Because when I'm not watching Star Trek, I'm thinking about Star Trek, or I'm shopping for Star Trek nerd-trinkets on Etsy. Did I say Star Trek? STAR TREK.
→ To Boldly Go Treasury on Etsy.
There are oodles of articles out there about breaking bad habits. I've heard that I should remind myself of how the habit negatively affects me, or think like someone who has already broken the habit, and employ all sorts of self control mantras and strategies among other things.
I've tried a lot of things and found most of them don't work for me because I think they're stupid and I feel stupid doing them. I know the positive, self-helpy talking to yourself business works for a lot of people. Not me.
"Self, STFU and let me get back to these cat videos."
So here's the method that does work for me...
Put a "Buffer" in front of your bad habit
When I was trying to quit smoking, Quit Smoking seemed like an insurmountable goal. I like smoking and all of the positive self-talk in the world wasn't going to change that. Rewarding myself wasn't going to help when smoking itself was a reward in my mind. Scary photos of cancer-riddled organs didn't phase me. The goal seemed huge. Insurmountable. What could I possibly tell myself that was going to make me stop?
The answer was: I didn't have to quit smoking. I had to quit buying cigarettes long enough to break that habit. It sounds like the same thing, but it's not. One is a huge goal: break an addiction. The other is a simple thing that requires only a split second of willpower: "Just keep driving past the convenience store. Don't stop."
I used the same strategy when I decided to clean up my diet. I am not a pillar of willpower. But I didn't have to convince myself that I didn't love cheesecake and bagels (absurd). All I needed was a smaller, more manageable goal. Eat healthy is huge. Keep your hand out of the candy basket is easy. Don't put the bagels in the cart is easy.
Tiny buffer goals can help you break bad habits without the need for a heaping pile of willpower. Because who has that anyway?
Disclaimer: The occasional cupcake is still necessary to maintain sanity.
The problem with To-Do lists is that I usually have half a dozen of them stashed in various places in various states of (non)completion. And who is the world's worst self-motivator? Who would rather hold her pee for hours than drag herself out of a nice warm bed? THIS GUY.
But a great person once said:
The biggest obstacle to gittin' er done is when you don't tell no one what you got done to git. Yeehaw.
But a great person once said:
The biggest obstacle to gittin' er done is when you don't tell no one what you got done to git. Yeehaw.
Right? Right. So I'ma put this on the internet.
I'm going to try to do 30 things I've never done before by my 30th birthday. And since I'm not a masochist, I'm going to give myself more than a year to do it.
My 30th birthday is January 17, 2013, so as of today I have 423 days to bang this shit out. Here they are, in no particular order...
Run a 5k race
- Visit Centralia
Attend a Monster Truck rally
- Open a Roth IRA
- Attend a CAT SHOW
- Ride a Segway
- Host a Snooty Dinner Party
Run the Warrior Dash
- Take a dance class
- Participate in a winter sport (ice skating, skiing, snowboarding)
- Have a technology-free weekend - no internet, cell phone, or TV
Bake a pie from scratch
- Go on a bar tour drinking only martinis
- Get a new tattoo
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen/food pantry
- Bake a cake from scratch
- Attend a Star Trek convention
- Attend a non-Christian church service
- Do 100 consecutive push-ups
Photograph a wedding
- Go camping in a tent
- Pay off all of my non-mortgage debts
Pick berries at a pick-your-own berry farm
- Write a letter (on real paper) to one of my elected Representatives
- Learn to apply liquid eyeliner like a BOSS
- Go skydiving (!!!)
- Learn enough Spanish to hold a rudimentary conversation
- Eat vegan for a month
- Volunteer to work at the polls during an election (paperwork submitted!)
- Take an adorable/ridiculous couple portrait with Chef Boyfriend
If you have your own 30 Before 30 (or Howevermany Before Whenever) list, drop a link in the comments! I want to see what you're doing!
Categories: 30 before 30
Internet, I'm so excited! I've started working on my very own 30 Before 30 list, a right of passage for every 20-something ladyblogger, and it's actually getting me super psyched for the next year of my life. Also! Chef Boyfriend made me this delicious Chipotle Butternut Squash for dinner last night. I just polished off the leftovers and it was amazing, so it's possible that I'm cruising on chipotle pepper-fueled endorphins...!!!
Links to Stuff! And also things!
I'm a sucker for posts about people's minimal beauty regimens. Yes and Yes shows off her 3 Product Makeup Bag. I think I could make do with these 3 things + eyeliner.
I let out an inadvertent scream and throw my hands up in front of my face every time my shower caddy slides down the shower head. So I'm kind of angry that I didn't think of this solution on my own.
People Are Awesome: School on wheels brings classes to Indian slums.
Puttin' it out there: I love Kate Middleton. Cynics and those jaded with British royalty - stuff it. I like her. And I want to steal everything in her wardrobe. Also, she sends lovely personal letters to kids with cancer. I may have a bit of a ladycrush. Swoon.
This is why you should a) learn how to change a tire, people! and b) lend a helping hand when you can. One good deed, quickly repaid with another.
Commercializing Minimalism: 10 Perfect Presents for Small Space Dwellers. Pssssst... it's all either: A) Stuff you could make yourself for about five bucks, B) Completely overpriced, or C) Utterly frivolous and useless. Consider this a what-NOT-to-do.
I just learned a few weeks ago that layaway is still a thing you can do. I remember, as a little kid, going to stores with my mom so she could make her layaway payments. Apparently it's making a comeback, but is layaway ever a good idea?
We felt very nice and snug, the more so since it was so chilly out of doors; indeed out of bed-clothes too, seeing that there was no fire in the room. The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.~ Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.
While it may not be true that to appreciate something you must have experienced the inverse, it certainly helps to give us perspective.
It may be a small thing...
Because I've been cold and wet, I appreciate my warm coat and umbrella.
Because I did not grow up in a home that was always neat and organized, I better appreciate a simple, uncluttered space with only minimal furnishings.
Because I've had only a few cents in the bank, I better appreciate when I have more money than I need to get by.
Because you've suffered a long illness, you better appreciate your good health.
Because you've had no money for groceries, you better appreciate the ability to buy fresh, healthy food to eat.
Because you've been in crushing debt, you better appreciate owing nothing to anyone.
Because you've been lonely, you better appreciate your few loyal friends.
What have you experienced that makes you more appreciative today?
Cute enough to make your head explode. Picture via.
Things You Can Buy For Me: Fauna Friends!
photographs of an abandoned but perfectly preserved Japanese school. Something about the lighting feels very inviting to me. I'd love to spend the day there.
Some of Florence King's commentary on having to read John Updike to write a critique:
"Berger stared at the bruise and dung colors of his office. Voices mossy-thick as a tree where it comes out of the grass scrabbled at him through a hollow blur. There was a boom box stuck on his shoulder. Some street kid had thrown it at him, and now it was embedded in his flesh, locked forever on a hard rock station, turning him into a dedicated seeker after truth who couldn’t hear himself seek.""He opened the drawer of his crotch-high file cabinet. The hang files on their tracks reminded him of claws on the guard-rails of transcendence suspended over a primordial pit. Withdrawing a letter, he took it to Father Xerox and pressed the print button. The technological monster transluced into life with a chuffling sound of dolorous vigor like children rollerskating in hell."
... Read the rest.
How does your state excel (or not)? We Pennsylvanians have the most organic mushrooms AND crumbling dams in need of repair. So you Marylanders with your "Most Academic Research Funding" can SUCK IT.
People Are Awesome: Football Player with Down Syndrome Scores 75-Yard Touchdown.
I will not cry on my keyboard. (Ok, yes I will.)
Buy Local Honey to Make Sure You’re Really Getting Honey, and Support Local Beekeepers. Because it may not be honey at all, which is scary. We buy ours from the farmer's market and it's made in the next county over AND is ten times more delicious than anything that every came out of a plastic bear.
This video is on the long side, but I think it's incredibly important to watch.
Gardening as a Subversive Act:
Internet, it's been a rough week. After the snow storm that hit the east coast last Saturday it looks like a tornado went through my yard and I've got trees down all over the place. Fortunately, it did not completely derail our Halloween festivities and a romping good time was had by all. Now it's time to deal with the destruction and I'm stressed and want to eat everything in sight. CHAINSAWS FOR EVERYONE!
