Experiment #1 Results – And I Only Missed Kerry Washington Just a Tiny Bit

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“I could never go a week without Netflix!”

A friend said that to me just yesterday as I recounted my adventures of being TV, Netflix and Hulu free for 1-week during Experiment #1.

The goal of my first experiment was to see if I would actually do more LIVING if I took services like Netflix out of the equation.

My overall thoughts on this experiment: I enjoyed being more active this week and I definitely think it’s good to limit the amount of TV you watch on a weekly basis, but I’d like to try this experiment again when my week isn’t so busy. I think having a big event this week made this experiment a lot easier than it should have been, than if I’d been home 90% of the time like I usually am.

Here’s a brief look at what my week was like:

Day 1: 

I began my adventure on Saturday – a day earlier than I intended, just because I wanted to get going.

Now, usually — if I’m not on a deadline or running errands – I like to spend part of my Saturdays watching scary movies and thrillers on Netflix. A few of my most recent favorites have been World War Z, Insidious Chapter 2, The Ninth Gate & Dead Silence. Fun fact about me: while I’m not a huge scary movie fan, I enjoy movies about evil puppets and any sort of religious-based thriller — those are the ones that reeeally creep me out.

Instead, last Saturday, I spent some time writing and then — wait for it — did my laundry…to completion.

Now, while I’m great at washing laundry — excellent even — I’m not so good at folding and putting away the clean laundry. So it usually ends up piled into a chair in the corner of my bedroom while I just pull leggings and cardigans from the pile to have things to wear during the week.

Well, on Saturday, thanks to cutting out my lounging habit, I actually folded and put away laundry from a previous laundry day and washed EVERYTHING in my hamper.

It was a Christmas miracle and it ain’t even Christmas.

I was feeling pretty good about myself at this point so I decided to read a little before bed. This little book made my night. #geek

Day 2:

Sunday was pretty low-key. Church that morning, ran into some friends, walked around downtown, did some more writing and prepared for the week ahead.

Day 3:

By day three I was feeling too big for my britches with productivity and thought — foolishly — that I could handle restarting my P90x3 workout routines. Mind you, I’ve started and stopped these workouts like four times already this year, but, ok, let’s give it a shot, right? …Because not watching Netflix gives me more time to DIE from this particular kind of torture.

We — I say “we” because Grumpy was an active participant in the process *sideeye* — did P90x3 exactly ONCE last week before giving the host a few choice words and obscene gestures.

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Ben Franklin Schedule

Day 4:

On day four — fully recuperated from the previous day’s torture, I was a beast — in the best of ways. I re-adopted the Ben Franklin schedule last week so I was up at 5 a.m., I logged more than 8 hours for clients that day and I had time to get a manicure. AKA #beast

Day 5:

I finally got to enjoy my four-bean stew– which was delicious and super simple to make.

I ended up being up until 1 a.m. this night in preparation for the event I had the next day.

Day 6:

I got up at 3:30 a.m. — yes 3:30 — to set up for my event.

The event went well, but I was looking like this guy by 3 p.m. except not so “bout it.” Mind you, I didn’t have ANY coffee this day.

[Insert nap here]

After my nap, I felt a little better, so I ran errands, one of which included getting some date-night materials for me, myself and I. I know how to wine and dine myself…

This was Thursday night and I only felt a SMALL pang of regret at not being able to watch Kerry Washington and Viola Davis that night…actually the pang was quite small because I was asleep by 9 o’clock.

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Me with the guest speaker for my event: Emmy-Award winning journalist Sharon Delaney McCloud. She’s a beast too!

Day 7-8:

These two days were full of errands and taking care of some housekeeping items that I had to put off because of my event this week.

I spent my down time reading books (The Tales of Beedle the Bard among others) and still didn’t miss TV in the slightest.

Day 9:

After church, a brunch meeting, reading on the patio, getting my Kerry Washington fix via her Allure Magazine cover story and testing out a new hairstyle, I broke my no TV, Netflix or Hulu fast around 9 p.m. that night.

No, not with Scandal or How to Get Away with Murder. I didn’t really have the desire to watch either of these shows to be honest.

What did I want to watch then?

After being without Netflix for over a week, the only thing I really wanted to watch was Murder, She Wrote.

Because, let’s face it, J.B. Fletcher is also a beast…

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Don’t try anything funny in Cabot Cove…

xo,

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Experiment #1 is what I hope to be one of many experiments yet to come as I approach a big milestone in my life. I hope you’ll join me for future experiments.

{lead photo: “Televisión lado A” by Ángel Raúl Ravelo Rodríguez}

For Every Woman Who is Sick of “Starting Over”

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I probably shouldn’t start this post with a quote from the rapper Drake, but the lyrics to “Too Much” just seem to fit how I’m feeling:

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Am I the only person on earth who gets tired of starting over?

New diet.

New relationships.

New routine.

New job.

New attitude.

New affirmations.

…Get freakin’ old.

I’m sick of starting over and here’s why:

I’m sick of starting over because just the idea of it gives me the sense that everything I did before doesn’t matter or was wrong. That the life as I knew it was crap and that the lessons I learned are less valid than the ones to come.

