For the month of September for my Happiness Project, I resolved to clear my mind. I realized this summer, that my mind is crammed with too many details–play dates, appointments, clutter, unfinished projects, disorganization, piles of disorganized pictures, etc. I’m sure we all have a few too many things cluttering our minds, making it difficult to just breath.
I quickly realized I chose more points to focus on then I could handle for the month, and therefore dropped two points, in hopes to pick them up later in the year. September is a month of transition for our family as the school year begins and my husband is back to work. Anxiety and tempers showed their ugly faces as we all adjusted to our new schedules, making it difficult for me to even focus on my resolution. Listed below are the five points I chose to practice for September.
- Meditate daily
- Practice KonMari decluttering
- Focus on my gratitude journal
- Follow the one minute rule
- Finish a project
The easiest points for me to follow were meditating daily for 5 minutes and focusing on my gratitude journal. These two habits I had started at the beginning of the summer making it easier to continue with them in September. Meditating daily each morning helps me to clear my mind and to take a few minutes each day that is intentionally set for sitting and just breathing. I was able to calm my body as well as let things go with each breath. My journal is a daily gratitude journal in which I write one sentence for each day about one or two things that I’m grateful for. I find it helps me to clear those thoughts from my head by writing them down. In addition, I have an entire notebook devoted to the happiness that happens in my life. I did a decent job with following the one minute rule as well. This is simply a rule in which if a task at hand takes less than one minute, you should just do it. For example, putting things away to where they belong in the house instead of leaving them on the counter for a later time or making your bed. My idea behind following this rule, was if I took care of things right then and there, my mind would be clearer because I wouldn’t be thinking about it all day as I saw that item still laying around or chore that hadn’t been done. Following the one minute rule did definitely help with clearing my mind, but I found I didn’t apply it all the time. Just as I am now staring at a handful of bandanas from my son’s birthday party still sitting on the counter from two weeks ago. Oops.
Over the summer on my trip to visit Annie, she introduced me to the decluttering concept of KonMari. If you haven’t heard of it check out Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her method is simple–gather all the items in your house of a particular category and go through each item one by one asking yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does you keep it, and if it doesn’t you remove it from your home. I really like her method and easily it applied it to my clothing over the summer. Both my husband and I drastically downsized our wardrobe. After that success, I was geared up to continue the decluttering process and imagined myself selecting a category a day to tackle for the month. However, I quickly discovered that I didn’t have that much time in the day to devote to a category such as craft supplies, electronics, dishes, books, etc. Instead I chose smaller groupings of items that were already contained in a single place such as business cards, recipes, instruction manuals, games, puzzles, coupons, cookbooks, and wrapping paper. Unfortunately, I often pushed this objective to the side, saving it for the evening after the kids were in bed and just found myself too tired to tackle any sort of decluttering. However, I do plan on continuing this practice throughout my happiness project in hopes of making it through the entire house by the end of the year.
I have one project in my home that I started last November that is taking up valuable space in my mind because it is still incomplete. My hopes for September, was to finish the mud room lockers that I built from scratch. The problem is that the construction of the lockers is complete and therefore they are usable. However, the detail work of the finishing trim and painting is not. I see them and use them everyday, and I grimace each day as I see them unfinished and it weighs on my mind. I have worked on this project exactly 4 days this month. There are two more days left of September, and they still aren’t finished, and I don’t see myself having or making the time to do so. The other ugly side of this month is the 2 task items I removed from the month: organize to do lists and organize pictures. I did not do a single thing for either of these items.
The month of September had it’s ups and downs in regards to my resolution to Clear My Mind. As this is an ongoing year long happiness project, I intend to continue working on this resolution in addition to adding a new one each month.
Your fellow traveler,