For the first year my Collendar took the form of obtaining catalogues. That is easy. They place them in the mailbox all the time. I felt like placing a new sign on our mailbox, “Squash in as much junk mail as you can, thanks.”
On less busy days I started cutting out some of the images that appealed. Images of foods that are good to eat and images of foods that are nice to eat but only sometimes. I studied images of numbers… Did they look summery, wintery? What colours are they? What colours surround them? Are they small or large? How would I place them on some chosen coloured paper? I’d cut out images of the date. Many catalogues have their sales dates printed on them. I also cut out images of words like “great value” and “Win”. An A4 plastic pocket was allocated for each month and I kept all the cut out images in them.
The goal was, and still is to keep my fingers busy, no where near my mouth.
At some stage a trip to a stationery shop for something else found me also walking out the door with some bags of A4 paper, of various colours.
I asked myself, “What is on my plate?” I started mentally owning what I eat. I covered a large plate with some of the coloured paper near the start of each month. It is very fast and easy to stick on some washed, dried and cut out food packaging, or some catalogue images that reflect what has been eaten. A visual diary forms. If a month stars more cheesecakes than carrots I get the message.
As well I would start placing a few cut outs from pamphlets of places we visited, activities we went to. An example is when ever I think of “Aprilcot” I also think of Pub Quizes, because we bestirred ourselves to attend some, each Thursday night, for the duration of one April.
If you ever decide to make a Collendar think of it as a work in progress which takes some years.
It might involve the collection of a collection of images, making a “What is on the plate?” visual diary, and the gradual collection of Collendar pages. I say gradual because it might not be always possible to make a page for each day, on the particular day. It might take years to make a complete set of 366 Collendar pages.
And after the Collendar is made? I will know that I have really given up smoking.