December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)
Gosh darn you reverb10 for making me think! My first reaction to this post was the Sam Davidson must be one of those smug, holier than thou types that lives in a yurt and thinks we should all go bare foot and only own a wooden bowl (sorry, Sam Davidson). So I headed over to his twitter stream, then to his website and then to reviews of his book. I know part of the point if reverb10 is figuring out what the prompts mean to me but I wanted to know a little of the intention behind this one. Was Sam Davidson asking me to give up negative feelings or shoes? Is he asking me to get rid of stuff so that I'll be aware if how much I consume or because there are starving children in Africa and I should be more thankful for what I have? As far as I can tell, it's about removing the things we don't need to make room for what we're truly passionate about. Figuring that out didn't really help me decide which eleven things I should rid from my life.
I have a tendency to move about every year to year and a half. Every time I do I pack up everything important first and then I usually reach a point where I'm tires if sticking stuff in boxes and I throw my hands in the air and just start throwing everything away or sticking it on the curb with a big free sign. Sometimes I find boxes I've never unpacked. Most of the time I figure if I didn't use whatever was in them in the last year, I don't need those things. To the curb they go.
That being said, I have a lot of stuff. Really. I have three overflowing bookshelves, a record case, 30ish? pairs of shoes, four milk crates of rarely used crafting supplies and almost every dress I ever wore to a formal dance in high school plus all the dresses I've purchased since then. Not to mention cake pans sized for every occasion and eleventy million silicon spatulas. The reality is, I'm not going to completely get rid of any of these things. Here's what I'm going to do:
1. Go through my wardrobe. Anything not regularly worn during the season for which it was appropriate is getting donated. Anything that is too big or too small is getting donated. The exception to this will probably be the dresses. Most of the ones from high school are vintage and I am absolutely loathe to part with them. There are probably two that no longer fit that I'll sell.
2. Shoes. Same as clothes. Anything I no longer wear is going away.
3. Books. I actually do reread things so I hold on to a lot of my books. However, any books I don't love or won't reread are getting sold or donated.
These are the tangible things to which I can commit. There aren't eleven things here because I already try to live my life in a way that's in line with what I'm passionate about. My diet is probably around 85% local. It's probably 95% free of high fructose corn syrup or processed foods in general. I already gave up my career to work somewhere I feel like I'm making a difference. There will probably be other things I get rid of in the next year to make changes but right now I feel like I've been actively moving closer and closer to where I want to be in my life. I know I could tell about intangible things I'm getting rid of but I would rather commit to staying on the path I'm on than telling you what I'm not going to do.