My 2015 My January Rest Recap

Fresh snowfall on beautiful evergreen trees in Wisconsin.

Better late than never is how this post starts, but THIS post is nearly a year late! While reviewing last year’s MJR material I found this unpublished post. And, I gave my word that I would post an update…so here it is.

Better late than never with My January Rest 2015 Recap. This is as much for me as for you. It’s good to review what you have given your time to; to analyze if it had the intended outcome. Otherwise, I’ve spend an entire month on a pet project and have little understanding of the bigger picture. And, I always like to “see” better.

Because we have had guests the last two years, it has made it more interesting and challenging. Our guest who’s been here all month, has been super about it. People have eating patterns and preferences and I know what my families are. You don’t know someone else’s until you live with them! Having a new, long-term guest changed up how we did things. For example we went through more coffee and butter. She, like me, loves coffee and toast. And she loves jam. She helped eat many of the jars started that were taking up space in the fridge.

What is My Rest all about? My Aunt pointed out that our my grandma lived everyday using what she had. I am grateful that I don’t have to wash or reuse washed baggies. And, that I only really s t r e t c h myself in this way once per year. Maybe I need a new cool word, that embodies making my grandma’s depression era mindset a new and trendy thing. That might be minimalist. Or, a “re” word, like resist. Resist temptation to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and eat whatever you want, wherever you want, and spend whatever you want, whenever you want (hello internet sales!) Wait, that word is discipline. I guess my point is that I realized have “upcycled” my grannies ways and made them palatable and fun.

What were my big take aways and surprises this year? While it is no surprize how much I have, I have been surprised by how much of what I have, like three boxes of cornstarch. How I had three boxes of cornstarch, I’ll never understand. I don’t think my roommate brought them.

While I did allow coffee this year, minus cream and sugar, I realize I might as well said no coffee. It’s just no fun—for me—without the add ins. However, that did help me  not go out for coffee, even though I had gift cards for it. Again, I didn’t want to spend my cards on coffee without cream and sugar, so that helped me with My Rest in that I only went out for a meeting once for coffee. I didn’t go out as much as I thought I would. People are great and supportive and most of my close contacts know about MJR and even offer to meet at homes or my studio before I even need to explain. And, several of them shared they were doing some version of The Rest as well. I love it.

Changing how you do things can get you to rethink why you do something. I’m such a creature of habit and some days it feels like a tractor beam has a grip on me. Worse yet, there is mindlessness. Mindlessness is the opposite of thoughtfulness. My January Rest causes me to focus, specifically, and occasionally tediously, on reprioritizing what I give my time, talent, and treasures to.

This year MJR has succeeded and the tractor beam has  been overthrown and I am more mindful of why I do things instead of mindlessly doing what I always have done.


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