I love the beach. Despite having lived on the south coast for three years now, a veritable stones-throw from the water, I don’t visit as often as I should. I’ve never actually lived by the sea, but one day I’d like to. There’s something about the coast that just excites me. The raw power of nature is something to behold, and even on a bright and calm day, you can’t help but be drawn in by the sea, knowing that it won’t take much to turn the gently lapping waves into a force to be reckoned with. So today I took myself down to the beach as a bit of a treat, for having completed the challenge I set myself at the start of the month. The minimalism challenge, which I’ve previously written about ends today, culminating in the disposal of 31 items, bringing the grand total to 496. I thought this challenge would be difficult, and come half way, i’d maybe give up, being fearful of throwing out too much of my life. Surprisingly the opposite is true. Although I had a sticky moment one day when it came to deciding whether or not to keep my old flying notes, overall the challenge has been easy. While this particular game ends today, I’m not finished. I haven’t even touched my clothes (bar a few random tops), so I’ve that still to do.
My original intention in taking this week off work was to have a clear out using the Konmari technique, where you tidy your home category by category, keeping only the items that spark joy, and with what’s left, you’re shown how to put it away in the most efficient manner. So of course I’ve completely being doing the very opposite of what is recommended, by randomly picking items every day to make up the total. However I have used the ‘does it spark joy?’ question often, and for those items that meant a lot, and were more difficult to part with (read: flying stuff), I said a gentle ‘thank-you’ to each item, in acknowledgement of the important place it has held in my life. That might sound a bit daft (it did to me when I first read about it), but it works. I’m not the same person I was 10 or 20 years ago, so the items that have defined my life during these years no longer have the same resonance, or indeed importance in my life. Holding on to so many possessions has acted like a physical weight around my neck, as though I’ve constantly been dragging a sled behind me with everything I own piled on top. The sled is now a lot lighter, and over the coming weeks I’ll lighten it further still. I finally feel as though I can leave the old me behind and carry on into the future a lot less burdened. It’s a great place to be.