Monday Monthly Mission Mulligan

December 6th, 2010 - filed under: Furthermore » Monday Monthly Mission

Ahhhh yes, love that alliteration . . .

On the first Monday of every month, we take on a ‘mission’ – a shift or habit or inspiration – to work on together. There’s strength (and support) in numbers! On the last Thursday of the month, we reconvene to see how far we’ve come.

Happy December! I can’t believe it’s December already, and I can’t believe we’ve been taking on monthly tasks for almost 2 years now! In that time we’ve completed 15 missions (a few spanned more than one month) and 2 ‘mini missions’. Plus you guys helped me Get Out The Bonzai. Pretty amazing accomplishments!

And now, we’re dawning on a whole new year. The holidays are in full swing (Happy Hanukkah!!!), with celebrations stacked up from Thanksgiving all the way through New Years Eve. And even if you’re not turning 30 in January (like I am, w00t!), there’s a whole helluva lot going on. The new year is a great time for reflection and setting intentions. We did some work around that last year, and I’m looking forward to returning to those themes later on this month.

So for all these reasons, I’m making this month a free pass. Maybe a chance to play catch up? Out of 15 missions, perhaps there’s one you’d like to revisit . . .

1) Composting!

  • With a comprehensive beginners guide here and a follow-up here.

2) Completing a Cleanse

  • With some background info here, my first cleanse journal here and the follow-up here.

3) Ditching the Dryer

  • With a how-to and follow-up here.

4) Sustainable Feminine Products

  • With a follow-up here. (and lots of great reader comments)

5) Changing Our Dietary Habits

  • With a check-in on being a local-vore here, and a wrap-up here.

6) Reducing Our Plastic

  • With a follow-up here, and a second follow-up here.

7) Going ‘NO-POO’!

  • With a starter article here and a final follow-up here.

8) Switching to Family Cloth

  • With a handy how-to here and a recap here.

9) Shopping Exclusively Secondhand

  • With a follow-up here.

10) Saving Change to MAKE Change!

  • With an explanation and information here.

11) Driving Less

  • With a follow-up here that has a lot of great comments and ideas.

12) Breaking Bad Habits

  • This one was huge and hugely important, so we checked in three times: 1 2 3 with a final wrap-up here.

13) “Spreading The Love!”

14) Stress Management

15) Practicing A Mantra

  • Last month’s work, which is (I hope!) still ongoing. A check-in here and the wrap-up here.

Are you planning on trying, or retrying, any of these missions this month? I’m considering taking an extended break from the MMM for a while . . . maybe doing something else instead? Maybe doing a Bonzai Book Club?

I’d love your input! As the site evolves and slowly changes, there are bound to be some growing pains. I want you all to be as involved as possible – this is, after all, about all of YOU. So please share your thoughts!

And Happy December!

  • Kat

    I’m going to take on two of those. Stress Management is kind of an ongoing thing in my life, now more than ever – I’ve actually landed in physical theraphy because my tension wound up in my neck and resulted in stiff muscles! My PT is doing her best to get things working on the outside but I know that I need to work on the internal source of the problem as well. I’ve got a couple of different ideas, first being more downtime at home (NOT downtime with friends at the bar or coffee shop – while I love my friends, I feel like my mind is always buzzing from oversocialization.) So we’ll see how that goes.

    Also I’m going to work on reducing plastic. I’ve been working on it half-heartedly for a while now but I think that this is the month that I’m going to step it up and try a few new things (like resuable produce bags!)

  • Melissa L.

    Sayward, as I reflect over this past year and look over the list of Monthly Missions, I realize just how much your website has inspired me to live a more conscious lifestyle. My whole family has benefited from the pleura of information that we have gleaned here at BA.

    I knew that there were many areas that we wanted to revamp in our lives, but finding reliable resources on the internet can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. I knew that we had found a great community here when I read your posts on natural cleaners. I made your laundry detergent with my kids and I was hooked.
    From making major changes in our dietary habits and what toiletries we use to reducing our plastic consumption (no ziploc baggies around here anymore) and utilizing sustainable feminine products (Diva Cup is my new best friend!) our family has turned over a new leaf. We truly appreciate this online community. Thank you.
    So this month it just feels natural to park on #13 and spread the love. The holidays can be a really hard time of the year for many people. The kids and I were able to make some no sew blankets for the homeless shelter a few weeks ago. It is the little things that can make a big difference. Happy holidays!

