I also purchased numerous things on my Approved Shopping List (thank you Birthday spending spree that I save up for and thoroughly enjoy) to replace worn out stuff and to fill the gaps.
This will probably be my last post on The Great Purge of 2018. I will continue to keep you all posted if my possessions decrease (as I suspect they will), but having accomplished the goal of The Great Purge, I think we can safely bring this era to an end.
THE FINAL STATS
ORIGINAL COUNT: 756 ITEMS CURRENTLY STAYING: 276
ITEMS PURGED: 480 PERCENTAGE PURGED: 63.5%
I’m tremendously pleased with the results.
Even though it is KILLING me that I don’t own a well-rounded number of things. Perhaps I will find 26 items to part with in the near future and bring that number down to a much more aesthetically pleasing 250.
If you’ve enjoyed these posts because you’re a freak like me who craves decluttering, then be at peace. I plan to start a new “thing” (not “series” because I suck at follow through and that’s a lot of pressure) where I will share recent partings and greetings (items purged and purchased) as I decrease and increase enough to warrant a post. Perhaps monthly or seasonally?
But for now, I am at ease with the purge.
Or at least,
I am trying to be.
The obsessive need to get rid of junk is satiated to the most part. But there will always be some part of me that craves the process of looking at an item, seeing the value it detracts from my life, and taking that value back by letting it go.
The couch is comfy, but that comfy feeling is only concealing regret. Get up and do things. You don’t have to go cross-country to have a ball (though it definitely helps). Make the most of every Saturday by checking out museums, parks, and other wacky things.
Take the chance. Life is short. Sometimes the chance comes with risk: like going on a date with an islander in a foreign country (okay, so he was a Canadian and I’m not sure that counts, but still) or putting your heart on the line with a friend. Neither of those ventures panned out for me, but that’s okay. Sometimes chance rides side-saddle with pain. Sometimes it runs free-spirited with rewards.
Laugh. Actually, make appointments for it. John Crist and Tim Hawkins comedy shows undid more emotional damage than all my therapy sessions combined.
Go to the doctor. It’s a hassle, a definitive nuisance, but regular check-ups save lives. Don’t be a missed diagnosis because you were too busy building a life to care for it.
Jump on a fandom bandwagon. They’re a great deal of fun. Just don’t become obsessed. No matter how entertaining the fandom is, it can’t possibly replace the sheer ecstatic of worshiping our Savior.
Meet new people. The process is uncomfortable, but it’s also fascinating. Their stories will fuel your own.
Celebrate people. Not everyone is going to be in your life forever, so celebrate them while they are still around you.
Keep standing for what you believe in, even if it makes people mad at you. But be nice about it. You don’t have to tear down the beliefs of others to demonstrate your own.
Be a Christian before you are an American. Your country is amazing, your eternity is better. It’s okay to care about the state of affairs, but if your American beliefs begin to overrule your Christian beliefs, who is truly your god? So just shut up more often and love like Christ did, even if it lands you on a cross. And by the way, if it does, carry the thing. Pray for the souls who gave it to you. Don’t nail them to it instead.
You’re required to try at least once, even twice, but then you’re allowed to walk away. If someone is hurting you, and they repeatedly disregard your attempts to kindly bring the situation back on track, you are allowed to walk away.
Explore your own backyard. Adventures are still adventures, even when they’re just in your state or just in your city or just in your backyard.
There is a literal devil on your shoulder. Beat the crap out of him.
Finance support groups are fun. Yeah the discussion is about money (and usually how we’re failing with it), but at least we’re talking. We’re being vulnerable and sharing our dreams and aspirations. It’s beautiful.
Don’t waste your time envying the gifts of others. God has painted unique strengths on you to perfectly fit your piece of His puzzle, so perfectly that the seam is invisible. Don’t screw the puzzle up by trying to duplicate the piece next to you. There are nooks and crannies you were never meant to fit, and there are nooks and crannies that desperately need you.
There’s not much to glean from TV. Books, however, are a rich source of inspiration and knowledge. That said, you don’t have to collect them. A bookshelf can very quickly become a source of guilt instead of inspiration.
When nostalgia hits and you forget all the why not’s, force yourself to sit back and do and say nothing until the wave goes away and sanity returns.
Take time to remember. Go through your photo album, read old blog posts, scroll through old timelines. Remember who you were, where you were; use remembering as fuel for planning.
