February is a funny month. I never know if I am happy or sad at its arrival. On one hand, January… arguably the loooooongest month of the year, has finally come to an end. On the other, “holy cow! How are we already into the second month!” Phew… the years go by quicker and quicker don’t they?!
I usually like to spend my January in a sloth-like state. After all the hustle and bustle of December, I like to take the first month of the year to chill out and relax. However this year I found myself a lot more motivated. I normally feel sad on January 2nd (the day I traditionally take my Christmas decorations down) but this year I was looking forward to it. Not because I wanted the holidays to be over, but because I was just itching to clean. To purge. To rid myself of all the clutter I have acquired over the years that was no longer of use.
And I didn’t stop at the decorations.
Over the past few weeks I have cleared out all the furniture that had been “storing” things and now have a satisfyingly organized collection of storage boxes in my loft. I have thrown away or donated at least 3/4s of my clothes (and I haven’t even started on my shoes yet!) I have cleared out old paperwork and given every room a deep clean… AND IT FEELS GREAT!!!
I hadn’t realised just how much useless crap I had been keeping around me. Clothes that I keep telling myself I will get back into. Ornaments that I don’t actually like. Old bills. Random craft items for projects that were never going to be started, let alone finished!
A good friend postulated that the reason for my… hoarding… yeah, lets call it hoarding, was perhaps a reaction to my husband and I losing everything we owned when our home burned down 8 years ago. Literally having nothing but the clothes on our backs (which was super unfortunate for me as we had been at a heavy metal club that night and I was in a pvc skirt and fishnet top!) and having to start from scratch again had perhaps contributed to my unease and giving anything up or throwing anything away “that may be of use” one day.
I think maybe she was right.
So what prompted the sudden shift in mentality? Well… over the past year in particular, I have been trying to live a more content and happy life. That same friend (she is a smart cookie) introduced me recently to the Swedish word Lagom. As a huge fan of the Danish concept of Hygge, it was not hard for me to feel good about adopting this philosophy.
I realised that as I have been getting older, I have been adopting the concept of “just enough” into aspects my life already. When I was in my early 20’s, the large social group was important. Now I can count on 1 hand the number friends I need in my life. The notion of “quality over quantity” has crept into my conversations more and more and it really has made me so much more aware of what actually brings me joy and what is holding me back. This shift in attitude has been incredibly positive and inspiring for me and this past month of purging the clutter from my home has given me a boost of motivation that I do not want to waste!
Now that my home environment is calm and clean and happy, I feel I can concentrate on myself. My health and my fitness. I feel more confident in my ability to change the negative habits I have developed over the years. I have proven to myself that I am capable of making positive changes so I have no excuses left. For the first time, I feel like I can actually do it. I can be better. Small changes can make big differences if you are willing to put in the effort.
So what changes will February bring?…
- Drink more water.
- Walk more.
- Spend less time on social media.
- Drink more water!(Yes… it is that important)
- Eat more vegetables.
- Eat less sugar.
- Get more sleep.
- Do more fun exercise.
- Take more photographs.
- Spend more time in my garden.
- Spend more time being creative.
- Worry less about things I can’t control.
- Seriously. Drink more water.
I am not looking for a quick fix for my perceived problems. I am old enough to know that crash diets and trendy fads are not the answer. Adopting a few healthier changes is easier to maintain than a shocking change to your system. Yes, it may take a long time to achieve the results I want, and I may never actually achieve them! But if I don’t start today and try as hard as I can, I will never know what I can do.