This week the links are all about food.
I made the Pumpkin and Spinach Macaroni and Cheese recipe pictured above for my guests over Halloween weekend and it was uhhhhhmazing. Every last bit was demolished with gusto.
Pumpkinify ALL THE THINGS.
I'm a pretty decent cook in that the things I make (usually) come out tasting delicious, but my technical skills could certainly use some work, which is why I really enjoyed this article on the basic skills of cutting food in the kitchen
Gojee is the most gorgeous recipe site ever.
This guy is a personal trainer who's decided to eat garbage to gain weight, and then document his process of taking the weight off again. Not sure how I feel about the intentional abuse of one's body, but it sure is interesting to watch.
More please. How to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
Let's be serious, no one frequently asks any of the questions people put in their FAQs. Things About Us That We Think You Might Be Interested In Knowing would probably be more accurate, but TAUTWTYMBIIK just doesn't quite roll off of the tongue. So here's a bunch of questions that no one asked me but I'm answering anyway. Thhhhhbtbtbtbt.
What do you look like when you're not a disembodied head on the interweb?
I am 5' 7" tall, making me one of the taller women in my family (only my Aunt is taller). I have red hair, am covered in freckles and of a generally orange complexion. I have
chronic bitchface a stern countenance that causes people to frequently ask me if I am angry.
So you're Irish, duh?
Err... yes, but truly I am an American Mutt. My father's surname is Irish (and that seems to be the lion's share of genes that I ended up with) and my mother's is French. I am also aware of Greek, Czech and possible Scottish and Swiss branches in my family tree.
What made you decide to write a blog?
I'm a narcissist and I think everyone should listen to what I have to say. I enjoy writing things that may be entertaining or helpful to others. And someone told me you could make money doing this crap. I'm feeling a little duped.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I'm supposed to say "everything but country" right? As a middle schooler I was all about grunge, then in highschool and college it was all punk rock. These days I'm finding that my ears have gotten old well ahead of the rest of me and most of that sounds like noise now.
My most recent playlist includes: Tom Waits, the Naked and Famous, the Ramones, Le Tigre, Teddybears, Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Spiderbait, Beastie Boys, Ludacris, Depeche Mode, She Wants Revenge, the Blood Brothers, Jurassic 5, Soul Coughing, Of Montreal and MGMT.
Where did you and Chef Boyfriend meet?
In a bar. He was the bartender. I was there to get shitfaced. The rest is history.
Are you going to make up a better story to tell your grandchildren?
What's one thing you completely fail at?
I've never properly learned to do a lot of the things that people traditionally think of as feminine.
Things I absolutely cannot do: cartwheels, splits, braid my hair, apply liquid eyeliner or fake eyelashes, sew, knit, sing.
Things I can do very poorly: paint my own fingernails, shave (so. much. blood.), apply makeup, style my hair in a ponytail, dress myself, dance.
Why are you a vegetarian? DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'LL GET SICK AND DIE?!?!?!111
I've done this for 15 years and am almost certainly not dead (I suppose there's always a chance), so calling shenanigans on that myth, sorry! It's mostly a moral thing. I feel that as a privileged person who has access to a grocery store and does not need to chase her dinner with a pointy stick, it would be frivolous cruelty to kill animals just because they're yummy. Truth be told, even when I was a little Ginger I was never a big meat-eater, so it was a very easy change for me. I've also come to appreciate the health and environmental benefits of vegetarianism and it saves me a boatload of money. Fear not, meat eaters, I promise not to shame you. In fact, I rarely even talk about it.
What's up with your pets and those stupid names?
I think that Ziggy Doodlebean, Miss Audrey and Mister Squint McSquinterson are perfectly good names, thank you very much.
What's your worst habit?
I am an habitual snooze-bar-masher and I literally get out of bed 30 minutes before I have to walk out the house. That breaks down to a 10 minute shower, 15 minutes drying my hair, getting dressed and putting on makeup and 5 minutes whirling around the house collecting all the necessary paraphernalia and scrambling out the door. Chef Boyfriend enables me by making my breakfast and lunch so that I can hide under the covers just a few minutes longer.
Thanks to Mama's Losin' It for the writing prompt.