(I think it will probably be easiest to do combo posts of most of these, as I'm rarely able to do anything daily, except work!
December 10: Wisdom: What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how
did it play out? Early on in the year I made commitments to buy local, eat Meatless on Mondays, and to follow a more seasonal diet, focusing on the available produce from local farms. More and more often I bought from local farmer's markets (I didn't do the CSA again, because even a half-share is too much food for one person, and I still had a lot frozen from the year before when I participated in one). I ate more healthfully and learned a lot of new recipes to go along with these decisions. And I met some interesting people, too. It's harder to buy local, mostly organic produce when you're on a budget as I am, you have to plan (which I was not always successful at, but I am coming to acknowledge that folks with a creative bent have a harder time of this as a natural thing - creativity is very often messy and disorganized, so that side of my personality usually wins in my private life!). I found that I felt better, lost weight fairly easily, and visited the doctor less as I went on following this way of living my life. All aspects of this decision will follow me as major lifestyle changes from now on...Definitely a wise choice.
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?
This challenge has taken me quite a bit of time to think through, and it's so timely, as I truly want to live a bit more lightly. I've contemplated finding a place to live that would be suitable to my good friend, so that we can both cut expenses. She has a disability, so my townhouse isn't accessible much of the time. We both have cats, and we both have STUFF. The cats are non-negotiable for us both, but we fit the requirement for the city we live in even when they're added up! But there's a lot I could choose to release back into the stream of life to benefit others, and make smaller living possible.
1, Cable TV. I virtually never watch TV, and if I'm going to, it's likely to be a movie. I have a DVD player (not hooked up yet!), and I think saving the monthly fees from cable makes better sense than just turning it on for noise. NPR has better news, too!
2. Debt. I've been working on this for awhile, but there are signs I'll get some critical items behind me this year. I'm ecstatic! And inspired to redouble my efforts on the other items, too!
3. Clutter. I've followed in my Depression Era Mom's footsteps for too long. If I only eliminated the paper I've saved for years, it would be a huge step in the right direction, but I have collections that would be better gracing other people's shelves and cabinets. It's time to think about the next generation's need to not have my STUFF as the albatross around their necks!
4. Too-Large Clothing. I've dropped from a size 1X to a size 6 over the past year and I have years of the large sizes that could help other people be happy and warm.
5. Kitchen appliances - the "small" things that are seldom used. It's another of those, I thought I needed it when I bought it, but I've rarely if ever used it kinds of things. Just another thing to eliminate before my heirs inherit and have to deal with it!
6. Dark-enducing decor: I've lived in this tree-shaded townhouse in an older section of town for almost 4 years, and I tried to decorate it using the same things I used in an apartment in a complex that was mostly treeless and had large windows. The difference in interior lighting between the two places is striking, and the dark decor I brought with me only serves to further darken this space. I feel like a vampire much of the time. I've come to realize I need a change of scene to protect my mental state! So, carefully shopping yard sales and such, and making whatever I can, I think I'll change things around to try to brighten my world.
7. Complexity. In finances, in lifestyle, in any form. If it's stress-inducing, it's time to bring the subject at hand into the light and have a look at how it can be simplified.
8. My inclination to use Retail Therapy for fun and mood elevation. See #2 and #3 above. I used to know the "leave it and think about it for 24 hours - chances are you won't really NEED it!"
9. Much like using Retail Therapy for amusement, I spend a lot of time online, surfing or participating in various forms of social media. I think I'm better served by less of it! If nothing else, there'll be more time to knit!
10. Yarn! Oh my...did I type that? I have many many bins of wonderful yarns, a lot of which were bought at the closing of a favorite local shop. While I doubt that I need to eliminate it all, I'm sure I could pass some along thru either private sale, swap, or gifting.
11. Books and magazines - again, I'm a collector. I think a lot of what I have can go, other things can be transferred to e-book (If I'm able to get my Nook, as planned, of course).
Wow. I feel lighter all ready!