Crash Tests

The List

What happened, 2013? Did the call of past become too strong to keep you in our present? Did the crazy Brisbane weather (31 degrees in September…what?!) confuse you, too, and make you skedaddle faster than previously planned, along with Spring? Where did you go? I miss you.

There are 92 days left in 2013, which means 273 days have already passed. I had big, big plans for those 273 days. I wanted to finish and direct a play that I wrote. I did. I wanted to walk across Spain. I didn’t. I wanted to complete a 30 Day Challenge at my Bikram yoga studio. I did (insane, I know. Wait for a post on it soon). I wanted to start this blog and post on it every day. About 200 days in, I started it. Better late than never. I wanted to work on the then relationship occupying my life. We broke up two weeks later. Oh how our plans do change.

All in all, the past 273 days of 2013 were reasonably good. There’s been lots of hard work, a little heartache, the constant flow of new friends fading in and old friends fading out and plenty of good times. But at this 273 day mark there’s a nagging feeling, a feeling that 2013 is slipping beyond my grasp without my having achieved all the awesome things I wanted to do this year.

There are 92 days left in 2013. Subtracting the ten days for the fun days of Christmas/New Year at the end, that’s about 82 days to get stuff done. But not any old stuff, awesome stuff. 82 awesome things ticked off my to-do list – it’s definitely a satisfaction-induced-shiver-y thought.

So I’m writing a list, a list of the 82 awesome things I get done in the remainder of 2013 (until Christmas, at which I stop trying to be awesome and instead just soak up the awesome all around, because cookies and trashy pop carols playlists and candy canes need no effort). My list isn’t going to start 82 items long, though, because where would be the fun in that? My list is going all anti-conventional, bucking the system and standing up to the man, and starting with 82 blank points, where potential items of awesome will be written daily as they occur. There will be ten-day checkins and bonus points for extra icky or super hard achieved items. And at the end of it, a list of 82 reasons why the last three months of 2013 were the best.

Crash Test Rules: The List

  • One item written down daily of a noteworthy achievement
  • Ten-day checkins
  • No accidental achievements – it’s kind of cheating to list something you didn’t plan on doing, but just happened to wander past, you know? Let’s let random acts of kindness be their own list of awesome.

Day One

What did I do today? I filled out and got together all my necessary bits of ID and references and paperwork to apply to live in my new rental at the end of the month. They say that among death and job termination, moving house is one of the most stressful things we people do. But after three years in the same place, I’m excited about the move. I’m itching to declutter, to box up and to re-organise. Bring. It. On.

This Crash Test was inspired by this awesome Yes and Yes post. Are you going to join in on the list? Link or comment below to share how you’re going. Here’s to a wonderful last quarter of 2013!

That Crash Test Girl

Real life experimenting – a history

When I was a child, I really enjoyed doing experiments. Sometimes these were science experiments I did for school, like planting bean sprouts in cottonwool filled containers and seeing how well they grew in different environments, or seeing what kind of material best protected an egg when dropped from a great height.

During non-school hours, I satiated my curiosity about the workings of the world by conducting more, slightly random experiments of my own design. How long, for instance, would it take to train myself to write legibly with my toes? With enough tender care, could I bring an ant back to life after holding it under water? (Spoiler alert: despite this early warning sign, I did not grow up to be a serial killer. It turns out that ants can hold their breath and survive for quite awhile sitting under water, and while I was convinced that it was my efforts to imitate human resuscitation techniques i.e. very gentle blowing on the little creatures and softly squeezing them in the “heart area”, that had bought them back to life, the ants turned out to have been alive all along, if slightly terrified*).

As I grew up and learned more about the world, some of my questions were answered and some of my theories debunked. Other questions always seemed to be cropping up, however. Would cutting back on sugar really give me more energy? (yes) Would daily meditation cure me of procrastination? (not yet) Could taking flaxseed oil help with my allergies (the discovery of one severe allergy to flaxseed later, no).

The internet was a god-send; for every question I had, someone always had the answer. Or had at least made a semi-informed, well-meaning guess at the answer. I harrassed google with what-ifs and skimmed through forums for home remedies, all the while looking for answers to the questions we all want answered: how can I be healthier, how can I be happier, how can I be…more awesome? While there were clues scattered alll over the web, my childhood science lessons rang in my ears. Heresay wasn’t going to be enough. A little research did not necessarily a fact make. I wanted solid answers to these questions. I wanted experiential data. I wanted proof.

And so That Crash Test Girl was born, as I decided to make myself the dummy behind the wheel of my own life tests. What you see on this blog are the results of my monthly and weekly experiments with popular theories about how to make my health/happiness/relationships/work/life better. We’ll probably get to know each other a bit more as it goes along, and sometimes there might be a picture of a cat or two, or Ryan Gosling, just for good measure.

If you want to play along, I’d love to hear about it. Have a Crash Test you’d like run or a question to ask? Drop me a line at and we’ll see what we can do together. This is going to be fun, I promise you.

Yours experimentally,

A very serious picture of my face. Let’s consider this our before photo.

That Crash Test Girl

*No ants were harmed in the making of this blog. Really truly. I love ants.