Everyone is different. Some people may thrive on chaos and lack of scheduling. Those people aren’t me. Maybe it is the mathematician in me, but I like order, I like planning, and I thrive on having a schedule. That doesn’t mean I am not adventurous or spontaneous, because I am certainly both of those things. There is lots of room in my life for flexibility and changing plans. But I enjoy the planning also.
One of the things I have been most influenced by on this year of self-discovery, is coming to understand that I like things orderly in my life. I like to get up at the same time every day, even on the weekends, I meditate, make my bed, exercise, and then make coffee. Every day. If I don’t, I am kind of floundering all day long, and nothing seems to get accomplished. It is like I didn’t shut yesterday off and I am still in it. I have to have a way to start my day with a routine, no matter where in the world I am. It works for me. It is kind of like resetting my life to a new day. The mistakes of yesterday are past, today I am starting anew. I reset my compass and then embrace the new day.
I also have realized that, although I am not a neat freak, I like order in my environment. As I start owning more possessions again, it makes me anxious. I am looking forward to having a house of my own again, at the same time, I am terrified of having to purchase furniture and decorate it. Clutter makes me crazy. There is peace in order. There is peace in having a small amount of possessions so that I know what I have and where everything is when I am looking for it. At least that is true for me.
One of the major lessons I have learned this year is that I want my life to be about simplicity That goes for the amount of possessions I own as well as where I end up deciding to live. When I lived in a high rise condo, it made my life difficult for the things I love to do. Just getting my bikes out was a huge chore. They were either in the storage unit or in the middle of my living room on the 7th floor and we weren’t allowed to take them in the elevator. Thus every time I rode, which was every day, it was this ordeal. It took a huge commitment on my part. Same with skiing, kayaking, etc. I want my life to be simple. I want a garage where I can work on my own gear, a small townhouse where I don’t have to do yard work but with outdoor space where I can have a container garden. Someplace that is easy to access the roads l love to ride, the water I love to paddle, and the mountain I love to ski on. I haven’t found it yet, but I am closer.
This year I learned that I want to spend less time and resources of my life taking care of “stuff” and have more to devote to taking care of myself and the people I love. Every day I want to practice mindfulness, letting go of attachment, reducing suffering (my own and others) and increasing happiness. I want my life to be about kindness and compassion. For me, I can’t do any of those things from a cluttered environment filled with a bunch of unnecessary stuff, and that includes both physical things as well as intellectual and emotional ones.
So I have this cleared out life. I cleared out my physical possessions, challenged the places where I was emotionally stuck, and got a new job to challenge myself intellectually. Now, how do I put the pieces back together again in a way that is conducive to how I want to live the last 1/3 of my life? That is the question.