Rome wasn’t burned in a day…

In my Inbox this morning are a plethora of opportunities that promise to change my life. I can acquire a Hermes belt or Luis Vuitton handbag, real cheap. Learn the latest and greatest in SEO or two different ways to make money at home, online, real easy. Or, if I’m feeling adventurous, I can go gamble it all away at the online Casino, real fast. And just in case I’m looking to change my look completely… I could get a real cheap deal on ‘double-fold eyelids’ — that oh so popular cosmetic surgery trend taking over China. (Seriously? Who knew?) 

Instead, I decide to clear out the clothes closet in the guest room/den.

It’s all in my choices.

Spend or cleanse. What will it be?

Inspired by my daughter’s The Wunder Year Project, I am giving away/discarding one thing a day and posting the photos over on my KISS My Life page, every day.

In 4 short days of divesting myself of the extra flotsam of my life, here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. It is easier to acquire than to divest — unless, I change the story in my head. To change the story in my head I need to hear myself talking to myself with a loving heart.  It’s hard to beat myself up when my heart is soft.
  2. Once items have been relegated to the ‘give-away/discard’ piles — get them out of the house, quickly. Otherwise, that little voice that likes to creep in through the back door will whisper…. (I hate that sibilant hiss) … Do you really think you should give away that ski jacket? … you did pay a lot of money for it and even though you haven’t worn it for 15 years don’t you think you might… one day…
  3. It is daunting to have made this a public commitment — public or not, however, I need to stay the course in order to teach myself, “I am worth keeping my commitments to myself”.
  4. Sometimes, I’ve got to rebel against the voice of unreason in my head — “You don’t own me” seems to work quite well.
  5. When the voice of unreason is encroaching on my space, and even, “You don’t own me” doesn’t work, call a friend, go for a walk, do something different to throw the voice of unreason off your game.
  6. Don’t look at the ‘enormity’ of the issue. Take it one day at a time.

The commitment is to give away ONE (1) thing a day. This is something I need to remind myself of every day — and as you can tell by the photos, moderation has not yet kicked in. I have a tendency to feel like I’m not workin’ it, or doin’ it right, or doin’ it big enough if I don’t stack up the give-aways pile. I mean.. there is a perfect way to clean out closets, right?

And I breathe.

All or nothing thinking has never gotten me more of what I want in my life. Never. Because in my all or nothing thinking, I unconsciously give into the voice of unreason who likes to set me up for failure.

“Hey”, the voice of unreason (VOUR) says. “You lazy slug. Don’t do it small. Get your azz in gear and clean out the whole closet in one fell swoop. Easy does is for wuzzes.”

“But I only need to give away one thing a day,” my aware self replies, breathing deeply while chanting ‘OM I shall not listen to you… OM I shall not listen to you…’ in my best imitation of a Tibetan monk sitting beneath a Bodhi tree.

“Don’t be ridiculous” my VOUR  replies, jumping up and down in front of my mind, waving its arms and making a real nuisance of itself. “Go big or go home.”

Resisting the temptation to get up and pound the daylights out of the VOUR, (I am sitting in the lotus position and my legs have gone asleep), I breathe again (I’m getting good at it!), and reply. “But I am teaching myself moderation”.

“Moderation is for pansies!” screams the VOUR.

“OM…” I chant.  “I shall not listen to you.”

My chanting seems to irk him. He is getting a tad agitated and forgets he is delicately balanced on the edge of my consciousness. He leaps forward to strangle my mind into submission and gets caught in my breath flowing out. In one fell swoop he falls backwards into the darkness of his own machinations. The reins he held so tightly around my thoughts are set free and suddenly, I am thinking clearly.

I breathe. Again. I breathe in and out and get up and go to the closet and decide to take out only 4 items for giveaway.

Hey! Rome wasn’t burned in a day and I’m not quite ready to take it one item at a time. For today, 4s the limit and that’s good enough for me.

And while I’m at it, think I’ll clean out my SPAM box too! No sense fooling around with temptation.

24 thoughts on “Rome wasn’t burned in a day…

  1. Makes me laugh to think how easy the one-a-day routine could be just by clearing out the spam, especially from the prolific Dr. Oz. How lovely it is to check and hit delete.


