Wrapping up the 30 days of challenge

The (w)rap up

If Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor, puns can’t be far behind.

Anyway, I’m over a week past the challenge’s finale, which happened on Friday, 11/24.  Mentally, I’m way past it, and having a hard time putting together words to sum it up.  It was difficult.  I don’t know, however, how interesting it was.  I’m sure there are better, more exciting things to do or not do for 30 days.  I did get some encouragement last week from a nurse I talked to at work.  I was telling her about my challenge, reluctantly, because I’m boring enough already, when she argued it is not boring at all, and shared how her and her husband recently put themselves on  a budget after calculating that they unknowingly were spending over $1000/month dining out.  So, maybe this is a little relevant.

I get annoyed with people who feel the need to flood social media with every thought they have or to project that perfect image of their better life than mine.  I don’t want to be one of those people.  But, on the flip-side,  I’m slowly starting to believe that writing down ideas in  a blog and posting it on Facebook may actually facilitate some pretty cool changes in my life.  And so, 30 days of challenge has come and gone, and it was boring and a little stupid, but it was also good.

The Stupid

I can’t believe I took a picture of my bathroom scale and posted it on the internet.  Aside from that, I really should have put a little more thought into how I was going to measure success or failure and the rules that dictate whether I was compliant or not the challenge.  Ok, not the end of the world.  And just for the record, I did take a post challenge reading on the bathroom scale, sorry no pic this time, and I did manage to lose about 3 pounds, which is encouraging. I didn’t really follow through with the daily journalling of my challenge as intended, so that is something I can improve on if I do this again.

The Good

I took a problem I had, and instead of just thinking about it, like I normally do, I came up with an idea for a solution, and then used this blog to hold me accountable and make it happen.  I’m always thinking about how I can do “x” better, or how I would like to be better at “y”, and never actually do anything about it.  So I’ll give myself a little pat on the back for doing something a little different and following it through to the end.  From the first week, I started coming up with all kinds of reasons why this challenge was dumb, some of them legitimate and some not, but having the accountability of writing it down and knowing that my friends and family knew about it, made me keep going. This is good.  This is positive feedback. Also, having my first go at this being a bit of a gimme could just be the kind of positive encouragement I need to take on something more ambitious.

I failed.  I had a few days when I forgot to bring a lunch with me.   What did I do?  I got hungry and….nothing.  I waited until I got home from work and ate then.  I didn’t pass out, drop dead, or turn into a raving lunatic and have to be committed.  You see, as I’m learning, our brains are coming up with thoughts all the time.  We don’t have to listen them all the time.  And, the more we focus and don’t let ourselves get bogged down by these “pop up” thoughts, the easier it becomes to stay on track.

I learned that there are healthy foods I like.  I still can’t believe it, but I actually enjoy some sauteed Spinach and Kale in the morning.  It’s so easy to make, easy to clean up, and it tastes pretty good.  I look forward to it with my coffee and usually will have a chicken sausage to go with it.

I like Yogurt.  I kind of already knew this, but putting some Yogurt, Blueberries, and Granola into a small Tupperware container is also super easy and a great mid morning snack.  I also learned that Big Y brand Yogurt is gross.  Don’t buy it.  Please.

And as a result of this challenge I have some new Tupperware that is really handy.  Unfortunately, some of the Tupperware lids have gone missing.  I suspect they are hiding out somewhere with my unmatched socks.  I don’t think I want to know what they’re up to.  I also lost one Tupperware container to mold.  It somehow slid under my passenger seat, with Yogurt still in it.  And, it was some of the Big Y Yogurt, so there was a lot left over.  That got tossed upon discovery a few weeks later at a gas station, accidentally into a paper recycling bin. I guess that should go a few paragraphs back with  the rest of Stupid.

So, 30 Days of challenge has come and gone.  I did go back and do some math, and in the 30 days prior to my challenge I spent a little over $300 eating out.  That’s a somewhat surprising amount of money, so maybe this was worthwhile.

Another benefit to “brown bagging” is that you don’t have to go find somewhere to eat. That saves time. You don’t have to wait for your order to be taken, food to be prepared, or to pay for it. In fact, on a couple occasions I was able to find a nice quiet place to enjoy my lunch.

And as the days get shorter, it gets harder and harder to find the time to get outside, at least while there’s daylight. I’m wondering if lunch time might be an opportunity to get out and explore some parks or local landmarks I’ve never been to. Maybe areas that I can later explore on bike or maybe even skis or snowshoes as weather dictates. Sounds like a new challenge.

And as for the reward, I’m researching what I want to do for a cross country ski setup.  I had no idea how many options and how much different gear there was for that sport.  I should have known.  It’s another blog series in itself.  In fact, I’ll go ahead and make a donation to the Salvation Army and then worry about skiing later.  You can do so also by clicking on that prior link.  It was really is eye opening to see how much money I waste and don’t even think about it.  Maybe this 30 day challenge was worth it after all.

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