On December 13 2012 I said I wouldn't eat meat for a month, just to see what it’s like, to see whether I could sustain it, to see whether I wanted to sustain it.
I come from a long line of meat eaters and roast dinner enjoyers. When growing up tea, lunch and breakfast would more than likely include some form of meat.
My favourite meat to eat is beef, of the roast kind, then chicken and then fish. I also would have said that I couldn't be a vegetarian. I would have said that that was categorically something I couldn't do. So don’t ask me, OK? And yes, I know I love animals to the point of insanity and have often spent time hanging out in fields with cows. That’s not the point. I’m totally able to separate those doe-eyed, gentle, trusting beasts from the hunk of flesh on my plate. And the clucky chickens that my friend owns bear absolutely no resemblance to the nice roast bird in my oven.
And besides I need the protein. And, well, we’re meant to be omnivorous aren’t we? And the shelves and restaurants are full of tasty meaty treats. And just NO, OK? I don’t WANT to stop eating meat. But then the crying of the lambs in the night Clarice...
So anyway, my new strategy is to give things a month. Interestingly it has been by far and away the best self help mantra I have ever employed and it’s all my own. So in your face all you mind- mapping, positive thinking, hypnotising, cosmic ordering, willpower encouraging harpies I have been reading for years and years and years. Doesn't work. Any of it.
So I thought I’d let go of all the pressure and the expectation and the declarations of “This is what I am doing now forever and ever,” and I said to myself “Fuck it, give it a month. Just a month. See what happens. See how you feel. If you go back to eating meat no one will give a shit. Any pressure is coming entirely from you. Just do it. Now. A month.”
So I did.
And I’m almost two months down the line and, man, was it easy. And I feel so much better about this tiny bit of myself. I didn't even know how much it bothered me that I couldn't reconcile my feelings with my actions. I didn't even know how much like a toothache it was.
So January 1st I decided to do the same with Facebook. Facebook that had become the main focus of my time spent alone. Yeah, pathetic isn't it? Especially when you’re frequently lonely and you miss people. What could be better than looking at their fun filled lives that are going on without you and how much fun they are having without you. Self esteem bashing stuff I think you’ll agree.
I decided to give it a month. And let me stress I really really REALLY wasn't comfortable with this. I thought it would make me feel so lonely and so lost that I’d run back to it. Well, thought I, let’s just do it for a month, no pressure, no expectations. And what. Do. You. Know. It was easy and I feel so much better without it. So much better. I have been writing and writing and writing. Not blogging but actual creative writing. I have been calmer emotionally and, interestingly, much less lonely.
Next to try in my nice and chilled “Just try it for a month, no one really cares anyway” is giving up sugar. I want to know what it would be like without sugar. But I am far from sure that I’d ever want to give it up forever. So, you know, I’m just going to give it a bash for a month. See how I feel...