Saturday, January 24, 2015

I have 34 bags and probably use two of them

I read mommy blogs now. No, I'm not a mom, but it comes with the job of being a doula. If you're not familiar, a mommy blog simply refers to a blog that is written by a mom and is dedicated to all things mothers enjoy (namely baby and childcare as well as cooking, organizing, books, self-care, etc.).

I came across one of these blog posts recently that made me laugh but also had great application to my own life. In the post the author, Katie, describes walking into her son's room and catching him as he peed on all of his toys. This is not a joke. So she did what any mother would do -- she took all of his toys away.

The result might be even more shocking than the crime the son committed, though. Instead of sitting in his room crying all day, Katie found her son playing with shoes, things he found out of the garbage, or with rocks in the front yard. Her son didn't need toys. In fact, he was fine and dandy without them.

Nearly two weeks after taking the toys away, Katie's son asked for only one item back: his football helmet.

After reading this post and wiping away tears of laughter (as my mother has also threatened to take away or even throw away toys on countless occasions), it made me think about how adults can often behave in the same way the 3-year-old son did.

Instead of using our "toys" and all the other things we have the way they are meant to be used, we complain about what we have. We might not physically do something to them (like Katie's son did), but we complain with our words or wish we had the latest and greatest. Even when we have excess, we want more. 

What would happen if all the things we did not appreciate were taken away? I seriously doubt we would come up with unconventional ways to cope like Katie's son did. We'd probably be asking for them back, or just going out to replace them ourselves even if we didn't have the funds. Alternatively, we might not miss them at all.

I lived away from home for 13 weeks last summer and took plenty of stuff with me. But, I left even more things at home. When I returned late August, I was on a mission to start cleaning out items in my room that I never use. I believe that the more we have, the less content we often are, so it was time to start cleaning house. It's been slow-going to get rid of the excess, but I'm getting there.

Earlier this month, I worked on cleaning out excess bags and scarves.My start count was 34 wallets, purses, totes, and backpacks. Yes, you read that correctly. 34 bags. I managed to give away or donate more than half and my new count is 16. In another few months, I plan to look through the remainder again and see if I can make myself part from a few more. The majority of my bags and purses go unused for months at a time... do I really need them? If they were gone for two weeks, would I miss them? Probably not. I also had 15 scarves in my closet and I narrowed it down to eight. Again, some pretty decent progress, but of the eight scarves I kept I probably only use about three on a regular basis.

Is there something cluttering up your life that you don't appreciate anymore? Maybe it's time to say good-bye and free yourself from those items. It's not easy, in fact some researchers claim that it causes pain receptors in your brain to go crazy, but a less cluttered space (and mind as a result) could be worth it.

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