Suggest my last month!

***January 20th update: The results are in! 

For the month of February I will be doing:

#4 A photograph a day

I can’t remember who verbally suggested this to me. The idea is to take one photograph a day, post it, and write about the story behind it.  The photos will represent the journey I went on throughout the year, telling the story of where I started to where I am now.  It would be a nice wrap-up to the year.

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For the last month of my year-long experiment, I am leaving the choice of what I am going to do to you – the readers.  Comment with your suggestions below.  At the beginning of January, I will take the top five suggestions and have you vote on which one I will do for the month of February.  A couple of ground rules, though.  It can’t be illegal.  It can’t cost a lot of money (unless you want to donate the money to me to accomplish it).  Suggest away…

*** January 6th update:  Suggesting is closed.  The top five ideas are posted and ready for you to vote on.  Here is my little blurb and the top five ideas.  Click the link at the end to vote.

There were lots of great suggestions – one which caused a debate, some I laughed at, some which really got me thinking.  I narrowed the suggestions down into topics that were feasible (I still need to work and survive while doing the experiment) and that would be interesting to write about every day for a month (some of the topics were really interesting as a month-long idea, but don’t have enough details to be able to blog about something clever and different every day).  After I narrowed the list down, I picked what I think are the most interesting top five ideas.  At the bottom of this post please vote on which of these five you would like to see me do for the month of February.  I will keep the voting open for two weeks.

Without further ado, here are the top five:

#1 A month of living without

Suggested by Leah: “Every day you go without doing something you would normally take for granted like using your sight, voice, hands, or money. You could spend a day in the city without any possesions but the clothes on your back, a day without speaking to or seeing anyone, or a day without telling a single lie! The list goes on.”

I love this idea, as there’s plenty to write about, you get to read about me doing more silly things, and it touches on big issues of what we take for granted every day.

#2 29 days 29 stops/29 days of travel and discovery

Suggested by Rachel: “Buy a metro pass and everyday take some form of transit (bus, streetcar and subway) and get off at a different stop everyday. Once you are off, document things you see…try a new restaurant or coffee shop, check out the shopping for that area. Explore and discover parts of the city you would not normally see, and also explore the limits of the city’s transit system.”

And suggested by Brenda: “ I was thinking that 30 days of travel and discovery would be a nice way to finish it off. Not necessarily travelling to different lands so much as discovering what you can by travelling there in some form or fashion. Choose a direction, choose a conveyance – or your feet – and just go. Discover.”

Each day I would travel to a new place and write about my discoveries – a colourful story about my explorations.

#3 A month dedicated to peace

Suggested by Peggy: “How about a month dedicated to Peace? Finding Peace, Living Peace, in Oneself, Others, the World, situations, circumstances, daily living. etc…..? The Motto being ‘Seek not Peace here, but find it everywhere.’ -Emmisaries of Light-James Twyman.”

This topic could tie in a lot of the other suggestions made, including living each day to the last, meditation, meeting new people, conquering fears, the importance of love, and being less wasteful.

#4 A photograph a day

I can’t remember who verbally suggested this to me. The idea is to take one photograph a day, post it, and write about the story behind it.  The photos will represent the journey I went on throughout the year, telling the story of where I started to where I am now.  It would be a nice wrap-up to the year.

#5 Healthy living/fitness

Suggested by Jenn: “Obesity has become an epidemic in our society. It is actually terrifying if you do the research as to percentages of overweight and obese people now compared to even 5 years ago… I think the best and most relevant topic and a much needed one is healthy living. Getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, making sure we read food labels and pushing our educational system to teach children to read labels/grow their own food/fitness can be fun even if you don’t like sports.  It is a serious problem and I think would give you a lot to talk about/research/do.” And “try different classes at the gym, bootcamps, flirty girl fitness, martial arts, dance classes, P90x, etc.”

And suggested by Allison: “what about 30 days of physical activity for at least 45 minutes each day? Some days you could take a fitness class, some days you could go on a bike ride or play ultimate frisbee.”

Every day I would do something physical and talk about healthy living personally and in society.

Vote:

Click here to vote on which idea I should do for the month of February.

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56 thoughts on “Suggest my last month!

  1. learn the basics in 29 different languages. Namely- numbers 1-10, hello and goodbye, please and thank you, good and bad, my name is lindsay, where is the toilet?, i love you, i’m sorry, bread water and wine, and fuck you/yo mama/local equivalent sentiment x

  2. Hi Lindsay How about a month of volunteer-ism, rest homes, Big brothers Big sisters, Meals on Wheels, blood drives, soup kitchens, ecological organizations, Habitat for Humanity,etc.,

    • Thanks Uncle Jeff! That’s a great idea. I’m going to try and do some of that stuff during my “Good Deeds” month in December, but I’ll see if I can separate those ideas.

