Monday, March 7, 2011

Any way in particular.

Deb at Life Beyond Stuff replied to a comment I left on her blog with a pretty amazing question:

Is there any way in particular that you would like your life to change?

I don't think anyone has ever asked me that. I don't think I have asked myself.

The short answer is: No.

There is not any way in particular that I would like my life to change. But I am totally excited to do the work that makes space for something new, something I hadn't imagined or dreamed of. I'm clutter clearing, streamlining my home life, to make space for a surprise.

I'm happy, but I know that I'm not living up to my full potential.

I'm happy with my husband, my house, my town, my family, my friends, my spiritual community, even my job.

Yet I know I could do more, be more. I am making space for that. I am making space and doing work. I am currently enrolled in a Parks & Rec acrylic painting class (I've never painted before). I am becoming more and more involved with the Unity of Olympia community; I will be studying Keep a True Lent with a group during the Lent season, starting next week. I have some little dreams and some big ones (respectively: building a silkscreen kit & going back to school for Gender Studies).

Kaden and I are making exciting changes in our lifestyle. Many have evolved quite naturally - we are more physically active and have healthier diets than anyone ever would have predicted when we were beer drinkers/hell raisers/stoners. We just this morning decided that we will no longer give each other material gifts for birthdays and holidays; we'll DO STUFF, go places, have experiences. I've also, very recently, begun tracking my expenses and creating a budget, and balancing my checkbook. It allows me to feel in control of my funds, not just floating around vaguely knowing "I have enough money" and throwing a handful into my savings account when I think of it.

This summer, when we first moved home to Olympia from Bellingham, I felt absolutely out of control. We were staying with friends while "planning" to build a small addition onto my parents' house, like an apartment. I was back at the job I left to move to Bellingham, and Kaden wasn't working at all (he later came back to work there, too). We had to start new bank accounts. We weren't even married yet, and didn't have plans to be. Most of our stuff was stored in a shed, or in piles in our friends' garage. I was really unsettled and upset for a long time. Things evolved into the situation we are in now, and it is good. The change I didn't know I wanted to make then, but am working at now, is taking control of my life. I have started by decluttering. I feel like the past month of heavily overhauling my wardrobe and generally decluttering other areas of our home have completely shifted my attitude. I don't feel like I'm floating along, grabbing at things, hoping they're the right ones. I am choosing a path through rejection of extraneous stuff.

That said: I have never known what I want. I have always accepted what the Universe/God gives me. I like it this way; I believe this works well for me. I don't know what I want to change, in particular. I want to be ready for anything.

ps. We got our Enhanced Driver's Licenses this weekend! We got there right when the DOL opened, and with waiting, it took an hour and a half. Now we can go to Canada! One New Year's Goal CHECKED OFF.


Deb said...

Hi Liina

Thanks for the link, I always feel deeply humbled and appreciated when something I've said triggers something profound in another.

I think your happiness index is a good way to judge whether or not too much is out of sync in your life and in your case you seem pretty much on track now. But I love the idea of creating space for a surprise and will look forward to watching that unfold.

Here's a little tip if you want more comments on your blog. Gip Plaster on somuchmorelife, marrianney on alifesetfree and jo on simplebeingmum are all great commenters. If you comment on their blogs they'll usually return the favour. They are all good blogs in your niche. The same goes for Gena at the hawaiin blog I can never remember the name of.

Best wishes


Liina said...

Thank you for the tip, Deb! I have noticed that the minimalist blog community seems to be so close-knit and supportive!

So far my blog has been very meandering and I have not been concerned about whether or not it gets read, but I feel like I may finally be developing a focus here =)

Jenny @ exconsumer said...

Hi Liina!

"I am choosing a path through rejection of extraneous stuff."

This is such an awesome quote! Isn't it empowering to take control of your crap and decide to get rid of what you don't need or want? I've done this several times throughout the past eight years, and I'm on the brink of doing it again. Having two kids has brought with it a flood of more "stuff" to sort through and thin out.

P.S. All of the blogs Deb mentioned are wonderful, and the Hawaiian blog she couldn't remember the name of is Gena is a total sweetheart!

Anonymous said...

The idea of giving each other experiences rather than material gifts is brilliant!