Beyond Decluttering

I saw this post the other day on Pinterest:

Clutter is no more than postponed decisions at Did That Just Happen Blog

That was powerful to me.

I am always organizing things so that they fit better or that they are more out-of-the-way. I’m a big fan of “Oh look at that container, I could organize so much in there!”

It’s time to stop “organizing” and let go of those items that really aren’t bringing value to my life.

The more you have, the more occupied you are

I’ve been listening to The Minimalists podcast, it’s in the rotation of all my others, but I’ve really enjoyed how they look at life.  It’s not about how little you have – it’s not about saying “I only have 300 items in my house”, it’s more about what you do have and how it impacts you.

I’m learning a lot about how free you become when you remove all of that extra “clutter” in your life – and I know it’s true – I know it is – but I don’t always practice it!

This weekend I did.

Declutter DVD's at Did That Just Happen Blog

It was really hard, but I went through my DVD collection.  Now, I don’t go back and watch these DVD’s very often.  I have access to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and several other free movie sites – there is very seldom a need to pull out a DVD.  But, I’ve always enjoyed collecting them.  They brought me comfort, in a weird sort of way, so I knew that removing them would be a challenge for me.

And a challenge it was!  I can honestly admit that I didn’t get rid of as many as I wanted, but I did manage to let go of about 100 DVD’s.  Some went home with my sister or parents and some went to a resell shop.

It felt good! I’m not going to lie, I’m ready to go through the rest and really free up space in my house and in my soul!

I have started a donation box.

That’s not new – I donate stuff all of the time.

What’s new is what I put in the donation box.

Declutter phone at Did That Just Happen Blog

It looks like an ordinary cordless house phone with built in answering machine.  It functions like one… although, this guys hasn’t been used in over 10 years.  It has been sitting in my nightstand drawer for over 10 years.

Now, if you guys have followed me at all, you know I did a big de-clutter challenge a few years ago… so why didn’t this phone go? Why was I holding onto this phone?

It has a voice mail on it.  It has a voice mail on it that is pretty darn mean.  It has a voice mail on it that I have been saving just in case. And not a “this could happen” just in case scenario, but a really far-fetched, “there is never in a million years that this situation could happen but just in case it does, I will have this recording” scenario.

I’ve been carrying this phone around with me, just for that one voicemail, for a situation that would never happen.

Today I let it go.

I didn’t just physically let go of the phone, but I let go of the mental and emotional weight that I’ve associated with that phone.

I didn’t realize just how much “attachment” I had to holding onto that phone, not just the physical reminder, but all of the mental and emotional attachment that I was associating with it.

It’s gone.

And you know what?

I don’t miss it!

As I unclutter my life I free myself to answer the callings of my soul

I look forward to making more decisions around the house!  Some people ask “Does this bring me joy?”, but I am liking the “Does this add value?” question.  That is really resonating me right now!

It resonates with me, because I like things neat. So I’ve kept all of these boxes from when we gave up cable and went to internet TV – just in case I move, I have the original boxes to pack things back in.  The reality is, those boxes take up sooooo much space and if I had to pack, I would decide that they take up too much space!  (And maybe I need to be an ambassador for Roku!)  Of course, I still had to text Adam twice and make him tell me that I would be okay if I put those in the recycle bin!

Declutter empty boxes at Did That Just Happen Blog

In my mind, it was worth keeping those boxes in case I moved – but with my new mind set, I was able to say that they don’t bring me any value and let them go.

So what about you?  I know some of you have gone through this recently – any tips or tricks? And how to you manage the clutter at your place? I love knowing what others are doing!

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Pamper Yourself Giveaway

*****CONTEST CLOSED***** WINNER WAS ME, MYSELF AND KIDS, THANK YOU MMK!

It has been a busy week and it is time to share the joy, so I am giving away gift cards to Starbucks and Panera!

I have been away at a work conference, it is an annual event and it is simultaneously the most exhilarating and exhausting event I attend each year! I get to learn a lot, get a ton of training and plenty of time to play catch-up with my colleagues.

I love hotel rooms. They really are my guilty pleasure.  I just feel different getting to stay in a hotel and I just love them! I’m very fortunate that my hotel room is usually paid for by a company that I work with, and this year it was a new company and I posted on Facebook that I was having a Cinderella moment!  

