We did it! An entire year of this grand experiment we call Not-Rot. For our December mission we had to deviate a little from the norm, and instead of an active mission, we chose to focus on some other ways we avoided rotting. Below are some things I did this year to better myself, benefit my family, and most of all stop the creeping rot. In some ways, this blog may have spurred me to try and better myself, pushing me to do things I otherwise wouldn't, by reminding me each month that I should be striving for more in my life. Because even though the blog was mostly a once a month event, it didn't mean that I was bummin it on the couch the rest of the time. Here are some things I did this year to be a better Not-Rotter:
- Finished my degree. Since this happened more than 6 months ago, I almost forgot it happened this year. This was a major achievement for me, and I'm proud to say I'm finally a college graduate.
- Got a new job. This was kind of a big deal, My old job was pretty stable, I made decent money for a entry-level position, and I was good at it. The new job is with a much smaller company, there's a huge learning curve, and I went from being in a lab all the time to being on the road all the time. That's a lot of changes all at once. But as Jack London said, "I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet."
- Joined a climbing gym and climbed 1-2 times per week, every week this year. For years I have wanted to be a climber, and climb regularly in a gym (and outside too). Since I finished up school this year, I was finally able to make this a reality. This was so important to me because it's something I really enjoy, and it is so good for me physically.
I made two books for my kids for Christmas. For my 6-year-old daughter I made a "Break-A-Book." I saw a book called Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith in a bookstore, and totally ganked some ideas. It is a book that you can tear up, draw in, and otherwise destroy piece by piece. I decided to buy a blank book and write my own challenges for Cesi in it. I came up with 115 challenges, including these:
- Stand on this page and jump up and down. Now wipe your shoes on it.
- Poke your pen/pencil through these holes.
- Write really hard with a pencil. Now write hard with a pen, a marker, and then a crayon.
- Go get your hands in the dirt. Now smear a picture with that dirt on this page.
- Draw a big head with a big face. Now draw so much hair on the head that it covers the entire pages!
- Find a picture of a house. Put it in here. Now find pictures of little people and fill the house up with family!
- Ask people to draw 5 beautiful faces on this page. Now draw mustaches on those faces and laugh!
- Scratch using a sharp object
- Color with crayons of all colors on this page. Now cover it all with black. Now, scratch pictures into it with a paperclip, penny, or your fingernail.
For my 3-year-old boy, I made a book that basically is a bunch of shapes from page to page that change shapes, colors, and positions as you poke them and turn the page. I titled it "Poke It Sir!" (after Scrooge's famous line urging Bob Cratchet to poke the fire instead of buy more coal), and he loves saying "poke it sir" when it's time to influence the shapes. It is such a simple idea, based on a book we found in the library called Press Here by Herve Tullet, and only took me a blank book, a new set of markers, and a couple hours to make. Such fun projects that the kids loved and seemed to appreciate the time I put into them. Of course, I only have pictures of the Break-A-Book. My son must have eaten his book or something, because we can't find it.