#62 Take a 30-Day Challenge

Every time something like Feb Fast, Movember or a so called ‘fun-run’ comes around,  I’m itching to join in the party, but so far, I haven’t found any cause that’s grabbed me enough to want to commit to it. Being an extremely light drinker would make Feb Fast way too easy, Movember is out for obvious reasons and I refuse to be involved in anything whose name reads to me like an oxymoron.

While the idea of giving up chocolate for a month is too ridiculous to contemplate, an opportunity did present itself recently when I came across a small box in a trendy gift shop that suggested I

#62 Take a 30-Day Challenge,

pick up my phone, and shoot a photo a day, following their suggestions for the topic.

“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like,” David Alan Harvey’s quote on the back of the box exhorted me. What a way to improve my skills, I thought:

It was only after I’d bought the little box that all was revealed. Hidden in the small print – once I’d ripped it open – was the awful truth. This was an Instagram challenge. Or should I say, #Instagram #challenge?

Now I made quite derogatory comments about this particular social media activity in an earlier blog #50 Find the App of Your Dreams and discovering that the first four days’ suggested shoots were

– all a bit self absorbed, trivial or pointless –  didn’t help my frame of mind. That’s it, I thought. This is not the right challenge, thanks very much and even though I’ve spent money for the box.

But then I realised that maybe a challenge should be a bit uncomfortable. So with that in mind, plus the encouragement of a younger friend who promised to ‘follow’ my Instagram posts and who’s the bee’s knees with social media (she makes top class podcasts for a Sydney Arts Organisation, do you mind!) I plunged in.

I’m up to Day 15 already, dutifully following the daily instructions my little box of surprises throws up, and what began as a task akin to making a silk purse from a sow’s ear has morphed into a most enjoyable, although not always easy, challenge.

What’s a novel way to present a #selfie? Is there a new interpretation of the ubiquitous #coffee photo? And how is it possible to depict #texture in a two-dimensional picture?

#Instagram cleverly allows you to apply filters to your photos, which makes them look almost professional. A website titled Your Instagram Filter Cheat Sheet by Lucille Zimmerman has been a marvellous help for artistically-challenged folk like me.

So here are a few of my posts to date:


Albury’s own LibraryMuseum


They can change your life


a sing-a-long to the Vegemite song is mandatory


Just practising Instagram techniques, now!


Glorious little parrot painted by my friend Heather one afternoon recently

I’ve managed to garner a few ‘likes’ and even a few ‘followers’ over the two weeks I’ve been posting to date, but everyone using Instagram seems so young and gorgeous and uber successful.

But that’s its beauty, I guess. As long as I never post a shot of myself, I can pretend that I’m twenty or thirty-something, beautiful and just like them!






6 thoughts on “#62 Take a 30-Day Challenge

  1. Karen Retra

    Love it! But where’s the link to follow you / see your pics on Instagram? 🙂
    Honestly, you’ve inspired me … I’ve um-ed and ah-ed about Instagram forever [I’m more a Later-gram kinda person; plus social media and I don’t really seem to get along]. But hey, why not give it a go? Thanks for this post and all your others. I always enjoy them (even though I don’t usually get around to leaving a comment).

    1. outsidethesquare101 Post author

      Thanks, Karen
      It’s been a real challenge and I totally get your social media ambivalence. (I’m still not on Facebook!)
      If you’re interested in knowing the 30 days worth of topics I’m covering, my Instagram can be found at @regal.525 Doing this has helped me understand the concept of ‘#’ a bit better.
      You take super garden photos, so you’d be great at it. (And I’m always on the lookout for a blue banded 🐝 to post 😆)

  2. lizette243

    Cauliflowers? At this time of the year? Was that beautiful head of cauli really growing in your garden? Sorry to hone in on a trivial aspect of your blog, but that photo really caught my attention.

    Good to see you’re enjoying life!


    1. outsidethesquare101 Post author

      Hi Lizette,
      Well spotted! The cauliflowers were photographed growing in my garden in winter and inserted for ‘artistic’ effect into a recent photo of my cucumbers and zucchinis growing around a statue. I liked how they seemed to match.😀
      Think art rather than science!

  3. christawatkin

    I enjoy reading your blog and all the wonderful ideas to try out in retirement.
    Just had the idea that for people who are not into taking photographs, but enjoy writing the 30 Day Challenge could be easily adapted. Instead of taking a daily photo they could write, say 300 or 500 words, about the daily subject. This could be a great monthly project.

    1. outsidethesquare101 Post author

      Hi Christa,
      Great suggestion for those with more of an interest in creative writing than photography. And if 300 words seems too great a challenge, perhaps even a quirky tweet on each topic! The 30 Day Challenge has the advantage of being quite adaptable to suit anyone’s interests.
      I’m delighted the blog is giving you more retirement ideas. 😊


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