Starting Over

Guatemala Chicken BusI’ve seen many organizing crazes come and go and the ones that excite me most are definitely the most extreme.  Some people like extreme sports.  Some people like extreme cars.  I like extreme thinking.

This new craze that I’ve been hearing about is one that every single one of us invented ourselves but never, ever considered actually doing.

Literally get rid of everything you own. 

At least everyone living in North America has to have said at one point in their lives, “I just want to get rid of everything and start over.”

Haven’t you?

I know I have.  For several years there was talk of setting fire to all of it but I settled for burning up the couches.  We drug them outside first in case you are wondering. 🙂

I have been slowly organizing and simplifying for 11 painful years.  I’ve come a long way but 11 years???  That’s embarrassing.  Looking back I have a lot of regrets.

  • I took too long.
  • I didn’t get rid of enough.
  • I let a better life pass me by while I was trying to figure it out.

It’s taken me 11 years to do what I should have done in one day.

It doesn’t matter though because I couldn’t have done it any differently.  I was who I was and I did what I did but if I could do it all over again I would have gotten rid of ALL OF IT IN ONE DAY, including my house and car, and with a bag of essentials over my shoulder, taken a taxi to a hotel.

After a good night’s sleep from having so much stress lifted from my shoulders I would have got up the next day and gone for a walk and thought.  I would have thought about what kind of life I want right now.  Not the life I choose and paid for yesterday but what do I want RIGHT THIS MINUTE??  I would have walked and thought the next day and the next and the next.

I would have asked myself…

If I were to become one thing in this life what would it be?

What do I want to create?

What do I want to learn?

What do I want to be remembered for?

Learn Before You Act

Then to find out the answers to these questions I would have started reading every kind of book I could think of.  Hundreds and thousands of books.  I would have done almost nothing but read, write and walk until I had some answers.  For a year.  Or maybe ten years.

When I had answered some questions for myself and knew exactly what I wanted then I would have done something about it.

If I really could start all over again I would…

  • Get rid of everything.
  • Find a place to live that was within walking distance of a library and a grocery store.
  • Put fresh flowers on the table every day.
  • Prepare simple healthy meals.
  • Invite someone to dinner every night.
  • Sleep as much as my body wanted to sleep.
  • Climb a tree every day.
  • Walk 3-10 miles a day.
  • Read 300+ pages a day.
  • Write 500+ words a day.
  • Memorize 2 lines of a poem a day.
  • Sketch outside every day.
  • Play my violin every day.

What I wouldn’t do…

  • Buy junk
  • Do stupid stuff
  • Worry about stupid stuff

Does that sound as amazing to you as it does to me? 

Then do it!!!

Do it right now!

Or part of it.

Or none of it.

Do whatever it is you feel like doing at this very moment.

If that doesn’t make you happy then do something else.

Live and learn and grow. 

I’m happy I wrote this today because it has reminded me of some changes I want to make in my life right now.

What is keeping you from starting over and making a new and better life for yourself?

6 thoughts on “Starting Over

  1. Tanya Burgoyne

    Super interesting! (As always.) I think the things that you mentioned doing were all part of the arts. You would become a liberal arts expert. You would become a humanities expert. You would become more human (and I mean that in the best sense of the word). You would become a person who truly lived and who truly felt. But I can’t think about that right now. I have to get back to my phone, and check fb, and become a little less human and less real every day. Oh, and did I mention developing a ton of addictions along the way, so I don’t have to feel anything. It sounds extreme, but I think it’s true. A liberal arts education is the way to becoming more real and more human.

  2. Stephanie H

    It’s so good to get back to these people of mine…(you guys) and these ideas and these thoughts, and the idea of this purposeful life. Thanks for writing again Lara.

  3. Erin

    HI Lara,
    My name is Erin. That sounds absolutely wonderful. I feel so many of those same feelings and I am inspired by your courage! I heard you do a class at a TJED conference about 4 or more years ago. I don’t remember the class you taught but I do remember you recommended reading the Headgates. Well I did and it changed my thinking and perspective. I have looked for your blog over the years and haven’t seen it until just now. I’m excited to get to know you better and I am excited to be inspired by you! Thank you.

  4. Pingback: It’s Not About the Stuff | Spontaneous Jane

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