This post isn’t for you. You know who are, favorite DNA person. 🙂
Most of us live in our private nests.
Pretty much everyone feels like they need to clean more, reduce more, and spend more time in the bureaucracy of keeping their nest aligned with an arbitrary level of cleanliness. That’s okay, too. Each minute spent to do so should not be at the expense of your moments, your friends, your family – but more so, at the cost of your mental well-being. Time spent concerned about how your nest looks is time not spent being creative or enjoying even simple pleasures. You become too focused on the “ought to and obligation” of keeping your nest perfect.
Stacks of mail in the kitchen, dust everywhere it can be. Clothes to be washed, clothes to be put away, clothes that don’t fit inside the closet, dressers, and on the floor. Books to be read, magazines you will never read. You don’t have a crazy drawer, you have an entire crazy room, garage, or storage space filled with miscellaneous everything. Most of us do. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there! People keep their nests largely unhidden, so we wrongly assume they don’t have the same problem as we do.
You can’t triage the physical space. Look around. For the most part, whatever condition your house is in right now, it’s probably the default. That might bother you to accept. It shouldn’t. You can fight an agonizing fight to spend a lot of time and energy temporarily fixing your space, or you can yield and do the best you can and let it go at that. Homes and nests are meant to be lived in, and you will always have to make choices to keep it pristine or lived in. You can’t have both without wasting a lot of your now moments.
The same is true about your job, your diet, your vices, and your mind.
Each person’s best is variable, fluid, and often contradictory. And that is okay.
If you have precious things, keep those that are tied to defining moments and memories in your life. The rest? Sell what you can to have the things that add value to your life.
Donate, discard, disown.
We hoard and clutter partly because it makes us feel like our place is a home, a nest, and our place to be. But we also do it because we don’t see the arc of time getting shorter and shorter.
For a later day, I might need it, it’s valuable; these are all valid reasons to keep things. But it is not things that matter. Not if you don’t use them regularly, not if they don’t light you up, or if they fail to make your life fuller and more satisfying.
“Treasures that aren’t treasured, admired, or used aren’t treasures at all. They are anchors, ones that keep up from enjoying the here and now and the people in our orbit.” – X
Out of sound, out of mind, trinkets, and treasures stored for no witness or participant.
Things are to be used or admired. Everything else? It not only clutters your nest, it clutters your mind.
Simplicity is the toughest goal. It requires herculean effort to overcome the urge to keep, to store, to accumulate.
As someone smart once told me, “Ain’t nothing you got that can’t be taken except for your peace of mind. This world honors nothing with permanence.”