The Problem

plant

After a year of disposing of the spoils of my late husband’s accumulating, aka hoarding, there was still a lot of stuff in the house.  In my naiveness, I assumed that if you want to minimalize, you simply get rid of stuff.  I read books and articles, and I had down pat the rule, “if you don’t use it, don’t love it, get rid of it.”  Stuff remained.  That’s about the time when I realized THE PROBLEM.

I love and use a lot of stuff.  My whole life needs to be examined, not  just my stuff.  If I’m going to simplify my life, I need to look farther/deeper than just the stuff.  A diletante by nature, I have somehow taken it to new extreme levels.  I go in too many directions with all my stuff in tow.

I’ve had to think about what’s important to me, and there are still decisions to make.  I love blogging, so it’s going to take place here.  Welcome to Connie sorting her life!

These are briefly the basic areas that I have identified to date:

ART – I do pottery, but most of that stuff stays at Mudworks.  Alas, I also like to paint, draw, sew, cross-stitch – well, just about any crafty thing you can imagine.  Of course, it all requires stuff – acrylic paints, charcoal pencils, pastels, canvases, sewing machine, pattern books, project kits, how to books.  I have boxes and boxes of loved and needed stuff.  Goal is to pare down my art.  Do I really need to do it all?

HOBBIES – I love photography.  I love family history.  I love gardening.  If these things stay, then a lot of other activities need to leave.  After all, for my own well being, I do need to keep my bicycling and yoga, and they have been at the tail end of my list for too long.

COOKING – Now that I’m cooking for just myself, I can’t decide how or what I want to do.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  Do I want to eat vegetarian? vegan? gluten-free? Paleo?  Should I cook country style? Italian? French? Bake my own bread?  I gave away most of my cookbooks, and yet somehow I still have forty or so, all because my cooking goes in so many directions.  Not just cookbooks, but all the gadgets that go along with it.  I can juice, make pasta, decorate cakes – it’s overwhelming.  And I’m not even cooking!

FINANCES – After years of priding myself on my simplified record keeping, I am overwhelmed with the stacks (more like boxes!) of papers.  Who knows how it happened, well okay, I can trace it all back, but I found myself with accounts at too many institutions.  At the time, I’m sure there were reasons, but it’s gotten out of hand.  The process of paring accounts down isn’t as close to my heart as art and cooking, so the simplifying is quickly happening.

WORK – Here again, too many directions.  This is how some of those accounts came into being.  If my CPA business wasn’t enough, I added some other small (but time consuming) ventures including creating e-courses for creative entrepreneurs.  This area is going on the chopping block.

GENERAL STUFF – Yes, I have too many clothes, too many books, too many personal care products.  Slowly, it’s heading out the door.  These are easy decisions, once I realized my bigger problems.  I have heeded the “I wanna do ____” far too many times, and stuff just naturally follows along with it.  I’m sort of like the plant above, growing is too many directions, with one thing leading to another, and just about to tip off the ledge.

I’m committing myself to simplifying my life, and then I can deal with the stuff.  Who knew simplifying could be so complicated?

 

Focus on Life

I’m starting the new year with a year long weekly photograph challenge called Focus on Life and hosted by Sally Russick.  Focus on Life is certainly what I need this year in more ways than just photographs.  This week’s challenge is:  The minimalist photograph – capture an image using a single subject.

I couldn’t decide between my two, so I’m posting them both.  Ironic that in a challenge titled Focus on Life, my actual focus is on death.  Which do you like best?

watch blog

The Watch? or

rose blog

The Rose?