  3. Maybe you could do 30 days 30 stops. Buy a metro pass and everyday take some form of transit (bus, streetcar and subway) and get off at a different stop everyday. Once you are off, document things you see…try a new restaurant or coffee shop, check out the shopping for that area. Explore and discover parts of the city you would not normally see, and also explore the limits of the city’s transit system. (December might not be a good month to do this though, since it will be cold, but it also could be neat because you could check out Christmas decorations around the city too 🙂

  4. How about a month of Extracurricular activities? As children we all had our extracurricular activities and some of us still try to fit them into our schedules as Adults. I could be really fun!

    • I could be really fun….I could be?! Ha! I meant “it” could be really fun for you. But, I think that slip of the keyboard is my unconscious tell you if you do it, I’d like to tag along for some of those! 🙂

      • Like, horseback riding, girl guides,gymnasitcs or piano lessons. You know all the activities your parents would drive you around too as a child. Outside of School activities. My Mom was big on this. This is what me, my sister and brother did as examples:
        Creative Clay
        Drawing
        Sculpture
        Drama
        Ballet
        Jazz
        Gymnasics
        Basketball
        Soccer
        Boy Scouts, Girl Guides
        Piano Lessons
        Guitar Lessons
        Swimming
        Skating
        Snowboarding and Skiing
        Tae Kwon Do
        Tai Chi

        That’s all I can think of, but we were a busy bunch! Everyone I know has a interesting one…like synchronized swimming or wrestling.

        It could be really fun….It might over lap some of the other ones.

  5. How about a month of doing without? Every day you go without doing something you would normally take for granted like using your sight, voice, hands, or money. You could spend a day in the city without any possesions but the clothes on your back, a day without speaking to or seeing anyone, or a day without telling a single lie! The list goes on.

  6. What about thirty days of fitness? You could try different classes at the gym, bootcamps, flirty girl fitness, martial arts, dance classes, P90x, etc.

  7. Similar to the fitness one and extra curricular- what about 30 days of physical activity for at least 45 minutes each day. Some days you could take a fitness class, some days you could go on a bike ride or play ultimate frisbee.

  8. I’m surprised you haven’t thought of 31 days of movies. Being an artist and a cinephile, this could be incredibly enlightening especially if you do a different country every day. There’s some great powerful stuff out there and being an ex-TIFF goer I can say that there have been films that have literally changed my life…:)

    • That’s a great idea. Thanks 🙂 It was definitely hard to narrow down what I was doing for each month. Any suggestions for films that would work well if I were to do this for my last month?

      • As for which ones, I’d definitely have to think about that but just off the top of my head when it comes to films that have literally moved me: Love Letter (Japan, 1995), Hiroshima Mon Amour (France 1959), In The Mood For Love (Hong Kong, 2000), The Collector (USA, UK 1965), Sullivan’s Travels (USA 1941), The Killers (USA 1946) In Cold Blood (USA 1967), Phantom of the Opera (USA 1925, 2004), Azumi (Japan 2006), The Baby of Macon (UK 1993) and this is just a sample. If your interested in any of these check them out on the IMDB. If you want a really good list of popular film, check out the AFI’s best 100 films which is a really great list for American films:

        http://www.afi.com/100years/movies.aspx

  9. For your last month, meet someone new every day. Random people, strangers – the old couple walking together, the person sitting alone at a coffee shop, or a friend’s friend that you’ve never met before. Talk to them, and get a picture of/ with them. Everyone has a story, and some are definitely worth sharing. 🙂

  10. Hi Lindsay, I was thinking that 30 days of travel and discovery would be a nice way to finish it off. Not necessarily travelling to different lands so much as discovering what you can by travelling there in some form or fashion. Choose a direction, choose a conveyance – or your feet – and just go. Discover.

  11. How about 30 days of “becoming less wasteful”. Each day you could do one thing that is less harmful on the environment, or reduces waste. Ideas: Reuseable containers for all lunches and snacks, finding the most environmental alcohol container (what is better? Beer cans or bottled wine?), turning down the thermostat at night, hang drying all clothing, eating EVERY last left-over, wrapping presents in newspapers, always recycling coffee cups (and finding a location that recycles them)

  12. I feel this month should be HUGE, especially if it’s going to be the last chapter in this experiment. So, here are some of my suggestions:

    30 DAYS OF HOMELESSNESS
    You could couch surf, sleep in a shelter, etc. You could probably also sublet your apartment to help offset the costs.

