Push

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Dear 2017,

My word this year is ‘Push’.  You will hear this single word when you try to slow me down.  I will push back if you try to trip me up.  I will push to stand up if you try to knock down.  I will push a little harder if I feel I am out of fight.

I.  Will.  Push.

I’ve worked hard the last two years.  2015 was my doorway.  2016 brought me beauty.  I have put so many things in place.  2017 will be when I will push to cross off the big items from my list.  It will be the year I push the boundaries.  It will be the year I push myself to overcome challenges.  It will be my year to push.

Reverse 100 Item Challenge

One of the blogs I read, the same one which motivated me to go vegan, Be More with Less has posted a new challenge.   I am not a minimalist by any means , and I am not even sure that is my ultimate goal, but I can say that reducing my footprint on earth and in my life has made a difference in the way I look at things, and value things.  Some of the challenges seem a bit too extreme for me (like reducing my whole wardrobe to just 33 items.  Living in Canada where you need both winter and summer clothes with in the same week, makes it seem impossible to me.  Plus, I just really love my clothes.) but this one intrigued me and I’m happy to report that I accepted the challenge and completed it.
The basic goal of the challenge was to reduce your ‘stuff’ by 100 items.   The goal is to complete this before the holidays but since the holidays are going to be crazy I had extended my due date to December 31.  It also asks for a low resolution pictures to be sent of all the stuff I’m getting rid of, but I’m going to purging as I go, not collecting it for one big purge, so I do not have pictures.    I can only image how many shots I would have to take in order to get all of it.  I felt the need to get the stuff out of the house as soon as possible before it had the chance to migrate back into a new hiding space.
I am a little embarrassed by how easily I was able to complete this.  I honestly thought I was on top of keeping my ‘stuff’ to a minimum, but I easily reached my target ahead of my planned schedule and I know I could have kept going and probably will. The challenge was more enjoyable than I though It would be, and I learned a bit about myself in the process. It was such a good experience that I’ve decided to make it a yearly challenge that has been added to The List.  (I can hear my husband groaning as he reads this.)
So, without further delay, I give you my final Reverse 100 item Challenge tally.
1. Iron board
2. Swiffer vac (Nothing wrong with these, they worked very well in our apartment.  It however doesn’t even make a dent in lur hluse before needing to be charged again.)
3. 1 large salad bowl
4. 2 smaller salad bowls
5. 2 popcorn buckets and 3 movie theatre buckets
6. 1 car seat
7. 1 bottle of rice syrup
8. 1 bottle of corn syrup
9. 1 package of coconut flour (Thanks Steven and Chris!)
10. 2 flashlights
11. 1 bottle of sunscreen
12. 2 bottles of Off
13. Expire coupons
14. Chinese food plum sauce packages (chinese food is the one ‘order in’ food that doesn’t cause issues, so there was a fair amount, from various locations.)
15. A disturbingly large amount of Bread bag twist ties
16. 3 locks, combination forgotten
17. 4 spice bottles I never did refill
18. 5 margarita glasses
19. 8 hats
20. 1 busted blackberry
21. 1 torn summer comforter
22. 3 wire hangers
23. 22 wash clothes
24. 1 tea towel
25. 1 apron
26. 1 toothbrush
27. 1 hair remover kit that didn’t work, even when aged
28. 2 ties
29. 2 scarves
30. 1 lanyard
31. 1 pair of overalls
32. 1 Barbie bathtub
33. 1 pile of Barbie clothes
34. 1 transvestite Barbie (It turns out that this was actually Sporty Spice)
35. 2 magazines
36. 1 bra, missing underwire on one side.
37. 1 random basket of junk from the basement (including the basket it was in)
38. 7 t-shirts
39. 1 tablet case
40. 24 empty dvd cases
41. 1 magazine rack
42. 2 dvd players
43. 6 cook books
44. 1 fist full of pens
45. Old Avon catalogues
46. 1 punch bowl
47. Unused cleaning products
48. 1 busted laundry basket
49. 1 picnic basket
50. 1 garbage bag full of the girl’s clothes.
51. Baby monitor
52. Garter (I don’t even remember where it came from.)
53. 1 cell phone case
54. 3 pj pants
55. 1 standee (remnant from Hubby’s BBV days)
56. 2 broken sprinklers
57. 2 watches
58. 1 bird feeder
59. I picture frame
60. One toy rack
61. 2 candle lanterns
62. 2 Chargers for things I no longer own
63. 1 bathroom set, towel rack (it came with the house)
64. Old PC games
65. One purse organizer (and whatever was in it.  No, I didn’t look first.)
66. Coasters
67. 2 belts
68. 2 easter baskets
69. 1 busted speaker
70. 3 refillable wipe holders
71. 3 single socks, mates long lost
72. Bath toys (No, not mine)
73. 30 cm high stack of knitting patterns
74. 2 arm chairs
75. 2 couches
76. 1 futon frame
77. 1 high chair
78. 1 Bumbo chair, and booster seat
79. 1 crib and mattress
80. 1 bassinette
81. Table set
82. One dart board case, bought with the house
83. 1 bag of Christmas gift bags
84. 1 Excersaucer
85. 2 busted strollers
86. 1 coffee table
87. 1 large tube TV
88. 1 VCR
89. 1 box of random cables
90. 1 busted lawn mower
91. 1 Christmas tree
92. 1 apartment sized dryer stand
93. Basketball backboard
94. 1 printer
95. 1 toaster oven
96  Various dishes
97.  3 busted breast pumps (No, I don’t have 3 nipples, just a knack for breaking pumps.)
98. 1 rolling office chair (busted)
99. 30 books
100. And finally, one box of ’80’s Penthouse magazines. No, these were not ours. These were an other thing we apparently bought with the house.
So, what did I learn?
A: I have too much shit.
B: My house is too big for us, and the hiding places for said ‘shit’ are many.
C: While I can’t blame it all on other people, I do have to say about 10 percent of what I purged belonged to other people. They’ve asked to store things at my house temporarily, and then never returned for them. Sorry, your lease ran out.  I learned that not only do I let other people clutter up my house, but I also let them clutter up my life.  There is a difference between having people involved in my life and having them invade my life.
D: During the purging, I ‘found’ boxes of Christmas gifts I was supposed to give away last year.  Now, its no secret that I start Christmas shopping on Dec 26th of the previous year, so I have a whole year to find deals, unique items and so on.  I always record on a spreadsheet what I’ve purchased, the amount, and whom it is for.  However last year, our house was broken into, and one of the items taken was my laptop, where my spreadsheet was.  I reconstructed the spreadsheet as best as I could, but apparently I missed quite a few gifts.  Come Christmas day, I didn’t notice any void in any one’s gift, and the stored gifts went unnoticed.  So what have I learned?  I need to focuss more on getting one meaningful gift, instead of just the best deal.  Multiple gifts don’t matter much if its just for the sake of meeting some volume quota I have made up in my head.  I learned I need to focus on the joy of giving, not just crossing a task off my list.
I already know what my New Years resolution is going to be…. focus on the experience, not the souvenirs…