Magical March

March is kind of a crappy month. It's long--one of those 31-day months, but with nothing redeeming about it. In Boston, March is as much winter as ANY other month. Snow is guaranteed in no month here except March. And wow, March delivered with the snow this year. We had 3 pretty sizeable snowstorms, resulting in 4 snow days, and while having a break from school is nice, going to school until June 28 is not.

For years, I have seen something called "Magical March" floating around Twitter. A friend of a friend is an English teacher at Lone Peak High School, and she makes her students do some sort of project bringing magic to the month. I have always been jealous of it, but this year I finally developed my own plan.

I have recently been really intentionally trying to do the things that I actually want to do (creating the life I want sounds a little cheesy but it's the same idea), and this month was a noble attempt. I developed an ambitious list of things I was going to do and keep track of daily, and made sure to include things that were just for fun among the responsibilities. I was so excited and optimistic about it in the first few days that I tried to convince some of my coworkers to develop their own plan. I even made their own daily trackers for them (that may have been a little extra, but they were excited about it too!).

Somehow I thought I would end the month having figured out both what was stopping me from actually doing what I wanted to do AND how to actually do it. Considering that I am an independent adult and I make my own choices, I made very little progress in that department. Every attempted fix to an issue simply revealed a deeper issue. The optimism and motivation I had at the beginning of the month did not persist every day (ha!), leading to some outright rebellions against my established goals. I got frustrated at myself for the same things over and over, but could not find a way to stop my frustrating self-sabotage.

Some of these things I'll be rolling over into April. Some of them I will be relieved to abandon. Some of them I might need to revisit in the future.

BUT. The project was not a failure. I made some progress. I had some fun. And I created some magic in a pretty bleak month.

  • Journal: at the end of February I realized that my memory was not retaining the details of my life as well as I wanted it to, and if I didn't start recording them, they would be lost. I bought a new journal and started writing, and in this month, I wrote on 30 of the 31 days.
  • Polaroids: I got an instax mini camera (a modern-day Polaroid) for Christmas and I found myself saving the rolls of film I had for some nebulous "special occasion" in the future. However, since I wasn't in the habit of using it, I never had it with me when picture-worthy things happened. I decided to take a picture every day and then put them together into a calendar. I bought film rolls in bulk on Amazon so I didn't feel like every shot was too precious to take risks, and I ended up with 31 pictures I was proud of on a beautiful calendar page, plus several other fun pictures from the month.
  • Songs: I recently remembered a song that I have listened to hundreds of times and deeply loved, but had forgotten about. As I was listening to it, I felt so happy and so connected to it that I couldn't believe I hadn't listened to it in so long. I vowed to listen to an old favorite song every day and sing along and dance and/or just think about the associated memories. I rediscovered so many gems!
  • Phone/bedtime: I have willfully ignored the suggestion to keep my phone outside of my bedroom at night for years, insisting that I just couldn't function without it. At some point though, I became completely fed up with how much time I was spending on my phone doing nothing. I bought an alarm clock, moved my phone charger to a permanent location in the living room, and made the goal to plug it in and stop using it by 10 pm every night. Out of March's 31 days, my phone was put away before 10 pm on only 10 days. What's even worse is that on 11 of the days, I didn't put away my phone and go to bed until after midnight. Yikes. My plan for April is even more extreme, but I'm not sure blunt force will be effective. TBD.
  • Outside: I knew I couldn't expect actual spring weather in March, but extremely optimistically, I made a goal to spend a little time outside every day. And then I almost immediately wanted to abort. I made it outside (mostly via walks to the library) on 19 of the 31 days, and thought about counting driving with the windows down on at least 5 other days but ultimately decided against it. There's a lot of room for improvement. I'm going to continue to keep track of how many days I spend time outside and hope my numbers increase exponentially as the temperatures do.
  • Reading: I have actually had dramatic success in the last two years at increasing how much I read for pleasure. I read 94 books in 2016 and 122 books in 2017, including audiobooks as well as physical books. So far this year, my list of books read has skewed strongly toward audiobooks, which I consume more passively than reading physical copies of books. I have found myself persisting in listening to books I wasn't loving because I wanted to finish and increase my number of books read, which ISN'T THE POINT. So, I kept track of which days I read from a physical book, and ended at 24 days. It could be worse, but if the point is to read books that I enjoy and make my way through the list of books I am so excited about reading, I'm not accomplishing that. I intend to continue keeping track of which days I read and to be even more aggressive about abandoning books I don't love rather than racking up "books read" but being unsatisfied.
I've got some good things lined up for April and I'm looking forward to peeling back a few more layers of what's really holding me back from ~living my best life.

Songs for March
"At the Bottom of Everything," Bright Eyes
"Ooh La La," the Faces
"I'd Rather Dance With You," Kings of Convenience
"Fake Palindromes," Andrew Bird
"No Cars Go," Arcade Fire
"Title and Registration," Death Cab for Cutie
"Wagon Wheel," Old Crow Medicine Show
"That Time," Regina Spektor
"If She Wants Me," Belle and Sebastian
"Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean," Of Montreal
"All These Things That I've Done," The Killers
"Dog Problems," the Format
"Monsters of the North," the National Parks
"The City," Patrick Wolf
"Jesus on the Radio," Guster
"Must Have Done Something Right," Relient K
"Punchlines," Mates of State
"I'm Shakin'," Rooney
"Hard to Explain," The Strokes
"Chinese Translation," M. Ward
"Lover," Devendra Banhart
"Jesus, Etc.," Wilco
"Call Your Girlfriend," Robyn
"Timshel," Mumford and Sons
"You Will. You? Will. You? Will. You? Will.," Bright Eyes
"Your Ex-Lover is Dead," Stars
"Strangers," the Kinks

The final product of my March calendar!
a blank copy of the tracker I created for myself (the ones I made for my coworkers were smaller)


  1. the only way this could be more magical is if you revived the goal to not where a bra for the month of march haha. i love you and all your goals!


Post a Comment