Tuesday, December 14, 2010


December 11 – 11 Things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

(Author: Sam Davidson)

Well, wow. This prompt cuts right to the quick of this pack-rat ... I have always struggled with parting with items, and I'm realizing it's because I also have a hard time parting with the emotions, both positive and negative, that I associate with the objects. A good purge feels really, really terrific. but it takes a lot for me to get into one. I need time, solitude (so I can sit and really process the memories as I pitch the items), space (things become a horrid mess once I start), and some motivating factor for the elimination.

With all that in mind, here goes with my 11 things to eliminate from my life ... this is totally unprepared, so I'm interested to see where I end up!

1. Pounds. I'd say 15 ought to do the trick. Why? Because when I was 19 pounds lighter than I am today, I was really freaking hot. Seriously. I have no real reason to be really freaking hot anymore, but 15 pounds brings me under the screening weight my job wants me at, and it also seems to represent a weight at which I am in terrific physical shape. How to do it? I've already gotten the "eat less" part of the equation down. Now it's time to get back to "exercise more." A half marathon to train for on May 1 and the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred video are both going to get me off to a good start.

2. Funhouse mirrors. Yeah, let me explain. I've discovered lately that my life lacks good reflections of me. There are so many dysfunctional people and situations that I've somehow got tangled up in and as a result, I've lost who I am. I'm finding myself, though, and I'm discarding the funhouse mirrors, those people and situations in my life that reflect an adulterated, distorted image of who and what I really am. Since I can't really *discard* all of them, I'm going to have to avert my eyes when I walk past them. I'm going to have to resist my insatiable need for feedback and instead try to define myself ... by myself ... and seek those reflections that are more authentic and loving.

3. Anger and Resentment. I count these as one "thing" because they're Siamese twins in my world. I get angry, then I immediately resent the person or the circumstance that has fueled my ire. I'm quite certain that housing these guys is giving me cancer or some other major health issue, and I know that unloading them will free me from the restrictions they put on my ability to be happy and free. How do I eliminate Anger and Resentment? Realistically, I know I can't completely cut them loose. I also know that they sometimes serve an important purpose ... but in 2011, I'm going to make a real attempt to crowd them out of Dianaville by hosting Forgiveness and Compassion a little more often.

4. 2 years' worth of Shape and Self magazines. Want 'em? Let me know. I started getting them for free 2 years ago and I've enjoyed them, but I feel wrong throwing them away and really don't want to keep them anymore. While I'm at it, I'm also ready to part with about 2 years' of Psychology Today.

5. OK, here's where the tears start. Baby clothes. I've already started giving away the baby stuff, one gigantic load to my friend Carey a little over a year ago and pretty much everything else to my friends Chris and Nicole, who are awaiting the near-simultaneous arrival of their Chinese toddler and their biological newborn this spring. Giving away the baby stuff means admitting there will be no more babies, and this destroys me. Chris and Nicole are awaiting two girls, so they're receiving all of the girl clothes both of my daughters have outgrown. I cry every season when I'm putting away their clothes and getting out the next batch ...

6. Clothes that don't fit. I've already made great progress with this purge, because now that I'm a big-girl with a big-girl paycheck, I can afford new things when I need them. My hang-up is that I feel like I could sell lots of this stuff on eBay. Why don't I? I don't make the time. I even have a stupid dress-form/mannequin for showing/photographing the clothes for listing. Maybe I should get rid of that, too?

7. Bras and nursing bras get a category separate from clothes, because ... well, there are a lot of them, and they take up a ton of space. They're in great shape and were quite expensive, though (I'm not an "average" size, ahem) ... anyone know of a women's shelter or other place of service that might appreciate the donation of a whole lot of nursing bras and bras that will never, ever fit me again? Pregnancy crisis center, maybe?

8. Profanity. Ah, yes, I give this up pretty much every Lenten season and yet, I swear in front of my children and hardly realize it's coming out of my mouth. I'm ashamed, because I'm teaching my kids that they deserve to be perceived and treated like the intelligent, decent people they are, and that profanity cheapens them. Shouldn't this apply to me, too?

9. It might be time for me to eliminate my obsessive need to get rid of debt. Now, before you start going all Suze Orman on me, let me proudly declare that our only consumer debt is my new car, which I am making double payments on and will own free and clear in about 27 months. We have a mortgage. We also have some retirement savings and some college savings. Zero credit card debt ... but I'm like a crazy person trying to make double and triple payments on the mortgage, pad the "emergency fund" (but, really, as two active duty military members, we're not likely to be suddenly laid off or otherwise unemployed without a warning), and pinch every penny. I'm not sure it's the healthiest way to live.

10. The rice steamer. I think I've used it exactly twice in the 12 years I've owned it. Time to pitch it ... but I feel bad! Does anyone want it?

11. I would love to eliminate Self-Doubt. I have a lot of it, and it serves me no purpose. Or does it? Is there a cookie? This is one I need to ponder a bit more.

The Big Dianaville Purge begins on December 21st, when I'm finally no longer obligated to anyone for anything.

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