The 31 Day Challenge!

31 days of giving permission 200x130

. . . to disconnect

It’s been quiet here the last week or so.
And there’s a good reason for that.

I’m traveling right now,
a combination of business, pleasure,
and commitment.
There was no room for writing in this space,
not any way I sliced it,
so I gave myself permission to . . .


for a few days.
Not forever, and not from everything,
but from here, for now.

And you know what?
That simple act sparked something in me,
something which I’m going to be talking about
for the next 31 days, right here.

I’ll be talking about giving permission to . . .


Permission to do new things,
familiar things,

scary things,
easy things,
unusual things,
usual things,
startling things,
ordinary things,
things that we too often either
or deny.

Things that move us out of our rut,
or snap us out of our mood,
or force us out of hiding.
Things that add dimension to life,
that bring fullness,
maybe even transformation.

Are you interested?

Well then, just check in each day of October.
There will be a new topic everyday.
Some days there will be a lot of words,
some, not so many.
There will usually be a photo or two,
there will be room to laugh, cry,
sing, dance, doubt, lament, rejoice.

Because that’s who we are,
who we’re designed to be,
who we’re meant to be.

Interesting and interested.
Curious and open,
attentive, inventive,
creative and responsive.

So let’s start with disconnecting, shall we?

Take a break from one thing this week.
I don’t care what it is – something that gives you
just a squinch more breathing room in your day,
something that opens up a crack for fresh air,
fresh thinking, maybe even soul searching.

Are you up for it? 

 Tell me your one thing – put it in the comments.
Maybe that way, you’ll actually make that space in your day,
that tiny space. . . just to breathe in, to breathe deep.

Signing on with The Nester for the 2nd year in a row. Come on over and see the hundreds of others who will be enjoying this fun (and challenging) experiment.

Every day? For 31 days in a row?
I must be nuts
But you knew that, right? 

Get a personal letter from Diana twice a month

Sign up for *More Wondering. . . * a monthly personal letter from Diana to you, available only to email subscribers. As thanks, receive a copy of Diana's new ebook,30 Ways of Aging Gracefully.

powered by TinyLetter

To receive blog posts in your inbox, sign up below.


  1. What a great topic Diana. I’m so glad you decided to join in. I’ve been trying to take a break from rushing ahead – into the next thing, into the next day, week, month. Slowing to just be in the moment. It’s hard!!

  2. Due to a broken computer, today I’ve had an enforced break from the internet. In patches of time when I might otherwise have been looking at a screen, I played board games with the kids and planted vege seeds in the garden. I enjoyed it, the kids enjoyed it… maybe a permanent change might be in order!

    • Ah, so maybe you’r disconnecting is cutting back on computer time. That’s a good thing to do, I think. And I know your kids will appreciate it! Thanks for coming by today, Donna. Always glad to see you.

  3. I LOVE this, Diana! Can’t wait to journey with you over the next 31 Days. What am I going to take a break from this week? Hmmm…laundry? 😉 I’ll go a little deeper than that. I’m going to try giving worry a break. I often mutter the cliche “wait to worry”, but your encouragement this morning makes me take it a big step further. Yep, I’m gonna kick worry in the pants.

    • Yea, ma’am – take that break from laundry!! And then the worry, too. Give it a swift kick for me, too, Kristin. :>)

  4. Beautiful place to disconnect, Diana. 🙂

    • It is, indeed. I’m just about to edit today’s photos. Stunning. That’s the only word for New England in the fall. Even though I wasn’t sure I was up to this trip after a very heavy travel year, it has been the fulfillment of a lifetime dream to see these colors. Oh, my.

  5. I am writing for 31 days but I am disconnecting from the need to post them. God has been telling me to take the challenge but write without restraint. So I have already done that today. I didn’t worry about the subject, the words, and most of all who would read them. I just wrote about yesterday and about forever ago and the string that ties those days together. It was good. It was freeing. I connected the present to the past and I got up from the writing feeling better connected to how God was, and is, working my life. I love this idea Diana and I will be connecting here to see what you’re up to…

  6. I’m thinking I’ll take a break from cleaning! Not that I’ll let the house get overrun with clutter, or allow the dust bunnies to over populate. I’m thinking that each day I’ll set the timer for…45 minutes(?), do as much as I can, starting with what needs doing most. I’ll work fast, and get a bit of aerobic value out of the time as well. Too often I get side-tracked during cleaning–moving books around, rearranging the bric-a-brac, etc. The time limit will help me stay focused and use my time more wisely.