    30 DAYS BUILDING A SCHOOL IN AFRICA/SOUTH AMERICA
    You could raise funds for your trip on IndieGoGo and travel to AFRICA or S. AMERICA and help build a school. Or go to Kenya and teach in the slums of Kibera. things like that.

    30 DAYS LIVING AMONG THE AMISH
    Go live among the Amish in Aylmer, Elmira or St. Jacobs. You would have to write one long blog post when you get back, but I’m sure you could write in a journal each night.

    30 DAYS OF DRINKING ONLY ALCOHOL
    There used to be a time people drank alcohol because they knew it was less likely to kill them, unlike the unclean, cholera-riddled water. Solution: they drank alcohol. Lots of it. You can do the same. Drink ONLY alcohol for a whole month!

    30 DAYS CONQUERING YOUR BIGGEST FEAR
    What’s your biggest fear? Conquer it over the course of a month but acclimating yourself towards it more and more each day until Day 15. by then, you will hopefully have conquered your fear and you can spend the rest of the month becoming an advocate and embracing that thing you used to fear. Fear of heights: start climbing ladders, work your way up to that insane CN Tower deck walk thing, then go skydiving, then become a certified skydiver by the end of the month.

  13. How about the last month you squeeze in all the great ideas you get and all the things you missed from the previous 11 months. At least this way you can tie everything p in a nice bow and present it to the publisher as your year comes full circle.

    Just my opinion

  14. How about February without love. Cut all contact with any family and loved ones, have someone watch your pets. Work conversations will have to be strictly professional. Any day to day personal interactions can only be made with complete strangers.

    It would be interesting to see how your mood and mental well being is affected after a few weeks without any emotional enrichment.

    • That would be so hard! I don’t know if I could last a whole month. Love is so important. But it would be very interesting for everyone else to read about. I’m not sure my loved ones would be so happy about it, though!

      • What would you learn from this entire process if you chose to spend an entire month doing something easy? That’s what makes it so interesting; You spent all these months doing something physical, tangible, and quantifiable to a certain extent. Some months you give up time; some months you give up money; and some months you give up physical or dietary comfort. Wouldnt it be interesting if the hardest and most enlightening month was one where you gave up something no one can really count or quantify; something no one can buy or sell; a feeling no one can give or take away? As hard as may be, it would really put things into perspective and be a good bookend to this entire experiment.

      • Very true and very interesting. And if I could pull it off it would be a great way to end my year. But there’s hard and there’s impossible. I’m not sure I could emotionally or physically do it. I wouldn’t be able to see anyone that I love (and I have a very close family and friends). Do I just ignore my mom when she calls? Do I tell my boyfriend I can’t see him? What about my grandmother or my best friend? And how would I be able to switch that love off when my friends hug me at work (which happens on a regular basis)? The only possible way I could see to make it work would be to go to a cabin in the woods somewhere away from all people and live solitarily for a month. I surround myself with love on a daily basis. In order for me to cut that out, I wouldn’t be able to interact with anyone I know, and in turn could potentially hurt those I love.

        As well, what about self-love? Love of my writing? I feel love when I listen to music. How do I get rid of those feelings? What do you have left if you don’t have love? Absolutely nothing. It’s a fascinating topic and worth delving into. But without love I don’t exist.

        I will think about it more and see if there’s a way to make it work… What if I did a month of lack of certain key emotions for a week at a time? A week without love. A week without happiness. etc. Keeping with your idea of giving up something no one can really count or quantify, but if it doesn’t work, it’s only a week instead of a month. What do you think?

  15. Hmmm…since it is your last 30 days, why not have a go at treating each of them as if they really are your last. You might find it to be enlightening or just depressing; in any case it’s a challenge and something real to write about. And who knows, maybe you’ll get into it so much that you will just end up splurging on trip to a posh Czech ski resort to live out your last few days Queen Latifah style. Maybe your very own LL cool J will even follow you there in the name of love. And in the end isn’t that what we all want…just to be Queen Latifah?
    Anyway if it’s too much id settle for reading about the near death like experience of watching “Last Holiday” every day for 30 days.

    Either bet one of the above will make you just LOVE that 31st day 🙂

    • Ha ha ha. That was one of the worst movies ever! But the underlying meaning is great. It could be fascinating to set my mind of really living each day like it’s my last. And making it different and interesting to write about every day. And trying to work that around my regular work schedule!

  16. I see what you’re saying; But, it’s not like you’re doing this in secret. I’m sure your family and loved ones are supportive of this and might be able to make the sacrifice for the sake of helping you on this journey. You could speak to everyone about the situation tell them not to hug you when you come in to work and not to call or communicate with you for a certain amount of time. I think it could work with friends or family, but if your relationship with your boyfriend is fairly fresh, I can see it being a potential deal breaker.

