May 22, 2011

keeping only what is wanted
i’m not just talking about the bathroom cabinet [though it is included!]. i have been doing more planning and thinking about my personal goals for the virtual summer retreat, and the biggest theme emerging seems to be stripping life down and really examining which habits, possessions, and activities are worth keeping — and which ones could be washed away.

there are myriad tips to be found online about how to streamline, but i have a hard time finding fault in this very simple adage:

if you don’t love it or use it, let it go.
first, applied to possessions:

i cannot think of a single good reason to keep anything that doesn’t fit into one of the above two categories.

✰ if an item has financial value but has not been touched in 5 years, it is not worth the space it is hanging out in [sorry, kitchen-aid stand mixer — you failed this test!].

✰ if an item of clothing/accessory is hanging in your closet but has not been worn in a year, you had better absolutely LOVE IT or it has no business being there [sayonara, circa 2006 coach bag]

✰ if there are toiletries in your bathroom cabinet that you love in theory but are not getting used up over a period of years, say goodbye. they might not be good anymore, anyway! [au revoir, 9 year old bottle of perfume that i barely made a dent in]

✰ if there are magazines or books you are keeping but not referring to on a regular basis, consider whether you will want to keep that collection 5 years from now [bye, back issues of my beloved clean eating]

✰ if an item has sentimental value, i can decide whether i truly LOVE IT for that reason — and if not, i can take a picture of it and move on. things are not memories. that said, i am not throwing out my wedding dress. i’m not using it now but i want to give my future children the option of using it someday [even if it’s just for dress up]. and i do love it.

one nice thing about letting go of possessions is that once you start, the more you realize that you really won’t miss things that you don’t love or use . . . and it just gets easier.

other applications
habits + time:

✰ if there are activities that drain you or bring you down, find a way to stop doing them [or modify them so that this no longer is the case!].

–> my examples: multi-tasking and being overly self-critical

✰ if there are activites crowding out things you REALLY want to do with your time, find a way to do less of them.

–> my example: time spent online. if this is your issue as well, perhaps consider a media cleanse or a google reader cleanout [the latter link courtesy of then heather said]

more ideas:
eating habits
. . . and probably many more.

what’s left . . .
when all of this is stripped away?

♥ a lazy morning spent lying in bed with your significant other.
♥ a closet filled with pieces that make you smile.
♥ an hour free in the evenings to practice yoga or read a great novel.
♥ a sunny afternoon spent at the duke gardens with your sister.

perfect picnic lawn
my cute sister with our gourmet spread
uncovering secret garden nooks
exploring bamboo forests
admiring beautiful birds
. . . and eating delicious lo.yo



workout: 30 minutes elliptical + weights [plus gardens exploration!]

dinner for 1
one thing i struggle with is cooking dinner just for me! josh called to warn me that he was going to be home after 10pm and instantly my resolve to use up the swiss chard in our fridge started to waver. i thought about a cereal cop-out out of pure laziness but then came to my senses and realized just how easily i could put together a much more nutritious + balanced meal:

local CSA chard, local CSA eggs, and local bread [from la farm]
sadly i cannot vouch for the ketchup.

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