BEATLETOT
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My Anchors

Sunday, October 05, 2014

I've been reading those self-help books again. emoticon This time, I'm reading up on decluttering, so that I only schlep what I want to schlep back home. The local women's shelter is very happy with us, as we've emptied out our linen closet and kitchen. We have been schlepping a giant plastic bag full of new, still individually-wrapped silverware around, and I have NO idea where it came from, when it got into our inventory of crap, and how it got there. I just know it has moved with us at least twice. And that stuff is HEAVY. Jeepers. We had over 30 coffee cups, and I don't even like coffee!

Anyway, in this book that I'm reading, that isn't really about decluttering, but rather, minimalism (which would be a great ideal to live by; however, I don't think I can eschew sentimentality to the point that these guys have), these two guys are talking about how they became minimalists. They were wealthy executives who made a ton of money but were still in debt and unhappy. One step toward getting to where they are now was to identify all their "anchors," things that were keeping them where they were instead of where they wanted to be. They spent one week writing down anything they thought might be an anchor, and at the end of the week, one had 80-something items, and the other had 50-something! Then, they started working on them one-by-one.

I emoticon these kinds of approaches. Not that I'm a scientist--I am SO not--but I love a nice, methodical, step-by-step process. So I started thinking about my anchors.

Now, I'm not just doing this to help me declutter, because that is a bit of a leap. But things that hinder my freedom...this includes my weight. And they're not all earth-shattering or need "dealing with," but if these guys came up with 130+ together, I imagine theirs really weren't, either.

1. My student loan debt
2. My sentimentality
3. My strong sense of nostalgia
4. My dog (hinders traveling)
5. My weight
6. My old clothes that must fit someday
7. My tendency to procrastinate
8. My anxiety
9. My funks
10. My absentmindedness
11. My one-track mind that needs somebody else to point out better ways of doing things
12. My lease
13. My tenants' lease
14. Diet Dr Pepper
15. My "stories" (the TV)
16. My stupid job
17. My income, which is much lower than what I was making before
18. My husband's unemployment
19. My irritability with my husband
20. Keeping grudges - not knowing how to forgive or forget!
21. My inexplicable loathing of my husband's sister-in-law
22. Social media/the Internet (yes, including SP)
23. My lack of momentum and motivation
24. My headaches

And that's all I have at this precise point at which you are reading. One that I thought of, because it is a huge amount of debt, is actually my mortgage, and then I realized that that is the opposite of an anchor. My mortgage is what is giving me a home to go back to in Virginia, and as an extension, hope.

So I'm going to keep adding to this blog for the next week or so until I've identified "all" my anchors. Then, I can go about working on the ones that need working on. Nice. Methodical. Step-by-step. Good stuff.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • EYES_ON_THEPRAZ
    Oh great blog! i love this. i tried mentally making a list and realized it would take a little more thought to come together.
    1378 days ago
  • AQUAGIRL08
    emoticon emoticon
    1378 days ago
  • BUTTONPOPPER1
    BEATLETOT, I counted and discovered that I have ELEVEN of the same "anchors" that you do!

    There's too much I want to say in response to this blog (each category is material for multiple blogs, don't you think?), so I'll just comment on the sentimentality and strong sense of nostalgia. Actually, I read this blog last night before I went to sleep, and even though your blog is very positive and I applaud you for wanting to simplify your life, it did bring back a rather sad memory for me, of a time a couple of years ago when my twenty-three-year-old daughter wanted to clean up her LIFE, which she thought necessitated throwing away a lot of things from her childhood. Houses and rooms are extremely small in Japan, and we really do not have enough space to keep much AT ALL for sentimental reasons, so I agreed with her that it was okay to kiss a lot of that stuff goodbye. But there was just one thing that I WISH I had forced her to keep, and that was her collection of pink and purple soft plastic ponies, you know the ones with the nylon-haired tails and manes? I don't remember the name, but maybe they're called My Little Pony? My relatives in America had sent those to her after we had survived the great Kobe earthquake of January 1995, a time when she had been fascinated with the flying horses in the Disney movie Fantasia. It was an extremely important time in our lives, and I just regret so much that I did not intervene a couple of years ago and save those ponies, not so much for my daughter as for myself.

    I'm not a very religious person, but I do have a favorite hymn. It's "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," which was written several hundred years ago by Martin Luther. There's a line in it which I remember now whenever I start to feel sad about the ponies: "Let goods and kindred go." Well, as long as I'm living I can't really let kindred go, but I can let GOODS go, as I must. I mean, I have no idea where the treasured toys have gone from my OWN childhood, so I should let my children's things similarly fade into oblivion. (But I'll ALWAYS keep the PURPLE SHOE!)

    So sorry to take up so much space, but I can tell from your comments on my blogs and from what you've said here that you will understand.

    The silverware of unknown origin you mention here and the big collection of coffee cups are quite different from precious children's toys, especially as you were able to make others happy by giving them away! I wish you continued luck with your efforts to simplify.
    1379 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/6/2014 1:57:03 AM
  • FUNZ81
    I, like you, like a step by step plan to work from. It keeps me on task until a goal is reached. Keep up the good work, and emoticon for sharing.
    1379 days ago
  • TENNESSEEWALKER
    I agree with Katescape!

    I also congratulate you on not putting the mortgage into the anchor category. A well-managed debt (to use a term from, I think, Alexander Hamilton) is important to give you opportunities for purchases and investments and experiences that would otherwise be out of reach. And you very rightly point out that the mortgage is what has you in your home in VA.
    1379 days ago
  • KATESCAPE
    I like this idea. I breathe easiest when I have no clutter in my home, so I get the idea of purging. Must feel great to get stuff out of your house (especially since your not using it) and at the same time paying it forward. Keep up the great work on becoming the best you possible! emoticon
    1379 days ago
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