Raise your hand if you're glad the holidays are over. Yeah, me too.
I say every year "Oh! I don't really make resolutions!" and then I kinda do. And then promptly forget about them by February. But lately I decided on something that might work out:
Premise: We have many objects and much stuff in our lives, in our space, and taking up our time. With each object present, we have to ask ourselves: is it important in my life? If it is, I must treat it with importance. If not, get rid of it.
Proposal: I give myself Permission to Delete. My brain panics and shuts down when it's confronted with too much stuff. My house is filled with too much stuff. my pantry is filled with too much stuff. My closet is filled with too much stuff. My phone is filled with too much stuff. My file cabinet is filled with too much stuff. Time to be a little ruthless, and when that little voice squeaks "But what if...?", to bleeping ignore it.
- No Scrolling, Skimming, or Skipping aka I'm Pretty Sure Anna Kendrick Doesn't Care If I Unfollow Her on Instagram. Part of the reason I'm always glued to my phone is because I'm on everything. I'm the social media director at work, which means I'm tuned in to Twitter etc. five days a week for that, too. But I'm scrolling past half of my subscriptions! If it isn't relevant or I don't care, then I don't need it. Unfollow, Unfriend, Unsubscribe. If I miss it in three months I can add it back.
- No Hoarding, aka That Chumbawumba album Is Probably on Spotify. I remember when I was little, my yiayia would carry around a big purse and into that purse would go little stashes of everything she could grab - paper napkins and ketchup packets from McDonalds, great handfuls of mints from restaurants, little tubes of perfume samples, rubber bands and pens from the bank - anything she could grab and use instead of buying her own. I thought it was weird and frankly, a little embarrassing, until my mother told me that Yiayia was a Depression baby. I remember turning that over in my mind, thinking about what it must have meant to her to once have had so little and now have so much plenty all around her, and how she never could break the habit of just in case. I realized I'd picked it up from her when I discovered hair products that didn't work, nail polish I hated, CDs I never listen to, paper napkins in the junk drawer, years' worth of magazines, rubber bands in the bottom of my work bag, coupons for things we don't buy, canned foods long since expired - stuff all over, and in the past few years when times have been tight I've indulged the need to save, just in case. Lately something's just snapped, like a knotted muscle finally releasing, and I'm looking at things with a more critical eye. Maybe it's visiting friends' gorgeous homes and realizing that my home has no chance of being that way without some major work. Maybe it's the fact that our money woes are easing a bit. Maybe it's because I'll be 33 in April and I just don't have the energy for this nonsense anymore. Whatever - there's a pile in the guest room closet that's going to the charity shop Saturday morning.
- Treat the things that matter, like they matter. My friends matter. Time to be a little less passive with my friendships. My home matters. Time to get the old stuff updated and make it into a welcoming environment. Mr. PW matters. Time to renew thinking about how my behavior and choices effect him. My time matters. Time to start treating it like the non-renewable resource it is.
Well, now it's out there. I'm probably going to go back on it, then go back to it, then go back on it. I'll start with the cat hair behind the bookshelves, and go from there.