Happy New Year Redux

February 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

Despite my best intentions, 2013 is not proving to be my best year yet.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year (Photo credit: vpickering)

Work stress, health stress and family stress are conspiring to make the new-ish year feel very old indeed. So instead of continued fretting and pouting and choosing to live a potentially self-fulfilling prophecy that 2013 will prove to be all bad, I’ve decided instead to reset the year.

I’m going to mentally clear out the negative clutter of the year to date, and start over again on Sunday, the start of the Lunar New Year. I figure that I celebrate so many different holidays as it is- the Jewish New Year (and we even have a separate New Year for trees!) the Gregorian New Year and so many little milestones and celebrations, that it seems a waste of time to mourn about a few really crappy weeks.

I feel better already.

Here’s to new beginnings again.

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January 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

No, I don’t need a rotating iPad case, shellac manicure or dinner for four at an obscure Italian restaurant and I will never ever cook

The Deal (magazine)

The Deal (magazine) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

something called Mexican chicken legs. And I really, really can’t understand how a business that calls itself ‘Beautiful Babe Butts’ is in any way relevant to my life or lifestyle. But I’d still obsessively check every daily deal, recipe and tip email in anticipation of finding the deal, the item, the object that I absolutely positively could not live without.

But I can- live without. And I think a good start is to try to shift my thinking somehow. Or at least find another way to unclutter my thoughts by decluttering my inbox. And part of that involves unsubscribing from as many daily emails as possible.

Part of my professional life involves keeping up with as many trends as possible and sifting through and then analyzing what’s filtering down and why. And that’s an incredibly exhausting and ever-changing process. So for now at least, I’m going to pare down my information gathering process and pay more attention to what comes my way organically.

And I never, ever want to wake up to a message about Beautiful Babe Butts again.

Minimalism is Simple

January 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

According to this somewhat tongue in cheek infographic by Scott Beale on LaughingSquid.com

My favorite takeaway? “Don’t fear empty space.” Tell that to my cluttered desk. And one that I disagree with completely – “Don’t be too expressive.” Never. I’d rather be crowded with beauty, ideas and inspiration, than peering through the empty abyss of a completely uncluttered life. One supposes it’s truly all in achieving balance.

Meanwhile, oh 2013 and my noble intentions to be spare, sparse and minimalist, why hath thou forsaken me already?

The Road to Hell

December 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

I had the best of intentions of inching closer toward zen and clarity and all the good things that make me feel pure and uncluttered

country road

country road (Photo credit: Slideshow Bruce)

. But nature abhors a vacuum, or at least it does in my universe. So as I removed belongings that tied me to a part of my life I was ready to let go of, I found myself acquiring things I didn’t anticipate wanting or needing. As the balance shifted and space emptied out, it quickly replenished itself. Okay, if I’m going to be honest- I did help.

I covet cute things and sparkly things and brand new tech things. And even as I sometimes indulge, I try to understand my ever evolving cravings. I’m a creature of my time and generation and as such find myself fascinated by new developments and product innovation. Professionally, I have to keep up with trends and styles and technology. And while I enjoy it, there are times that the trends treadmill feels faster than ever bordering on crushing.

So I’m not setting specific new goals for 2013, though I will make public my dedication to continuing on my road to More Clarity & Less Clutter. And some other things as well…

I finally rid myself of over a decade’s worth of work related notebooks, emails, scribblings and more. It was an incredible journey to leaf through some of my earlier typed and scribbled professional hopes and dreams and see the way some had gone beyond my wildest imaginings, while other withered on the vine. Among other things, I also found the now worthless shares to a company I’d co-founded during the heady web 1.0 days. An object lesson in not putting much faith in paper. It did remind me though, that I’ve built things from scratch in the past, and intend to again in the not too distant future.

I almost saved these notebooks and notes for another decade- just in case I write a business book. And then I realized- I already did. Amazing how unattainable goals once reached and passed become almost endearing, rather than thrilling.

I’d like to be thrilled professionally again. Though 2012 was a year of great new successes and accomplishments, the residual sagging economy and previous lingering life events left me without the full passion I once had. And I miss it. And I vow to fully reclaim it, without losing myself in the process. And I’m excited about what I have planned for 2013. And I can’t wait to tell you about it.

But before I can do that, I need to clear out some of my mental and emotional bandwidth along with some of this lingering clutter. I suspect that it’s more of a lifelong battle for me. To conquer things that crush me instead of sustaining me.

An informal poll of the New Year’s plans or traditions of friends provided me with inspiration. One friend mentioned working on a list of things she’d like to leave behind in the old year. And that come midnight on December 31st, she intends to burn that list.

I’m inspired to do the same and was going to include some of the things I want to leave behind, but don’t want to have them recorded in perpetuity to mock my intentions.

But I’m working on it. And I can’t wait to leave all of those things behind and make room for even better days ahead. And before you think me overly maudlin, Last year was filled with so many good and amazing moments. I want to make sure to make room for even more in the year to come.

My philosophy for the past few years was Better. I’ve amended it slightly. My motto for next year?¬† Even Better.

On Giving Thanks

November 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

On Thursday, many of us will be gathered around a table groaning from the load of too many delicious things to eat.

English: Saying grace before carving the turke...

English: Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ll talk about things mundane and magnificent. Like the fact that Thanksgiving falls on November 22nd and seems to be coming early this year (is it ever too early to give thanks?). Or the fact that so many of us in the Northeast had our lives shaken up mere weeks ago by hurricanesuperfrankenstorm Sandy and that we’re so incredibly fortunate to have our lives creeping back to a semblance of normalcy. And we’ll also send up a guilty prayer for those who are still weeks if not months away from anything even remotely resembling normalcy.

And we’ll pass the yams and marvel at the pies and then steal covert (or more obvious) glances at our smartphones. We might update our Facebook pages with pictures of our food or relatives and tweet clever or snarky things about the onerous responsibility of spending an entire day with family and being forced to muse upon things that we’re thankful for.

But for one day, we will slow down and mostly shut off and give thanks. And for that I’m truly grateful.

I’m grateful for a lot this year. For health. For family. For love. For friendship, the real kind, not the click and like kind. For the ability to make things better as they’re getting better. And for holding fast to, and then rediscovering my innate and hard-won optimism after a sandstorm of challenges.

So have I still been pruning my belongings regularly? Yes and no. And I hope to tell you more about it and more frequently than I have been.

In the meantime, thank you for sticking around if you’ve stuck around.

V. Neat

June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Sierra magazine reports via their blog, that artist and author (and I’m tempted to call him a futurist) Douglas Coupland, the voice behind Generation X, has figured out a tidy way to declutter the city.

Coupland’s introduction of the very cool looking V-Pole(in Vancouver, hence the ‘V’)

Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.

Taliesin West, Scottsdale, AZ, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

would be connected to underground optical wiring and provide¬† neighborhoods with “wi-fi and mobile wireless, LED street lighting, electric vehicle charging, parking transactions and can act as an electronic neighborhood bulletin board.” I seem to remember that Frank Lloyd Wright hoped to petition the state of Arizona for underground telephone wiring so as not to mar the stunning vistas near Taliesin West.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people concentrated on making our cities more beautiful, either via public art, or in discovering ways to contain our collective modern and necessary technological clutter? Viva la V-Pole!

My Closets Taunt Me

May 24, 2012 § 5 Comments

I have more on my agenda for today than you can imagine, yet it’s the thought of putting away my clothing tonight that haunts me most. I’m not sure I can face another round of push/pull/tug make room for my dress in that crush. Oh minimalistic ideal- why hath thou forsaken me?

Time to ramp up the purge process again. Who’s with me?

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