I’m fine. Really. – A Poster.

So my idea for Thursday is a picture of something I let go and the story behind it.

This won’t be only Thursdays… I’m going to find another day as well.

At first, I was going to make it Thursday book day. As I got rid of books, my heart swelled with heavy good-byes. But now, as I look through my pictures of books… I realize they didn’t mean as much to me as I thought. Which is crazy. But I have other items that were are harder to get rid of. SOME of which are books… but for the most part, I’m alright.

This here is my adorable cat poster. I got it for a confirmation present when I was 15. I begged my mom for it at that Christian bookstore that used to be in the Food4Less plaza in Vista.

I loved that store so much. It closed down around the time I became a Christian, as opposed to Catholic, which was a bummer. Although I didn’t understand anything about God… I was really into being Catholic. The verse did not bring me a lot of peace though until years later when I understood what it meant to rest in Jesus.

I have always loved cats. And this has a Bible verse! And this cat is so adorable! But… not only was it bent and falling apart… it was just childish. I don’t want or need a poster in my room anymore. Especially on the back of my door.

So good-bye, sweet kitty. Sometimes I looked up at this poster while sitting on my bed, stressed, and it was just perfect timing. I’d take a deep breath and acknowledge God as my Comforter. But I doubt I’ll ever look at my door and NOT see this cat poster, even if it is no longer there.

Man. I am overly sentimental.

Letting Go of Technology

Last Wednesday, I took my iPhone away from myself.

I had felt pushed to get rid of my iPhone for months but there are a few reasons I kept it:

1. Because I “need” the GPS!
I tend to get lost. I do much better with a GPS in hand. But honestly, I drove for two years without a GPS. Getting lost was often a fun adventure that ended up just fine. I almost… missed… getting lost while driving. If it really got bad, I’d call someone who knew that area and they’d help me out. So finally I let go of that reason.

2. To appease my mother.
This one sounds a bit strange even to myself because my mom pays the phone bill. Or in other words, she pays an extra $360 a year so that I can use this device and have a data plan on it. But when I suggested that for my family’s financial situation, I would love to give it up – she became angry at me and demanded that we “talk” about it first. Which was usually her saying that I should keep it and it didn’t cost that much more (even though it did when I looked into it).

3. Because honestly, I liked it.
I really did love having a phone that never asked me to delete my messages. A phone that I could look up anything no matter where I was. I loved having unlimited usage. I loved that my to-do notes in evernote could be accessed anywhere and that I could go paperless and never lose important information in my time of need.

But when I found myself standing in front of the AT&T store on Wednesday afternoon, I knew what I had to do.

I was asked multiple times if I was “sure” I wanted to do this because I would not get my unlimited data plan back ever again. So I lied. I told them all “Yes, I am sure”. I didn’t really want to do it all that much.

When I got home, my brother accepted it and told me he would give me a few days to clean out my phone (for the record, he only gave me 24 hours). I transferred things to my iPad, my computer and YouTube before handing it over to him the next day. (Then I wondered why I have a Macbook and an iPad. But my realizations on why I feel alright keeping those and not the iPhone will be saved for another time.)

I have realized more things now that I don’t have it anymore. Not everyone has this problem with their smartphone perhaps, but I did.

1. I wasted a lot of time when I was with people.
Often times when I felt bored at all, I would refresh facebook or tumblr or twitter. I told myself that it only took a second or two but all those seconds added up. Instead of making new conversation with someone who I was with and not speaking a lot to, I checked my phone. I checked my e-mail. I refreshed anything I could get my hands on. Sometimes I just played with it. I really did nothing.
Now that I have an “old school” flip phone, the only thing I can “check” are my text messages. And what I have learned is that when I am alone and bored, I find myself texting people instead, seeing what they are up to and how they are doing. Having an iPhone, I was able to isolate myself from everyone without realizing it at all! Now I find myself much more desperate to talk to people instead of ignore them for no reason.

2. I am not good with being alone.
I thought that I had beat this goal of not needing to feel lonely when I am alone. But in reality, I just replaced people with a device. As I walked to my car from the beach, I felt a little anxiety at not being able to check my phone. I had some serous addiction issues.

3. I feel a lot less guilt for the phone bill.
I’m not guilt free because my mom is still paying the family plan. But I did save her $30 a month. She may be upset about it now but in the long run, she’ll feel some relief. My brother’s iPhone 4 still charges $45 a month (which is over $500 a year, just for a data plan) but at least I did what I could. If I get a job, I’d be a lot more willing to pay my part of the bill now too.

4. I’m starting to wonder why I have so many social networking sites.
It takes a lot of effort now to keep up with Tumblr, Facebook AND Twitter. I mean seriously?

All in all, I am beginning to accept the change. I have a long ways to go before I become a better person – this was only a starting point… not a conclusion.

“Technology is a good servant but a bad master” are words I thought I understood. But like an alcoholic or a drug addict, I did not realize the addiction until I let go of my drug (which in this case, was my iPhone).

Do people who sit there on their phones drive you nuts as well? Or are you (like me) one of those people?

Getting Rid of “What If I Get A Boyfriend” clothes

Part of my weird problem.

Clothing. That is such a huge part of the “De-Cluttering” project.

I keep going through and throwing out clothes. I do hold onto clothes that getting rid of make me feel guilty because my mom spent too much money on it. Or I never wore it. Or things like that. And that is a normal response to clothes. I see those reasons on all the decluttering blogs. I also have a lot of “I’ll look good in it when I lose weight” clothes, which I throw out as well. Truth is, I may not lose weight. And I probably still wouldn’t wear this if I did.

