Recap: 30 Days of Minimalism

Earlier this year, I vowed to participate in a 30 days of minimalism challenge.  It was supposed to take place the entire month of June, but lo and behold, life got the best of me and it ended up taking three months.  I wish that I was kidding about the last part.

Regardless of its duration, I gained a lot from the challenge.  Throughout the time that it took me to complete, I achieved many things that had been on my personal “honey do” list for quite some time.  Is there a name for a single person’s “honey do” list?  “I’m still cute even though I just ate a pint of ice cream – do list” ?  :)

Anyways, here are just a few of the activities that I completed during the challenge:

From left to right: Caught up on reading by not watching TV for a whole day // Took a walk to de-stress by running on the soccer field // Removed followers on Twitter and realized I could never unfollow my dad even though he hasn’t posted since 2012 // Definitely wasn’t multitasking when I watched the 4th of July fireworks in front of the Washington Monument // Didn’t spend money for 24 hours and lived on chicken nuggets // Evaluated my daily habits by overloading on smoothies // Learned new skills by FTP’ing into my blog // Cleaned my closet // Identified goals for the year // Evaluated my commitments by trying out different workout classes // Avoided social media by taking a walk at lunch // Cleared off a surface of my dresser // Enjoyed solitude by visiting the local courage wall // Slimmed down my reading list by buying new books ? :) // Celebrated a Starbucks morning ritual // for the full list see my instagram @crossroadsheart #is2015theyearofthefuture

 

So, yes, I accomplished a ton of minimalism acts during this “30 day” challenge.  But, the difference I noticed the most was the amount of time I dedicated to activities with friends.  I attended a concert. I traveled to Ocean City, MD, South Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee and California.  I painted the town red with college friends and my cousin and sister.

I was excited to start this challenge because of the organization and prioritization that it would bring to my life. But what I really realized is that when you strip out the junk, when you save the money, when you clean out the closet – what you’re really left with is a whole bunch of memories with close friends and family.

So, if you’re thinking about taking on a minimalism or similar challenge this year or next and want to know what to expect, I would say ‘yes’ be prepared for clean surfaces and identification of personal goals, but also be prepared for a whole lot of life.

 

 

The Six Worst Things about Being an Adult

As a follow up to the 6 Best Things about Being an Adult prompt a couple of weeks ago, last week, at MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop, one of the prompts was: List the 6 worst things about being an adult.  For more stories, visit MamaKat!

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1. Lack of excuses –  I heard the other day that “I’m too busy” is the grown up version of “My dog ate my homework.”  This statement rings entirely true to me so maybe I am wrong that ‘lack of excuses’ is one of the worst things of adulthood OR maybe it is the lack of the simple ‘I’m cute’ excuse that disappoints me.  Today, as adults, we sometimes feel like we have to come up with a million reasons for why we can’t, won’t or shouldn’t do something.  “Well, Sally Mae’s cousin’s brother in-law sneezed on me yesterday so I couldn’t come in to work today.”  Case in point.  Remember when a chocolate smeared grin and some wide eyes were all that you needed to get out of chores?  Yeah… I wish I could turn back time too.

2. Self awareness – It’s probably right up until the ripe age of 6th grade (whatever that is) that you float through life not giving a “Fudge” about what other people think of you.  Then puberty hits, you start realizing that the opposite sex doesn’t actually have cooties and that you actually have feelings.  Life becomes an everyday battle.  You start judging yourself from fear that others might start judging you first.  Self awareness has made its appearance and decided to stay.

3. Kids – Isn’t funny that one of the worst things about being an adult is kids?!  The exact age group that you just exited is now your worst enemy.  I get that some of you are shocked right now.  But, I know that you are only shocked because I said it out loud/typed it on my blog.  And, yes, I get that I have no kids so really no reason for me to like any of them since none of them are my own.  And, if that ever happens some day, I will probably adore my little creations and give you  the worst evil looks if you ever say what I just said.  Butttttt… let’s be for reals here.  Kids are annoying; they are known to repeat the same words over and over again, they constantly smell, and they are like mini adults with all the same feelings and emotions, but none of the control….  Do I need to go on?

4. Retirement planning – I don’t even know what this is, but it’s terrifying.  The fact that I have to think about feeding myself and paying for a place for me to stay without any paycheck whatsoever is frightening.  I live the 1st of the month to the 15th of the month and repeat for 12 months, people.  Then you add all of the garbage of social security, medicare, medicaid, obamacare, etc. and it becomes overwhelming.  At what age is it inappropriate to be an exotic dancer?  75? Just curious.. not like I would do that or anything.

5. The reality that winning the lottery is slim – Sigh.  Not much else to say here.

6.  Becoming hardened – My friend’s dad texted her the other day and sad “It’s sad when you meet up with old friends and realize that they are the shell of the person that they used to be.”  Now, this might be the most depressing thing that I’ve ever heard.  Poor friend and dad.  But, it is also probably somewhat true.  I would hope that this would never happen to me or my loved ones, but perhaps it might.  As adults, we are subjected to the violence, cruelty and evil in this world.  We realize that sometimes guns, knives and harsh words are more powerful than the sharing, caring and loving environment that we grew up in as kids.  The world is not perfect and neither are its weapons.  We live in a place where the trajectory of pain is larger than the impacted target.  And, so we accept pain; we settle for the world as a calloused place.

 

I read a quote once along the lines of “You should never outlive your childhood.”  Perhaps, we should remember that the next time being an adult becomes too much.  Or, maybe quote the infamous line from Forrest Gump, “Life was like a box of chocolates.”