Monday, March 12, 2018

30-Day Minimalism Game: Day 12 + it's not money lost...

Things are getting really difficult 12 days into the 30-Day Minimalism Game. Though I am glad I'm attempting to "play." Because while I think of things to purge, I'm also being more thoughtful about what things I'm purchasing in anticipation of our move - I think for the first time ever.

While there might be many things that would be great to have, I don't want to be thinking about purging them in a year's time should we consider moving again. I don't want to have enough purge-able things to merit playing this game ever again. So while this super cute rolling narrow shelf would coordinate perfectly with my desk, and would come in handy to place my work things on, I'm going to wait a bit, not fill that empty space I will have before I even have it. If, in six months time, when it goes on sale again I still have need of it I might buy it. But until then I'll relish the empty spaces.

For today, though...

Day 12

I have: 1) a Coach sunglasses case (give away); 2) A broken pair of Coach sunglasses with a missing arm and scratched lens (discard); 3) A marine-grade knife sharpener (give away); 4) A sailor's knife (give away); 5 and 6) Two books I've read (give away); 7) An accidental one-click purchase I was remiss in returning of Season 3 of Angel (give away); 8 and 9) Old earrings for my tragus and daith piercings (discard/recycle); 10) Extra lights for the faux Christmas tree pre-wrapped with lights that I gave away a week prior to this game (discard/recycle); 11) A utility holder from Umbra that didn't work for what I'd hoped it would work for (discard/recycle); 12) A T-shirt with a marketing slogan that I won't wear (repurpose).

And so ends Day 12. If I hadn't opened that one container I might never have spotted those sailing items that had been unused for so long. I had to scour the bathroom cabinets to find a few items hiding in drawers and beneath the sink. I'd all but forgotten about those DVDs (I don't have a DVD player) and my intent to give them to a friend who likes the show and has a DVD player. And I hadn't wanted to purge those sunglasses that lived in the console in our shared car, as I kept hoping to get them fixed. I just never realized the arm went missing and were beyond repair.

It's not money lost...

When I first started purging my things, I would get so upset about the money lost - as I imagined everything had the same value as it had when I bought it. (I also imagined the items had somehow magically increased in value - most times that wasn't the case.)

But with each move I'd get so sick of having to pack these things up, I'd end up just leaving them behind near the trash bins. Paintings, furniture, musical instruments, dishware - all would be left for someone else to scour through. And while I'd ache for the money lost, my desire to be rid of these things outweighed the heartache over the money.

As time passed I'd recognize that I'd likely be purging things before a move, and so I'd try to make the time to donate what I could, sell what I could, give away what I could. It made me feel better that someone was enjoying my things and/or that I was getting compensated in some small way.

Now, though I think differently.

I think it's not money lost. It's money spent. Because I bought the item, I lived with the item, I either loved or hated the item, I either used or didn't use the item. And while I might not want that item any more, I did at one point. It served a purpose. It had a value.

Do I wish I had known then what I know now? Sure. Do I wish my tastes never changed? You bet. Do I wish I had all that money instead? Definitely.

But if I hadn't made those choices then I wouldn't be the person I am today. I might not have discovered more about myself. I might not have grown to appreciate minimalism or simplicity. I might not have wanted to be more environmentally conscious. I might not have appreciated the things I do have.

And for those who think of all this waste or excess that I, or others like myself, have gotten rid of, I say that there's nothing I can do to change the past. And I prefer to think of it from a positive POV: Think of all the waste I won't be creating now that I'm looking at things in a new light. Think of all the items I won't be consuming now that I'm striving for minimal. Think of all the money I will be saving by not wanting to fill up every empty space in my home.

I have a lot of years left on this planet, and by opting to start on the right-for-me path now, I'm giving the earth, my wallet, myself a break.

To be continued...

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