    The steamy summer weather will come to an end soon. I’d like to be able to go for walks, even explore a nearby park. (We keep saying we should check it out, then never do.) Thank you, Diana, for the inspiration!

    • What a great idea to take a break from cleaning. Wait . . . I already do that, far too often. But if it works for you, go for it, Nancy. Thanks for checking in, friend. See you on the other side. (Are you doing this crazy 31 day thing?)

  7. At first all I could think of is what I have already given up in this season of my life….that shows you where I am! Then I decided I would “give up” watching any tv after 10 p.m. That may not sound like much, but the shows I like to watch are then and i really don’t need to be watching TV when I have such a hard time sleeping when I do go to bed these days. I don’t watch much otherwise most days.

    I am so glad to have found this blog. I relate so much to your “wonderings” being at the same stage of life and all. I just really feel like I have found a spot to land in blogdom. Thanks, Diana

    • Ah, Carol. That tells me so much about the pain of where you are in the journey right now. And I am truly sorry for that pain! I’m glad you found your way to my place and hope that you will feel welcome and free to join in the conversation that sometimes happens here (or at A Deeper Family, where I write once a month). If, on balance, giving up later night TV proves helpful to you – great! But if it leaves a void, and not enough space for you to ‘veg’ or spend some ‘you’ time – then put it back in. You will know which is true.

  8. What am I taking a break from? Blogging for 31 days. In fact, I’m disconnecting from my blog for the full 31 days. Time to breathe. Time to soak in *your* wisdom. 🙂

    • And many blessings as you do that, Sandy. I’ll be curious to see what you think about it at the other end. . . especially, if you get other writing done. Maybe that’s what we all need to do from time to time!

  9. Oh, this makes me homesick for New England! I hope you’re having fun up there in my old stomping grounds!

    I like this idea of permission, Diana. When I was young, I sometimes enjoyed being able to tell my friends, “My mom says I have to stay home tonight.” You’ve done that today, for a lot of people — created the okay to say. “No,” to some of the things that hold us back, or sap our energy, or make us lose our focus. A lot of the time, feeling like we don’t have permission is the one thing standing in our way.

    • EXACTLY – I used to ask my kids when they were trying to do something with friends that they weren’t sure about, “Do you need me to say ‘no’ to this?” And often, they were just plain relieved that they could not do what they were nervous about and then just say to their friends, “Well my old stick-in-the-mud mom won’t let me!!” So that’s the goal – to give permission, to be our own good moms.

  10. Diana, SOOO looking forward to the next 31 days here! Thank you!! I too, need this nudge, though I’ve already given up some things while one-handed after surgery. But…not enough, I think. I need to release that something that “opens up a crack for fresh air.” I’ll let you know what I find to release, let go of, give myself permission to cease for awhile. Such grace to be fully human here!

    • Thank you, Cindee. I know you’ve given up a lot. Maybe it will take a while to figure out what you need to give up instead of what you have to give up?? Love you.

  11. ” . . . room to laugh, cry, sing, dance, doubt, lament, rejoice.”

    You know what’s a good place to do all those things? The beach! And it’s even better when you’ve got a good friend and dear sister by your side 🙂

  12. Yours is one of my favorite topics of them ALL (and I’ll be linking to you over the weekend).

    Sometimes we just need PERMISSION for whatever it is we’re wrestling! Right? To laugh or not laugh, connect or disconnect, whatever “it” is.

    Over the weekend I received an “accidental permission” if you will NOT to take pictures on a girlfriends retreat. I forgot my camera, initially sad/angry/frustrated when I realized it. But then I realized the FREEDOM it extended and the ability to be much more present rather than trying to capture EVERYTHING behind a lens. While I was able to grab some shots with my phone, it was a different animal and didn’t demand so much of my time/attention.

    The girls, on the other hand, did :).

    Am I getting to meet you at Allume? (she asked on a totally different note… 🙂 )

    • Thanks so much, Robin – for the kind words and the weekend share. And you’re exactly right – we do need to give ourselves permission for all kinds of things. And sometimes, it’s forced on us by circumstances, as yours was at the friends’ retreat. (So glad you get to do that good stuff!) And no, I will not be coming to Allume. I am traveled out for the year. We are currently in Vermont, near the end of 2 weeks in New England, heading home on Tuesday. And I’ve had four trips this year that required hours on a plane – I’m done with planes after we get home this time!