Pare Down: April Update

Another month already?

Man, this month was rough. My routine was thrown off a lot and I had some intense work deadlines, so tidying was straight-up not a priority for me. I can’t help but think I could have tried harder or pushed through, but I needed that time to focus on my work and my family and friends, and I’m much happier for it in the end.

This is a fantastic lesson in expressing understanding towards myself — it’s something I offer freely to others but don’t extend to myself. I got on and off track with my daily tidying goal and my strength training. I managed to cook about three meals per week. I packed lunches fairly regularly instead of buying (a luxury in downtown SF). I got all the work done that needed to be done. And I spent a lot of time with family and friends. A year ago, something as simple as missing a training session or ignoring my to-do list for a night out would have set me back for weeks. But I kept getting back up.

And honestly, with all the awesome progress I’ve made this year, one month isn’t going to ruin everything. Time to throw in the cliche “April showers bring May flowers,” EH????

I’ll see myself out.

Anyway, here are the highlights for the month.

I did a lot of socializing

I stepped out of my social comfort zone this month and went out with friends more often than I’m used to. I also saw my family quite a bit too. And, I’ve been making an effort to have lunch with coworkers more often instead of eating alone at my desk. This obviously took time away from other things like cooking, tidying, and blogging, but part of paring down my time means cultivating relationships with family and friends.

I kept focus on my videos and blog posts

Except for the week of my big work deadline, I was pretty on top of videos and blogging. I spent an entire day working on my site and moving photos off WordPress storage, and was generally pumped to stay engaged with my Internet life.

I filmed my purge and empties so I can finally take out the trash

The downside of keeping your trash around for videos and blogging is that it takes up precious space. It was such a relief to upload my footage and say goodbye to my (literal) boxes of stuff.

You can see my empties in my last post. Here’s the purge video, if you’re interested:

I always thought that watching me talk about my trash would be boring, but you guys really seemed to like my empties. So I guess I’ll keep doing it?

Moving along… There are a few things that didn’t go as planned this month.

Daily tidying: A goal I wasn’t ready for

I meant well. But like I said, my routine was thrown off a lot. Some of it was out of my control, and some of it wasn’t. Whatever the case, I only tidied about two-thirds of the time. And hey, looking back, that’s not so bad.

My strength training got off schedule, which really messed with me

My routine got thrown, which means all the great habit-building I’ve done over the past few months faltered a bit. There were two separate weeks out of the month when I didn’t exercise. I realized how much weight lifting has become part of my life, and how therapeutic it is for my anxiety and depression. The most amazing thing about this, though, is how I jumped right back in both times. I’m not as on-schedule as I was before (I pushed today’s training to tomorrow, for example, because I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night), but it’s a normal part of my life again. Honestly, I was a little worried I’d have to get through the resistance period all over again…

I lost sight of my time at the end of the month

With all the stress from work and extra socializing (which for me always leads to stress as I pore over every interaction I’ve had looking for things to be embarrassed over), by the end of the month I was struggling mentally. I no longer cared about making positive swaps with my time; let’s just say the end of my month is a blur of work, takeout, TV, reading, and just overall not moving. In the moment, I told myself I needed the mental break, but I didn’t feel that way afterwards.

I bought a lot of stuff

Part of paring down my stuff is taking stock of what I need to buy. But suddenly I was getting a package every other day. I blame it on the stress. Now I need to spend some time decluttering again.

Keeping all this in mind, here are my goals for May:

  • Reorganize my paper (again) – I put a system together in March and then taxes happened. I also don’t love the system I came up with.
  • Develop a good system for clutter – I want a tidy way to put clutter aside without having to dive into a huge cleaning project every night when I want to go to bed.
  • Declutter makeup bags and other small items.
  • Get more pantry bins so the dog food and treats have a place to go.

My target is to make about 80% progress on these goals.

Thanks for reading! Are you taking on and spring cleaning projects? Let me know in the comments.

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