ONE: Wear something you bought but have never worn; Yes, ladies, we all love shopping, filling our closets with all the pretty clothes and shoes and handbags we can find and afford, but somehow, we always end up wearing the same outfits over and over and over, falling back on our favorite pair of jeans or sweatshirt— they’ve always been reliable— leaving our latest ‘treasures’, still tagged, gathering dust and taking up precious space at the way backs of our closets. This week reach back as far as you can and pull out that cute skirt you bought a couple months ago and never wore outside of the store’s changing room. Now rip off that tag and make it an official part of your wardrobe!
TWO: Learn the Sun Salute; If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you can most likely skip this one— personally, I never have, but thank the internet, I found the free alternative and now, I’m a yoga expert (okay, “expert” is a possible exaggeration…). The Sun Salute is a 12 step, relatively easy to remember, relatively light— though effective —yoga routine. I’m really digging yoga at the moment; it’s extremely relaxing, good practice for meditation, and doesn’t really feel like exercise at all— until the next morning. You can get full guided instruction on YouTube.
THREE: Don’t check your e-mails or go on/post on or check your Facebook or Twitter for 24 HOURS: Impossible! I thought so, too, a few years back until I was catapulted into a completely foreign country, whose language I didn’t understand (I probably should have paid more attention at uni, because even after two years of intensive German lessons, I couldn’t speak or understand a word). I had a hotel booked near the airport for two nights, which my father and I decided was plenty of time for me to find a place to live for the next 9 months during my year abroad. On my first day in the city I met a boy who thought that the internet was an island in the Indian Ocean, and so, when I moved in with him, I moved into a flat without internet. I hadn’t realised how addicted I truly was; a straight up web-junkie, I was constantly wondering what was going on on my Facebook, hoping nobody got the wrong impression when I didn’t like their post on my wall, or accept their friend request or poke them back or whatever the fuck, but days went on and it began to matter less and less and even less as time went on and I found more productive ways to spend my time. I used to be able to sit on Facebook for hours, not only keeping in touch with old friends, but also creeping around on pages of people I barely know or care about; I was always up-to-date on the latest statuses, what everyone I know or had ever met was doing or thinking at that particular moment; knowledge that I’ll be able to use over and over again throughout my entire life (—right?). These days I get in and out as quick as I can, as I still use it to keep in touch with old, scattered-about friends— and only to keep in touch with old,scattered friends.
But enough about me, let’s talk about you. Think about it as an experiment, live in the real world for an entire day;meet up with a friend in real life instead of instant messaging her, enjoy your chocolate cake instead of photographing and posting it, don’t give a shit about what your cyber friends are doing. Flex your willpower, it’s only 24 hours… plus think of all the notifications you’ll have when you log back in!
If you need your e-mail for work, try starting on Saturday night, into Sunday.
FOUR: Write a poem; Good day? Bad day? Rough day? Sad day?One of those days where getting out of bed, feels like a form of torture? Or when the thought of that speech you’re to give, has got you nervous for sure? Are you thinking about a person you hate? Or are you head over heels? No matter the case… get that feeling down on pape-er. See what I did there?
I’ll admit the majority of my poetry journals would give an unaware reader the impression that I’m an angsty, outcasted teenager with occasional spouts of schizophrenic euphoria, as I tend to write when I’m sad or angry as a way to ‘get it all out’, as if I’m able to transfer the bad feelings through the pen, into the ink and onto the paper, and it feels very freeing. Try it for yourself, maybe you, too, will find it to be a good outlet for overflowing emotion.
FIVE: Explore your City/ Neighborhood; Whether you’ve lived in the same town your entire life, or just made a big move to a completely new area, you’re bound to find something you didn’t notice before; even the most unimpressive-looking of all small towns has something to offer, whether natural or man-made. If you live in a city fortunate enough to have a public train system, then hop on, hop off at a completely unfamiliar stop and get to wandering. If you live in Europe (or Boston) taking too many turns will get you lost pretty quickly in unfamiliar quarters, so stick to main roads, or side roads just off the main road; If you live in New York, LA, take as many turns as your heart desires, it’s quite hard to lose yourself in a gridded city. Small town people can,too, wander the side streets to their heart’s desire, and maybe, even, get to take a stroll through the woods if they’re lucky enough to have a nearby forest. Sometimes the woods have just as much to offer as the streets. Look up, down and all around and your bound to be astound by the things you missed before. I’ve been living in the same area now for 3 years and about a week ago, for the first time, I notice that, before several older buildings, gold plates, engraved with names and dates, are fixed in the sidewalk concrete marking houses of importance, where people of Jewish heritage were hidden, or carried out, where the main office of the head DDR Russian officer’s office once was, and the likes.