' posts. Her essay was really inspiring to me, mostly because of how honest it was. We both work in the same industry, and I can empathize with getting bummed out by gigs getting cancelled at the last minute.
So basically I just challenged myself to 30 days of fun like a total crazy person. I knew I was going to have the month of December off, and normally when I have time off I just spend it doing laundry and binge eating. I wanted to try something different this time, and I'm so happy I did.
You know how they say it takes 21 days to develop a habit? I think that's true. It started out easy, I was excited to go to the beach and to focus on my cooking. A friend of mine let me borrow his camera and I was having a great time learning how to use it. It started to get harder later on, when I had some personal issues come up that could have really ruined the holidays for me if I hadn't been participating in the fun challenge. I also got sick for a few days, making it much more difficult to get off the couch and pursue fun as my main goal. But somehow I figured it out, and really enjoying little moments turned my bad days into good ones. It became a habit right before bed every night, for me to think about something fun I would focus on the next day.
During the fun challenge I learned a few things about myself. I learned how important building lasting memories is to me. I always feel a special sort of anxiety when I go home for the holidays. Mostly because a lot of my most painful memories exist in my hometown. But that's not important. What's important is that my family is there, and that I love them so much that it shouldn't matter if I'm scared of running into old acquaintances at the grocery store, or being forced to make small talk with people I used to care about deeply. I focused on spending more time outside, and spending more time with my brother and my sister. I spent a lot of time baking because that's obviously a huge thing for me, but I also spent lots of time sitting quietly with my dad on the couch while we drank coffee in the morning. I spent time with myself, and I spent time catching up with old friends. I did crafts and I practiced taking photos. I explored some of my favorite places and created new memories in them.
Doing the fun challenge relaxed me, and encouraged me to find something exciting in every situation. I had a smile on my face almost the entire time, and I'm working on keeping that going even now that the challenge is over.
I started writing this reflection a few days ago, and I thought I would have something a little more poignant to say about the fun challenge. But I don't really, and the more personal revelations I had, I want to keep to myself. But basically the fun challenge was eye opening for me, calming and rejuvenating. It was the perfect way to end my year, and I can't wait to do it again soon.
If you're interested in participating you don't need to be officially challenged, just go for it! It's free, fun and rewarding. You'll be glad you did.
I'll be back to regularly updating the blog with recipes and essays starting on Monday!