I don’t mean to say that I’m the only one, or that my habits are worse than your habits.
I’ve been looking forward to November since, well, slightly after last November. November, as many of us know, is Nanowrimo—National Novel Writing Month, a fabulous writing-motivating opportunity/ challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. You can read more about it—and sign up!—at nanowrimo.org, but for now, I’ll just say that I’ve done it for four years, and I’ve finished each year. This year, I’m doing it again.
Nanowrimo is a great chance to be completely self-indulgent and offer myself oodles of time to enjoy my favorite hobby: creative writing. I realize that I need to do other things, too, of course. Over the past four Novembers/ Nanowrimos, I’ve taught full-time, planned and carried out two National Honor Society induction ceremonies and two Thanksgiving Dinner Drives, spent a week in Yemen, gone through Peace Corps training, and lived and worked in Ukraine. Easy-peasy.
Still, November also signals the official slide into winter. The colder weather, the holidays, and the general business offer the perfect opportunities to slack off in other areas. I stop working out as much. I treat myself with snacks, sweets, extra sleep, or other bonuses just because “I’ve been working so hard” or “It’s really miserable weather” or “I miss everyone” or other totally valid excuses.
I am also terrible at keeping up with real news. Yes, I read email, Facebook, VKontakte, but I’m missing those NPR-fueled commutes and drives around town. Excuses? I have no time. I don’t understand the situation/ story/ conflict/ whatever fully. I don’t have a TV or radio. Excuses.
Still, excuses they are, so I’m embarking on two challenges this month: NANOWRIMO and NEWVEMBER!
In addition to working toward the 50,000-word goal for Nanowrimo (that’s only 1,667 words per day, friend!), I am pledging to make a new effort in maintaining healthy and useful habits.
Each day, I will make a conscious effort to do one healthy activity for at least 30 minutes, in addition to regular morning yoga. This could be running, a cardio DVD, or even Bollywood dance. Also, each time I turn on my computer, I will read the news on my new iGoogle page and listen to the NPR hourly news. Plus, I will avoid all “treats” that aren’t really treats—food and laziness offered as comfort in place of actual encouragement.
So, now you know!
In other news…
made out of salo, Euro 2012 fever, and a lot of... eww
- - This year’s most unintentionally scary Halloween weekend activity was the annual Lutsk salo festival. Yes, that’s right, salo is pig fat, a popular Ukrainian dish/ delicacy/ garnish, and this festival was, well, not for me.
- - I always forget how good beets are here. That’s all on that.
- - Here’s the next big thing I’m working on: A Day in the Life of Ukraine! On December 13, 2011, everyone living in Ukraine is invited to write about his or her day. These stories will be submitted, and the best and most interesting pieces will be compiled in an online and hopefully print format. The goal is to encourage greater understanding of Ukraine and Ukrainians, both among Ukrainians and abroad. Ukraine is a diverse country with many types of division, and the hope is that sharing stories will help people see each other as individuals and not labels. Sound good? If you want to get involved, or if you’re in Ukraine, and you want to write, let me know! Check out the soon-to-be-more-developed site: adayinthelifeofukraine.wordpress.com