Cinderella moment and a giveaway at Did That Just Happen Blog   I had a living room.

 Not kidding when I say that this bathroom is about the size of my first apartment.
 And the bedroom, so luxurious! And do you see that chair?
 Yes, that chair! I’m so in love with that chair!
But it was late (late, late, late) nights and (way too) early mornings and when I wanted to sneak in pool time (or a nap) I actually had to work!

It was rough, I tell ya!

But I couldn’t even complain, all I could do was think about how fortunate I was to be able to attend and work in such pretty surroundings.

I felt very pampered and posh!

Now I want to share the love with you guys and give away a gift card to Starbucks and Panera Bread. It’s time for you to get a nice cup of coffee and a delicious treat and then curl up with a good book! Or a cool frappe and warm bowl of soup to enjoy before a bedtime bath!

The possibilities are endless!

Tell me what your favorite guilty pleasure is and you’ll be entered to win. Share for a double entry! Let me know your deepest secrets 🙂 and don’t forget to tell me if you shared! Good Luck!


***Wordpress, Starbucks and Panera Bread are not affiliated with this giveaway. It’s sponsored by my love for you! Contest ends Sunday June 28, 2015 and is open to residents in the U.S. and Canada. For my international readers, I love you but you don’t have Panera or Starbucks in some cases, so we will come up with the equivalent in a gift card or PayPal.

I’ve Left the Busy Life Behind

I’ve been working very hard at not comparing myself to others.  In fact, it was just over a year ago that I shared this journey of growth with you, and it’s not easy, but I’ve worked hard, and while I still slip up, I am happy to admit that I am much better about not judging myself!

Like most things, you don’t always notice what a difference is being made when you make it in small steps.  Because I have just been taking baby steps in my self improvement, and because I’ve been so focused on becoming a better Me, I hadn’t realized how far I have actually come…

I never look back darling the incredibles

…until the other day.  All of the sudden, every where I went I was hearing people talking to each other.

“Wow, that sounds like a lot”

“You look tired.”

“You look stressed”

“That sounds really busy.”

I even said some of those same things to others.

And the answers got me thinking.

Why doesn’t anyone say that to me? Why don’t I look tired?  Basically, from what I heard, they weren’t any busier than I was. It was all different things, but basically the same. Everyone I talked to, who told me how busy they were, I just smiled and nodded and walked away a bit perplexed.

If we are doing basically the same things, why don’t I look tired? Why aren’t people telling me ‘oh you poor soul, how do you keep up?’

Poor_Unfortunate_Souls_by_Ursula_Fans

As a side note – here is a prime example of my struggle not to compare.  I was walking a fine line between judging activities and wondering what was different in my life!  It’s not easy, but I really was trying to reflect on what was different!

I tried talking to Mr. T about it.

Then I remembered that he was a 16 year old boy.

That was about as helpful as windshield wipers on a goats butt.

(Is that too crass? I’ve been trying to find a way to work that into a conversation for about 3 years now!!)

Needless to say, as much as I love him, he wasn’t helpful!

So I called up a friend of mine and regurgitated all of these thoughts and feelings and not-that-I’m-comparing-but-what-is-wrong-with-me statements.

And she summed it up in one sentence.

I’ve left the busy behind.

In my efforts to not compare myself to others, I realized that I didn’t have to compete with how I spent my time. And if it’s not a competition, then I can do what I want.

nemo don't touch the boat

I have been able to fill my life doing things I love, things I want to do, things that bring me joy! Yes, I still have crap that fills my everyday life, but I get to balance that with fun.  When I stopped comparing what I was doing to what others were doing, I was able to take the “busy” out of my being busy.

I still have times that I go non-stop, but the difference is, I have given myself permission to have fun.  I have given myself permission to do what brings me joy and bliss and peace.

So, I’m happy to report that there is a massive unexpected side effect happening in my life, not only am I better at not comparing myself to others, I’ve discovered a new joy and unexpected balance in my life.

quote-around-here-however-we-don-t-look-backwards-for-very-long-we-keep-moving-forward-opening-up-new-walt-disney-224582

Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway!

At some point in the last couple of days, I hit a new milestone with Did That Just Happen Blog, there are 500 of you reading, or pretending to read, and wow, that’s an amazing number!

