I haven’t written about it in a while, but I’m still embracing minimalism in my life. As I suspected, it’s becoming about much more than just a culling of my stuff. I want minimalism to seep into the very core of my being.
This is not just about simplifying the stuff that I own. It’s about simplifying my life.
Thanksgiving week was crazy, I had so many things to get done and absolutely no time to do any of them. At the end of the week I felt like I need a few days off just to recuperate. That is not how I want to live my life.
So I’m not going to.
My writing class wrapped up. I definitely won’t be signing up for another class any time soon.
Oh, and I quit the magazine.
I had been thinking about it for a long time. I realized that I didn’t even want to attend the meetings anymore. Everything about that commitment had become a chore. I was doing it just in case. Just in case a great writing assignment came up. Just in case I someday needed editing experience. Just in case a potential BFF were to join the staff. Just in case something happened that would make it worth my while.
But it wasn’t worth it and doing it just in case was about a poverty mentality. Doing something I don’t really want to do because it may be helpful some day is detrimental in the here and now. And who knows, maybe that commitment was keeping me from exploring something truly amazing, something that will bring me joy in the present moment.
So I quit the magazine. My writing class is over. 1st trimester grades have been turned in. My house is clean (seriously, it’s amazing, more on this later). In the evenings, I have some time.
And now I have to figure out what to do with it.
It’s not much mind you, just 30 minutes here, maybe 45 minutes there. But it’s my time and I have some say in how I want to spend it. Some nights I’m going to bed earlier. Some nights I’m indulging in some mindless TV. I have fiction books to read, and a couple of non-fiction. I have blogs to comment on.
I have a blog to write.
How do I want to spend my time?
It can be really hard for me to answer that question.
I remember when I was dealing with compulsive overeating and I read a book that changed my life. The main tenant of the book was to eat what you wanted. The central exercise was to determine exactly what it was you wanted to eat, and then to indulge that craving. I remember sitting in my kitchen, paralyzed by the thought that I could eat whatever I wanted, because I couldn’t for the life of my figure out what that might be. It took me months of trial and error to learn to decipher my cravings and determine what I actually wanted to eat.
That exercise set me on the path away from compulsive eating. It was truly life changing.
And now I have the same difficult task ahead. Once I’ve stripped my life of all the static and noise, what will I do in the silence? How do I actually want to spend my few precious moments of quiet time?
The truth is, right now I have no idea. But I’m kind of excited to find out.
I’m also kind of terrified. I recognize that all the stuff I piled into my life, it served one main purpose–to distract me. My whole life, and all the stuff in it, is basically one elaborate distraction. And now that I’m stripping it away, I’m going to have to face what I’ve been distracting myself from. Facing whatever is lurking underneath all the bells and whistles and bright lights is going to take a considerable amount of strength. It’s going to be difficult, but I think I can do it.
Beating compulsive overeating was the hardest thing I ever did. I was held hostage by food for years of my life. There were months when my entire future held only minute after minute–lined up neatly into eternity–of being completely obsessed by what I would eat. Compulsive eating was my whole world, I couldn’t see past it. But I fought my way out of that destructive relationship with food and I’ve managed to avoid it for ten years. If I could do that, I can do this, whatever this ends up being.
Do you struggle with knowing what you really want to do?