All entries for October 2006
October 01, 2006
I wake up to my alarm: Radio4. Eyes still closed and I’m already breaking the rules. Later sleepily climbing into the shower to the tune of Radio1 is cheeky too – my shower radio is fiddly to tune to anything, so I just leave it on Radio1, even when I don’t particularly like what’s on. Excuses Excuses. Ah I’m such a maverick (!)
As well as changing my newspaper reading habits for a month, I’m meant to change my radio listening habits too. My first thought was a stubborn, “but I DO change my radio listening habits, and on a daily basis at that.” Read: I listen to the same selection of stations in the same situations every day.
At some point during the morning, I slink off to the newsagents for the weekend edition of The Guardian…as usual. What can I say; I’m a sucker for the supplements.
So far so unadventurous. But I’m positively champing at the bit to say “yes” to something I want to say “no” to. Honest! Sadly noone asks me anything that I can even say “alright then” to, all day.
But then I take a closer look at my invite to a posh awards ceremony next week – I’ve been pondering about whether to RSVP, because I don’t appear to have a plus one and I’m terrified of flying solo in any social situation. Let alone one taking place at a glitzy Mayfair hotel.
I reluctantly tick the “I will attend” box and send it off in its smart, high quality envelope. Too late to change my mind now! Now to be creative with my wardrobe to produce a suitably black-tie outfit, what with a lack of funds to buy anything new nor any time to go home to get my posh frock.
I’ve sort of worked out something smart to wear, but aside from the fact that I don’t know if the skirt will still fit my bigger-than-when-I-bought-it bum, maybe I should do something I haven’t done for about 3 years – borrow some clothes off someone else. I don’t know if I know anyone near enough the same size as me, but it’s a whole new, previously unconsidered possiblity for the moment.
Then I spend some of the rest of the day wandering around (the same old part of) town with my (best, most familiar) friend and also pondering how to tackle my other creative challenges.
As a token gesture, I start blogging again (let’s see if it lasts) and change the look of it to one I wouldn’t normally choose (all green – ick).
More about my other creative challenges tomorrow, but in the meanwhile, even having the tasks put before you brings about a new awareness. The kind of things that you’re conscious of, but you instead choose ignorant bliss. Some examples: subconscious habit-forming; fear of the blurry outer edges of your social comfort zone; knowing your limits…and setting them in concrete, never to be disturbed.
They’re on holiday.
Meanwhile, I’m attempting a mean feat.
I’m meant to be all creatively open (that’s open to creativity, to you) for the next month.
I accepted The Challenge willingly and only moments later was trying to wriggle my way out of it. This strikes me as a simple and uncreative process – all I have to do is not do it. Unless I’m going to behave myself and think in an unusual manner…maybe I could padlock all my creative tasks together and run away? No?? Oh.
But seriously, there’s something terrifying about breaking out of routines that you didn’t even count as mundane daily rituals…
Case in point: I sit in Pret before work, reading my book (Atonement at the moment) and drinking tea. I ALWAYS do this at some point towards the end of the week, so can’t legitimately count it as taking a different route to work. Yes it’s a different route to the one I usually take, but it’s a weekly habit.
I’m sitting in the same seat I always sit in, in the same Pret I always sit in, doing the same thing (drinking tea and reading). I haven’t made any groundbreaking progress, but then it is only 8.30 in the morning on day 1.
Then 5 minutes later I suddenly realise that I’ve occasionally been peering out the corner of my eye at the newspaper rack, lying in wait for The Guardian. Perhaps my chosen seat is subconsciously my favourite because they get delivered on to that counter every morning?
This is shocking paper-stalking behaviour, but is rewarded when the day’s papers get dumped to the left of my cup of tea and before I even know what I’m doing, I’ve got my nose in the G2 and have pinned Films&Music under my cup of tea, just in case any paper thief passes by.
More reading and people-watching later, I take my usual route from Pret to work, where I make tea and do usual morning things.
Noone asks me anything I want to say no to until the end of the day…when I say no. But I said no to something I felt I ought to say yes to, which is far more unlike me – does it count?
Surely I can just start on the creative trail tomorrow…