Almost half-way… #6weeksofLent

Hey Guys

Thought I’d do a little mid way update regarding the #6weeksofLent challenge. So far I’ve completed W1: No Social Media, W2: No Hot Water and I’m almost done with W3: 1 Week 1 Outfit. Before I get in to it though I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those of you who have donated so far. Every single donation is very gratefully received. Also to those of you who have shared the campaign on social media or contacted me individually – thank you!

W1: No Social Media

I am very active on social media, most people wouldn’t openly admit it, but social media means a lot to me. It allows me to interact with my friends who are spread across the globe, it gives me instant information updates and also access to opinions that may not be shared in the mainstream media, it gives me a platform to share my own information and updates – for example Operation Drawstring has been built from scratch entirely via social media. In order to prevent any accidental slip ups I deleted every app from my phone (if you do this, write down the passwords somewhere…), my bus journey to work felt much longer, though I still had music to keep me going, my thumb was itching to scroll through Twitter. The hardest bit for me was the realisation at just how much I rely on it; I missed a couple of birthdays (so if I remembered then you should feel pretty special haha), Twitter is far superior to any news outlet in terms of breaking news – I felt so behind, I felt a bit isolated which sounds silly but jokes would occur and I’d miss out or people would tag me in something valid for that day/week and it had passed by the time I was back online.

But in the grand scheme of things, I ended up feeling more productive as I spent less time laughing at memes and more time doing ‘stuff’. Though the FOMO was real, I also felt kinda free from it all. I won’t be giving up social media for good but it was a kinda break…

W2: No Hot Water

In a word; Horrendous! Cold showers after a workout = grim. No hot drinks throughout one of the coldest weeks of the Winter = shudder. Trying to sleep with no central heating and no hot water = cold, so cold. But this was just a week, 7 days and though it was painful it was over quickly. Hot water is one of those things I take for granted, I don’t consider it at all, or I didn’t. Part way through the week I was about to make some pasta, I filled the kettle and began boiling it, and then remembered I couldn’t do that, it was off the menu. It’s so easily available for me, it’s so easily forgotten. I was doing some reading part way through the week and discovered about 15% of total home heating costs is attributable to heating water for domestic use (for things like hot drinks, cooking etc not heating and the like). Interesting…

Cold water is so much better than no water, but hot water is very special. I definitely appreciate it much more now.

W3: 1 Week 1 Outfit

I thought long and hard about what to wear this week to cover an array of events; netball, afternoon tea, work etc. I settled on my gym kit as I pretty much exercise everyday; with an extra jumper and my scarf and coat. It’s not been horrendous but I wasn’t prepared for the extreme temperatures (which is probably why I have no voice today). In some ways it’s easier as you just get up and go everyday – no faffing, in other ways it’s trickier, you want to keep it clean and are therefore more cautious, you can’t prepare for changing weather as you might like and lots of people make jokes about you being smelly. Of course I had the luxury of the washing (and drying) my outfit each night, as I’ve been focusing more on the lack of variety than lack of hygiene. Some people in our city don’t have the same luxury, whether that through lack of wardrobe, lack of funds (to wash and dry), lack of heat (fuel v. food is a big issue for many in our city) or something else. If you do have the opportunity to donate some of your old (but still wearable) clothes, please considering doing so.

Next week is my ‘Walk to Work’ week… It’s approx 5 miles so will be an early start each morning – around 1hr 30 mins total walking time. The observant amongst you might have noticed I only work Mon-Fri… so I’ll also be walking to the Villa on Saturday (about the same 5 mile distance) and doubling up one day to get my full 7 days worth.

If you would like to donate to the cause you can do so here – https://www.paypal.me/OperationDrawstring

All funds will be split towards the Operation Drawstring Easter Campaign and Aston & Nechells Foodbank.

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