17 August 2013

Minimalist in Training or The Big Purge of 2013

Last night, I started Day 1 of getting rid of my stuff. I started with books because my place is filled with them and books will be the hardest thing to let go of. I started with three empty boxes:
1- Keep
2- Recycle/Garbage
3- Sell

As I was sorting through the books in the shelves under my window I could see how difficult this could be. Talk about emotional attachments to books. When you write and even beyond that, when you love to read, it's hard to let go. I wasn't getting too far because honestly, the books were going in the keep box and the Sell box was empty. So I added a fourth box - Undecided. That helped me to pull some books out of the Keep box and really got the process flowing. And some books started making it in to the sell box as well.

I went to a used book store on my way home from work on Monday and asked if they buy a lot of books, "Like buggies full," and Buddy said they are happy to buy buggies full. It's a good quality used book store so they'd be going to a good way station before they go to a good home. Um, yes, emotional attachment to books.

I've negotiated with myself on a couple things to make the process easier.
1- Now that I've unplugged the television, I can read more of the books I do own and then sell them
2- The books that I sell immediately, I will write a list of titles and authors (that still interest me) and I can purchase them on Kindle or Kobo, if I really want to read them. I know full well that my attention goes off in other directions so I probably won't buy them for my e-reader but it's the mind trick I'm playing with myself that will help me to move it along.

I set aside some children's books that I will pass on to my girlfriend for her young daughter. The little one isn't quite at reading age but she is definitely at being read to age. Plus some activity books from my child and youth work days, that will definitely be interesting to her for years to come. Especially since My friend is very crafty.

So really it's become 5 boxes.

I figure I'll start this way first and once I've gone through everything I will do the major one, that the minimalists recommend, packing up everything in your house as if you are moving and finding out what you actually use during a week or two and what you never touch. It makes sense to have less stuff before I do that one.

I do live in an apartment building where, if you leave your discarded stuff on the window sills in the stairway, other people pick up what they want from it. But with books (emotional attachment) if I leave them out there and they aren't taken I always take them back. I can't bear the thought of books ending up in the garbage. So that's the main reason why I'm selling them.

I took the week off work as a needed vacation because last week was pretty irritating and I realize that it was irritating because I haven't had time off since Bermuda and that was the first week of June. Only I could think this is a fun vacation but I'm actually really stoked. I've made plans with a couple girlfriends and am contacting a couple more girlfriends in hopes of making plans so there will be social fun and laughter and beer in the midst.

I realize that I'm not telling anyone anything new about purging and making changes in our lives. It was part of the gremlin/ critic in my head the other day. You know that ass that tells you, Who do you think you are? Why are you writing about these things everybody is laughing at you, is going to laugh at you? You aren't telling anyone anything that they couldn't find better information any where else. The Gremlin has been on full throttle. He's screaming actually. But I'm working through him anyway. I'm showing up anyway. I'm writing about what's going on anyway. I know when I get to the other side, something positive will come of it. Gremlins only say positive things once the work is finished, never during the actual pain and perspiration. Gremlins don't do work, they hinder work.

I've been blogging since 2006 and I only saw, could only see, the body of work when I looked back through the archives years later.

My ultimate goal is to get down to only having books on the four book cases that I own.
1- One bookcase has my favourite authors: Nancy Huston; A.M Homes; Jasper Fforde. And books that I re-read (Alice Walker; Richard Wright; The Great Gatsby; Five Smooth Stones etc)
2 & 3 - My two large bookcases have the workbooks: writing manuals/handbooks; Numerology/Astrology/Tarot; Kundalini Yoga/ Qigong; Energy work/Self development; Creativity/Drawing; Dream work (lucid dreams) etc. I need to get these cases down to the essentials and weed out the books that don't really do it for me.
4 - One bookcase has all the books I've purchased at IFOA (International Festival of Author's)
That's the direction I move towards.

The Boxes of Purge:
1- Keep
2- Recycle/Garbage
3- Sell
4- Undecided
5- Give away



sarah said...

I encounter those gremlins too, though mine are trolls living under the bridge I'm trying to cross. Thanks for your example of battling them back so you can keep moving!

Shelley-Lynne Domingue said...

@ Sarah
Trolls under the bridge you're trying to cross! I love that.

Yes I think identifying them, for us, is half the battle. Then we can stop ourselves and say,"oh that's the Gremlins or the Trolls talking."

Thanks as always Sarah!