  • erosan

    wow. I can’t believe I’ve been here for most of these MMM! I’ve done some of them too!

    I didn’t knew the first MMM was composting! I’m trying my hand at composting, so the info will come in handy!

    I’ve changed a lot from ideas I get from this awesome community… e.g. Urban foraging (a concept I LOVE, as there are plenty fruit trees in this city).

  • Penelope

    I came across your blog while searching for easy homemade candle-making tips, and was pleasantly surprised to find oh so much more here! Love you!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    Don’t joke around about a Bonzai Book Club – I’m already looking forward to it! My mission for December and January is to get caught up on my free (i.e. fun/personal) reading – all I’ve been doing the past few months is study or work-related research, and my poor brain has atrophied! I just checked out close to a dozen books from a my school and public libraries (thanks for the recommendation, btw!) and will be busy, busy, busy. So I guess what I’m saying is that a Bonzai Book Club would help me stay on task with reading for myself.

  • Sarah

    I really want to focus for a while on *doing less* anyway. I’ve thought for a long time about getting a tattoo that says ‘Within reason’ because I’ve always said that when I tell people things like-do whatever you want or pick whatever you want for dinner … within reason. And it works for so many things, including remembering to do less.

    Not sure I’d be up for a book club because of all that. All I do is read and write! But, I would cheer everyone on, and who knows; I may be tempted anyway :P I’m looking forward to following along!

  • ActsofBeauty

    seems like you’ve been doing all sorts of exciting projects! Glad there’s other people around who care about these things too! If only we could all get together for a cup of tea, now that would be nice :)

  • Sayward

    @ Kat – Yeah, stress management is such my beast! I’m still working hard on that one. Good luck with the physical therapy, and also on the inside stuff!

    @ Melissa L. – What a beautiful comment, thank you. That just fills me with joy to hear. Good for you guys for making mindful changes; I’m truly honored to be a part of it.

    Spreading the love does seem very appropriate for the season! =)

    @ erosan – Oh lordy, the urban foraging in Merida must be off the hook! I’d love to hear more about your adventures. I can’t even imagine how much great stuff you must find!

    @ Penelope – Aw, thank you. And welcome to the site!

    @ Monika – Ooh, what are you reading??

    @ Sarah – I totally hear you. Part of the reason I’ve held off on the book club is for that very reason – I need to pare *down* my life, not pile on!

    I think ‘within reason’ is a great idea for a tat!

    @ ActsofBeauty – Maybe someday there will be a Bonzai meetup . . . I’ve certainly thought about it! =D

  • Kiki

    Hello, this is my first time commenting. What a joy to stumble upon this blog–I work to implement so many of these topics into my life already, but feel re-inspired by your efforts and enthusiasm, Saywood. As an avid reader and passionate vegan, I would LOVE to be a part of an online book club if that materializes. (I also live in Portland, so a Bonzai tea party would be a treat as well :-)) At any rate, hope to participate from now on in this stellar blog-realm you’ve created. Cheers!

  • Kiki

    Oops, I just realized that I misspelled your name, my apologies! I’ve been perusing the site for over half an hour now and have to say that I’m quite addicted! Gonna stop now for a moment and go make some toothpaste! xo

  • erosan

    @Sayward: It’s funny how you become aware of your surroundings when you are paying attention.

    Within 5 blocks from my office I can now count: 1 lime tree, 1 orange tree, 1 sour orange tree, 2 different varieties of mango (at least 7 trees, but only 3 are accessible), more tamarind trees than you could count, 1 mamey tree and 1 avocado (don’t think hass, think local variety which is bigger, firmer and with a bolder profile. )

    Near my house, I’ve found 2 lime trees (which is awesome, because green lime is a staple item in every mexican pantry, not that it is expensive, mind you, but it is certainly convenient to have a lime factory 1 block away… they produce more fruits than those the owners could ever use, the whole year round) and a little pomegranate tree on the side of the street, which I’ve never had luck harvesting (they always beat me to it.

