So as I've been on this minimalism/letting go/downsizing/essentialist journey I still get pretty stuck. I'm still mired in my stuff (ahem, and my husband's stuff). I'm sitting right now in a room full of stuff, or rather junk. I'm at work and my office right now is a storage shed. In one way or another it ended up being the only place I could be alone to think where people didn't stop constantly to capitalize on my time. This was a problem, because I have a very hard time setting conversational boundaries with people. I think it comes with the territory a little of course. I'm both an owner, and I was a therapist, so I think naturally, people stop to unload their issues with me. The problem being, I decidedly stopped being a therapist, because it turns out, I don't want people's stuff dumped on me anymore. I'm sad I chose to take on school debt to find out a complicated truth after only 5 years of work, but I'm still glad I cut my losses and didn't keep doing something that made me woefully unhappy.
This is just one of about 4 or 5 photos I could show you of my junk chaos. So in case anyone out there thinks that minimalism is easy or is a one-time-declutter then, boom you are just livin' it up on easy street... I'm here to inform you it is ongoing, there are layers, and it runs deep through the psyche. I sat at my desk (back there in the corner) wondering why I was feeling blocked today and also why I am so unorganized. And a lot of the answers lie in my inability to manage the amount of stuff I have. I order (or buy in person) things that I have every intention of setting up (greenhouse, compost bin, boxes for the new garden plot) that decorate my workspace for weeks or months before I get to these projects. Why? Well partly, I spend idle or uncomfortable time watching people actually do things on YouTube and then think if I buy or do the things they do then my life will be great. I'm just one purchase away from the ideal fill-in-the-blank. In truth, I'm a one woman show when it comes to the garden and I have to steal time from my husband or our maintenance guys sometimes to help me complete projects. Also it's been really hot and after a few hours of sweating and being eaten my mosquitos, I tend to head inside to write and things remain half done. I'm not really being honest with myself about what I'm willing to do in a day in the garden at work.
Also, I'm not starting at the beginning. I'm starting somewhere in the middle, or putting the garden cart before the horseradish. My first order of business is facing my fears. You see I'm afraid of loading up all the excess junk and dropping it off. I guess partly due to the fear of throwing something away I may need, but more about the judgment of my stuff. Does anyone else get this way? When you go to give your stuff away, sometimes it is rejected, and then it essentially trash and then I feel overwhelmed with the fact that now I have an inordinate amount of trash piled up. I know I can take it to a dump, but I think they charge you by weight. Its like your stuff is somewhere between trash and reusable and the mental weight of throwing perfectly good things in the trash can feel so heavy. You don't want your efforts to be for naught. You don't want the fact that the things you wanted, the stuff of your dreams, is in fact, worthless. Sitting in front of me is a print of a "Blue Boy" painting. I hate it, but it came from my husband's grandparents estate and he loves it. But now, because I won't allow it to hang in our house, it has ended up dead in front of me on my desk at work after our move. You see, this stuff runs deep. It isn't about the ugly painting or the extra gardening tools that are not appropriate for your climate, it's about the dreams, and the feelings attached. And I've just been dragging all of it around, ball and chain style.
If I make room, what will I fill it with? Will my anxious mind calm down and just let there be space? I love gardening because there is always something new that can fill in the gaps, always more that can be squeezed in. But in my indoor spaces, I want to try "the disciplined pursuit of less but better" (Essentialism). And that will take constant vigilance for a while. I will need to continue to get rid of the things that no longer serve my priorities no matter the sunk cost or how well intentioned they may have been. I'll need to ask myself what need or want is this thing filing? Do I already have this in some way shape or form (you'd be surprised that this answer is usually a yes)? If I didn't have this thing, would I be okay? Am I doing this for me or to please other people? All of these questions are directing me to do less and be okay with that. Being okay with less is not as simple as it sounds. I will keep at it though. Regardless of the setbacks, the negative feelings around "not doing it right", and I will keep moving forward through the stuff. One truckload at a time I will face the music of any judgment that may come and try to meet it with assurance from within that I am doing the right thing. I will pray to the minimalism angels and hope they can keep me motivated to keep going and start with whatever I can do today. I will keep documenting the process and let you know what I find on the other side. I hope all those out there who are seeking freedom, be it from addiction, stuff, or your own negative thinking that you find some breaths of fresh air along the way. I hope you know you are not alone and that, knowing there's a problem is half the battle. Okay, here I go to clean this effing office. Wish me luck. Amen