But here are some of my stranger reasons that are more uncommon.

– 3 blazers because “I may get a business type job” soon. And instead of using the income from that job to buy nice ones. Also many pairs of pants because of it. Truth is, I probably will not have one of these anytime soon. But still. Hard to give up because I *do* want to do that later. Plus I need (at least) one for school.

– Things I wanted to wear for Halloween in years past and forgot. That I would not wear next Halloween either. Uhm. Hello. Goodbye. You have so got to go.

– What if my friend needs to borrow a jacket? The funny thing is, I don’t even like these jackets. I seriously keep them as spares. But… I have plenty of jackets even without the ones I don’t like that I could lend still. So good-bye.

But here is my FAVORITE.

– What if I get a boyfriend? Despite the fact that I know God wants me to be single for a long while, I want “date” clothes. When I finally acknowledged that this was the real reason I was hanging on to a ton of dresses/”fun” blouses I never wore, I was able to let them go. The worst part is that most of them are clothes I wore when I dated in high school. Yeah. Let’s wear a dress that I bought to impress my 16-year old boyfriend back in the day… to my far in the  future date with a mature man of God. Uhhh. No. That is just silly. Really, really silly.

So the progress continues….

Week 1: Setting Goals

Sometimes, I do not fulfill my goals.

Ok that isn’t completely accurate. I close to NEVER fulfill my goals. Think New Years Eve, we’re feeling so wishful and excited about our New Years resolutions… but it just doesn’t last. It never does.

The other night I began to think about how I was recently challenged to read something every day for a week, which I found easy peasy. One week? No problem! I can do one week. In fact, I will enjoy doing one week.

So it hits me. Why don’t I just make all my goals short-term?

I can’t seem to be able to think:

I wanna lose 10lbs in the next two months or I just gotta get a 3.3 this semester or I gotta clean my WHOLE room.

If I do this, I will fail 95% of the time.

This begs the question – Then why have you been setting long-term goals for yourself this whole time?

And the answer? Because I didn’t realize that I can accomplish short-term goals. I thought I was just goal challenged. But that is not the case! It brings me joy.

For example: Thinking to myself “I want to lose 2lbs this week” brings me hope and motivation. Some of my clutter goals have been to “purge books” or “purge dresser”… the smaller I break things down, the better. I don’t know about you, but I often do not rise up to a big challenge. I usually feel hopeless and give up. But small challenges I do not mind tackling (usually).

It is ok to have short-term goals- so long as they will lead you to long-term ones. Or are useful in general actually.

For one, the Bible stresses not to worry about tomorrow [Matt 6:24, right?]. Plus, my whole “desiring to fight only today’s battles” does not focus and dwell in the future, where I have a perfectly clean room, but focuses on now! In fact, it is impossible for that future to ever exist if I do not instead focus on today!

I’m not saying “Do not plan for the future” but don’t LIVE in the future.

Other ideas are no longer to “Declutter entire house” but have my small, more itemized to-do list. Oh, it is beautiful! I feel so much joy in this self-realization!

“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.” – Charles Spurgeon

Are you a long-term goal setter or a short-term goal kinda person? Or what resources do you use for goals?

One of my favorite websites recently has been jonacuff.com. He writes the blog “Stuff Christians Like” (HILARIOUS if you have grown up in church) and it has become very successful. So he has this other blog about business, goals and doing your dream job. Which is super rad. Also “The Happiness Project” blog has been super helpful and gave me most of the decluttering websites I use.

One Step At A Time

“Let Go and Let God” doesn’t just apply to emotional situations.

I mean, sure, that’s probably what it was first written about. And what it is used for 99% of the time. But I want to change things up! I want to let go of my material possessions (Jesus was really big on that, right?) but I have a difficult time letting go of sentimental items.

But I have been determined on decluttering my life.
Then I stumbled upon “Becoming Minimalist“, a blog by Joshua Becker. And this quotation.

Write about the things you love, instead of holding onto them. Start a family blog or keep a personal journal.

Boom! It hits me! Why don’t I just WRITE about it? I LOVE to write. Words and pictures can preserve the memories for me a lot better than the actual items. I outta use my passion to make me happier and to better myself.

Perhaps you wonder, Jaymie, why are you getting rid of stuff? As long as the stuff isn’t controlling you, there’s no reason to let go. Right? Wrong! I have a problem with dwelling in the past. With making the past my present. And here is another quote by Joshua Becker that hit me over the head and made me realize what that meant, clutter-wise.

clutter keeps you tied to the past.  your thoughts tend to dwell in the past as the things around you force your mind to reminisce.  your solutions tend to be rooted in the past as the things around you conjure up the same thought-processes.  your mind is tied to the past because there is no available space for anything new in your life.  minimalizing your workspace (and life) forces you to recognize the problems of today and solve them with solutions for tomorrow.  some might say – you have to release the past to create a better tomorrow.

So this is a blog for that project of my life. I was going to use my normal blog but really like the focus of that blog to be life lessons God is teaching me, whereas this is a personal goal set thing. God is teaching me in this, but perhaps I can end up summarizing things better later in that blog.

I hope to update this blog 5 times a week. To find some time of each day to somehow let go of something in my life (this can be emotional, physical, etc etc ETC) or at least share some kind quote or wisdom in relation to this. So this shall serve hopefully as something to keep me accountable.

Alas.

Let this be an inspiration to you as well. Maybe you need to declutter your room. Or your mind. Or anything that is keeping the simplicity from God being a part of your life.