    I’ve also found ways to get access to some other fruits through some people… not sure it still counts as urban foraging, but: guava (at my inlaw’s), star apple (trough a friend’s neighbors), nance ( through a coworker) and red mombin (at an aunt’s which also used to have tree spinach, but not anymore). I recently got some plantains from my mom’s neighbors too (and am hoping to get more whenever I can). My mom also supplies habanero chiles whenever she harvests. :D

    And I am constantly on the lookout for more trees… there is a cornucopia of food on these streets. I remember seeing papaya, sugar apple, chicozapote and chocolate pudding fruit when I was younger, so it’s just a matter of time until I find then again. I know this city has those fruits and more.

    P.S. It took me some time to figure out how the hell half of these fruits were called in english! but at least I know now.

  • Kelly H.

    I’m so glad you pulled all of these into one place for review! I’ve shared with friends… :o)

    By the way, one of your calendars I purchased for a friend was lost when I tried to “inter-office mail” it to her! I was quite upset at first but then thought…’hey! Now, there’s some joy and inspiration being randomly spread to some random part of our work environment (which is vast)!’ I’m sad my friend didn’t get the calendar, but I’m glad it will potentially be seen by many others. :o)

    Take care!

  • Sayward

    @ Kiki – Aw, welcome! And thank you. =)

    Yay for fellow vegans and fellow Portlanders!

    @ erosan – Duuuude you are making me so jealous! It’s in the 40s and raining here and I have been craving papaya smoothie. And you can just go out and pick it for free! Humph!

    I didn’t know what a lot of those fruits were either. Now I want to try all of them! When I come to the Yucatan you’ll have to give me a fruit tour. =)

    @ Kelly H. – Oh no! I’m sorry that the calendar got lost, that’s a bummer! But yes, hopefully it did find a good home.

    Also, thanks for sharing! All those links help. =)

  • erosan

    @Sayward: you know I will! but since some of those are really seasonal, it will take you a couple of trips to try all of them ;)

  • Kate in SB

    I like the mantra mission, I should start practicing it more. I enjoy your posts on self-improvement. I also enjoy reading I’ve followed the blog for a few years but haven’t read the book yet.

    It’s funny to read through your old resolutions, including “Get pregnant.”

    Last year I had only one: HAVE FUN.

  • Meghan

    Oh wow, I only missed one MMM! It is nice to look at this list, because sometimes I feel like I am always failing at missions. But looking back, I actually succeeded at many of them!

    Here are the ones I will be working on:
    1. Composting. We finally have a yard! My husband promises to build me one of those cool three-box systems that someone posted in your recent guest post about composting, but for now we have a chicken-wire tower full of leaves. This weekend Aaron is going to make a new chicken-wire tower, and in it I’ll put food scraps, then handfuls of leaves from the leaf tower, then food scraps, then more leaves, etc. Should work until spring when he has time/motivation for building!

    2. Ditching the dryer. When this mission happened originally, I was already hanging all of our clothes, because our apartment charged $1.50 a load to dry! Now that I’m in a house that came with a dryer I am finding it to be more tempting. I’m allowing myself to be lured by the easy temptation for now, when I’m busy trying to unpack, organize, and do finals, but I definitely need to get back to hanging!

    3. Family cloth!! I said in that post that I was waiting until I had a house, and now I do! I have a flannel sheet that ripped through the center, that I will cut up to use. I was thinking that I’d just keep it in the master bath, but I use the other bathrooms in the house pretty often as well, so I have some logistical thoughts to work out.

    4. Stress management. I gave in and started taking drugs for my anxiety. I’m hoping to use the time on drugs to learn better anxiety management skills, so that I can go off of ‘em after not toooooo long. I’ve been taking a bath most nights! (and worrying about the wasted water…)

    5. Mantra. Even though I haven’t been doing it, I see the value and waaaant it!

  • Meghan

    Oh! And re: break from MMM… I LOVE the missions, they are probably one of my favorite parts of yer blog. But I am generally very change-resistant, so any opinions on the matter from me must be taken with a grain of salt. :-)