Stuff Buster

Tomorrow is my first day of the 30-day minimalism challenge. Yikes! This should be an interesting ride.

I’m dubbing April “Stuff Buster 2015” because it sounds so overly dramatic in a broadcast news kind of way and I enjoy making fun of my ridiculous, former career path. In radio news we had a sound effect for everything – if it was snowing outside, we’d play the sound of whirring tires stuck in a snow bank. Raining or thundering? We had those, too. If there was a rainbow in the sky, we had leprechaun sounds. I’m not fucking with you – we had those.

I’m definitely already a minimalist at home – I hate stuff, especially drawers, cupboards, boxes, and closets full of stuff. So in some ways I don’t know that the challenge will be all that challenging.

There is, however, one area where I have a bit of an…issue. Shopping is a major, major weakness of mine. And no matter how many times I swear I’m not going to buy any more clothes or spend on snacks at work, I always do. It’s frustrating and, quite honestly, embarrassing. Plus it causes lots of friction at home with the husband.

So, for this next month I’m going on a clothes shopping fast. In fact, I’ve reduced my wardrobe immensely this month to try and make sure I’m actually wearing what I own. I’ve already donated a big garbage bag full of clothes and last night went through my closet again, and took out another small pile to give away.

I’m not going to lie. This is going to be very hard for me. When I’m feeling bored, I shop. When I’m feeling down, I shop. On my lunch break, I shop. It’s become a normal every day function like brushing my teeth or eating a meal. But it needs to stop.

I’m hoping that once I get over the hump of not shopping for a few weeks it will be easier to keep it up. Because even I can see how my shopping habit makes zero sense for a girl who hates having stuff.

It happened

Last night I had the best sleep! I went to bed at 9:30 p.m., woke up briefly at 11:15 p.m. to get my son some water, and then slept soundly until around 5:45 a.m.  That’s a solid eight hours of sleep! As I’ve mentioned, that hasn’t happened for me in forever.

There are a few things that I think are making a big difference:

  • No more television immediately before bedtime.
  • No more electronic screens in my bedroom, unless I’m on call and must have my cell phone in my bedroom for work reasons (like this week).
  • Nightly meditation. This has been the biggest game-changer, IMO. And I’m feeling the benefits throughout my days, too. I am so much more relaxed about life, in general.
  • Going to bed by 10:00 p.m., 10:30 at the absolute latest.

You know, I was actually blaming my insomnia on age and hormones, and now I feel silly about that. Today I feel rested, balanced, and full of energy. Once again, proof that life change is always within our own reach.

I first started really thinking about the effects of bad sleep on my health after reading Whole9’s resources on sleep last year. Check them out – it’s great food for thought.

These days we’re so focused on everything that happens to us during the day (especially those of us with kids) that we forget how important it is to recharge at night. Trust me, your kids, spouses, and coworkers (yup) will thank you for getting your sh*t together and getting some sleep.

Four more days until I start the 30-day minimalism challenge. A good friend of mine is going to do it with me. I can’t wait to write about the experience!

Have a peaceful weekend.

Welcome

Here’s to new beginnings.

If I could raise a glass right now, that’s how I would toast this moment. But it’s the middle of the day and I don’t keep a bottle of wine in my purse. That’s where I keep my toddler’s change of clothes – am I right, parents?

Here’s the deal. My life is fantastic: great kids, great husband, great job, great house, great city…everything’s great. Except, that it’s not always. Friends, I am exhausted with a capital E multiplied by infinity.

You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you’re about to do something exciting or scary? I have butterflies in my tummy almost all the time. I know what this is – it’s stress. And I need to do something about it.

In the past, I’ve thrived in stressful situations, even happily welcomed them into my life. Until now, I’ve always been able to hunker down and plough through mountains of chaos. But as I near 40, my love of Crazy is starting to drive me crazy and I feel…uneasy.

I need peace. So, I’m going to use this space to write about my search for some calm in my life. Because, look, I’m also not delusional.  As a working mom with a young family, I know this is not going to be easy.

I’m also not interested in being Zen Mommy or losing my edge, entirely. That’s part of what makes me “me”. But, I do believe there must be ways I can reduce the messiness in my life and manage the stress it creates.

As part of my journey, on April 1 I’m going to start Into Mind’s 30-day minimalism challenge. To be honest, some of what is proposed in that challenge is terrifying (No internet for a whole day?!). But I’m hoping it will identify the elements in my life that are hurting and not helping me.

Let’s go! But, peacefully. Shhhhhh.