Note: This is the tenth in a month-long exercise called Reverb10, where bloggers reflect on the year before and think towards the year ahead. The idea is to post daily, based on the day’s prompts; let’s see how well I do.
Prompt: 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 change your life?
These are always the hardest posts to write. As someone who has an unfortunate tendency to dwell (even temporarily) on negative things and self-criticism, I often challenge myself to avoid putting things in an “I want to get rid of this” context. I usually end up equating these types of lists with New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy, etc. – which rarely get me anywhere.
But, I made a commitment to this Reverb thing, for better or worse, so if I had to choose 11 things, I’d choose these:
1. Overspending. I don’t consider myself a “big spender,” really; however, I often convince myself to buy small things that I don’t need – especially when I’m in the middle of a project, or there’s a new thing that I feel the urgent need to learn. While I’ve grown to love the ever-growing pile of books that I haven’t had time to read yet, and the drawers full of paper that I bought for a specific project and never used, it’s time to put more careful thought into what I buy. I’d estimate that about a third of things that I buy today, I could avoid buying if I just sketched out the idea in a notebook instead of buying a physical thing. Better for my checkbook, and better for the planet.
Which brings me to the next thing:
2. Clutter. All this inspiration to buy has resulted in a bunch of things that I don’t need, don’t use, and don’t particularly want. In also, though, have a bunch of things that I *do* use and want, but without a clear way to organize them. Especially now that I’m starting to get into bookbinding, and have many large sheets of paper and bookcloth to contend with. So, organization is in order. Again.
And, to save everyone the torture of a long list of my various neuroses, items 3-11 that I’d like to lose in 2011, which are fairly self-explanatory:
3. Being “too busy” to… eat well, exercise, sleep, etc.
4. Saying “yes” to too many things at once.
5. Watching TV past 10pm (see “too busy” to sleep).
6. Doubting myself.
7. Not making time to read.
8. Not making time to draw.
9. Listening to well-meaning naysayers.
10. Eating meat more than three times a week. This is more a personal thing than anything else; I’m just not a huge fan of it, and I don’t feel good if I eat it every day – which my week and a half on South Beach brought into sharp relief.
… and finally, I’m going to make #11 something that I’d really like to *add* to 2011:
More time for creativity. It seems odd, being a professional creative, that I’d feel like I need more time for it. But the last couple of years in particular, I’ve felt so wrapped up in technology and business development that my creative side has felt lacking. I still do good work, still help clients and prospects alike solve important problems of positioning and branding. But sometimes, a girl just needs to get her hands dirty, and remember what it’s like to just *make* something.
Which reminds me – I signed up for my Etsy store this week. Still have to take pictures to put things in the store, but I’m very excited about it as a thing-to-do-after-work.