Saturday, January 7, 2017

Guiding Word of the Year Starting Plan

Over the last year I would escape when I needed to by watching YouTube videos. I came across some minimalism channels. I was very intrigued by the concept because of all of the chaos that is been in my life for so long. I can't see myself as a minimalist but I decided to take some of the concepts and come up with something I've been calling "intentional living". I know I didn't come up with that term but I don't know who did. This is where the idea to make my guiding word of the year, simplify, started. Getting to the point where everything I do is intentional is going to take some work.

I needed a plan. I really like the app Trello for planning and organizing projects. So I sat down and created some projects for myself, starting with a minimalism challenge. This challenge is to get me started. I've got three places that I let collect physical clutter and I have all kinds of digital clutter. So I'm going through all of it little by little and either organizing it or getting rid of it. I started with my email. I am an email hoarder. I don't know why but I rarely delete an email after I read it. At one point I actually had over 4,000 emails in my inbox, just sitting there for no reason. I unsubscribed from the majority of the subscriptions I've collected over the years and deleted thousands of emails.
Next I went through the people I subscribed to on YouTube and followed on Instagram and deleted anyone that I hadn't been as eager to check on for awhile. I still have to deal with my Evernote account. That one is way worse than my email accounts and is going to take quite a bit of time.

Once, I have taken care of my digital clutter, it's on to the physical clutter. I'll address each area one at a time to make it easier but that's as far as I got in developing a plan. Fortunately, I found Muchelle B's 30 Days To Simplify Your Life challenge. Between working an exhausting full time job and having already done some of the things that this challenge involves (i.e. decluttering my wardrobe), I won't be able to follow it exactly and it will likely take more than 30 days to go through it. But it seems like a great place to start. Plus, there is some mental decluttering towards the end of the challenge that I haven't even begun to think about. It will be nice to have some guidelines to try while I begin this journey.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Guiding Word Of The Year For 2017

It's that time again. Time for me to decide what direction I want to go this year. I've been choosing a guiding word of the year for a few years now. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't has proven to be the most valuable. I've learned some good lessons and have been forced to look at my weaknesses.

Last year, I chose the word focus as my guiding word of the year. For the most part, none of my plans worked out. Towards the beginning of the year, my living situation crumbled. Since I was unemployed at the time, my choices were to move back in with my parents or be homeless. I chose to move back in with my parents so my first focus was to get rid of all my furniture that I had worked so hard for as well as everything I couldn't fit into my car. It took me a couple of months because this was such a hard pill to swallow. Something I've never had is a space of my own. I've always been under other people's rules, had to deal with what little space I did have being violated by thieving family members or those who just didn't respect my needs, and constantly being reminded that this space wasn't mine and could be taken away based on someone else's whims. So losing my space, once again, based on someone's whims was devastating. It might not sound like much but I am 30 years old and it's the third time in my adult life that I have had to start over. I'm tired.

After moving, the focus had to be shifted to getting a job. There wasn't any time to heal. There never is. I was broke. I'm also living in an area that is agriculturally based and I do admin/computer work. My job options are slim so waiting just wasn't an option. I've found temp jobs but nothing permanent so I'm still working on this.

Then towards the end of the year, I ran out of birth control pills and just can't afford them. Plus, psychologically I just can't handle the idea of putting artificial hormones in my body with the intention of shutting down my ovaries. So now instead of working on journal therapy research, I'm researching natural ways to keep PCOS under control.

Through all of this craziness I realized how done with craziness I am. I need to pare down and lose the clutter. This leads to my guiding word for the year.

My guiding word of the year is:

Everywhere I look and everywhere I think there is clutter. I can't believe how much I managed to squeeze into my car. I also was trying to keep so much of the things that I had developed emotional ties to, that I left things that would actually be useful. Some things need to be organized, some things need to be tossed or donated and some things need to be replaced.

It's not just stuff. My mind is always all over the place. My emotions tend to be all over the place. I've got so many goals and changes that I want to work on and I can never focus on one for very long.

I'm still working on a plan for this. I'm not quite sure where I want to go with this idea. I just know that I need to go somewhere.