Thursday, March 8, 2012

TILT #13 (Things I Love and Treasure)

For me, so much of the happiness I find in life is in the simple and small things. One of the things I like to do from time to time is make a list of the things that have recently brought me joy and made me smile.

* Witnessing my animals cuddling.
* Peace Tea Iced Tea (Deeelish!)!
* Waking up early in the morning and feeling well rested.
* The smell of lavender.
* Mind expanding experiences.
* "Upcycling" Creating something new from something old.
* Animal kisses: kitty, doggy, birdie. Doesn't matter, I love it!
* My pillow.
* Pandora Radio - I have found so much great, new music this way!
* My nieces' awesome sense of humor! The following video is of my niece, Julia. She is one stellar goofball! What can I say, it runs in the family!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Operation Simplify: The Concept

Many people who know me would be shocked to find out that I have very strong, introverted tendencies. In fact, my score on the Myers-Briggs Personality Test can change between introverted and extroverted depending on the day I happen to take it. The next, natural question would be, "How can someone so damn loud and obnoxious be an introvert?" I know, it doesn't make much sense. However, if you knew me in high school, you might remember me as quite the opposite. I understand the confusion here. In my younger days, I was very, very shy and quiet. I have always been an observer. I like to explore the way people operate by watching how they behave. I love to just take it all in as I observe how they interact with the world and people around them. It's fascinating to me and you would not believe the wealth useful of information I have gleaned from these observations.

One of the most difficult, yet rewarding people to observe is myself. I try to see my own personal forest for its trees but it can be really hard to do at times. However, being a natural-born introvert does give me a bit of an edge on this ability. I also bring up this notions of introversion because I feel like I can't seem to get enough down time lately. Possessing introverted qualities requires me to need a bit more time to myself than most people. That, combined with the life events of the past year, I have required even more than ever. The demands of everyday life just feel like a bit much to juggle sometimes. I love my job as a psych nurse but it can be so emotionally draining. However, a person has to work, right? Gotta work more so that I can afford to buy more stuff I don't need. And with all that stuff comes complexity: more to keep clean, organized, repaired, maintained, and with that comes more time and energy spent; wasted on stuff. It seems that the more stuff I have, the more distracted I am from what is the most important to me. The more things I have around me, the more I feel like I am pulled away from what I value most: time for self-nurturing, reflection and healing. Time for my loved ones, creating memories as well as being more available for them. Its that whole idea of caring for myself so that I am able to give to others in a healthy way.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting on this lately. I look around my house and see so much stuff I really don't need. I see tons of things I should really get rid of but don't because I am somehow certain I will eventually need it for something important. Of all the hundreds of things I keep for this reason, the reality remains that I have actually made use of only a handful of them.

Since moving in with Clark, the house looks like we live in a episode of the reality show, "Hoarders." However that is due to the fact that we have been renovating the basement since the water heater took a giant dump all over the floor. Pretty much all of my things, plus everything that was in the basement, are in boxes stacked all over the rest of the house. Living this way for a few months now has caused me to reflect on what is important and necessary in life. I have come to realize that I couldn't really tell you what is in all of the unpacked boxes. I wondered if I would really miss a lot of that stuff if it was gone. I don't really think I would. It is this thought and recent living experience that has inspired me to develop something I have dubbed "Operation Simplify."

Operation Simplify is pretty much a process of shedding excess things in my life in stages. I don't have a perfectly planned out system in place, but the ultimate goal is to get rid of as much unnecessary stuff as possible. Along with that, I have made the commitment not to spend money on unnecessary things. No more clothes, shoes, jewelry, books, makeup and all that la-la. I will consider all "experience based" expenses on a case by case basis. For example, I would likely allow myself to spend money on dinner with my family or something like that. But when it comes to material stuff, I am only going to buy what I need for the next year or so. I am excited for the financial benefits of debt reduction this will also provide!!

I am not really sure if this topic is even really all that blog-worthy, but I think it will be interesting to see if and how I change as I explore this new, simpler approach life. I am excited to see the ways I feel a greater sense of freedom and liberation as I whittle down my collection of life stuff. I am equally ready to face the inevitable difficulties of letting go of that stuff. It will be an adventure and I expect it to have lots of ups and downs, but I am ready! Please, share with me some of your thoughts, experiences or tips you might have about this. I am always open to learning from others. Sometimes, it is actually the best way to learn!