I’m sick of starting over because square one isn’t where I want or need to be. When I get lost when traveling, I don’t say to myself: “Well crap, I’m lost. I’m starting over.” Then drive all the way back to my starting point and start the journey again. No, because that would be crazy. I simply retrace my steps, figure out where my journey went wrong and start again from a place where I’m familiar.

Life is like that.10-20-2014-when-I-take-wrong-turn

I shouldn’t feel the need to scrap everything and start over, but I’m so guilty of that.

The idea of clearing my plate of everything and starting over is empowering to some extent, but how much value does that place on the foundation I’ve been building all my life?

I can’t undo my bad habits without addressing them.

I can’t erase my limiting beliefs without analyzing them.

I can’t undo my defense mechanisms without realizing them.

The idea of “starting over” without taking the time to figure out what I have, what I need to keep and what I need to let go of is like throwing a bunch of white sheets over furniture and pretending the furniture isn’t there anymore.

It’s still there. And eventually I’ll either get sick of bumping into it or I’ll settle back into the habits, beliefs and defense mechanisms that are comfortable.

This is why I’m sick of starting over. Because you never really can start over. You just can’t.

You were made perfect to begin with. Believe that. You just have to get back to you.

Plus, starting over based on what you — in your fractured, effed-up state — think you need to do is just all wrong. That’s like driving while under the influence of alcohol. Your perception is skewed. You don’t really know what you need and most of the time you end up doing too much, going too far and then, a few months later, there’s the need to start over again. I’m speaking from experience here.

If you’re a woman who is sick of starting over, join me. What we need to do is to edit our lives in order to get to who we truly are. I know a few amazing editors and one thing they all say is: editing is not about adding things or scrapping a whole piece, it’s about figuring out what the core of the story is by taking away what you don’t need.

Like a robin’s egg that’s covered in layers of mud, you don’t simply throw the egg against a wall forsaking the mud and the contents of the mud in one shot.

No, you sponge off the mud with delicacy and care because you want to be gentle with the contents.

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So I’m done starting over. I choose to keep who I am in this moment and simply clean off the layers I no longer need.

Part of this means experimenting often to discover which things are good in my life and which things I can let go or edit. View my latest experiment here.

I hope you’ll join me on this journey.

Xo,

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PS: When you chase a goal, mighty forces will come to your aid. I had this post scheduled for today, but was debating whether or not to publish it. When I opened my YouVersion Bible app this morning my Joyce Meyer’s plan gave me the following advice for today, which I think aligns nicely:

“Look from the Place Where You Are.

It seems that life always has its ways of bringing us to a place where we need to make a fresh start.

In the Bible, Abram found himself in that very place when his nephew Lot chose the best land in the area, leaving Abram with the less desirable land. But God didn’t abandon Abram. Instead He showed up and gave Abram a bold new vision.

“The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west….’ “ Gen. 13:14

Experiment #1: No TV, No Netflix + No Hulu for 1 Week

Let’s experiment a little.

It’s that time of year when I start reflecting on the journey and results of this year and thinking about what I want to accomplish next year.

This time is otherwise known as “freak-the-eff-out” time.

The fact that I’ll be 30-years-old in less than 90 days has inspired many a “what am I doing with my life?!” comments and infinitely more “dying a little inside” sessions. This time of the year coupled with other current personal challenges, has me resisting my greatest hits of go-to “freak out” actions:

1. Tail-spin into an “I can’t do anything right!” belief (…because a few things aren’t ideal) AKA the abyss of overreaction.

or

2. An ineffective and ultimately short-lived “I’ll totally forsake what I really want because it’s too scary to address and just dive into an identity that isn’t completely me.”

If you couldn’t tell by now, this post is about to get real. Really real.

I believe, my dear readers, it is time to do something a little different.

I woke up this morning with the profound urge to experiment and the conviction that life HAS to be more fun if you look at it like one big experiment to get to the perfect YOU recipe.

By the way, I think the perfect YOU recipe is a matter of distillation not addition. #Boom

So that’s what I’m doing: distilling until I get back to who I am via one big public experiment…because, let’s face it, part of who I am is a lover of all things digital. I’ve known that since my first bright pink digital diary.

First experiment on the books: Stop seeking escape and start seeking life.

I realize that sounds all complex and WTF-ambitious-first-experiment-much, but the truth is, my process for this first experiment will be simple.

10-20-2014-Experiment-No-TVWant the rules? Here they are:

No TV, no Netflix, no Hulu, etc. for one week.

Holy Olivia Pope withdrawalsHow am I going to live without Kerry Washington for a week? But wait, I didn’t finish watching How To Get Away With Murder (fave line in the whole season so far) from last week. Am I supposed to miss TWO episodes? And so on and so forth….

I like to imagine that my highest-self is inside my mind responding to these frantic musings with something like this.

Those are the rules and I’m sticking to them.

Now, there are only two allowances to this rule.

1. Watching the NEWS is acceptable in the case of a national emergency, disaster or if it is DIRECTLY related to some of the work I’m doing (e.i. you have a client who is featured on TV).

2. If you want to be (insert Russell Crowe Gladiator voice) entertained…read a book, boo.

So that’s experiment #1 and I’m starting it today. For you, it starts whenever you like, but now is always a good time. :-)

Want to join me?

Comment below or tag your social posts with #pursuitofme + #mylifeexperiment and feel free to share this post with others who might be interested.

xo,

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