I’m sort of frustrated with myself because this was the action item I was most looking forward to this month…and I sort of forgot about it. For some reason, my brain had told me that “give up something” was the last action item (it was a contender for a while), so I gave up a few things.
First, I took a month off karate. This was a hard choice, but with my new nephew coming along and my spate of random injuries that made it hard to train for my triathlon, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to take a month off. I needed to get back to a place where I wanted to go, instead of feeling like it was just another thing to check off my list. I missed it, but not as much as I thought I would. I do feel refreshed after my little break and I’m looking forward to going back tonight. If anything, I feel like I’ve lost a little of my strength without the twice-weekly workouts, plus I miss my friends there.
Second, I decided to stop accepting review copies of books. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but I’ve stopped requesting LibraryThing Early Reviewers books, as well as books from the handful of publishers I have reviewed for in the past. I’ve also said no to a number of inquiries. While I really loved reviewing new releases, I’ve found that I was stressing out trying to get books read, and feeling guilty when they sat on my shelves (Sorry Tyndale! I swear I’ll read A Heart for Freedom soon!). I also have found that I rarely want to read new releases — my TBR list is full of classics and other older books. My heart is rarely in a new release (except for you, Carlos Ruiz Zafon — looking forward to The Prisoner of Heaven next month!).
These, in their own ways, did help me work toward simplicity. But I wanted more. I wanted to do an inventory of my house and Get Rid Of Stuff. I wanted to purge my book collection and my closet. I wanted to put up some summer fruits and veggies for the winter. I wanted to eat out less by doing freezer meals. I wanted to make sure everything I owned was being used and serving a purpose. I wanted to go through my budget and figure out where I could cut my spending. I wanted to make a list of the things that were important to me and cut out the excess. I just wanted to get rid of some of the life clutter and focus on the basics.
But I, you know, forgot.
Next weekend (the 8th and 9th), I don’t have much on my calendar. I’m setting aside that weekend to simplify and do the above things. If you’re lucky, there will be some book giveaways here, since I’d rather my books go into your loving hands than anywhere else! I’ll report back on my progress that next week as well.
What are your favorite tips for living simply? What do you do to cut out the clutter — physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional?