Kindness Crusade: Week 1

Fall is hands down my favourite season, I grew up in rural rural Alberta, where Winter was too cold to do anything, Spring was nothing but wet socks, and Summer was very lonely because my family moved every July. September always marked the start of a new school year, new pens and notebooks, new clothes, new friends, a brand new start. My sisters and I still describe the smell of Fall as “the page turning”.

That being said, last year when my Fiance and I picked our wedding date, I was insistent on getting married in the Fall. Little did I know, I would be accepted into a graduate program beginning in September and an intensive out-of-city research fellowship from April to end of August. My wedding is in four weeks. I am very busy.

Last week I started a personal project which, in summary, is what I think “The Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is about (I’ve never actually read the book). But essentially, I’m so tired of striving for perfection in every single facet of my life. I just don’t have the F*cks to eat Quinoa every day, exercise every week, and perfect my calligraphy. Instead I’ve decided to just be kind to myself and treat me like I would a friend. I picked 5 areas of my life to focus my actions on and to only take the wins.

Here’s how I did:

1. Health

I did great this week. I found “Health” to be a bit wide of a category, so I’ve decided to break it down into body systems, choosing to be kind on whatever I thought needed it that week.

I went out for a few drinks on Saturday, so I decided I wanted to be kind to liver to give it a little recognition for all the hard behind the scenes work she does.

  • I grabbed some liver healthy foods at the grocery store I wouldn’t normally pick up like blueberries and grapes. I’m very happy with that decision. I also forwent picking up more bacon despite the fact that it is a staple in the house.
  • Coffee is supposed to be great for your liver. I’m a regular coffee drinker but I used a little less sugar this week. It was fine, but after the second day I started to like one sugar just as much as two, so I might stick with that this week.
  • I brought a water bottle to work — when I remembered to. I never drink water and I’m pretty sure I’m perpetually dehydrated so this was a but of a shock to the system.
  • I went for a walk with my fiance.

I felt great this whole week, even though these add-ins were so small, and probably won’t improve my health and fitness, it just felt really good to actively do something for my body instead of feeling all this pressure to build lifelong water drinking habits. And I think that’s the whole point of this project. It was so much easier to say no to bacon because I wanted to be nice to my liver than it was to say no to bacon because I’m trying to cut calories and eat only whole foods.

2. Mental Health

This was by far the biggest change I did this week. I did so many things to be kind to myself I won’t be able to list them all. but here are a few

  • This project!
  • I cut my cleaning by almost a third. This might make me gross, but I started using the same plate, cup, and fork for the whole day. I would just rinse the dishes after I used them and then use them the whole day. This grilled cheese pan? Now it’s my stirfry pan. That veggie cutting board… flip it over and BOOM. Now it’s a chicken cutting board. Gross? Maybe. Life changing? Absolutely. I also started doing the floors and bathrooms as needed and 100% delegated laundry duties.
  • I bought two baskets for underneath the coffee table to store all the stuff I have that floats around my living room surfaces. Now it takes me 6 minutes to tidy the whole house.
  • I stopped trying to meal plan. It doesn’t work for me and probably never will. I’ve been cooking long enough I can make a few things out of the pantry staples we always keep and I really only buy produce I can use in at least 3 dishes.
The current state of my bucket O' crap. Tucked nice and away so I don't have to look at it.
The current state of my bucket O’ crap. Tucked nice and away so I don’t have to look at it.

3. Career

  • I finished my fellowship and a lot of projects this week. Maybe I’ll do a post in the future more about what that looks like

4. Relationship

  • I made a lot of intentional time for my partner this week. I went home over the weekend to do some more wedding planning, and I didn’t bring any work with me.
  • We installed screen free Sundays to just hang out with each other. It was actually pretty tough but worth doing again.
  • I made a romantic dinner for the two of us.
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