I started this series last month as a way to document the steps I’m taking to live a more intentional, simple and purposeful life. Here’s how things are going in the month of December.
What I’m Doing
December has been a crazy month. I think we can mostly all relate on this. It’s hard not to get caught up in the holiday hectics and end of the year hustle, whether you finished a semester, had a bunch of work to wrap up before taking time off, or travelled to visit family. I ended November, hoping to find some stillness and to be entirely honest, I was anything but still most of this month.
I took on a lot of new writing work this month and it’s been great. One of my ongoing goals that I have been focusing on strongly is to start making a full time income as a freelance writer. This time last month, I wasn’t making much at all (if anything). Now, I’ve made enough to pay my bills for the month. I might not have made much more than that, but it is a huge jump from last month and I believe that it is just going to keep growing and growing. By this time next month, I’m excited to see how much more money I’ve made.
So basically, I’ve been hustling which is great but I have been falling back into my workaholic ways a bit. I’ve found myself feeling some heavy stress some days but I’m doing a good job at managing it. Mind you, I have been at home taking care of my 15 month old daughter 7 days a week still. I have been managing to complete all of my writing work during a combination of nap time, meal times when she’s in her highchair, sometimes sporadically while she’s playing, in the evenings when Ray gets home from work, and even late at night after everyone in my family has gone to bed.
It’s been hectic for sure but I feel super grateful to have this work at all. So, I’m still searching for that stillness and working on finding a balance but it’s all a work in progress.
I have definitely achieved some of my decluttering goals that I mentioned last month. Last month I mentioned that I’d be placing bags in every room to slowly fill with items I didn’t need as I noticed them. I also said how I was hoping to carve out some time and mindfully clean out as well. I’ve definitely done that and it feels good to chip away at some of the clutter in my life.
I cleaned out one of the messiest parts of our home: the tupperware cabinet. I cannot begin to explain how satisfying it is to open that cabinet and not be knocked back by an avalanche of baby bottles, breast pump accessories, and random tupperware lids. I filled a bag with plastic containers that we no longer needed, an old sauteepan, our old kettle and few other kitchen items and sent it to the thrift shop.
I also got rid of some old baby items that were taking up a lot of space but were no longer in use. I started to utilize the consignment shop and I’m not sure what took me so long! They bought all of our old baby stuff, although for a pretty low price. But it’s so worth it to support a small business and potentially help other parents buy my used items for an affordable price. Also, when the holidays rolled around and I realized I didn’t have anything festive to dress my daughter in, I stopped by there and was able to get a second hand holiday dress with my store credits from my sold items. That felt like a win and a lot more sustainable than buying a brand new outfit from target that she’d wear once.
How I’m Feeling
Feelin’ good these days, thanks for asking! Honestly though, not everyday is a good day but having enough time to focus on myself and my daughter is literally filling me with the life that I had been drained of before. As I mentioned before, I noticed that I can have some workaholic tendencies if I’m not careful. I had a few moments of feeling pulled in multiple directions again and it was stressful. It gave me flashbacks to my nursing days and the intense stressors I faced back then. This reminded me that it’s always a work in progress and no change happens overnight.
Although I’ve got a whole slew of goals for 2021, I’ve also got some smaller ones that I’m focusing on for the month of January specifically.
Finding that stillness.
That stillness I mentioned earlier? I’d still like to find that. I tend to be an all or nothing type of person and when I first quit working as a nurse, I got really grounded and focused. Now that I’ve been working as a writer I’ve been throwing myself into my work a little too much at times. So I’m working on finding a balance with that and I’m working on being still more often. I’m also trusting the process and being patient with myself.
I’d like to make some homemade items this month to replace things I’d buy at the store. Some of those items include: candles, lotion and lip balm. Making your own stuff is a great way to reduce waste, acquire nontoxic items with minimal ingredients and save money.
This is a big daunting one but it has to happen. My storage is full yet again and I think it’s finally time to sort through, print photos, transfer some onto a hard drive, and delete, delete, delete. Seriously, I have an email inbox with 75,000 emails and I’m so embarrassed to admit that.
My goal is to sit down one day soon and delete all of those emails, sort through the photos, and upload a lot of my writing work onto an online storage system such as Google Docs.
And lastly, I will be doing a dry January. Last January I did Whole30, which is a 30 day detox for anyone who doesn’t know. Whole30 involves cutting out alcohol for 30 days as well as a number of other food groups. Although I’ve learned that I don’t respond very well to restrictive diets like Whole30, I believe it is extremely beneficial to take chunks of time off from drinking alcohol as an adult. Think about how easy it can be to drink almost everyday for years and years if you’re an adult who enjoys drinking casually. I think it’s really good for the mind and body to take some time off and take a step back every once in a while, preferably once a year.
So those are some steps I’ve taken to simplify my life this month and my goals moving forward, as always, I’ll check back at the end of next month to see how things have progressed.