You are the only one preventing you from anything. You want to dance in public? Dance. You want to learn a language? Learn. You want to adventure? Adventure. Stop complaining and just do it already.
People will never live up to your expectations. You will get hurt, and it will happen every single time. Yes, sometimes it will cut you like a knife, and you will bleed and ache and cry. But don’t stop expecting. Without expectations, there is nothing to keep us striving to be and do and believe better. Lord knows you are relying on others to expect greatness of you.
Except in the case of Heaven, the journey, the anticipation, is always better than the destination. And that’s okay. After all, you were designed to be just passing through.
You can say that we were a bit tuckered after the trip, but it was so worth it.
On Friday, August 31st, my sister, my cousin and I headed west. The ultimate goal was to see Mount Rushmore, but the west has so much to offer that we planned for extras.
The first day, we drove through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin (then back to Iowa for the night). We saw some gorgeous landscapes and had amazing God talks after visiting a super creepy shrine.
Since we spent the majority of Friday just driving, we made sure to check out museums and stretch our legs a little on Saturday. Before we even hit the road again, we stopped by the Norwegian museum in Decorah. Since I found out a year or so ago that my ancestors were vikings, it was really fascinating to learn about Scandinavian history. Those peeps were heroes, friends. Well.. after they stopped killing everyone. *cough*
Even with another museum and several side-of-road photo shoots, we managed to dash into Minnesota, then cross the great and gorgeous expanse of South Dakota.
We awoke dark and early on Sunday and the girls chilaxed at the hotel while I went to the nearest Urgent Care (which was 30 minutes away). Unfortunately, I was suffering from a mild-turned-excruciating toothache that just got to be a bit much, so they set me up with some antibiotics and painkillers.
Once that dullness was out of the way, I returned to the hotel to get the gals and we headed out for the main event. Mount Rushmore. And of course, we were feelin’ fairly celebratory. Especially since it happened to be Bre’s (the cousin) birthday. It was her 18th to be exact! What a way to celebrate, eh?
Side note: Rushmore was about 20 minutes from our hotel and the round trip officially tipped us over the 3,000 mile marker.
After seeing jaw-dropping creation – both the original masterpiece of God’s handiwork (I mean the surrounding landscape when you’re up there will leave you in tears) and the ambitious sight of man’s sculptiwork (I realize this is not a word), I dropped the gals off for lunch in a nearby tourist town. The town boasted a very Wild West vibed boardwalk that made you feel like you’d stepped back in time. While the gals feasted (well, ate some rushed food because the place was a zoo), I napped in the car (the drugs were easing the pain enough that I was finally able to catch some shut-eye). Tummies filled and eyes sandy, we headed back to the hotel to relax, and gear up for the two-day trek back.
The next morning, we hit the road and didn’t make it far before we found a new experience to try. Less than twenty minutes from the hotel, we passed a helicopter tour business. As we continued down the road, we fell into discussion about how much we’d like to try that in the future and the need to plan such an occasion. Ever the ENFP and game for spontaneity, I asked the gals: “Why don’t we just do it now?”
They both agreed immediately and called the moms to make sure it was okay while I made a u-turn and rushed back. With parental consent granted, we walked up to the doors of the.. CLOSED business. We were ready to wait though, as our hearts were now set on a bird eye view of the Black Hills. To our great delight, we didn’t have to wait. One of the employees came to the door, ushered us in (30 minutes before open, mind you) and had his coworker describe the tours to us. We selected a 20 minute tour that would take us around the nearby area and over to the Crazy Horse monument. The initial employee coached us on safety, checked with the pilot and took us straight out to board. We were getting premium treatment and we were ecstatic.
With the adrenaline rush of the helicopter tour fueling us, we hit the road hard and made our way through Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and most of Kansas.
We crashed hard on Monday night. Er.. we fell asleep. There were no crashes on the trip.
Anyway, we hit the road for the final leg of our journey on Tuesday and made a beeline through the remainder of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. We were crunched for time (Bre had school the next morning) and a little bum-sore after that many miles in Ronnie (the car), so we didn’t make any stops outside of gas stations and restaurants.
All of a sudden, we were home.
And we were already craving our next adventure.
Post-Script: Yes. I drove all but two hours. Sarah filled in for me some so that I could nap a little on Monday as laying down felt a lot better on my tooth than sitting up.