Simplify Sunday- Thoughts on Regret

guest roomI have always been a minimalist at heart, long before I had any idea it was a “thing”. When I am stressed, one of my favorite ways to redirect that stress is to go organize something and donate (or re-purpose in some way) what I am no longer using. I do recognize this is weird, but my sister does the same thing, so we must somehow come by it honestly. This picture is my guest room. It is important to me that it be both welcoming and uncluttered, so I try to keep it nice. The more I look at this photo, I notice that the veil on the mirror looks cluttered. Does it need to go?

I saw this article, What I Learned From Purging Most of My Stuff (and Why I Wish I Hadn’t), on Facebook. Obviously I had to read it. The author misses things that had sentimental value to her after she downsized her home. It made me sad for her, and made me wonder if I’m inspiring people to do something they may regret. I can’t say that missing things is something I’ve never feared happening, but I’m not an overly sentimental person. I can usually get rid of anything and not miss it.

Sometimes when I get rid of something, I get these oddly sentimental feelings about it. “Oh, I wore this old shirt (you know, the one time I ever touched it) that time I had an epiphany in Starbucks.” I also worry absurdly about stuffed animals being lonely (I blame Toy Story and the Velveteen Rabbit for this one). I can generally realize how absurd that sounds and get rid of the shirt or old toy. That said, I do have a plastic box full of old letters, journals, and random objects of no value to anyone except me. The dried corsage my late great-grandmother made me for my senior prom and the rock my mother painted when she was a child are two examples. I wonder how I would feel if I lost that box. I don’t look through it often, but it makes me smile when I do.

Today I picked out two bags of objects to donate (plus some items went to the trash and recycling). A few things were tough, but it was a few hours ago and I’m already over it. My donation will be worth a $78 tax deduction, and that is a sweet bonus.

I feel good that I got rid of these things. I struggle with anxiety, and I thrive on the clarity of knowing I don’t have useless things taking up space in my home or my mind.

Have you gotten rid of things you later regretted?


Simplify Sunday- Success

Gorgeous Seattle Day

The Simplify Sunday series is going to be about minimalism in every area of life. Today it is about simplifying my thinking and how I define success. It’s funny how you don’t realize the ideas that are running around in your brain until you truly think about it.

Recently, a friend and I were discussing my blog entry on My Stitchfix Stash. She mentioned how crazy it is that we have reached a point in life where I can buy $98 pants and she can buy $50 shirts (something that had happened earlier this year that we marveled over); and that we have come a long way.

My first reaction to this was guilt. It was hard for me to even post the prices of that stuff. I feel like I shouldn’t be spending the money, I should be buying something less expensive. It is great to be able to buy things that I like and be able to pay for them, but that doesn’t feel like success to me. You know what success does feel like to me? Freedom. Is this tied to money? Sure, in many ways- but not in all of them.

I now have the freedom to take a weekend off and visit Seattle. I took the picture above on a run around Lake Union, and looking at that gorgeous view feels so relaxing, even now.

Jillian and KumaIt’s the feeling of not having to go to the second job I had for so many years after work. Instead, I can take my dog to the park and know that I can pay my bills. I can run and play with him and feel free.





Jillian and Baby AI am a worrier. This isn’t my baby, but I have worried that if I had a baby I wouldn’t be able to provide for them. I am just now getting to the point where I can simply be. I don’t need to worry as much, I have been able to save some for retirement, and I’m sure I could get another job if I lost mine. I could have that baby that I’ve been wanting, and be able to support them just fine. I still obsess about retirement, but I know that I’m doing what I can and I need to let it go.

This is what success feels like to me. It’s a little bit of guilt, over becoming middle class after a lifetime of struggling. Why me and not someone else? Primarily, though, it is freeing. I can go to the store and buy organic produce and not worry about paying the electric bill. I can save for the future, which takes away some of my anxiety. It turns out, in my mind success is just the feeling of freedom. That’s what I was looking for all this time. I thought it was more money and a better career, but it was all mental. I need to work on simplifying my thinking and remembering what really makes me happy.

What does success look like to you?