habits

On two wheels

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When you looked at your first bicycle, did you think; oh I can’t do that, I’ll never be able to ride that, everyone will laugh at me when I try? Did you tell yourself , “If I can’t ride this bike the very first time I try, then I’ll never try again?” Were there small voices in your head saying you’re not talented enough, not tall enough, not strong enough to ride a bike like this.

I doubt it.

I want to go back. I want to feel the freedom that comes with being four years old. At four we made our lives fair, we didn’t play with kids we didn’t like or who weren’t nice. There was no drama. “She’s mean. I don’t want to play with her.” And that was that. No big deal.

At four, if we were pretending to something different from ourselves, it was only because that was the game we agreed to play. Remember “make believe?” At four years old, if your pal was crying you wanted to know why and you tried your best to make it better. That’s was important. Being four could be little complicated since you couldn’t drive a car, but it was manageable because we knew all we needed to know to get by.

Some time has past since I was four and the world I am living in seems somewhat off kilter. There’s too much negativity and troubles. Grown ups are old and crabby. They don’t appear to know how to play. Too much stress and worry is occupying the space their heads and hearts. I see them all the time in shiny cars wearing bitter frowns as they scurry about the city.

But I know, in that very same city, there’s a bunch of four year olds living the good life, living large with eyes wide open and playing by their own simple rules.

So that’s what I am going to do. I am going to be four again.

I am going to follow my own rules and have fun.

Cheers.

unlimited possibilities

Tip: Think like a child when you meet a new challenges; worry less and do your best.

Inspiration: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~T.S. Eliot

One-day one-thing: It’s Sunday do whatever you want.

Something I want to Share

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I am a visual person at the very core of my being.  I am an artist who rarely paints, a photographer who shoots now and then and an active observer who takes everything I see in at once and still I long for more.

What I want to share with you is the site I’ve picked as my home page.  Every morning I turn on my computer and I see the first of nine new pages for the day from: Beauty in Everything

I have an enormous monitor, well it’s not that big, but I like to think it is.  I expand the view to full screen, click on all nine of the pages listed at the bottom and let them load in additional tabs.  I pour myself a cup of coffee, snuggle into my fat squishy leather chair and feed my eyes with some of the most fabulous photos taken by people from all over the world.  Yum.

And, so I stay somewhat on topic, I would like to share this link: Benefits of Minimalism from Becoming Minimalist, goof stuff.

Thanks for letting me share and have a great weekend, extra enjoy Sunday.

People Clutter

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your choice

I know when we start our days we have high hopes for a “good” day.  Sometimes we make mistakes, even though we know better.  Those mistakes can end up ruining some amount of time in our day.  Maybe it’s because we are tired, or we forget, or we aren’t prepared.  This brings me to the question for today: why interact with crappy people?  Hint: No good can come from it.  None.

As part of our life-style change, a move to minimalism, we have made the conscientious choice to eliminate the crappy, negative, mean and rude people who are (and were) in our lives.  They are like clutter but far more dangerous because they  sap your positive energy, and send you down a negative and unproductive path that can only lead you to more stress and unhappiness.  Not good and no longer permitted.

We’ve done a really good job at this thus far, but every once in a while an identified crappy person tries to suck you in -or- a random crappy stranger decides to blindside you.  It happens to the best of us.

Here’s the answer the only answer, it come from a friend’s blog post.

James Altucher : How to Deal with Crappy People.  Read his post (I promise it is worth the read)  and re-read this when ever you need a refresher course.

Tips: If someone is nasty to you, remember it’s about them and their anger inside. It’s not about you.

Inspiration:  ” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi

One-day one thing: Buying poster board, pricing and making signs for a yard sale.

My Ugly Belts are Laughing at Me.

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Downsizing my wardrobe will  be very tough for me.  Because clothes, in the scheme of things, don’t take up much space.  For example, today  I was looking at my belts.  I don’t wear the majority of them, but then that voice in my head said, “Don’t sort those yet, they don’t take up any space, you don’t have to make those choices today.”  So I didn’t sort them……What?!?

