Thursday, June 25, 2009
9:38 PM | Posted by Mel
Come on over, grab a drink!
Prelude: This post was inspired by a blogging friend, moving and an email newsletter service.
For a long time now I've been contemplating on how nice it would be to simplify my life.
It's a relative term, but to me it means do less of what I don't like so I have more time to do what I do like.
As we have been going through our household deciding what to keep and what to get rid of I see the benefits of minimizing what we have. Most people who know me would say that I am good about getting rid of stuff I don't need or use and I am not a collector of stuff. OK, except fabric!!
When we moved into our home in 1998 I was excited to decorate it with 'themed' rooms and would buy woodsy items for the basement, Americana items for the family room and so on. No more. I started eliminating years ago and have more to do.
With my depression often comes claustrophobic times where I feel like I'm being smothered within my own environment. Because of this I now rarely buy items just for the sake of decor. I do not collect anything such as figurines, enamel ware, pottery etc. Keeping my environment clutter free keeps my stress level down and keeps cleaning time to a minimum since I don't have to move my collections to dust!
I hope you don't find that I'm sharing too much here, but when I'm in the depths of a very dark depression, I imagine myself snuggled up in a hammock style lounger in a room with white blank walls, white crisp linens, a gentle slightly fragrant breeze and silence.
What?? I love colorful fabrics! I love loud rhythmic music! I love to be stimulated!
I'm always doing something! But there can be too much of a good thing; well for me anyway.
So, if it stands to reason that within my environment there can be too much, then it too can be said that within my personal life there can be too much. Right?
Referring again to my anxieties, I have discovered that by getting rid of high maintenance relationships, friendships and beliefs I am a happier person!
I used to have larger than life ideas that I had to please everyone or that if I did this or that, people would like me. I don't believe that anymore. I have found that if I am genuine and true to myself, MY expectations are met. I do not do anything out of guilt - not for anyone. Just ask my dear mom! Am I selfish? Yes. By that I mean, do I sacrifice my time with my family or do I sacrifice my beliefs in order to do or go somewhere where I would feel like an accessory instead of a participant - NO! If I do or say something, it is genuine and sincere.
I thought I had to be friends with everyone. Let me state some of my definitions. Acquaintance - someone I have met or someone I am able to cary on a pleasant conversation with. Friend - someone who through a period of time has appealed to me and I have a desire to have them in my life. Best friend - someone who I don't have to see or talk to everyday to know that they care for me and someone I don't want to have to live without.
I have a ton of acquaintances. A ton. I have a few friends. I have even fewer best friends. And I am happy.
A few years ago I 'cleaned house' in regards to who I chose to hang out with. (These people were people I physically would be around, unlike blogging) There were a few relationships where I would be so stressed out after being with them that I wouldn't be able to focus on issues in my own life. Toxic! I'm talking about people who lived the drama lifestyle, not friends who had a hard day and had to talk about it. You know, the people who invite drama into their lives then complain about it over and over again.
Since I've become more aware of what I allow in my 'space', I've become more honest with myself as well as others. Those who aren't aware of my progress may find me blunt or curt. This is not my intent and I apologize when I find that this is the case. I simply want to be clear that I am the gate keeper of what comes in and what stays out of my life.
Oh, and I love honesty. I think that I am pretty open minded, sincere and approachable. I get frustrated when people beat around the bush or think that I can read minds. How do I know you are upset if you don't tell me? By the same token, I try not to allow myself to hold a grudge against someone if I haven't let them know I am hurt; they probably have no idea that there is a bee in my bonnet!
Disclaimer. I hope this all goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway - kindness and tactfulness are key ingredients when being honest!! Just because it is for my well being doesn't mean I have the right to offend!
Every day I get an email on how to live life better. Here are some links from those emails that I have found to be particularly helpful.
Posts written by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits
Cleaning up and simplifying any area of your life can be liberating. De-cluttering your life can allow postive inspiration and creativity to flow! I recommend it!