At the end of 2018 by coincidence my wife decided to take a load of things to good will to create space in her closet.
The euphoria of not having to deal with the lack of space was infectious and we started taking more things in. Before the end of the year we had donated about 3 station wagon loads of stuff and we looking for the next challenge. For 2019 we started January with a “The Minimalism Game” where each day of the month you purge a number of items equal to the day’s number, aka, 1st is one item, 2nd is 2, etc.
To “feel the burn” we started at 31 and are working backwards. Only 2 days in we were down 122 things and it’s a liberating experience.
On a more personal level, this idea of minimalism and prioritizing what is important and what isn’t was really the reason I started this blog. I had actually attempted 4 blogs before this one in attempts to give myself focus when living with Schizophrenia was really difficult and there was no hope on the horizon. I tried one talking to myself in future tense, I tried an attempt at an unemotionally absent documentary style, I tried denial, and I tried primal scream, all of which left me feeling drained about the amount of work that would be required to craft something I wouldn’t feel embarrassed about.
When I got to attempt 5, I decided instead of focusing on the over all problem in trying to grasp it, explain it, and come to terms with having lost my dreams of what I expected this stage in life to be. Instead, I decided to focus on building a bridge to getting to where I wanted to be again instead of focusing on how the bridge was destroyed.
Jumping back in time to my wife and my’s first date we talked of a deep subject of how we saw our role’s in life in terms of our person and spirituality. She identified with a tree, giving shade, providing nourishment, and rest to travelers. I saw myself as a bridge offering an ideas of how people could achieve what they dream of obtaining.
In those dark days, I felt like I lost the idea of building bridges and instead focused on the chasm between where I was then – overwhelmed with medical expenses and stressed out of my mind and what might happen next – and where I wanted to be in a calm stable environment that would give space for creative activities.
Somewhat consciously and somewhat subconsciously, this blog was embracing the idea of building a bridge to a fulfilled life and not one letting myself be consumed by bitterness of what had been lost.
Fast forward 2+ years later to today, both of us are embracing the idea of building a bridge, in small steps, towards a goal. To all those struggling with large problems seemingly impossible to conquer, finding a path towards a goal seems like half of the battle.
For us, our house has been a physical example of our mental state. It was in a location we didn’t love that was chosen by circumstances, it wasn’t tended or cleaned as it was low priority after each day’s other stresses, and in the end it was a cluttered mess of half finished projects, left over building supplies, and daily irritations of tripping over things we didn’t know what to do with and didn’t feel like investing the time to properly take care of.
So, rolling into 2019, we’re embracing the conflict of facing things we don’t like, quite literally, one piece at a time on a small scale, every day. Finding homes for our clutter and de-stressing our lives so we can focus on what gives joy and deeper appreciation of the world around us.
2011 S40 T5
Hit in the front, and needs as little as a radiator, condenser, bumper bar, bumper, and grill. I’ve already began assembling parts.
2007 S60 2.5T
This one was just a clear tittle car that looked dirty and forgotten but it didn’t take much effort at all to shine it up and take care of it’s issues to make it a great car again.
2002 Dodge Grand Caravan
This troubled beast was traded in on one of my c30’s last year. It’s flaws were primarily cosmetic and general service. I ordered radiator hoses, thermostat, tune up kit, and valve cover gaskets and started on this one first as I took it on trade probably 4 months back and it just sat. I figured I would clean it up to market for tax season and it being an above average <$2k car. But… two spark plugs broke off inside the head on the hardest to reach place. I regret touching it now!
This is a left over from actually 2 years ago. Fun car with few miles, but not really something I maintained much interest in so it just saw not getting said issues addressed. Then when the cold weather hit the car lost it’s key programming and will need to be hauled off to the dealer for a new key. Expensive miserable Mercedes problems!
Other than that, I don’t have much planned. I purchased a 2004 XJR for parts to see if the larger brakes could be retrofit to a Volvo, but everything else in the Swede-coin department is pretty mundane.
All in all, it’s a very positive start for 2019 and I’m excited for this year ahead.