I visited our old stomping grounds: paths we have hiked a hundred times. Fall leaves expressing everything I still cannot find the words to say, on how to celebrate endings.
Mourning you was never something I embraced, opting rather to be reborn in the novelty of different surroundings. Places that did not have you – my nature loving, adventure seeking, exotic car driving, silent but strong lover – painted all over them.
But it’s been almost a decade now, and I want my forests back, to bathe myself in their brilliance and healing once again. So bundle up for the inevitable winter, love, because I sense this spring is going to be positively exquisite.
It’s not easy, is it? Letting go of things, even if they aren’t good for us. There is a strange comfort in what we have become used to – whether that be clutter or emotional stresses – despite their toxicity.
I know that a house with less ‘stuff’ is what I ultimately want, but yet I still struggle with letting go of certain items(especially those with sentimental value). Equally so, I know I want a life where I prioritize the most positive and uplifting relationships, but I have struggled with setting boundaries and learning how to say ‘no’ in order to have the freedom to say ‘yes’ where and when it counts.
Healthy boundaries are not walls. They are gates and fences that allow you to enjoy the beauty of your own garden. – Lydia Hall
Every year, I take on a challenge. Something that gets me closer to living a life inline with my values. It allows me to focus on one thing – and usually see some significant strides in that area – rather than tackling everything at once.
This past year, I completed a STUFF Project. It included going through all of the things in my condo and storage. Piece by piece. I would be lying if I said that it was easy, took only a couple of weekends, or that I enjoyed the process. It was quite stressful, as I thrive in clean and uncluttered spaces, and the process involved ripping apart well hidden pockets of forgotten items in boxes/bins/drawers and the resulting boxes piled up in the hallways.
“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint–Exupery
It made me realize how many things I still have, and how much work could be done to simplify my life. That’s why this year, I want to take an even deeper look at how I got here in the first place. Continue reading →
As the end of the year quickly approaches, I have realized that my goal of reducing my STUFF is far from complete. At the start of the year I was giddy with enthusiasm, reading great resources, tackling small projects, but the energy quickly dissipated.
As I spend the largest percentage of time in my bedroom, I figured it would be the best area to begin. Over the past few weeks, I have gone through absolutely everything in my room – from boxes to books, cosmetics to art, you name it!
Creating room in my bedroom has created room in my mind.
Accessories are a way to breathe life into otherwise yawn-able outfits. My particular addiction? Necklaces. Perhaps it was born back in university when I had a summer job beside a bead store and found myself spending countless hours designing jewelry.
Accessories, as I refer to in this blog, will be comprised of: bags, purses, glasses, belts, hats, jewelry and shoes.
After attempting the first challenge of purging 5 items a week, I realized that being more systematic about my purge may be beneficial (with 5 items being an absolute minimum). I’ve decided to assess one category of stuff at a time. This past week, I have planned out a complete purge of my clothes.
Reducing the amount of clothes in your closet will help you to: get rid of what you don’t need, provide clothes to people who do (donation), breathe new life to old clothes that were previously hidden, and increase the ease at which you pull together outfits.
As I began to look at where to start in order to change my relationship with what I own, it didn’t take too much investigating to realize something glaringly obvious:
I have too much STUFF.
From a front closet bursting with bins, to a bedroom which boasts in functionality but lacks in peacefulness, to a storage unit which is filled to the brim (and occasionally overflows when some unsuspecting visitor opens it); impressive organizational skills are able to disguise but not truly address my problem.
Over the past two years, I have been working to reduce the impact of the energy consumed by my home. From creating an energy baseline, to minimizing heating/cooling and lighting loads, I have been able to reduce my energy consumption by over 20% for the household.
Plug loads were planned to be the next main area of focus for further reducing my energy consumption. However, there is a fine balance to be played between the waste created by discarding old appliances and the energy savings available. These trade offs should be weighed individually.
The end of a calendar year is always a time of reflection for me – remembrance of the beauty hidden in small moments and what they have collectively taught me.
2015 was both challenging and immensely rewarding. However, it wasn’t the obvious things (such as achieving my MBA or P.Eng) that stand out when I reflect, but rather matters of the heart: relationships which helped me to grow, illness which made me aware of the fragility of life, and a happiness project which significantly altered the way I choose to interpret experiences.