September always feels to me like an ambitious month. The kids are far enough into school that we're beginning to get a sense of what this school year (or at least this semester) is going to be like. My husband, freed of the summertime job of boychild-wrangling, is exploring his creative passions with more gusto. Being the weirdo who actually misses school, I am inspired to join as many classes, courses and challenges as I can find. Just so's ya know: None of the sites below are affiliate links. I love the work and I've already put my money where my fingers type, so I don't mind spreading the word.
Since the beginning of this year, I've been enrolled in Alena Hennessey's A Year of Painting and I've been doing a piss-poor job of being much of anything other than a lurker (albeit one who really delights in seeing the beautiful art the other students are creating). I'd like to get back into the swing of her lessons, especially since I've invested a good couple hundred into some good quality art supplies. September feels like a good month for that.
I also enrolled in The Darling Tree's Unicorn Project - I am going to get into the nitty-gritty of editing the memoir I officially started working on in July 2014. I've been trying to push it to 100,000 words before I start editing but I think I need to concede that I'm really just dragging my feet. It's over 82,000 words right now, which is plenty to get red-pen-slashing on. I'm sure there will be rewrites aplenty and no shortage of material.
So, that wasn't enough, because it's *only* for the 30 days of September, so I enrolled in Hannah Marcotti's Magic Making Business Circle, which starts mid-November. But that's a bit far off, so I'm glad she included her Community Grace, starting in mid-October, for anyone who signed up to the MMBC before September 1st. I am ridiculously excited about both of these offerings - I wanted to participate last year but the timing didn't quite work out. Hannah models a sincere sensuality that I absolutely adore - it feels like something that's been lost to me since I became a mother, something that wants me to reclaim it as part of who I am and how I show up in the world.
That only leaves a gap from the end of September and mid-October - I'm eyeballing a Flash Fiction writing course taught locally by a childhood friend. We'll have to see if that comes to fruition - it's a form I love but/and it'll will take a little more coordination by the members of my household because I'll have to physically attend the classes rather than sitting at home in my yoga pants and attending via wifi. (For the record, I like the in-person aspect very much since all of the others are distance learning/participation things).
Oh, except I forgot one more challenge! I'm really at my best when I get a core set of needs met each day: Sleep, Eat, Move, Write. It's taken me a good long while to understand how critical these four things are, even longer to get them in the best order (for me), and now is a great time to commit to actually giving them the space they deserve! I'm doing that with the help of a program offered at work called "Make it Your Mission for Great Nutrition." It recommends making a simple change, like adding a new fruit or vegetable to your diet each day for the month of September, but it can be amended to your particular needs. I've set a goal for Sleep of seven or more hours of sleep per night. For Eat, I simply want to eat at/from home more often than I eat out because I struggle with the "convenience" of going to restaurants (which really is no such thing, in addition to being expensive as sin). Move is the goal that I had been doing very well on since May but recently began to struggle with - I'd like to see myself manage 30+ minutes of movement each day. And Write... Yes, this baby deserves a good goal. I'm confident I can manage a solid 1,500 words per day most days. Over 30 days, that's 45,000 words, y'all! True, it may become an editing target rather than new writing, but I'm good with that. And even if I don't hit the word-count goal every day, I'll still be doing even more of my very favorite activity than I have any other month this year.
I see that I've gone and done again something I am notorious for (even if only in my own head) - I've made it to the end of a blog post with no discernible reason why I gave it the title I did! In gearing up for all these challenges and courses, etc., I spent the evening meticulously chopping red bell pepper, celery, carrots and zucchini. Seriously, I diced them finer than there was any need to - I'm just planning to have them in salads, not serve them to the President! But veggie prep is one of my favorite forms of meditation, one that I don't do as often as I would like because I tend to let just about any excuse intervene. Well, today was a good day for it. A couple days from now will be another good day for it. And a couple days after that, too, with any serendipity.
So here's to me following through with these big plans because now there are several someones to whom to be accountable. It's worked in the past to get me solid forward movement and it aligns with my Core Desired Feeling for 2015: Radiant Growth. Although... I think I may miss the mark with sleep tonight. Just this once, though, right?