Category Archives: 12 Abstinances

2009/12/2

Give up dominant hand – Dec 1

This month my friends voted for what I abstain from. It was a tie between giving up hot water (a truly brutal task!), right hand dominance, and all disposable products materials (think throw away bottles, napkins, plastic cups etc). I got a few suggestions such as giving up all things yellow. Not sure what the value, other than comedic of course, that would provide but it’d be funny. If I were truely hardcore I would drink SO much water that even my pee wasn’t yellow.

2009/11/16

What the hell is going on?

About a year and a half ago just while still in the afterglow of an amazing weekend I harmlessly decided to give up all intoxicants for one month.  Simple.  After that VERY boring month of living like a hermit I decided to give up a different thing the next month.  And then a different thing after that.  What lies herein are my journeys as I challenge my status quo, rethink old assumptions, and dive into the bizarre to the extreme that even A.J. Jacobs would be proud (I hope at least).

Admittedly, the title is a bit of a misnomer since, after the 12 months were over, I decided to continue my experiments but I’m keeping the name anyways so you’ll just have to deal :-P

Welcome to my personal eternal lent.

2008/12/31

No Swearing – Results

A few weeks back when I told my friend that I was giving up swearing he told me that I needed to start making up exotic curses to fill the void left by my favourite, if oft over used, expletives.  He said I should call someone a “pusillanimous son of a bitch” if they pissed me off.  I don’t know about you but bitch was a swear where I grew up so I can throw that one out the window.  Or maybe I just need to get more creative.  Let’s see how calling someone a pusillanimous son of a whore works out for me ;-)

2008/11/30

No leaving messes – Review

This month was an exercise in learning respect for others.  When one doesn’t clean up after oneself then there is a disrespect done to another who has to clean up the mess.

I found myself folding the sheets if I slept in someone’s guest room, wiping up a mess I accidentally left in a restaurant and picking after myself around the house.  Mostly at least.

I thought I was going to clean the shit out of my room but I never succeeded in cleaning up old messes.  I just didn’t create new ones.  I suppose that’s being a bit technical.  Maybe cleaning up old messes will get it’s own month.

2008/10/5

No Procrastination – Oct 5

I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to give up for November.  The idea came upon me just as my girlfriend did in the attic of my parents house.

I’m normally a fairly cluttered person.  My stuff is usually all scattered about my room or car or bag or whatever.  I have stuff still in the boxes from when I moved 6 days ago, along with the stuff in boxes from when I moved 5 months ago along with the stuff in boxes form when I went to Europe last year.  While at my parents house on Sunday I discovered boxes from when I moved out of their house next to boxes of my old toys along with boxes of old video game magazines dating from the early 90s!  I never clean up after myself and I’m thinking that taking a month to get my life clean is just what the doctor ordered.

Now I have this month, the next month (no swearing) and the month after that (no leaving a mess) planned out.  My 12 absinances are 1/2 way done!

2008/10/1

No Procrastination – Oct 2

I wake up to 3 txt’s and a voicemail from W—.  He’s supposed to have paid me by the 1st of october, but he says he can only pay me about 1/3 of what he owes me.  No wonder I don’t want to do any work for him.  I’m going to have to set a boundary sometime soon.

One thought that’s been on my mind is that maybe part of this no procrastination thing should be that I should always do work time before playtime?  They both kind of go together and it is one thing I never learned.  Maybe I’ll save that for another month.  I don’t know.

One thing I’m pretty stoked about this month is the ability to wield a well placed lie from time to time.  I don’t think I’ve had the occasion to do so yet but I’ll be extra awesome when I do!

No Procrastination – Oct 1

It’s a little strange dropping a habit cold-turkey.  What a strange saying that is too…  Cold turkey…  The day went mostly well; I answered all phone calls until, “Shit, J—’s mom!”  I have a friend who has been acting strangely and getting into more trouble than normal and whenever he disappears for days at a time his mom calls me to see if I know his whereabouts and to convince herself he’s being murdered by psychos in the desert.  “No A—, why would anyone sneak into J—’s car while he’s sleeping with it to kill him?  He’s one of the toughest guys I know and would give them a hell of a time.”  I don’t like being pulled into other people’s drama so I ignored the call.  Procrastination fail.  Damn, now I HAVE to call her back!

So I called her back and, 20 minutes of complaining and explaining later, I was done and felt a little better about confronting an unpleasant task.

The phone rings again…  Damnit, it’s the annoying client I mentioned last month…  He hasn’t paid me in a year and always calls w/ emergencies.  This time at 9pm.  I’m in the middle of a good book and the last thing I want to do is walk him through some procedure.  Maybe it’ll just be a quick one.
“Hello?  Uh huh, your mail isn’t working?  Let me walk you through it’s settings…”  Ugh…  Oh great, he has to go take another call.  Awesome, “Call me back when you’re done.”

“Ok so let’s configure outlook…  An error message?  What’s it say?  Hrmm we should run a detect and repair.  You can’t find the cd?  OK, find the cd, run a detect and repair and then call me back to configure.”

Great, more reading…

Arg, he’s calling again,  “It still isn’t working?  Sounds like outlook is hosed…  Ok let’s reinstall office.  Go ahead and run the uninstall and then reinstall office.  Call me when you’re done”

It’s not 11pm and I don’t want to walk him through anything.  This guy is a taker and he’ll take and take and take and take until you realize you’re being taken.  I’m gonna strategically plan a shower right now…  Hopefully I won’t hear the phone when it goes off.

Aha, my plan worked perfectly, he called and I didn’t gave to ignore his call.  Plus it’s now passed midnight and who knows, it might be too late to call him back!

On a side note I may have to have a month of no sneakiness.

No Procrastination – Intro

In a moment of extreme irony, or extreme truth, I haven’t figured out which is more appropriate, I decided to stop putting off my month of no procrastination.  Starting today I won’t put anything off that I can feasibly take care of now.  Since I can’t do very many things at once there will be times that I need to reschedule a task but I don’t count scheduling something for a later time as procrastination.  Planning to do something in the future isn’t procrastination.

Highest on this list is not ignoring phone calls and getting back to friends/clients who are trying to contact me.  Don’t get me wrong though, I love not not getting back to people immediately and it definitely has it’s advantages.  It sort of ‘trains’ people  not to call just to bullshit.  I must not be a phone person or maybe I just like my bullshit like I like my sex: in person.  It’s like the first line of defense against useless blabbing.   It works pretty well too.  Most my friends don’t call me just to blab and most my clients don’t call without first trying to solve the problem theirself.

There are extremes though and I’ve been known to forget to call people back altogether or let my voice mail pile up so high that I don’t get back to clients emergency situations until much later.  Bad business.

This month, I will not ignore calls unless in a meeting or other situation that legitimately justifies hitting the ignore button on my phone.  Also, I won’t put off business projects and other tasks simply because I don’t feel like doing it.

So without further ado!