Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 11 - 11 Things I Can Live Without

December 11 – 11 Things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

(Author: Sam Davidson)

I feel like this prompt requires me to mentally change directions in a way the others thus far have not.  Suddenly I'm thinking about 2011, instead of looking back at 2010.  I'm not sure I'm ready to set aside the processing of this year yet, even for only one evening, but, on the other hand, looking forwards and anticipating new things is probably important too.  I'm not sure I'll make it to 11 things that I can live without, quite honestly, but I'll give it a shot.

  1. Fear.  I actually think this could be items one through six or seven at least, since fear has been and continues at times to be an all encompassing and paralyzing force in my life.  However, I'm recognizing that I'm making decisions differently these days.  That I'm more able to recognize the voice of fear, and choose to ignore it's warbling, disconcerting advice.  That that is carrying with it an ability to sit more comfortably in my own skin.  To continue journeying to a place of living without fear, will take decision after decision.  It will take building a history of listening to God and the wisdom of those I trust most.  It will take the continued growth of my ability to trust myself.  And it will take a willingness to risk, even if I may fail, or be hurt.
  2. A transient lifestyle.  Packing up every weekend to escape the craziness of Grandma's world is a temporary solution that has been immensely helpful, but I'll be more than happy to see it go.  Showering in a different house than the one I sleep in most nights of the week seems a bit wild.  Eating in a whole variety of spots, and buying groceries to accommodate simple, unrefrigerated snack meals needs to go.  The solution to this will hopefully come once a few final details play out in the coming several weeks.  Once schooling issues are solved, employment issues can also be resolved.  And once employment issues are resolved, budgeting can happen in earnest and apartment hunting that suits my needs and that budget can commence.  
  3. Over-consumption.  I am continually challenged these days by the idea of simplicity.  By the idea that the clothes I wear only once or twice a year don't need to be in my closet.  By the idea that excess tends to add complications, not happiness.  By the idea of not wanting to waste.  And by how completely inconsistent I am at sticking to all of these principles that are growing within me.  I want to buy groceries once a week, or once every few days, and only buy what I'll be able to eat.  I want to do a better job of purging and simplifying.  I want to recycle even more consistently.  I want to only spend money on things or experiences that I'll really love, that will add value to my life.  And I want to consider things like whether or not my food is organic, and where my clothes and other purchases are made.  Who and what do they benefit? Who and what do they harm?
  4. Self-Doubt.  No more believing that I am worthless and unloved or unloveable.  Yes, it's a lesson that began in earnest this year, but it's one that needs to carry on into 2011, and really, every year that follows.
  5. People Pleasing.  No more doing things in an attempt to garner affection and love from others.  It's not worth it.  It's a habit well ingrained from years of being a pastor's kid, and it's one that can go. 
  6. Bad haircuts.  This list needed some levity, don't you think?  In all seriousness, though, I have a great hair stylist, who I love, and who always makes my hair look fabulous, but I've "cheated" on her this year with a few other stylists, hoping to find someone equally fabulous at a lower price.  Didn't work.  2011 can hold some penny pinching and trips to the stylist who does the best!
  7. Things that Cause a Loss of Independence.  2010 saw the loss of a car, an apartment, and a job.  Not sure I can control this one, but it would sure be nice if 2011 let me live a little more freely!
  8. Bad dental hygiene.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not disgusting or anything, but I have really sensitive teeth, and because of that I definitely do the minimum necessary to protect them.  Flossing hurts, and brushing my teeth is something I've hated ever since I was a kid.  Peer pressure as an adult, and concern for appearances definitely keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to carrying for my pearly whites, but I could and should do more.
  9. Talking myself into something I know I hate.  The only exception to this is when it's the only chance I'm going to get to be with someone I love - then a little self-sacrifice is the name of the game.  That or when it really will mean a lot to someone I care about - again, a little self-sacrifice never hurt anyone, and I'm always thankful when others do the same for me.  But, I'm taking a lesson from reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project this year, and giving myself permission to not enjoy certain things, and not force myself to do them just because others around me love them.
  10. Getting really stressed out over things I can't control.  Sounds pretty self explanatory, no?  I'm actually getting better at this.  That is one of the benefits of the whole year of crazy that 2010 has thrown my way.  I'm recovering from the big "bumps in the road" that are beyond my control quite a bit more quickly these days, and I hope that those coping skills continue to grow and go with me into the rest of my life.
  11. Crazy drama that I can't control.  Next year I plan to be fully in control of any and all drama that happens in my life!  No, actually, this isn't really one that I can do a whole lot about, but it is a wish for 2011, following 2010, that comes with much bemused chuckling and a grateful heart.  I've learned a lot from all the drama and curve balls and bends in the road in 2010, and they've hugely shaped me, but if the drama slowed down a bit, or came to a halt for a while, I'd be oh so grateful for that too!

    Well, look at that, I made it all the way to eleven!  And, actually, I had a great deal of fun sitting here and pondering what things are the ones that are important to me.  What are the things I'd like to change or do differently, or continue to see differently as a new year rolls around?

    As a general rule in life, I've always hated journaling prompts.  Always hated them.  But I have to say that I'm loving the exercise of working through these reverb 10 prompts this year.  It's a fabulous way to really stop and take stock as they new year begins.  I'm so glad I stumbled across them and decided on a whim to sign up!