18 January 2013

Another Year on The Books

I'm officially a year older.
I find this to be wonderful.

Me & my Fairy Godmother. 
I've been meaning to tell you how ready I am for this year. I started a blog draft and everything. But I felt like you'd heard it all before. I felt that I'd thought it all before. I was about to repeat myself, and I was not okay with that. So. Instead of writing, I got to purging. 

No one who had been to my place would have said I had too much stuff. They might have said I had a lot of stuff, but that it mostly appeared to be useful. They might not actually have talked about my stuff at all. The truth is, It doesn't matter what some hypothetical acquaintance might have thought. I did have too much stuff. I had too many things for which I made places, too many things around which I cleaned, too many things I thought I needed. I had started to imagine those things were consuming me. There was too much upkeep, too much finagling to make sure everything had a place that wasn't too close to any other thing. The only solution was to get rid of as much as I could.  

I went at it systematically, targeting every nook, container and storage bin in my apartment. I applied the 12 month rule to nearly everything. I assessed. I organized. I cleaned. I felt the weight lift. I accepted that I was not going to re-teach myself German, Italian or algebra from old text books. (I also accepted that you can't sell text books 10+ years after they were current.) I came to terms with the fact that I don't need 4 copies of that Shape Magazine that had me on page 88. I admitted I had no reason to keep two years' worth of magazines that I only read once. 

And WHY do I have CDs? I have redundant physical as well as cloud-based storage. It's time to upload and recycle. Yes, I have a lot of music and this will take a LONG time, but it'll be worth it to just have less. The time will come (eventually) when I'll be forced to move. Traditionally I've moved every three years. I've been blessed to have been in this place for nearly five (5!) years. So I haven't  had that "is it worth moving" discussion. I've just been importing and adding and organizing. It's been great. But it's also been a bit much.

A lot of clothes. Promise.
So I got rid of books and clothes. I got rid of kitchen items that I had stop using. I finally parted with the maps / bus passes / pieces of daily life from when I studied abroad - in 2001. That's right. I've had trinkets from Seville neatly organized and in my possession. I've moved them from Seville to Ithaca to Fargo to Las Vegas and finally to San Francisco.  It is here my essays from 2001 - 2002 will be recycled. 

I still have work to do. I don't need the international money I've accumulated since 1996. I have pesos, pesetas, lira, francs, dinars, euros, and dollars from Canada and The Bahamas. I'm hoping Pinterest will give me a creative solution. The jewelry box I've had since 1998 can stay, if I get jewelry the lock fixed. The runes from my Wiccan exploratory days are also somehow still here

Closet. Still full.
It has occurred to me - as I'm sure it's occurred to you - that I am some sort of hoarder. Last month, I would have adamantly denied that. Today, I'll still deny it, but I'll also put more effort into defending myself. Here we go.

It's just that I never thought my life would be as exciting as it is. I thought there would be time to go back and reflect. I thought I would re-read my essays on government and media and either shake my head in disappointment or rekindle my undergrad passion. I imagined I'd have time to re-read Baroque Spanish poetry - you know, to stay sharp. In an unforeseen lack of activity on either a social or professional front, I would have activities to keep my mind going. Life has steadily proven me wrong. I'm just now accepting that. I won't be replacing any of the stuff I've removed. I'm looking forward to less clutter. And now that the universe sees I have the bandwidth (as they say), I'm sure all kinds of new adventures are heading my way. 

03 January 2013

The Things... So Far

These are some of the things I'm no longer going to carry with me everywhere, every day. Why carry three thumb drives, when I only use one? Why can't I take my vitamins at home? Why carry three pretty pens when I only have one favorite?

Goodbye eyelash curler. Farewell eyelash comb. Adieu back up lotion packet. I don't need you when I'm in transit; I barely need you at all.

What I do need is a new purse hanger. The one pictured couldn't carry tonight's load. And I have only myself to blame.

02 January 2013

One Day Done

I've so far been able to talk a good game in 2013. I know exactly what I want to accomplish. I know exactly what I need to do to accomplish it. Still, the time approaches when thoughts and intentions will not be enough. I will have to take action applying neither excuse nor delay. I know; I'm already starting to stress myself. It's just that 2012 went by really quickly. I still have the stack of notes / scrap-booking materials from my 30th birthday celebration a full year ago. And you haven't heard / read anything about that, have you? The more I do, the faster time seems to pass. The faster time passes, the less time there is to go back and properly process. I don't have enough time to 0rganize the past and grasp the future. So. It's time for the More Practical Resolutions. These are things that can actually be crossed off a list. These are my kinds of things.

Carry less weight on my shoulders.
This can (and should) be taken figuratively and literally.

I carry a large purse. I like to be prepared for whatever life may throw at me. I can say I've used everything in my purse on one occasion or another. I can also say I have a version of everything that's in my purse both at home and at work. The bottom line is I don't need to carry as much as I do. I just like being the girl with the solution to every situation. But you know what? She doesn't have to be me. Someone else can carry the load. My purse is heavy. It's so heavy my shoes wear harder on the side on which I carry it. It's so heavy my shoulders ache. It's heavy to the point of being a burden rather than a convenience. In 2013, I will carry less.

Get it done or get over it.
Pretty safe to say I'm already over it.

I have projects I've started and not finished. I have tasks and to-do lists and post-it note reminders to last all the live long day. I organize well. I'm not so good at the finishing. This simply cannot continue. If I'm going to make more movie-stub wallets, I should get to the making of said wallets. If I'm going to make anything out of the boarding passes I've accumulated in the last 17 years, I should get to assembling. If I'm going to take the photos from the photo boxes and stick them into the waiting albums, I should get to the sticking. You get the idea. I have heaps of things primed for action. I hereby have 30 days to take some action. In 2013, I will finish what has been started.

Make my own dinner.
Popcorn & wine can no longer cut it.

I love hosting. I have a vision of well attended dinner parties every other week. I can't describe how happy it makes me when people are brought together for no other reason than merriment. I prepare well for every occasion. But when all is said and done - when it's just me in my happy kitchen - my ambition is just not the same. I need to cook more. It will save me money. It will give me practice. It will give me a sense of pride. It will help me learn my way around the grocery store. In 2013, I will become even more familiar with my kitchen.

I once heard a speaker say if you're going to take on new challenges, you have to be willing to let go of old goals or responsibilities. I'm more determined now than I've ever been. I won't let keeping up with the Joneses deter me. I won't be detained by what's weighed me down previously. It's time to let go so I can get going.

This year is going to be great.