For a lot of people out in the blog-o-sphere, that’s not a big number, I’m not even a blip on the radar comparatively speaking, but I love my little blip, this little blip allows me to share my joys, discoveries, neurosis and more with you! Plus, I’m working on this whole not-comparing-myself-to-others thing, so I do have actual joy bubbling inside me right now!

Now I want to share the bubbles of joy and thank you for all you’ve given to me!

I went through my wallet and low and behold, I have a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Starbucks gift card giveaway

Ta-Da!

It’s not much, so in order to be entered you don’t have to do much, either! Just post a comment below and sometime this weekend I will force Mr. T to look and pick a comment.

There are no restrictions – if you live in the Continental United States, then I will mail you this EXACT card! If you don’t, then I’ll email you an electronic card – because otherwise mailing it to you will cost more than the card is worth!

So, thank you all so very much for being on this journey with me!  And good luck!

Disclaimer: Word Press and Starbucks have nothing to do with this… they probably won’t even know I’m hosting a giveaway! And, the official cut off time is sometime between Saturday morning 8:00 am and Sunday midnight.  Also, you can comment as many times as you want, but you only get counted once!

Lessons from the Movies: The Bucket List

My eyes are a little swollen and red rimmed.  I just finished watching The Bucket List.  No one told me that the guy died.  I get that it’s better for the story, it’s more realistic, whatever you want to throw my way as a reason; however, I don’t like when people die.  Now I know why I love Disney type movies.  People don’t die in them; at least, not any characters that I’m emotionally invested in.

The Bucket List

The Bucket List

None of that was the point.  The point is that watching that movie has been on my to-do list.  I’m all about adventure and making sure that we live our lives instead of just existing on this plane of existence.  We are here to enjoy, to make the best of, to help others and to enrich.

Short of the part where I cried, it was a great movie.  I loved how two people could come together over a common bond, and it really exemplifies that sometimes our greatest friends are not like us, but in fact, totally different from us.  It shows that there are lessons to be learned everywhere you look and that sometimes, it’s the simplest things that make all of the difference.

This got me thinking – I love my bucket list – I should share it!  So, in honor of this – instead of boring you with the lessons I learned from the movies, I’m sharing my bucket list with you!

night in haunted house

My bucket list is ever changing, and I hope it always does!  I read something the other day (could have been on Yahoo!, could have been another blog and it could have been in a book, it’s hard to keep straight everything I’ve read!) the point is, I read it, and it mentioned, if you have a bucket list, get to working on it!  If you don’t, then start one, and then get to working on it!

Yes, I know, there are tons of blogs, websites and countless suggestions when it comes to a bucket list.  This is not one of them.  I’m just narcissistic and assume that you want to know all of the details about my life! It’s not in a specific order, as I rearrange it every time I write it!

Catching a game in the new stadium, view from the suite.

Catching a game in the new stadium, view from the suite.

  1. See Meatloaf in concert – CHECK
  2. Visit a haunted house (I swear I lived in a haunted apartment, but that doesn’t count)
  3. Ride in a hot air balloon
  4. Go skydiving – CHECK
  5. See Cowboy game in new stadium – CHECK
  6. See the Northern Lights
  7. Plant a tree (technically I’ve done this, but it died… so it doesn’t count!)
  8. Go snorkeling
  9. Fly in a helicopter
  10. Ride The Titan at Six Flags – CHECK
  11. Ride The Texas Giant at Six Flags – CHECK
  12. Visit a castle
  13. Fly a kite, again
  14. Visit Statue of Liberty
  15. Have dinner in a location that overlooks the city
  16. Swim in an ocean – CHECK
  17. Go on a camping trip – CHECK
  18. Make homemade jam
  19. Dance in the rain – CHECK
  20. Get in a taxi and yell “follow that car!”
  21. Taste fried ice cream
  22. Kiss in the rain
  23. Zipline down the old Vegas Strip (scheduled for 2014!!)
  24. Spend the night in a haunted house
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Here’s my favorite shot from when I went to the Meatloaf concert. I’m really hoping his farewell tour comes close enough that I can go again!

