Today is the last day of August and what a wild ride it has been! I am 23 days into this journey and I can honestly say it has been excellent. I am so happy to have taken the initiative to start this finally. Surely if I would have continued down my previous vector it would have led to my ultimate doom.
I feel happy with the items I have decluttered so far, yet I feel as if I have barely scratched the surface of stuff. Many rooms in my home still have visible piles of things sitting about or haphazardly tossed in drawers and shelves. This truly will be a long term war, and I simply have won the opening fights.
One huge victory I still am stoked about is my bedroom. My new process for dealing with clothing and clutter is working perfectly. It is nearly habit now for me to hang everything up or take care of it right away before coming or going out of the room.
I have been noticeably happier as the days progress. I even wake up nicer every day. I started this method where while finishing up my morning shower I mentally paint a smile on my face. Just the simple act of smiling, even when you are not inclined to smile, makes you happy for the moment. When I step out of the shower and dry myself the first thing I see is someone smiling back at me in the mirror, ready for the day (minus the clothing of course). It had made me stop and appreciate my body more and make me be more mindful to care for myself. I used to look at myself in the mirror, wanting some days to just remove the mirror from the house.
Breakfasts; wow what a change. If you asked my wife months ago about me eating from home consistently she would have laughed you out of town. Now, I happily wake everyone for their days in school (or making lunches for the kids in my wife’s case). I cook my breakfast and eat it at the table. Many mornings my kids wander down and now we all (3 of us at least) eat breakfast together as a family! I wouldn’t have imagined that happening either but I get to spend more time with the family. Woot.
This week a major hurdle I am doing great at is cutting out adding sugar to things. I am still just a few days into this but I am not suffering too bad. i do not see any immediate changes other than I was a tad tired the first day. I blew that off as my body adjusting to getting energy from somewhere else besides a pile of sugar. Alternatively today for the first time I vaguely enjoyed a cup of coffee with just a splash of creamer in it. I think it might be a week(s) off till I do pure black coffee, but all in all I wouldn’t have guessed I would have enjoyed sugarless coffee at all. Between that and the unsweetened green tea at work, I am patting myself on the back for finding alternate drinks to soda. I still feel I need to get a large thermos or water bottle and drink more water, but for now I am doing victory laps around not drinking pop.
One of the various podcasts I listen to had a suggestion of apps they love and I looked into them all. Out of the mix one of them struck me as helpful. Momentum. Downloading this app, I saw it was used to help created habits by having traceable lists and such. After 1 day I paid for the few dollar paid version to unlock more than 3 habits and never looked back. I am on a 10 day streak so far of push ups, chores, exercise, light mediation, and reading.
The reading was a great add. Almost all of the podcasts I listen to driving to work all mention trying to read 20 pages a day. It sounds simple but at first it wasn’t. The habit tracking app Momentum helped and now instead of 20 pages I find I am reading 25-30 pages. I finished an entire book just in 10 days which is something I never thought I would say. It was a great book called “The Happiness of Pursuit” by Chris Guillebeau. I read the whole thing cover to cover mostly at lunch. Such a great book and so many great examples of people making quests. I got a few ideas from that book that are in the works for sure. I decided that I was going to read down a few of the backlogged books before buying new ones too. This whole new habit has made me feel so good about myself just sitting here describing it. Yay me!
Blogging daily has made me realize that I do enjoy expressing myself. Even if I am the only one to read it, it has made me feel better putting words on something, be it database driven web page or ink to paper. I have participated several times in NaNoWriMo. I suspect I may do this again this year. But I definitely now want to go back and edit all my previous works and just self publish it on Amazon. Who would it hurt after all? My creative bug is gnawing to get out, but I am gently suppressing it so that I might find time to declutter my home and mind first. Baby steps are always the better idea to make habits stick in my mind.
I have found myself several times to be the one guy smiling in the room. It made me feel a little better about being so positive and open. It is odd how just one person having a great day can uplift an entire gathering of people. Subsequently I have had 2 instances where someone actually tried to pop my bubble and I wouldn’t let them do it. I wrote it off as projected anger, but in the end I silently forgave them and in one instance I offered a hug. They declined, but the result was it made them laugh and smile at the offer. I broke their sour mood by offering kindness. I could totally get used to this!
So wrapping this up, making small changes daily toward life changing habits was a great idea. Forgiving myself for slip ups and my past behaviors is ongoing, and healing. The clutter of my home, mind, and spirit are slowly being sorted out, but i can see major leaps in this already. Books will be slain in my presence now! I am already find more moments to enjoy with my wife and kids. I can tell that they notice an improvement too. Perhaps my habits will spill over into their habits too? I am not going to force them on them, but will support them if they choose to join me or not.