  2. seriously, closet space is important

    so is spam-folder space

    but making space in other places might matter more

    space on our calendar to let someone it (WHEN are we doing that interview Louise?)

    space in our hearts to let someone into (or out of) our lives

    space at our table for another voice that needs to be heard

    space in our mind to allow creation

    space in our life for living with room left for giving

    but, I must admit the closet cleaning is an excellent start

    the spam-folder, not such a big accomplishment



  3. Great points Mark! Fortunately, I have lots of space for creating (my walls are crowded with my paintings!) 🙂 I always have space at my table for another voice, my heart is over-flowing with people who fill it with love, and I give lots.

    it’s the crowded closets and the cluttered shelves and the desktop and the tabletop that make the space I have seem less. 🙂

    and as to the Spam folder…. it’s not the size of the accomplishment that counts, it is that the accomplishment exits — and, a girl’s gotta start somewhere!

    I’m free this afternoon for coffee but it has to be somewhere I can walk to as I am not driving — I can buy a coffee at Starbucks though as I got a giftcard for Christmas 🙂


  4. “All or nothing thinking has never gotten me more of what I want in my life. Never. Because in my all or nothing thinking, I unconsciously give into the voice of unreason who likes to set me up for failure.”

    This is profound to me! In light of New Year’s and new goals and committments to myself, I have found my very Gold self in that space of “all” or “nothing” and the threat of failure that I always find there makes me so very scared and depressed. I’ve had to have a few talks with myself to get back into that “middle” space where reason and love exist to protect me from the harshly critical extremes of “all” or “nothing”. In the vastness of “middle”, everything is easier: breathing, seeing, moving, loving…

    Thanks for the reminder.


  5. Your story comes at a perfect time. I cleared out some old stuff for the charity box yesterday: shoes, books, clothes. Today I’m contemplating getting rid of my old desk so I can move my new desk into its rightful place. I’ve been putting it off for two months. I’ll keep thinking “Rome wasn’t burned in a day” to help me get through this annoying task. Thanks, Louise!


  6. What a great idea. I have signed up for a high rise to be opened in 2 years. My children shriedked, “What are you going to do with your stuff?” If I get rid of one thing a day, that will be 730 things by the time I have to move.


  7. I had the same thoughts with cleaning up my house, Thelma — in a year, I’ll have rid myself of 365 things — minimum! Pretty cool. Yesterday, I went to buy something and said, stop. You can’t take that into the house. So I didn’t buy it! 🙂 Hugs


  8. hi Louise.
    i really like your new header!

    Your post makes me laugh.

    Lately i have been doing a lot of recycling, and every time i clean out a plastic bag or a container , take labels off of magazines, or throw away old fridge food, i am thinking that everything that gets gathered will need to be processed and distributed. I am starting to look again at the gathering end of the process.


    • Thanks Nance — it’s one of my paintings from between Christmas & New Years 🙂

      I know what you mean — that’s why I’m giving my ‘stuff’ away — it has to go somewhere…. and in the process, it’s why I’m cutting back on my acquisitions too. that way, the less I acquire, the less I have to dispose of! 🙂


  9. The first thing I do when checking me email is to delete all the bloody spam if only it was so easy to delclutter my life as it is to clean out my inbox………….lol Yesterday I tried on every dress I own and asked the girls and Tim what they thought I now have no dresses………lol


    • LOL Joanne — I love your spirit and your wonderful sense of humour. You make me smile. Hugs (who needs dresses anyway? there’s always … Wunder Unders! — nope. Like you said — that’s not happening on this body in public!


  10. I love the idea about it’s so much easier to CONSUME that to GIVE STUFF AWAY!
    Ain’t it the TRUTH!
    just seeing clear and focusing on the necessities seems like a good idea… BUT DIFFICULT FOR ME!!
    Keep writing!


  11. I used to move around a lot before I had kids, I learnt not to keep stuff because it was a pain to move it all.

    I’ve been in this same house with hubby for 18 years – I’ve gathered a lot of crap, a task which seems massive to reduce. One thing a day though that seems a little easier to manage. Or I could just move house a few times LOL.

    You always inspire me, now your daughter does too 🙂


  12. I love the feeling
    of cleansing that comes
    when you give away items
    and lighten the load
    create more space
    and pass along beautiful things
    to someone else!
    it’s way sweeter
    than taking in more stuff:)
    i like the way you see things:)


Real conversations begin with your comments. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.