Less is More? Yeah, Right.
M I N I M A L I S M
I'll be the first one to admit, I hate clutter and love organization, but have definitely lost the latter in the last decade or two and was pinned by the former a long time ago (a wrestling term, not Pinterest). I've accumulated some stuff, I'll admit that, too, but stuff is an understatement as I am literally overrun, overwhelmed and overextended by it all. How does one go about cleaning out the old, no-longer-needed-or-wanted stuff, and get to the knitty gritty which is, for me:
A Place for Everything and
Everything in it's Place
There's a reason that's called a cliché, but it fits the bill and I like it like that. I work best when I'm organized and clutter-free, so you can imagine what's it's been like to live as me, for years in a state of less-than-peak performance. I have no problem with cleaning. My problem lies in wanting to do so much but not having the "unlimited" energy, "peak" health or "adequate" time to Get 'er DUN.
The words "unlimited," "peak" and "adequate," in this instance, are metaphors for the strange ways we tell ourselves it's okay for not holding ourselves accountable. What I believe that means is, you or I can replace any of these 3 words and the sentence would still read the same. Not saying these are excuses, just mentioning that there are other ways of describing what prevents us from making a slight change, a simple shift, or a tiny step toward a specific goal.
Now, what was I saying ... ?
Oh, yeah, with such a build-up of ToDo lists and things I "have" to tackle, it's amazing how difficult any task seems in it's entirety, yet broken down into manageable pieces, it's not so bad at that. I like to know that there's a place for all my Bits 'N Bobs, and that I can find what I'm looking for, but I want it all organized N O W and ever since I was a little girl, I have wished I could wiggle my nose or snap my fingers and
it was all DUN
and I could fly away and keep on keepin' on ...
Years ago, in my efforts to "put up, or shut up," and to stop spending so much time looking for something (like taxes, medical bills, kid's immunizations, etc.), I'd scan everything important and have it easily accessible on my computer. In fact, for years, I scanned E V E R Y T H I N G. Scratch important, I scanned
E + V E R + Y + T H A N G
and ran out of computer space quickly. I had gotten so tired of looking for stuff, and thought: "If it was on the computer, I'd have instant access, and not have to worry about finding actual paperwork." Naturally, this was pre- iPhone ... make that pre-cellphone ... so you know that was a lot of scanning, and yes, I scanned family photos, too.
I also used to "balance" my checkbook on the weekends. Don't laugh. What a lesson in futility that was and it used to take an entire day. I realized years later that a fully balanced checkbook already exists. It's called a "statement" and it's produced by your lender every month, just for you. Now how about that? Who knew?
No, really, who knew that it was that easy. Sometimes you'll find you're about to reinvent the wheel BEFORE you invest. Congratulations if you can be that lucky.
But back to my story, that scanning E V E R Y T H I N G worked for a while, in theory and in practice, then life got in the way. How?
Now I'm back to spending an equally exorbitant amount of time looking for my stuff, ON MY COMPUTER. Seriously, how DID I get HERE?
As I lived it, accountability became a daunting task, 'cause I didn't realize I was living with, and under, piles of stuff until I was so far under, I was suffocating and, dare I say it, still accumulating more and more STUFF.
When two-thirds of your bed is filled with papers,
books, and half-finished WIPs (works in progress),
and you find yourself sleeping on an itty-bitty portion of what's left,
with your feet hanging off the side (that's normal though),
there has to be a deliberate attempt at accountability,
otherwise, Freddy and I'd get lost (read: stuck forever)
in that black hole,
and then what would we do?
While all these thoughts were swirling through my head, my nightly dreams and my daily nightmares, at some point it became clear and, outside my intentions, began to take shape and become my existence, that very, very soon:
I was going to become accountable for all my stuff.
I can recall since some time in 2017—and am not sure if that is when it began or that's simply when I'm most conscious of remembering it—that I had to clean up my life, meaning delete emails, delete old accounts, delete iPhone pictures ... a lot of "deleting" which, in my opinion is pretty much E + V E R + Y + T H A N G (and the majority of what I'd scanned) but I also had to deal with incoming: inspirational photos, catalogues, graphic design minutia, products and materials to make the stuff I was so excited to share with the world, and, you get the idea, I was swiftly running out of space.
What I knew, but ignored, was that my physical well-being and my mental well-being were in a tug 'o war and I was losing no matter which way the rope was pulled, and that me, myself and I was tugging at both ends ... doing all of this to myself:
Hey, if I'm tugging at both ends, who wins?
Speaking of the randomness of thoughts, as I was looking into my folder for this post, I see that I researched, and saved, 11 images for Less is More, 7 for Pow!, and 45 images for Tug 'O War. Old habits die hard, don't they?
In conclusion, my fellow readers, it's safe to say that for all those years of saying to my kids, "It's stuff, not junk," I have now sheepishly succumbed to the fact that Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, You Only Live Once and there truly are only Six Degrees of Separation, because
I will make less more.
Until we next meet, keep your noses clean, people ... I'll leave you with these stats (which I will explain soon ...stay tuned):