Have you ever been jealous or envious of a character you’ve written? Well, I would hardly be envious of the childhood or even adulthood of my main character Nikki, given that she never knew her parents and grew up in the foster care system, while I enjoyed a childhood with two loving parents and a definite knowledge of where I came from and my place in the immediate world around me. And while we do share the trait of having made more of ourselves than our surroundings may have indicated, there is one thing Nikki has completely surpassed me in. Minimalist living.
Nikki is willing and able to move at the drop of a hat wherever she feels would be best for her at the time. She is able to pack all of her belongings in a few suitcases that can fit in a Greyhound bus underbelly and not even blink. I have always considered myself to be someone without an excess of materialistic baggage, but I would be hard pressed to pack all that is important to me in an entire car, much less a few suitcases. My books alone would probably fill most of the backseat and trunk.
While doing research for my next novel, while the cover art is being finalized for Remembering Lauren, I freely admit to falling down a Pinterest rabbit hole and ending up perusing 30 day challenge lists. The ones I spent the most time on were those about decluttering and simplifying one’s life. Because of this I ended up spending the better part of four plus hours this morning going through stacks upon stacks of paper clutter I have amassed over the last few years. I have file cabinets full. My kitchen table and counters have piles of unopened mail, magazines and scraps of paper detailing some scrap of information I thought might one day be relevant to a story I haven’t yet written.
I’d love to say I’m completely organized now, but it would be a lie. My daughter interrupted me to take her and a friend to the mall and that was that. I may never be as free and unencumbered as Nikki. I like having items from my past around me. I like looking at things from my daughter’s childhood and “remembering when”. There is still a part of me that would love the freedom of being able to pick up at a moment’s notice and run off to a new adventure, but I may have to leave such dreams to the next generation.
Until then, I’ll wait until a random list or Pin or article prompts me to declutter and purge. I honestly don’t think my paper shredder could handle this kind of focus on a daily basis.
Why not take this challenge to declutter 5 things today? Let me know in a comment what you threw away and why. Mine included:
- All the receipts I’d kept throwing in my purse each day.
- Old credit card statements (shredded)
- Junk mail (tossed)
- Magazines (to be taken to work to share)
- School notices that were no longer valid