It’s time for me to admit defeat.
Not in a “I failed, I give up” way, but in a “I went about this all wrong and set my self up to fail, but I learned a lot and have a better idea for a second try already” way.
The simple reason is that I just made too many rules.
Not that it was too many rules to keep track of, I tried to keep them simple enough from the start, but aiming to do something every single day, especially when you have a rather hectic schedule to begin with is difficult. So I often found myself gaming my own rules – not because I wanted to get away with something, but rather because I was running late or I’d forgotten and was just trying to do things to cross them off the list. At 11:15 PM I’d be digging through my t-shirt drawer to find one I could quickly throw out so that I could say I got rid of something that day. Which of course was disappointing, so I’d make new rules to compensate and the whole things kept getting more difficult. Add travel and everything else to the mix and I should have known there was no way this was going to work out as planned.
The good news is that even when it was all falling apart, it was on my mind and I didn’t buy anything without thinking of this project, and then I’d punch myself right in the nuts. Figuratively of course.
The first two months I was really on it – kept a google doc that I updated everyday with what I was getting rid of, but quickly looking through that you can see the days when I was phoning it in. Here’s that doc so you can see exactly what was going through my head. Really? Another pair of socks? Who the fuck did I think I was kidding?
Trying to write everything on this doc didn’t help either, I’d miss a day and then panic that I wouldn’t remember, and before I knew it I was updating it on Friday and trying to remember what I’d gotten rid of each day, and finally just not updating it at all. I was still pretty actively getting rid of things in March and April, but I couldn’t be bothered to document it. I was just annoying myself with my own structure at that point. But the documenting was part of the whole plan, right? Crap.
And then finally I just gave up.
And a month later I admitted that to myself.
So here we are. I still feel like this is important. Many people have told me it’s inspired them. I’m certainly not at the point where I can feel happy about the results. Plus I have yearofless.me just sitting there.
I think I’m going to reboot. Out with the rules. No expectations. No deadlines. No pressure. I’ve set up this tumblr blog which I’ll be redirecting that above URL over to shortly, and on it I’ll begin to document the items that come in and out of my life. Not everything, not everyday, but the noteworthy ones. Sometimes I’ll add things, sometimes I’ll remove things, sometimes I’ll just be deciding to keep something I already have. Ideally I’ll remove more things than I add. And I’ll think about why I’m adding them, or why I’m removing them and add that info there with a photo, and then perhaps in time that will tell a story in and of itself.
I think mostly I want to be more conscious of what I buy, what I collect, what I keep around, and what I get rid of. I talk myself out of buying so much more now than I did this time last year, and I really stop and think before clicking purchase now, so that’s a step in the right direction. And really, and the end of it all, steps in the right direction are about the best thing you can hope for.