Day Two – Meditate

So, about yesterday…ew.

Decluttering your digital life is harder than I thought it would be. And can I be honest? I spent most of the time judging myself – was I keeping too many digital files? Not enough? Were my new folders labeled properly? Did I delete enough emails?

I did not feel good after that process was over. Plus, there are still twenty gazillion pictures in twenty gazillion folders on my home computer to go through…which never used to bother me, until yesterday. I don’t think this “minimalist” stuff is supposed to make me feel this way.

I did make some headway though. My work desktop looks better, at least. I guess you can call that progress.

Today the challenge is to meditate for 15 minutes. Love it. I’m already doing this almost daily anyway now. So today I’m going to really challenge myself and try meditating without any guided audio. This will definitely be challenging because I’m a thinker, to the extreme. Plus, my ears ring all the time and the high-pitched sound drives me crazy when there’s no background noise. But, they say meditation takes practice – so I figure it’s worth a try.

Now, about this weekend…chocoholics unite!  My kids are beyond excited because the bunny is coming, as is my husband because, like most loving parents, we sometimes help ourselves to their candy stash. Ssssssshhhhh.

This year, I’ve got a game plan in place to keep my chocolate binging to a minimum.  Here are some of my favourite “almost tastes like chocolate” chocolate treats:

Healthy Chocolate Chia Pudding

Five ingredient avocado pudding

Sweet potato brownies

And one more I really want to try:

Coconut Fudge

Have a peaceful Easter weekend.

Day One – 30 Days of Minimalism

So, it’s 8:00 a.m. on April 1st and that means it’s time to start Into Mind’s 30-Day Minimalism Challenge.

I need to switch the order up a bit in the first week, as does my friend who is doing this with me (she’s going to keep me honest and accountable through this), due to work and family needs. So today, my challenge is to “declutter my digital life”. According to Anuschka’s guidelines, I am to take care of my digital clutter today by Spring-cleaning my desktop, delete any files I don’t need anymore, and set up a simple, no-fuss folder structure.

I have to be upfront and say that this particular challenge will be easy for me, for the most part. As I mentioned yesterday, I hate stuff and that includes unneeded digital stuff. But there’s always room for improvement in everything that we do in life, so it will be interesting to approach this with a focused mind.

Since I don’t really use a desktop computer at home, I’ll be attacking the digital clutter on my work computer and also my social media. I actually started some of this yesterday – I brought the number people I follow on twitter down to 213 from 237, and I purged another 50 or so folks last week.

There is one area of my digital life that needs some attention though: email. Anuschka doesn’t mention cleaning up our email, but this is probably because she doesn’t get 200+ emails a day like some of us do (seriously, it’s madness). This is where I’ll focus most of my efforts today and I’m dreading this a little bit…which is a sign that it needs to be done.

I’m pretty good about staying on top of it all, but I have email that needs to be sorted going back to early February right now. And I’ve already received/deleted 60 emails this morning. Gah! Clearly, this is a source of stress for me. But I can’t simply stop it – because mommy needs her paycheque. So I have to find a way to manage it.

Wish me luck.

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.

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.