    When you lose contact with these people, “self-love” would be your only source of emotional enrichment and it would be impossible to deny yourself of that. The feelings enjoyed through writing and music would just be diverted to something else. I’d start eating chocolate like a madman!

    I guess it’s not something you can turn on and off. What is it about a particular feeling that makes it LOVE? I’m sure you’ll experience things every day that will make you feel good, whether its a hug or seeing a schnoodlepoo on street corner. I guess it would take some serious thought. Putting in half the effort and not getting anything out of it is a waste; Putting in all your effort could have some negative consequences, for better or worse. If you do go through with it, or a variation on the idea; you want to do it long enough that you learn something about yourself, or the ones you love.

    • Maybe instead of blanketing it with the word “Love”, you can just say you’re cutting off contact with friends and loved ones. You can write about how important relationships, love and support are on a daily basis; how its affecting your mood, your ability to make decisions on your own, and your general well being. It would be interesting to compare it to other months where you may have deprived yourself of something or stepped out of your comfort zone; maybe gain some perspective on what is really important to you.

      • I like this better. Although it would definitely be hard at work because I work with my friends. They would have to play along. But I love the idea of ending it with something where I can compare to other months and gain perspective on what is important to me.

    • Very true. It would definitely take some thought to make it work. And although my family and friends are supportive, I think it would be really hard for them for a whole month. I would just have to break all contact. But I agree it isn’t worth doing with only half the effort. Go big or go home.

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  18. Here is my pitch for your final month.

    Obesity has become an epidemic in our society. It is actually terrifying if you do the research as to percentages of overweight and obese people now compared to even 5 years ago.

    The most terrifying stats are the ones involving children. Remember when you went to school and there was “the fat kid” now children are weighing in as much as adults. Did you know that a woman in the states had her child taken away from her from Children’s Aid because her 8 year old weighed 200lbs and they deemed her not able to look out for his welfare.

    There is also a small town in the states that is initiating a by-law saying that no more fast food restaurants can build in their town because the obesity rate and poverty line are so high that people can’t make appropriate choices on their own.

    Anyways, all this to say that I think the best and most relevant topic and a much needed one is healthy living. Getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily, making sure we read food labels and pushing our educational system to teach children to read labels/grow their own food/fitness can be fun even if you don’t like sports.

    It is a serious problem and I think would give you a lot to talk about/research/do.

    That is my sales pitch 🙂

    Happy new year lovely girl!
    xo

    • This is a very serious issue and one that could definitely use more talk and research about it. This could be really interesting after doing a month of living at the poverty line too. I’ll have a better perspective on how to eat healthy cheaply.

      Thanks Jenn!

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  21. Hi Lindsay! How about a month dedicated to Peace? Finding Peace, Living Peace, in Oneself, Others, the World, situations, circumstances, daily living. etc…..? The Motto being ‘Seek not Peace here, but find it everywhere.’ -Emmisaries of Light-James Twyman. This is my own personal resolution that I have made for 2012 and beyond, and any way of extending, finding, living, and being Peace is a step forward! Cheers, and Congratulations on coming to the end of your beautiful, courageous journey!! Peggy

  22. * ahem *

    How about just one of those night you try Stand up Comedy? Yes, this is my idea of reminding you …

    😉

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    • I’m working on it, Chris. I have the routine written (with help from my coach Peter) and we just need to rehearse and get a night booked. It’s one of the scariest and hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I have no idea how you do it!

  24. Other suggestions from Facebook:

    “be honest for a month, say what you are thinking, instead of what is socially acceptable. Ive done this my whole life, its fun, but people think you are a dick.” – Joel

    “Buying only local/organic/handmade for the month, but maybe u sort of covered that already?” – Rob

    “Get in trouble everyday? Just like usual” – Jeff

    “Be your Aunts houskeeper for a month?” and “Crafting? Huge industry- Be the Martha Stewart of the internet!” – Aunt Jen

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  26. I know it might be cheesy but, why don’t you do the “how to lose I guy in 10 days” (movie) but for a whole month? Find a guy whom you could date and do all the turn-off things that we women tend to do sometimes that annoy guys…Or you could split your month, do the nasty stuff for the first 15 days and then be the ultimate vamp woman that every guy desires for the remaining 15 days. Drive the guy nuts, ha! Just a thought.
    Or another idea, since you’ve got a flair for writing, why don’t you do a personal marathon – decide on a subject and write something with the aim to complete it as a book for one month. Let’s say, fairytales. You’ll have to think of a fairytale a day and write them. You never know, you may come up with another book – and this one could be finished in a month, not in 366 days 🙂

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