I never realized how many useless digital pictures I had on my phone until I started deleting them.
Lots of motivational sayings. Food, lots of food. More than one picture of the same thing.
Over 1,600 pictures.
Until now. Two days ago I started getting rid of them. So far 500 are gone. My goal is to get rid of another 500.
Besides getting rid of the random ones that I have no attachment to, there has been another benefit.
It's fun to scroll through and look through the pictures of family gatherings, concerts, our pets, and places we've gone.
I just don't need so many of them.
How about you?
I have been super frustrated with my new job.
While I've been there only a little over a month, I hate the extreme highs and lows I've been feeling. And even though I try to laugh when I say this, "What fresh new hell will greet me today?", I'm actually fairly serious and this makes me sad.
Because that's not who I am.
And it's not about the work environment. I work in a great environment with incredibly helpful and kind colleagues. There's more stress than I realized there would be and more learning curves than I expected.
But as with a lot of things in life, when one thing after another seemingly happens, the snowball effect comes into play and suddenly the ills spill over into other facets of one's life. At least that's what it has happened to me.
I don't remember the last time I worked out or even went for a walk after work. It has been close to two weeks since I cooked a meal. I've worn my hair in a ponytail more times than I care to admit. Although I'm writing, it has been sporadic.
I've laughed a lot less.
And I realized that today, because for the first time in awhile I laughed at work. Not just a polite giggle, but an actual laugh.
It's exactly what I needed.
It opened the flood gates of what I've been missing in my work environment. I love to laugh and have a good time, because that's what alleviates the stress of the job, and today I got it.
I left work in a good mood.
And you know the best part?
I'm looking forward to going back tomorrow.
This has been a good writing week for me. I put one new post on here and on Medium about what living an uncluttered life means to me. It seems to have gained some traction, because I feel like many of us are looking for simpler ways to live our lives. We want to make them more about experiences and less about the stuff.
I have also posted two more pieces on Medium. Why I'm Trying Not to Worry about Tomorrow, is about focusing more on present moments rather than worry about what is to come tomorrow or what has happened in the past. While we are shaped by our past, it doesn't define us, and tomorrow hasn't happened yet. So, why do we keep worrying about it? However, living in the moment is definitely a process in which we need to make sure we give ourselves grace and patiences in its pursuit.
The second piece was scary for me to write. Fight or Flight Happens When Least Expected might be one of the most transparent pieces I've written. It's about my new job and how I feel completely vulnerable and unsure of myself for one of the first times ever. There are always learning curves in a new job, but this is beyond anything I've ever felt. It was therapeutic in one way but hard to admit when I might have made a mistake. It was also different for me to write, because I'm such a positive twist on everyday experiences kind of gal. This was more just me being completely real and raw. Cue the butterflies in my stomach.
As always, I'm grateful and humbled by everyone who reads my posts. While I write for you in the hope that the content strikes a cord in some way, I'm discovering more and more that writing for an audience of one (myself) is also vitally important. Thank you for being on this journey with me!
When I post something of my own on social media or repost/retweet about living more simply, inevitably a few people will comment on why they like having all of their stuff.
If you're in that camp, I say, "Awesome! You keep doing you."
In fact, I used to be in that camp. I loved my stuff.
And then I got tired of all the stuff I had to dust around each week. I got tired of all the clothes, so many that I rotated between summer and winter with each season having its own tote. I got tired of so much stuff in drawers that it was easier to shove more in rather than go through it.
I simply got tired of all of it but wasn't sure what to do.
And then I started listening to this cool podcast and watched a documentary by the same name, The Minimalists. I've referred to these two friends who make up the dynamic duo, Jonathan Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, in previous posts. You can check out their story here.
I listened to their message, read about their journeys, watched their documentary, and read all three of their books. I consumed everything I could and branched out upon learning about other minimalists who are doing their thing living their lives in the way that best suits them.
And then I jumped to action. Sure, there were times when my husband worried I would purge him (he made the cut!) but minimalism isn't just about getting rid of stuff (but it is a solid starting point).
"Minimalism is not about deprivation; minimalism is about aligning your short-term actions with your long-term values." --The Minimalists
It's about getting real with yourself about what you want your life to be and then pursuing it with ridiculous and consistent passion. This is precisely why I started Everyday Life Uncluttered.
It's was about realizing that life is not a destination but a continuous journey. It's getting rid of the physical clutter that no longer serves a purpose. It's paying down debt to the point of living a life with more freedom. It's having more experiences over obtaining more possessions. It's enriching my life with more mindfulness in who I spend my time with and how I choose to spend my money.
I appreciate that my life is more about going for walks, finding the best pizza in town, reading books, writing, and spending time with my family. It's less about cleaning (we now live in a space of 835 square feet), searching for stuff, and not knowing what I do or don't have.
But as I said, it's a continuous journey. I still have too many books. I'm getting better at gifting some as I finish them (Side note: subscribe to my FREE newsletter on the home page, because I periodically give away books). I have a Kindle, but I still enjoy the feel of a book in my hands most of the time. My husband often tells me that I shouldn't buy another book until I have read the ones I currently have...and then I buy another one anyway.
I do like clothes, but I subscribe to one new item in, two existing items go out.
I need to do a better job of making sure we consume the food we have before purchasing more.
I want to be more mindful of the purchases I make. As much as possible, I buy from small independent businesses.
What often keeps me moving in the direction of keeping the stuff at bay is playing the 30-day minimalism game periodically. It's even better when friends and family join in to hold each other accountable.
So, you keep doing you, and I will keep doing me...with a lot less stuff.
"One day or day one. You decide." --Joshua Fields Millburn
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.