The Grand Purge

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Household, No Whining, Too Long For Twitter

I realize I haven’t posted here in awhile. I have multiple things to blame for this, primarily my brain fog. I honestly forget to write here because I am now journaling in a notebook and am lucky enough to have people around me all the time. Previously, the stuff I had no one to tell, or was too long for T/FB, would get posted here. I am actually doing more writing than I’ve done in decades, other than that November in 2010 (NaNoWriMo).

I will endeavor to make it a habit to do all my digitally, and if too personal simply won’t post it. It is exactly what my new life requires of me, after all.

Here’s the skinny: in the last month, my husband and I have come to truly embrace the changes occurring in our lives and to use the opportunities presented to really shake things up.

We have decided to shed the ancient artifacts of our lives, at least the ones that no longer “apply” and only keep the treasured items that mean so much to us that they merit space in our tiny new living space. We had initially decided on paying to store what doesn’t fit in our rooms, but have since decided to simplify. Everything.

For me, this means a hefty purge, and will only be keeping:

  • Items we have utilized within the last year;
  • Items we wish we had on hand within the last year, since most beloved items have been packed away while the house has been staged to sell;
  • Digital representations of beloved items whenever possible, obviously meaning photos, childhood art projects, anything flat OR taking photos of important items that no longer serve us. For example, I have a decorative planter that my mother received when I was born. I have no idea who sent it to her, nor has it seen the light of day more than twice in the last 30 years. With a *snap* of the camera and trip to a donation drop-off site, I will have easier access to the image of this item and someone else can have a planter for a new baby gift on the cheap;
  • Streamlining for efficiency of time and space are a HUGE focus of mine.
    • For the house, I keep visualizing the micro compact houses. It makes it easier to decide what is extraneous and what is necessary. No, our space isn’t quite that limited, so I’m keeping frivolous and decorative items that I feel enrich my daily experience;
    • For my life, minimizing, where I can, situations that stress me out because I typically have to retreat because of the physical impact, creating pain and chaos;
    • For my form, it means altering my daily rituals.
      • Not having the ability to work currently, I have been toying with two extremes involving my hair that will minimize the upkeep time – dreadlocks or cutting off all my hair. The hair buzzing will resolve multiple issues for me, including giving me a boost in available time immediately. It will also likely trigger the wish that I had done dreads first, so I will likely do dreads knowing that I intend to buzz them if they don’t “fit” my life. This is becoming more likely as my friend and I plan “Dread Play,” which is playing with my hair and determining if I can live with it. Plus, a friend, Jason, said he would refer to me as “The Dreaded Viv” and I don’t think I can pass that opportunity up! Seriously!
      • Continuing my hunt for foods that have a negative impact on me (food intolerance). Peanuts have proven to make me feel terrible. Although I’m not fully satisfied with my testing, to date it appears that I also have an intolerance to gluten and oats. Once I feel more sure, those foods will be banned and only ingested when I decide it tastes better than not possibly being in pain. High cost on that trade off, to be sure.
      • The above item, as well as the treatment for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever that I was diagnosed with 2 weeks ago, should allow me to resume exercise. My joint pain has been excruciating, along with another new health issue, making exercise impossible, including walking for long distances. Talk about sucky! This time last year I was training for a half-marathon run. Now I just want to be able to run a mile again!

I have already encountered backlash from this new way of living: one item I offered to others caused them to question how much I valued the persons represented by the object. I was judged harshly, but I decided that it was more important to live the way I choose than to cart around a physical item (that I have a digital representation of) because it satisfied a need in another person. If I cave to the thinking of others, that adds about 10,000 more items for me to retain in boxes in storage. For those that judge, my standard response is either a shrug of my shoulders or a “Suck it up, cupcake.”

This has been the greatest discovery during this ultimate era of change – I find it easier to disregard other people’s opinions and to only do what makes sense for us. And if you think that means we don’t take in other people’s opinions you are wrong. We just won’t do as told out of obligation, but rather if it is the right fit or us. I’m thrilled that my husband and I are embracing this period of change and growth both individually and as a couple. It’s definitely strengthened us, and has given us much enjoyment as we question every “can’t” and “shouldn’t” that we encounter.

We have freedom in ways that I have never before experienced. I intend to make the most of it while I can.

What major changes have you implemented that have improved your life?

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2 Responses to “The Grand Purge”

  1. Scott Roche Says:

    We’ll be moving soon and it will likely be to a much smaller abode. As such we’ve resolved to downsize quite a bit too. My wife says that it’s a little unbalanced since all of my hobbies are basically digital/computer related. šŸ˜‰

    I think that this will improve our life dramatically in a few ways, not the least of which being, being able to keep a tidier living space and being able to find things. My wife and I are both packrat-ish. So it will be/has been hard to cast off even the smallest things.

  2. Chooch Says:

    Embrace the purge, Scott! It’s a little scary at first, but feels wonderful when you fully commit to letting go.

    And I still vote for “Dreaded Muse”

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