Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mental Feng Shui

Did you know it's possible to get rid of books? Up until about 20 minutes ago, I didn't think it was possible. Books sit in nice rows on shelves and look pretty. The are reassuring and calming to look at. I have 9 shelves of books, my own mini library. I like my library. The books are arranged by subject (fiction or gardening) and the fiction section is arranged alphabetically by author. It's lovely, why would I want to get rid of any of them? They have their place. They're not in the way and I was content. Then, I started reading a WIR thread about decluttering (a subject recently near and dear to my heart) and feng shui. As I was reading through all of the comments that were posted, I kept looking up at my books. It's as if a part of my brain realized something that I wasn't quite ready to admit. One of the feng shui principles discussed in the posts was if you don't love an item and you haven't used it in the past year, get rid of it. As I looked at my lovely collection of books, it dawned on me, there are books up there that I know I will never read again, so why do I keep them? I realize now that's it's so obvious but honestly, up until about 20 minutes ago I NEVER thought of it that way. I kept the books because I like having a lot of books!? What the hell kind of reasoning is that? It took me all of about 30 seconds to clear out 10 books that I know I will never read again. I will go back through them tomorrow and do a more thorough cleaning. Holy crap, it's so liberating! I have a book up there that I hate. I refuse to read that author anymore because her last book (the one on my shelf) was so bad. It's gone! So long! It blows me away that I've never even considered doing this before.

I think my weight lose has rewired my brain. I've been searching...changing...experimenting more. I feel the need to simplify my life which seems odd to me because I wasn't aware it was complicated. Maybe I'm simply trying to finally become the person I should have been all along. But that doesn't feel right. All of the choices I've made and experiences I've had, made me the person I am today. More likely, I'm finally starting to feel confident in who I am and that confidence is now extending into other areas of my life. Anyway, it's very odd to be 39 years old and finally feel like maybe I'm starting to know myself a little better. It's also comforting to know that I'm really enjoying this time in my life. I'm enjoying learning new things about myself and finally having the self confidence to challenge myself. Hmmm, it's definitely not boring being in my brain lately.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Shock and Awe

I've made several changes over the past few months in my attempt to reduce my debt. I've,
  • Upped my car insurance deductible
  • Canceled my landline
  • Canceled online music subscription
  • Canceled genealogy website subscription
  • Canceled unneeded services on my cell phone plan
  • Reduced the number of times I meet with my personal trainer
  • Signed up for budget billing for my utilities
  • Signed up for automatic payment for all bills to reduce late fees
  • Canceled an unused email account
I've also been making efforts to spend less by making my own meals, staying away from tempting places such as bookstores and riding my bike to work or on errands.

With all the changes I've made I was expecting to notice that I have a little more money each months. It turns out, I don't have extra money, I simply have enough to support myself without using my credit card. I'm not sure whether to be proud or depressed. How did I allow myself to live like this for so long? How did I allow myself to get so far into debt? On the other hand, yay me! It took awhile but I did figure it out and am now taking steps to fix my situation. I haven't used my credit in damned near 5 months! That's freakin amazing. It's so cool to get the statement and see that the activity has been my monthly payment (and of course the finance charges.)

So, I continue to move forward oh so slowly. I'm both in awe at what I've accomplished in four short months and shocked at how bad I allowed it to get in the first place.