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Decluttering Empty Nest Minimalism

The Process of Pivoting

What do you do when you can do anything?

That is the situation in which I find myself. For the first time in my life I am free, completely free. I can go anywhere, do anything. The road of Life is wide open. All I have to do is pick a direction.

It feels overwhelming. I’ve spent my entire life burdened with obligations both real and imagined. To realize that they’ve all disappeared…I’m not sure how to feel about that.

This was why, as the waters rose in their routine surge, that a part of me wished that it would wash my house away as well. It would be nice to have a completely fresh start, I mused as I watched.

But I don’t have to wait for a disaster to have a fresh start. I’ve got one already. As for the stuff…I do believe it is time for a pivot. Minimalism is perfect for pivots, because it allows us to cut the crap from our lives. It makes it easier for us to change direction.

So I tossed some stuff. There’s a cabinet and some empty totes sitting upon my front porch for a friend to collect. Another friend has been offered the bicycle. Other items were deemed too ratty to pass on so they’ve been put in the trash.

“Are you going to have anything left?” One friend asked when she came by to collect some of the things.

But I didn’t just focus on physical things. Mental clutter can be just as burdensome as physical clutter. In some ways, it can cause more damage because it affects us emotionally. All of those old grudges and resentments really build up in time. They can turn us from happy people into miserable, hateful old cranks.

So now, whenever one of those memories surface that trigger a negative emotion, I work to eliminate the negativity connected with it. If I find myself getting stuck in a negative emotional loop, I make myself stop by focusing on my breathing. In, out. In. Out. It’s not like a normal meditation where you turn into a pretzel while staring at your navel. This is something you do wherever you’re at, no outfits, ommms, or twisty poses required. I find it much more effective than traditional meditation. I can’t sit still long enough for the standard stuff.

And whenever I find myself wanting to acquire a specific item, I ask myself what purpose it would serve along with other related questions. Those questions helped me to realize that the only reason I wanted to acquire a record player and a VCR was to revisit a piece of my history. But the past is dead so why bother?

So I discarded the plan to purchase a record player and the VCR. I even placed the tentative plan to purchase a stereo system on indefinite hold since I’m not sure if I really need one. My entire music library is stored upon my computer and selected playlists are synced to my phone. I use my soundbar with both my computer and my phone to play my music and I’m more than content at the sound quality, so do I really need to buy more stuff when I’m content with what I already have?

In this world if we’re not growing and changing we’re dying. Just like with trees and plants, in order to achieve the strongest growth we have to prune the branches. After the pruning, it is time to sweep that old away. We have a new future to look forward to.

What can you prune today?

~#~

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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

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