We are a consumer happy society. We buy for ourselves, we buy for others. Our lives are cluttered with things that we don’t need. It isn’t always a bad thing. There are things in life that aren’t necessities that add to the aesthetic value of our lives. And then there’s the clutter. The piles of newspaper that reach the ceiling, the cardboard cutout dolls from childhood, that random gift from a family member that you aren’t sure what is, but you can’t just get rid of…
As if the physical clutter isn’t bad enough, we also clog up our lives emotionally with people and issues that just weigh us down. They don’t add to our lives. Sometimes they just exist in our lives as clutter, sometimes they actively drain energy and verve from us. And, just like the physical clutter that has to be sorted and hauled off, we have to evaluate the non-physical clutter and weight whether it is worth keeping in our life or not.
11 Things I Want to Cut from My Life in 2011
1. Jealousy – I’ve worked this one down from a major issue to a minor nuisance, but I want it gone. I have no rational reason to be jealous of B’s ex and yet I still am. This piece of clutter is like the hidden nightstand that you stub your toe on – it hurts a lot every time you do it – so getting rid of it is really the best option.
2. Body Image Issues – I am 5’10 and roughly 155 lbs. I wear a size 6/8 American. And I still struggle with thinking I’m fat or ugly. B tells me that I’m beautiful and I struggle to believe him. But I am beautiful, and slender enough. I don’t want to be a size 0 pixie anyway – I’d look strange being that skinny at my height. My first step in this is not bashing myself anymore – either in my head or to my husband. I want to embrace the woman I am – flaws and all.
3. Flaky Friends – Life as a military life is pretty difficult. We get left to sit at home while our loved one is sent out to a war zone. I need friends who will at least meet the effort level that I put into a friendship. I can’t keep throwing away energy by trying to maintain one sided friendships.
4. Fear – Okay, so I know that I can’t just give up fear. But I can work on not letting it control me. I tend to blow things out of proportion be they fear of pain, anxiety over separation, or whatever. I don’t have a problem being afraid – I have a problem with it keeping me from doing things.
5. Poor Communication – This destroys relationships. B and I are really pretty good at communicating. We’re excellent with the big things – it’s the little things – like deciding what to have for dinner, or what to do for an evening that we’re bad at. And then feelings get hurt and I’m crying over something stupid. All because of assumptions. I know it’s the foolishness of newlyweds, but, the more we work at open communication the easier things will be.
6. Martyr Syndrome – I learned this one as a child. For so long in my young adult life it’s been me versus the world – I had a couple of relationships that left me wounded and heartsore, so I taught myself to be self-sufficient and to expect the worst from everyone. Only, I can’t do that and have a healthy relationship with my husband. I have to let him be on my side. I have to let him in to know when something is bothering me.
7. Annoying Students – Yeah, I’ve decided that life is too short to teach people that irritate me. Or teach people who’s parents irritate me. I can’t bend over backwards for everyone. Teaching is a business and I have to run it that way. I can help people if I am so inclined – but it isn’t my job to risk my life so that they can have a piano lesson. And if I have a student that is convinced they know more than me – fine, they can find another teacher and pay twice what I’m charging them.
8. Guilt – Whether it’s over having credit card debt when I got married (that he paid off) or over hurting someone’s feelings three years ago, guilt sometimes overwhelms me. It isn’t remotely rational. It serves no purpose.
9. Homesickness – Okay, I get it. I never lived more than 3 hours from my parents until July 2010. I made two major moves, one in July to North Dakota and one in September to Germany, but, the time to wallow over being homesick has passed. I do not want to be one of those military wives who constantly gripes and complains about living in an awesome location because it isn’t home. I knew that moving was part and parcel with life with B before I signed on.
10. Grudges – I blogged earlier about how tightly I can cling to grudges. But, grudges are like acid in that both destroy the container that holds them.
I’m leaving eleven blank for now. I have a feeling that it will fill itself in as 2011 unfolds. But I want to have room to cast off baggage as I need to. I want to live an uncluttered life.