Jayme certainly wins the award for going the extra mile on the "30 Days" challenges. Every month of this year, she has challenged herself in a new/different way. Currently, she is taking her kiddos to 30 parks in 30 days, which I think is utterly brilliant. Getting exercise AND exploring your city. It's a win win.
I have not been doing challenges every month--unless staring at your depleted pantry and trying to come up with some kind of dinner that includes kidney beans and crushed pineapple counts. I've done a few challenges, and of course they've been wonderful. Nothing like mixing up your life a little to keep you on your toes.
I spent one month reading only non-fiction. It was hard. You know I love to read and you know I love me my stack of books next to my bed and you know I can have 3 or 4 different fiction books going at the same time. But I wanted to stretch my brain a little and I limited myself to just non-fiction. I avoided most parenting books because they usually make me feel like I've done everything wrong and my kids are doomed and have no chance at life. However, I picked up How To Raise A Drug-Free Kid and found is to be very helpful and resourceful. If you live in a bubble and think your kids are never going to have to deal with being offered drugs (in any form) then you don't have to read this book. The rest of you, I highly recommend it. Very practical and it gives you the courage to have "those talks" with your kids when the time is right. I also read Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture and despite a lengthy history of the manufacturing business, I appreciated reading the facts and statistics about what I already suspected and know to be true. I never, ever, ever shop at Wal-Mart, and this book confirmed my theories. Rounding out the month I finished some foodie books, including Michael Pollan, and a book on the spiritual journey of Paul the Apostle.
Another month I was determined to cut down how much meat we were eating. To be honest, I don't think we eat that much. David will have to defend himself on that one, but as for me and the kids, we were eating a portion of meat with dinner every night. I challenged myself to go completely vegetarian, while I made 2 or 3 vegetarian meals for the family each week, leaving 4 or 5 meals with meat. And I have not looked back. I don't miss the meat at all. It's been 2 months now. People immediately ask me "How do you get your protein?" quickly followed by "How do you cook vegetarian for yourself and something else for your family?" My response is, "I get plenty of protein. Please don't worry about me." and "I make a main dish for my family and a large vegetarian side dish for me and the family to share. Plus lots of salad and fruits and grains." It's not hard at all. If anything, my kids are eating better because they'll try what I make for me and end up really enjoying it.
Suddenly, we are moving closer to October--which means November is right around the corner. And last November was when I participated in 30 days of Nothing. A total spending freeze on everything but food or emergencies. I want to do it again, and I hope you start thinking about if you could do it, too.
It's a lot easier if we're in it together.