I’ve been slowly letting a lot go this past year (er, the past 38 years? lol), and working on reaching a place of even keel, you know? I’ve been downsizing what I own, letting go of some past beliefs on perfection and guilt and parenthood, and it feels so good! I wanted to share some things I have let go of recently because it feels amazing to do so. Seriously! I’m about 2 seconds from living a completely minimalist lifestyle, and don’t be surprised if you find me sitting in a closet with two items. (Ha, just kidding…maybe.)
Here are 5 things I gave up on this year
- Those that know me know that I am a really neat and organized person. I make my bed each day, rarely have clutter hanging around, and get real particular about my throw pillows being arranged prettily. But, you know, I also have kids. I used to freak out over their rooms and stress myself out over what they looked like and whether or not their beds were made daily. But then I set up a cleaning schedule for them where they completely clean and organize their rooms and bathroom every Sunday, and that is typically the only day that their beds are made or their rooms are neat. I just let it go. I do walk through and have them pick up their clothes off the floor, or put away obnoxious stuff, but for the most part they only do this only on Sunday. I always thought that because I like a made bed and that I find it important, that they should, too, but in our day-to-day life it just isn’t a priority. With school and sports I find more importance in the bigger things, and have let this part go.
- I recently learned the phrase “done is fun,” and it has changed my life. Basically it means that it is more important to get things done, then wait for the perfect moment or have this perfectionist slant that all tasks should be done a certain way. I do this with my cleaning schedule. I recently decided that instead of doing a BIG CLEAN that I would dread each week, I would say “I am going to clean 5 minutes/ day and that is it.” Sometimes I clean more than that, but I never have to do more if I don’t want to. It takes away the thought that a clean house only comes from hours of work or a complete top to bottom scrub. My house is cleaned in sections, and I don’t worry about that. I carry this over into all aspects of my life. I hold off on things a lot because I want them to be perfect, but often I just need a task done, because perfection is a liar.
- There is this myth that mom life can be really terrible (I mean, there ARE terrible moments, ha), and that we need to medicate ourselves with wine or shopping, or both. I have been guilty here a million times over. In my past year of self discovery I have found that I don’t need these buffers, because really, they are a way for most of us to mask what is really happening on the inside. I learned this through Brooke Castillo and her Life Coach School Podcast, where she talks about how most of us “buffer” away our feelings with alcohol, food, shopping, etc, and don’t ever really feel what is going on. How many times have you hated yourself for over drinking/eating/shopping, but it has become your go to for stress relief? I’m not saying any of these aren’t bad in moderation, but I know I have used over shopping and over drinking in the name of panic and despair and overwhelm, and it never made me feel good after it was all said and done. The key distinction I make now? I never drink or shop when I am feeling low. I try to pre plan that for fun and don’t use either of these to drown out my feelings.
- I’ve recently become obsessed with another podcast, The Purpose Show by Allie Cassazza, and she is a huge proponent of the minimalist home. And she doesn’t mean a getting rid of all or your things and live in a sterile box, its more about conscious consumption and getting rid of unnecessary clutter. After listening to a couple of episodes, I started going through my house, room by room, and really looking at what I owned and why. I found I could give up the bread maker I’ve used a handful of times in 14 years, the electric carving knife we never use, the glassware for 12 when we rarely host anything that’s not casual. I gave up the thought that I have to hold onto items that no longer serve me. I have been working so carefully to only bring things into my home that I truly love, need and will enjoy. I’ve also been staying out of Target (I KNOW), because it is a trigger for more useless items.
- Lastly, I have been working so hard on giving up complaining. It takes work, because it is sort of automatic for most of us, but it gets us nowhere and only draws in more to complain about. No more! I am consciously working daily, and often minute by minute, to never complain about anything. Most of the things we complain about are things that we can actively fix, so what is the point?