Saturday, August 11, 2012

One Small Spot at a Time.

I've noticed that focussing on one spot -- be it a table, a countertop, a section of the floor, a shelf, the sofa, etc -- is a real key to success in reducing my possessions. If I take it all in at once, things become overwhelming, stressful, and I stop before I even get started. I was stuck in that phase for months, maybe even years. Then I found blogs on minimalism and found the infamous quote from "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahnuik:

"The things you own end up owning you."

Oh, boy. That hit me right between the eyes -- because it was true. I no longer owned my possessions, I was owned by them. My time, my money, my mind, my effort, my health, my body -- all of it no longer belonged to me. Instead, the whole kit and caboodle were stamped "Property of Heather's Stuff", and all working unceasingly to maintain and care for all. that. stuff.

At that point, I got sick of it. The clothes in the closet that I never wore. The knick knacks that collected dust on shelves, tables, in cabinets and hidden behind shelves. The books I never had time (or even the desire) to read.

I wanted it gone. But I didn't know where to start. So I started with a tabletop. Then a shelf in the bookcase. Then came the laundry basket. And so on it went.

I'm seeing clear space in my home now -- space not occupied by anything but open air (and occasionally one - or more - of my cats). It's freeing me up to do the things I want to do -- read, call my mom, lavish affection and attention on my cats -- rather than pressure me to do the things I "should" do.

So I'll keep taking it one small spot at a time, and enjoy life that little bit more afterwards.

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