The goal isn’t to keep things because I have the extra space.  That is what got me into this mess in the fist place.  Yet still after all this time,  my resolve, and all that I have been doing, reading and focusing on,  that little voice, that little hoarder voice was convincing me not to move forward.  Devil hoarder voice won.  I took my filled bag of give-away-clothes to the Good-Will and my belts stayed and lived on another day.

belts living large

Not only did the ugly belts survive,  but now I still get to see them.  Sad, but one hundred percent true, some of these belts I have NEVER even worn.  But I still kind of believe I would need one of them in the future.  I might.  It’s possible.  (it’s NOT possible) I think the belts are laughing at me behind my back.  Telling their little belt jokes.  I hate them.

Right now I am going to take a time-out and SNAP myself back to reality.  I mean seriously,what the h#ll?  If I was in a gym I would have earned a penalty of 25 push-ups or even worse burpees.

(back to reality – time to  face the core issue)

Unfortunately I can, and still could, make anything seem perfectible logical to buy, save, or even pick out of the trash for myself or for someone else.  In a matter of seconds,  I can present at least four perfect rationalizations that justify any acquisition,  whether it’s lavish or simply junk.  The very root of my problem is my acquisition rationalizations.  I can not let that continue.  I need my rationalizations to focus on my goal and my goal alone.  I need that voice to tell me why it’s better for me to donate, sell or throw away things.  That has to become my stronger voice.

The devil hoarder voice has lived inside me a long long time, and I don’t think it wants to leave.   I’m its host.  I gave that devil hoarder’s voice life.  Now I have to squelch it silent….for good.

The lesson here is the one I stress over and over again; do a little something each day in the right direction and soon you’ll be closer to living better with less.   Lesson served.  (to me)

Tip: Never go clothes shopping dressed in sweats.  This only makes you think you need everything you see.  Dress nicely, look good and feel good about yourself, and then ask “do I really need this?” – before buying anything new.

Inspiration: “Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.”  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

One day one thing: Sort belts today!

Miss Minimalist Wardrobe (Comment section is interesting also.)

Give away clothes box

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I rate this habit as easy. Everyone can do this without much effort at all.

I have too many clothes.  I think you might have too many clothes also.  Here’s what I do and am doing.  I have a “give away” clothes box.

No mistake what goes in this box.

It’s nothing fancy, so when I finally finish the de-cluttering of my clothes,  if I want,  I can recycle the box.  Smart thinking right?

The box is outside the laundry room, so that when I am folding I can make decisions to keep or donate.  And this way the clothes are clean.  Children can easily learn to put what they won’t wear any longer in the box.  And it’s really good for them to learn to donate and how to let go. I line the box with a large heavy duty trash bag and when it gets heavy but I can still lift it, I put it my car and take a trip to our local Good-Will.

Funny thing is, when I am shopping at  Good-Will sometimes I see my old things.  I still like them, but I never ever want to buy them back.

Anyway, Good-Will gets more money per item than I could ever get  in a garage sale, and money  is put to good use.  It’s all good,  a win-win.

( I recognize this is a box.  Oops!  My rationalization: it’s a temporary box being use as a tool to get to my goal)

I never met a box I didn’t like

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I love boxes!   It’s true!  I never met or saw a box I didn’t like.  The problem is once I own a box,  I put stuff inside it.  End result, I have a lot of boxes with God-knows-what inside.

By not knowing what is inside, I definitely can’t just throw it away. Therein lies one of my many problems.  Sorting, blah!!!  I hate it.  It takes forever, so of course I don’t do it.

This is the cutest box ever. It’s tiny.  I have saved this box as a reminder to myself -NO MORE BOXES!!!!

