November is the month of challenges. Self-imposed, utterly stupid and completely unnecessary ones that somehow affirm to yourself that you are cool even as you do things which are often not cool at all. I don’t know what it is about the month but it addles brains a little. A friend of mine had posited it’s the effect of knowing winter is upon you. The piled of memories homosapien have of being snowed in throughout the course of evolution results in synaptic panic which in turn results in said homosapiens taking up challenges that will make them feel productive even as they are actually being more loser-ish. It’s a pretty solid theory for Europe and Northern America. In equatorial Asia, where winter is the most moderate of months and the best time of year to be outside, taking up a challenge could be one of two very disparate things – the overefficient Asian adds yet another thing to their to-do list (so coming one step closer to becoming an android) while the slothful Asians takes up a challenge so that they have a reason to not have to go out, exercise, meet people etc. beyond the call of duty. Plus while on call of duty, they can use the challenge as a procrastination tool. It’s all making sense now, almost.
This year, I’ve got one friend who has decided, he’s going to take the plunge and attempt Twitter this month (Why? Who wants microblog updates about his life? Especially since he clearly has no life because if he did, presumably he’d be living it instead of “packing it into 160 characters”). Another one’s plan for November is to cook a recipe from a new country every day. She’s going to decide which country by closing her eyes and stabbing at a map. I’ve asked her to message me should she hit Iran, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Vietnam and Ethiopia for sure. Someone cryptically sent me a message today telling me that this November, they’re going to “learn about a new bird everyday”. Whether that’s a euphemism or not, I don’t know. Two friends have decided to take a stab at NaNoWriMo, which means outputting a 50,000 word novel in a month. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, until of course you reach Nov 20 and check your word count or realise you don’t know what the hell is going on in your own novel.
Not wanting to be left out, I’ve come up with a challenge for myself: a month-long PhLog, updated with a new picture every day; no Photoshopping, unless it’s cropping or tweaking the contrast. Trust me to do this after breaking my lovely Nikon (insert howl, wail, chest beating etc. etc.) and having only a sparrow-like Olympus, with abysmally inadequate zoom features, to take pictures with.