Boxes, Bags, and Lent

Good evening, dear Reader. I am so excited to tell you that the weather has been absolutely glorious these last few days. I can hardly believe Mother Nature dumped six inches of snow on us in the middle of February and then added insult to injury with freezing rain and sleet a few weeks later. Alas, February is behind us, and we all survived.

I feel like I’m going back to my roots in today’s post. I started this blog back in 2011, intending to share tips on living a more simple, minimalist lifestyle. I recently decided to sell my home, and even though I make an effort to live pretty minimalistic, I cannot believe the amount of shit I can mindlessly accumulate. Every new year I get rid of stuff that no longer serves its purpose or that of which I’ve grown tired. Today I will take a break from anything emotional to remind you (and by ‘you,’ I totally mean ‘me’) how to be a better minimalist. After all, the clutter I’m currently staring at used to be money, and I’m all about keeping my money these days.

I’m not an absolute minimalist, though. I am more of the ‘rational minimalist’ that Joshua Becker talks about over on his site. I am more of the ‘mindful consumer’ type than someone who only owns one hundred items. At least, I thought I was until I started packing. Man…how many magic markers does one human really need? In my defense, during the pandemic lockdown, I decided to try my hand at some art projects. You know…Rock painting. Adult coloring books. Paint by Numbers. But the pandemic lockdown is over, and so is my desire to color anything.

As I pack up boxes, I’m literally taking inventory and I’m following the one simple rule I learned years ago:

Have nothing in your house that is neither useful nor beautiful.

And that, folks, is where we are today. After all the ‘starting over’ phases in my life…this one is actually voluntary. Someone else did not pull the rug out from under me, forcing this move. I am choosing this renewal, and it is delicious to say goodbye to specific items. Which is a nice lead-in for today’s post.

I’m not much of a ‘good Christian’ these days – what with my liberal leanings and disdain for most things right-winged – and I don’t follow any doctrine that promotes the practice of observing Lent. However, this year…may I propose that we each embark on the practice of Lent no matter of your religious beliefs? This year, Lent takes place from Wednesday, March 2, (THAT’S TODAY) to Thursday, April 14, 2022, while Easter takes place on Sunday, April 16. I’ve got a few ideas for you of things we can do for Lent. Shall I share? Cool.

Grab a drink. Settle in. 

1) Do the “Forty Bags in Forty Days” challenge. Lent is 40 days long, so starting today, I plan to give away, donate or recycle forty bags of ‘stuff’. I already have my first bag in the garbage cart. Day one – CHECK! Discover more about the challenge here:

2) Let go of the weight of others’ opinions. It is your life. You do you. If you seem bad at making decisions or don’t trust yourself to make good decisions based on your history, then seek help. And, some of your friends are not always the best go-to on this. Seek out neutral parties like mentors or a therapist. They can help you sort through the rubble.

3) Delete the Amazon shopping app. I don’t really think this needs too many words to prove my point. I will aimlessly scroll through Today’s Deals, and it has become too easy to ‘Add to Cart’. As I started packing, I realized I had sixteen rolls of paper towels and a substantial amount of batteries. I have all the shoes I need for now and all the books I need for the summer. (Books? Here’s a novel idea – puns are fun! – USE THE LIBRARY.)

4) Ignore the “Just In Case” mindset. Again, I know, I know…chance favors the prepared. But there’s a big difference between planning adequately for the future and having a backup plan because you are always thinking of the worst-case scenario. I’ve operated in ‘fight or flight’ mode for so long that I tend to always lean on the side of “Well, I’ll keep this just in case…” No. No, I will not keep this just in case. Exit plans are lovely, but you shouldn’t go into something believing it won’t work out. It might go down in flames…but it also might be fantastic. Go with that last part. The fantastic part.  

I don’t have any good songs about ‘letting go’ or ‘Lent’ to share, so why don’t I just share one from the vault that always makes me smile. It has nothing to do with today’s post, but it’s a good one. Enjoy your day!

PS…If you liked this post and thought “All my friends should read this!” then feel free to share on social media. Please and thank you!

2 thoughts on “Boxes, Bags, and Lent

  1. I enjoy reading your Blog Denise 🙂 In 2006 i moved for one year to Gran Canaria, and all i took with me was 1 bag, and all i owned could fit in three bags. And i tell you it felt amazing not to own anything!

    • I am so excited to have connected with you, Morty. I look forward to many more years of catching up! Yes – the simple life is so intentional. I find that I still struggle to “fill space” so getting away from it occasionally helps to reset my boundaries regarding purchasing.

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