30 Days

April 26, 2013

If you’re at all familiar with home organizing websites (or Pinterest) then you’ve probably come across the concept of “30 Days of Organizing.” With my affection for lists and for clearing out and decluttering, I’m always drawn to these lists and often start off making my own with a burst of enthusiasm—enthusiasm that fades approximately five days into the whole deal. You see, I’m always attracted to the fantasy idea of “getting things under control” in a set time, like 30 days. Never mind that life itself resists efforts to control it, and likely will never be under control. Never mind that my list often sounds about as fun as 30 days of dental appointments. (How much interest can I really drum up in cleaning the bedroom ceiling fan?)

So as I was making my latest dreary home organizing list, I pondered taking the 30 days concept in a much more enjoyable direction. What about scheduling 30 days of creativity? Or 30 days of sketching, writing, gratitude, or even pampering? Oh, oh, oh—or 30 days of chocolate! Gee, those sound a lot more fun! Frankly, I have more need of scheduling creativity and fun that I do chores. Despite my sensitive conscience and obsession with contributing to family life, I do enough. Instead of adding more to my workload, I’m going to schedule in some fun.

As I was thinking about this idea, I also remembered something I’d read on Matt Cutts’ blog—a slightly different take on the 30 days concept.  Matt is a software engineer and head of Google’s Webspam team and he chooses a new 30-day challenge every month. Some of his challenges have been 30 days of: exercise; acts of kindness; avoiding reading, watching or hearing the news; drawing something; and ukulele! Here’s a link to a video of Matt giving a short TED talk about 30-day challenges: 

I decided to go for 30 Days of Creativity, and here are a few things I’ve jotted down on my list (any suggestions?): go on an artist’s date; finish filling my sketchbook that only has two or three blank pages left in it; write a haiku; take some photos. At this point, I’m not going to limit myself to any one area of creativity, but I am going to try hard to make it 30 consecutive days. That will be a big challenge for me, because I often find it hard to do anything for 30 consecutive days, even fun things. I usually miss a day here and there, but I won’t beat myself up about that. Any step in a more creative direction will be progress. To keep me honest, I’ll let you know when I officially start my experiment, and post updates about it here on the blog.

In my opinion, we don’t need to add more work to our lives. We need to add more joy, more play, more fun and creativity. There will always be more than enough work to fill our time—but is that really how we want to fill it?

What would you like to try for 30 days?

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  1. I would like to travel for 30 days! I think that would be great fun.

    As for things to try, I would say eating new foods, going some place you've never been, doing something in a different manner than you've always done it. Any thing that takes you out of your comfort zone is going to be a good fit for creativity challenge!

    Good luck!

  2. I'm so glad you've decided to be good to yourself! 30 days of creativity is much better than 30 days of any kind of work. I agree with you that you do enough, and I'm glad you realize that! Have fun!!

  3. Laure--Oh, yeah, 30 days of travel would be awesome! Thanks for the suggestions for my 30 days of creativity, too. I sometimes forget it doesn't have to be something major in order to be creative, or to build creativity.

  4. Cheryl--Thanks for your encouragement! I tend to focus on what I didn't get done, as opposed to what I did get done--crazy, right?

  5. Wow ... Laure's 30 days of travel sounds very appealing!! I'll have to wait for more $ and time off of work though. For now, I'm in the middle of a 90 day challenge of putting more movement in my days. Wearing my trusty pedometer each day and trying to bump up my step numbers, and add some other exercise. So far, so good.

  6. Good for you, Claire. That's a challenge that will benefit you a lot. You'll be fit and ready to go should you ever have the opportunity for that 30 days of travel!

  7. I think you've already come up with good ideas. For some different things under creativity how about trying a new recipe or two?

  8. Timaree--Yes, a new recipe would be a good thing. We get tired of eating the same old stuff, and cooking is definitely creative.