The mass marketers would like you to believe that if you buy a container then all your “stuff” will be protected and organized.  They want you to believe that your children will suddenly want to put away their toys or that your house will instantly  become neat and orderly.  They do a good job.  Now  plastic containers come in all shapes and colors. One is bound to be perfect for your “whatever.”  I have a plastic box just for a wreath.  The wreath’s original box was perfectly fine, but no….a green and red one is better. It’s all bullshit.  (I didn’t need the wreath either, but that is beside the point.)

Buying boxes, containers if you will, is a license to hold on to unnecessary stuff!  Don’t do it. I realize there are valid uses for a containers, but if you are anything like me, a storage container stores stuff we don’t need, we may not even want, and stuff that we usually forget we have until we look inside. (we’re never going to look)

Next time you see that shiny new container that is going to miraculously solve your clutter issues, remember my tiny box.  Get rid of the stuff you want to store – you aren’t going to use it anyway.  Be brave, be box-less.

Don’t dwell

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This is particular difficult to achieve one hundred percent of the time.  I mean if you are like me, you spent the last 20 plus years buying stuff.  You bought for your house, your garden, your dogs, your cats, you bought for the new baby, and the new baby after that and so on.   When I am faced with looking at those things I bought sometimes I see the joy it brought, but more times than not I see a price tag.  Front and center my mind tells me, “Man that was expensive.”  The next thought is “and we barely used it.”

My item today: our pool table.  I bought it as a birthday present for my husband, back when the children were little.  We thought they would grow up have friends over and shoot pool, like we did when we were younger.  Not so much.  Video games, organized sports, movies and social networking was the main stay of their teen years.

This particular purchase is more “dwell” worthy than just it alone, because when we moved we actually put an addition on our house to hold the table.  Ugh!  I recently tried to sell it for weeks – not a single bite.

I can’t dwell.  Currently the pool table is in storage, at a U-store-it place.  It’s been in storage before , so there still may be hope for future usefulness.  I am not sure.

My key here is do not dwell on it.  It is what it is.  Move on and do one thing today to move closer to living better with less.

One day – one thing

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The minute you realize that you have too much stuff, a sudden feeling of dread and hopelessness is sure to follow.  It can break you and make you cry.  The work appears endless, and overwhelming.  I have cried, and drowned myself in music and random car rides. I have fabricated needless errands as a method of avoidance.  Many days I can be found  aimlessly wandering in stores.  I like TJ Maxx to mindlessly wander in because they have music and all different departments all in one place.   Sometimes when I return to the house I like to buddy up with my friend Chardonnay.

Eventually, avoidance will become boring and you will want to move on, you will want to be free of the clutter.  But you still will not know how to even start.

Here’s my rule.  One Day – One Thing.  In the most difficult areas, that’s is all you have to do, and more realistically it’s all you can do.  The goal is to do one thing that will move into the direction of having less and being more.  Do this every single day.

Dress I never wore - now it's on eBay

Today- I am taking photos for some items for eBay.  That’s it. That’s all I am doing on this.  I worked a full day at the office, and I am burned out.

(Side note: I definitely like to write my task down, just so I can cross it off.  )

Find one action item for your tomorrow, put it on your list and do it.

$200 clutter

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I realized the other day that I lost out on 200.00.  It’s as simple as that.  I saved the coupon that encouraged me to go to a new bank and open a new account. I saved it, I put the coupon in a file for future use.  Problem is I opened my new account forgetting all about the coupon.  BAM!  Two hundred bucks straight out of my pocket.  I didn’t find this “saved” coupon until well after I opened my new bank account, and way past the coupon’s expiration date.

This is just one example of the many dollars I have lost due to my cluttered life and cluttered mind.

Suggestions:  Only save food coupons for items you know you will buy within the next 7 days.   Place your coupons on your refrigerator in plain sight.

Be strict with yourself.   Write down the item or service that you will be using on your to-do list or make sure to mark it on your calendar.  For service coupons, schedule the appointment right away, do not delay.   You’ll will find over time you will  be able to identify coupons that work for you, in reality, not just in your mind.