We are officially halfway through our Minimalist Game month. We started out very excited. We had big dreams, a lot of ambition, maybe a little moxie.
I go through phases with my writing, as some folks do with dieting or budgeting. I write and write and write like crazy, and then I stop and don’t write for a very long time. So when I feel like I want to write and write and write, I think I should stop and pace myself so I can maintain this ambition. Maybe that’s flawed reasoning, or maybe that’s why this game started out so well. Although I felt like I wanted to go big, I was only able to delete one, then two, then three things from my life. The passenger side taillight fixture for a 1997 Ford Ranger, because I only needed a driver side, but it was cheaper to buy the set. I totaled the truck two years ago. I found myself looking forward to the next day so I could get rid of something else. Even after a week, I was still only able to get rid of seven things. I wanted to get rid of more! But by day ten, the tides started shifting. Suddenly it seemed like we weren’t going to make it through the month. It was a little discouraging, because I still felt like we had a lot of stuff, but I didn’t feel like we could get rid of it all. It got harder to decide.
Day twelve, the floodgates opened. Sunny started in on the basement. The boxes we hadn’t opened since we moved in over two years ago, some boxes having survived several relocations unpacked. Old pictures, too much winter clothing, old wires/chargers to things we no longer own. I started going through the kitchen and my clothes. We got rid of so much stuff we could count it as days twelve, thirteen and fourteen. The culinary torch, Parmesan cheese grater, extra glasses. Then we stopped counting. Every day we’re adding to the pile. Clothes that weren’t even fit to donate, clothes that didn’t fit well, clothes that we just didn’t like and didn’t wear. It started to get overwhelming.
Sunny sees things and makes a decision about whether to keep it. We have to decide right now if we’re keeping this table, this toy, this towel.
I start each day with my number and try to find things I’m willing to part with. So if I’m not ready to make a decision, I put it aside and look for something else. Less pressure.
When I grab a handful of butter knives, do I count each knife? Do I count each individual, worn out sock? If so, this game is too easy. If not, what’s the point in counting at all?
I fully anticipate that once this month is over, we’ll still only be at the start of our adventure. For right now, I’m contacting DAV of Minnesota to have them pick up some of our stuff. They’ll be in our area this Thursday. Check them out if you’re looking to donate some things. Saves a trip to Goodwill.