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Month: November 2017 (page 2 of 2)

Forgive and forget

I forgot to write yesterday! I spent the morning making sure I completed the decluttering requirement for yesterday and today since we’re away form home this weekend, and then scrambling to pack everything for the baby and myself before we had to leave. I fully intended to write when we arrived at my in laws’ house, but first there was dinner, and then the baby was fussy after traveling and then it got late and before I knew it I’d forgotten all about it and gone to bed. I didn’t even think about it until it suddenly struck me this morning.

Now, normally I would have been really upset if I’d skipped a day in a daily challenge, and to be perfectly honest, I probably would have gone into a very unproductive guilt spiral. While I think it’s important to “feel it” when you break the commitment, it’s equally important to forgive yourself and move on. If I’m honest, my natural tendency is to obsess endlessly about my mistake, which doesn’t lead to anything good (it just makes me feel bad and takes the focus off of getting back on track).

Which is why it was such a surprise to me that my first reaction when I remembered this morning was not freaking out.¬†It’s odd, but I almost feel like the writing challenge is already¬†helping with my perfectionism and procrastination mindset, after just a few weeks. Who would have thought?

Gift-related guilt

In yesterday’s post about decluttering, I touched briefly on the guilt that can come with gifts, especially when you’re trying to reduce the amount of things you own. I’m wrestling with this at the moment, because I had my birthday earlier this week, and while I received some really great gifts, I also received a few that for whatever reason weren’t spot on.

For example, I got a lot of books, which normally I would love, but right now I don’t have a lot of time to read because I’m busy trying to keep a tiny human alive (I’m going through a lot of audiobooks at the moment, though) and I already have a big pile of unread books I’m hoping to get to. So today I went to exchange a few of the books I received, and I found a really great brush lettering work book (I love practicing lettering as a way to unwind, I get all zen and relaxed from it) and then I spent the rest of the store credit on some nice candles.

Now, this was a really good trade for me – it gets really dark here during the winter and candles is one of my favorite ways to make the short days feel cozy instead of dreary. These were really nice candles in beautiful colors that I wouldn’t normally buy for myself, and I know I’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of them, yet I still felt guilty exchanging the books for them. It’s odd, but although the candles are “better” for my life right now, I realized I had this unconscious feeling that the gift-givers would be insulted that I exchanged something “permanent” for something consumable and temporary.

Isn’t it crazy how many ideas we carry around about gifts and the meaning they carry? Anyway, in the end I figured the only reasonable thing to do was exchange the books for the beautiful candles, after all if I had given someone a gift that didn’t work for them, I would certainly hope they would exchange it for something that made them happier!

Do you struggle with guilt over exchanging gifts that don’t work for you? Would you ever let the gift-giver know if you exchanged their gift? And would you want to know if you were the gift-giver?

Let it go, let it go!

Although I got started on the decluttering challenge yesterday, today felt like the “real” start of the challenge. All the things I put in the donate box yesterday were easy to get rid of; they were things I was sure I didn’t want or need and I didn’t feel conflicted about giving them away.

The two drawers I picked for today were much harder to finish. I had to let go of a couple of items that I don’t really dislike, they just don’t really serve me anymore. I felt a surprising amount of guilt and resistance to letting them go, because when I got them years back, they were both gifts. Somehow, it felt terrible to let go of these things, even though I rarely use them, since I have other things that serve the same purpose and work better for me. These aren’t items of any particular importance, and I’m quite sure the gift-givers have long since forgotten about them, so it’s fascinating to me that I had such a strong reaction to letting them go. Wonder how it’ll go when I get to the truly sentimental stuff…

To help keep track of my progress with the challenge, I also drew an overview of all the drawers and shelves that I eventually want to declutter (there are 85 in total). I’m coloring them in as I complete cleaning them out, deciding what each will be used for and making sure that each contains only the things that are supposed to go in it. To further up my motivation, I decided that when I’ve finished decluttering all 85 shelves/drawers, I will use that month’s home shopping allowance on a Roomba (I’ve wanted one for the longest time, since I hate vacuuming, but love when the floors have been vacuumed).

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