11 December 2010

#reverb10 Prompt, Day 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 will change your life?

I've been thinking a lot about eliminating things in my life lately. Since moving, I've been trying to de-clutter and streamline my life. It will certainly make for a less stressful lifestyle.

Household clutter. This includes things like clothes we don't wear anymore, knick-knacks that were gifts that we don't like, paperwork that has been taking up space in boxes and folders, etc. Since I work from home, clutter around the house is clutter in my work space, and is just one more distraction I don't really need to keep me from writing.

I'm going to start sorting as I clean. When I do laundry, I won't automatically put everything away. If it's worn out, it gets thrown out. Things that have been sitting for a while and haven't been worn are getting donated. Only the items that we wear will be kept. As for knick-knacks...if I don't have them out and am not attached to them, I'll be donating them. If they're broken, I'll be tossing them. It may sound a bit ruthless, but it's what's going to happen.

Television. I'm not necessarily saying I'm going to quit watching TV in 2011, but I feel like I watch too much TV, and that's something I'd like to work on. It's so easy to sit down on the couch and watch something mindless, and that's time I could be using to work on the coffee house book (or funeral book), or doing other things around the house that need to be done. I'm sure I'll still have shows I enjoy watching, but I'm not going to find something to watch just for the sake of watching television anymore.

Negativity. Sometimes I can be a bit negative. I don't like to be, and I try not to be, but it does creep in sometimes. And if others are being negative, it's worse. I let their negativity affect me, and I become negative, as well. I hate it, and it's something I've been working on getting rid of for some time. 2011 is the year I'll do it.

If I catch myself being negative, I'll make an effort to turn my thoughts to positive aspects of whatever's going on. I do this in my journal sometimes. For every negative thought I have, I have to come up with at least one positive one. It really does help, and I think by trying to be more conscious of it, I'll be able to get rid of a lot of negativity in my life.

Of course, there are also negative people in my life. Some of them I've already distanced myself from, which has helped, but others are in my life for life. When these people are negative, I'm going to have to either ignore it, or let them know (politely) that I don't really want to hear that kind of negativity because of the way it affects me. If they can't understand that, then I'll have to spend less time with them.

Procrastination. I can be a terrible procrastinator. Even when I'm excited about something, I can find reasons to not do it or to work on something else first. As a result, I'm not nearly as far in my coffee house book character biographies as I should be in order to start writing in January, and there are lots of boxes in our storage closet that haven't been unpacked.

I'm already trying to work on this by making task lists for myself for each week, and then dividing them into daily lists. By knowing what I have to do, and knowing how much I've gotten done, I'm better able to stay on top of things.

I also like to reward myself. "As soon as you finish this project for work, you can catch up on your blog reading." It gives me incentives to keep working and moving forward, as well as giving me periodic breaks which, for a pregnant woman, are much-needed.

Unhealthy habits. I'm terrible about the foods I eat and not exercising. Lately, I've been using the excuse of pregnancy to allow it, but I know I need to take better care of myself. So I'm working on creating healthier habits for myself and my family. I know that by exercising regularly (after this baby is born, I'm on the C25K bandwagon), eating healthier, and being aware of what's in my environment (chemical cleaners, non-natural fabrics), I'll be healthier, happier, and more productive in my daily life. Hubby thinks I'm turning into a bit of a hippie, but I just want to be healthy.

Letting everyone else decide what's best for me. This is a terrible habit of mine. I talk to people about what's going on in my life, and when they give advice, or tell me what I "should" do, I end up feeling guilty if I do something different, even if I know in my heart it's what's best for me.

That word--should--is a dangerous word when wielded by people who are about you. Of course, they mean well, but as much as you tell them about a situation, only you know what's best. I have to remember that and do what's best for me, no matter what everyone else says I "should" do.

This is a mindset thing, so I'm not exactly sure how to go about changing it, but it's something that will change in 2011.

Grudges. When I say grudges, I don't really mean that when I'm mad at someone I stay mad at them forever. What I really mean is that when something happens, even after it's been resolved, I think about it for a long time afterward. I think about what I could have done differently, what should have happened, etc. This is especially true when someone hurts me, whether they realize it or not.

I need to learn to let go of things. Most of the time, after something happens, the other person forgets about it and moves on. I'm the only one who obsesses about it for a long time afterward. And all it does is cause me to feel anxiety and to be stressed. So I need to stop. When something is over, I have to learn to move on from it, too.

Facebook. I'm not going to delete my Facebook account or stop updating or anything like that. I have family all over, and Facebook is a good way to keep in touch with people I don't get to see very often (or at all). But I also know I spend time on Facebook when I feel like I have nothing else to do (as in, don't want to do what I should be doing), and it's kind of a time-sink. So I'm going to work on updating a few times throughout the day (or even only once a day), and that's it. I have other things to do.

Self-doubt. As I said in the explanation of letting others decide what's best for me, I need to trust that I know what's best for me. I need to work on not doubting my decisions, and trust myself. I need to stick by what I believe is the right course of action.

I don't know how to do this one, though. It's something I've been trying to work on for most of my adult life. (Suggestions are welcome!)

The need for validation. This goes along with self-doubt. When I do make a decision, I often turn to others (usually Hubby) for validation, to feel like it was the right one.

Again, I need to trust myself.

Guilt. Yeah, these last few could probably be consolidated into one thing to eliminate, but I do see them as different things. They have to be worked on in different ways. So with the guilt thing, I need to let go of things once they're done, trust myself, and keep moving forward. Once I make a decision, it's made, after all. I can't go back and change anything, but just move on from where I am as a result of that decision.


  1. This would have been similar to my list if I would have taken more than 5 minutes to think about it.

  2. I've been kind of slacking on the previous ones, so I thought this one would be a good one to really focus on.

  3. This is a good list. I think that a lot of people, including myself, could relate to this list. One thing I'd add to my own list would be the need to say yes all the time. I often say yes when people ask me for help, even if I don't have time or even if they've asked me for help too many times without ever offering help when I needed it. And then I end up feeling resentful because I know I should have said no.

  4. I know what you mean about saying yes all the time. I do that sometimes too. It's definitely a good thing to get rid of!


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