It’s not a lot, and there are some simple things on my list, but the point is, I have a list and I am checking it twice.  Oh, wait, wrong list!  I have a list; it’s a list of what I want to do, not what the world thinks I should do.  My list has some seemingly simple items on it, and some that you’ll be surprised to discover that I’m scared to do (fried ice cream, really, it just doesn’t make sense.) I will do them, though.  Eventually.  And, occasionally, I’ll add more items.  And, sometimes I’ll do something that is bucket list worthy, so I’ll add it – just to cross it off.  Just to say “I DID IT!”

If you don’t have a bucket list, I highly recommend you start one.  And then get started on it! It’s way too much fun!

Do I Pick Comfort or Joy?

I’m reading a book.  This is not uncommon.  I read a lot, but instead of the dime store novels I normally download, I downloaded a book by the author of Pay It Forward.  It is an inspirational book and a journal of the author learning to make a better life by using the life she already had.  It’s pretty cool so far.  If I was a good blogger, I’d look up her name and the title of the book for you… I’ll try and get to that before I post this for your enjoyment!

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See, I am a good blogger, I found the info for you!

Normally when I am reading a book and the author asks you to think about something “think about your journey” “think about the last time you did XX” or as was posed to me today in a blog a friend forwarded “think about the last time you did something brave”, when they ask me to think about things, I don’t.  Sometimes I don’t want to explore, sometimes I don’t care and usually, my primary goal is to just finish the book.  Like everything else in my life, I’m always competing against my own internal clock.  I want to just get everything done.  But, sigh, that’s probably another blog subject!

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At the Meatloaf concert that BA and I attended in Shreveport.

In the last chapter I read, the author was talking and asking about comfort.  This is a subject that I am familiar with.  I love my comfort zone.  I am very happy in my comfort zone. I’m also very happy in my black pajama pants.  I believe in comfort.  I believe in finding the happy place.  And, yes, I believe in my black pajama pants.

My natural state is a hermit.  I am a homebody.  Give me some coffee, food and books and you won’t hear from me for weeks.  I could give up people for weeks at a time.  I don’t like people, nothing personal, but y’all tend to drive me crazy.  It’s not you; it’s me and my issues.  The point is, I am happy in my home, wherever that might be!

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Mr. T driving the boat at our annual adventure to Grapevine Lake. We’ve gone the past couple of years with some friends and Mr. T has even gone para-sailing off this boat!

Raising a child, I had to get out a lot.  I liked it, I’m fortunate that I like spending time with Mr. T.  We did all the things that normal families with young kids do, we went to the zoo, Six Flags, the museum, local festivals, you name it, and we have done it.  I got out of the house a lot – for Mr. T.  I would go out into the world and do things and have adventures, but it was all for Mr. T.  Pretty soon all of my adventures were just for him.  As much as I love being Mr. T’s mom, I needed to be my own person, too.  It really is healthier.

The last several years I’ve worked on being a Yes Man.  Saying YES to everything I could.  Let me say, it is hard to leave the comfort zone.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listed all the reasons I should back out of plans I’ve made, or even made the list before I made the plans.  It’s going to rain, it’s going to be so hot, and I’ve had a busy week.   I’d be so much more comfortable if I stayed home.  I’d be so much more comfortable if I was snuggled up on the couch with a book.

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Annual girls camping trip. That’s always an adventure and a time to recharge the batteries. See the tie-dye cup? Guess who that belongs to… 🙂

Now I frequently leave my comfort zone.  In my head I know that I will have a good time once I get there; it’s the getting there that can be hard for me.  I focus on just one step at a time.  I can get out the door; I can make it to the car.  I CAN do this.  It does get easier, even though I still have days that are harder than others.  I’m proud to admit that it’s been years since I’ve made it to a destination just to turn around and go home because I couldn’t walk in.  In those years I’ve had marvelous adventures, made great memories and really experienced some joy.  I’ve left my comfort zone and experience joy in my life.  And, some of those adventures have been in my black pajama pants!

So, when I am asked “do you pick comfort or joy?” I am proud to say that (most of the time) I pick joy.  I get out and I live my life.  I make sure that Mr. T lives his life and has the opportunity to be a kid.  I am a better person for it, too.

Yes, the Halloween party at my house qualifies as an adventure!

Yes, the Halloween party at my house qualifies as an adventure!

I’ve included pictures in this blog of times this year that we’ve picked joy instead of comfort, I hope you enjoyed them!  So… Do you pick comfort or joy?