As part of my challenge to fund Christmas through decluttering and selling unused items in my home, I've started thinking about how losing these items is enabling me to make other changes. Decluttering of course means less stuff, but it also creates space to pursue other goals...have other dreams. This is what I've been thinking about this week.
Selling my Fitbit was a biggie, it means I'm letting go of the notion that I'm going to be one of those people who regularly walks 10k or 15k steps. I get the idea of a Fitbit, a pedometer, but it's just not me. I'm not competitive enough, and no amount of fancy gadgets is going to encourage me to get off the sofa to walk a random number of steps on a given day. Give me goals - climbing the beautiful fells at Rannerdale or strolling through the gardens at Mirehouse instead, and I'm there.
Instead, I picked up a couple of part-time jobs.
Going back to the sofa - that's where I sit to do my regular job online - means I spend a lot of time sitting down. Typing, proofreading, editing, you get the picture. So getting a couple of little jobs outside the home replaced the pedometer nicely. The benefits? Exercise, getting outdoors, and of course extra money for real aspirations such as travelling more.
Just yesterday, I was talking to the kids about taking them to visit St Petersburg in Russia (photo below), a city where I was lucky enough to live for three months. I was surprised by their enthusiasm...it'll definitely be going on the list of goals!
What else have I left behind on my minimalism journey? I use the words carefully, I'm only learning....I have a long way to go..
1. Cable TV, Sky, Amazon Prime...I just don't need them, or their price tag. Netflix and the BBC are my go to channels, and it's enough. Plus they don't try to sell me anything. Breakthrough moment this week? We were waiting for iPlayer to load to watch "Astronauts, do you have what it takes?" (a series which is fascinating us all) when the kids piped up,..."That's rubbish..." Both kids were derisory about the adverts as we waited for the programme to load.... "I used to believe all that stuff" said my teen..."Now I can just see it's rubbish." The adverts in question were shoes and washing powder...I'm so pleased that they don't believe everything they see on TV.
2. Book stores. How I used to love, and still love, browsing book stores. The last time we browsed for school stationery I saw a title that interested me. I was almost tempted....then I thought I'd check out Amazon instead...half the price. Success. Then I thought I'd check the library...free. Perfect. Now I spend less time browsing and more time reading.
3. Comparing myself to others. Why do we do that? Not doing so is freeing. Stop putting pressure on yourself and focus more on your own goals. Don't have any goals? Then the world is your oyster, grab a coffee (or beverage of your choice) and give yourself the time to dream. What would you love to learn, to see, to visit...
4. Rushing. If I choose my commitments carefully, then I don't need to rush so much. We don't feel the need to fill our days with tons of stuff... We don't need after school clubs every day of the week or commitments right through the weekend. When we're starting to feel tired, we just "hibernate" for the day - have a home day, a PJ day, a I-don't-need-to-be-anywhere day. Try it, it's fab 🙂
5. Overstocking our grocery cupboards, freezer, fridge...before our last vacation, I defrosted the freezer. And I was shocked at just how full of food it was. Mostly food that I'd forgotten about. The same with the cupboards. Isn't it so easy to over-buy? How often do we go through and see things that we'd forgotten we purchased, things that have passed their sell-by date, or we no longer enjoy. I'm now trying to buy the minimal amount we need. The recipe calls for two onions? Then that's what I'll buy...not a bag, regardless of whether that would work out cheaper. I know the excess would just languish in the fridge. It takes a little longer to plan, but it seems to be working.
So, these are just some of the things that I've been thinking about this week. I'd love to hear what you think...are there some things that you've given up on your journey to a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle or perhaps you've got some fabulous goals that you can share with us. Please comment in the section below..I love reading them.