Well, here we are. It’s that time of year where so many of us look back and reflect on the year behind us and set intentions and our focus for the one to come. I’m 100% one of those people, and my reflection time started […]
Moving is exhausting, you guys.
I just moved for the first time in over four years and I somehow, simultaneously, have too much stuff and also not enough stuff. I have too many things, but need an entire living room set.
As I’ve been unpacking, I keep noticing the need for so much more storage space. This was most evident in my office situation as well as my bedroom/clothing. I have been feeling so overwhelmed by the need for shelving and dressers and drawers and desks and then finding the right ones that I’ve sort of just found myself a little paralyzed and stuck in a mess of clutter.
Finally, yesterday, I decided that I was going to stop complaining about the lack of storage space I had and instead focus on paring down what I own so that there would be less to store. Seemed a little obvious once I’d made the decision, you know?
Now, obviously, this is much easier said than done. Parting with things can be hard, but I’ll admit – the frustrations with the clutter were so high that the thought of getting rid of most or all of it was extremely appealing. Have you ever had the desire to just toss everything and start from scratch?
I decided I’d start small. My new closet is a small space and I have yet to buy a dresser. I have a hanging rack in my closet for jeans and sweaters, but that’s about as far as any sort of storage goes. In order to make my closet feel less cramped, I decided to look through every piece, and for every five pieces I had, I’d choose my least favorite and pull it out. I did this twice. I ended up with a small pile of clothes that I could live without, but this wasn’t making a big enough dent. So, I did the opposite — I went through each item, and for every five I counted, I selected my favorite piece and put this in the “safe zone.” This felt SO much more productive, so I did it again. I counted out every five pieces, and for each five, I picked a favorite. I pulled everything else out, leaving me with just the pieces I’d identified as the ones I truly loved.
I rolled and folded the piles of the clothes I pulled out, put them in a suitcase, and took them down to my storage unit (for $25/month, I could not resist this tiny piece of space, particularly during this time of sorting and purging).
The idea is that I will go [almost] 3 months without those clothes, building a wardrobe out of only what’s left. At the end of this time, I’ll go through what I’ve had out and decide what not to keep. Then, I’ll bring the suitcase back up and go through that, deciding which items I missed and which I’d totally forgotten about. I say almost 90 days because I want to sort through and do the next purge before the end of the year, starting 2018 with a clutter-free slate.
Any tips? I’ve heard of Project 333, which I feel was a sort of inspiration for this kind of minimalist paring-down sort of goal, though I didn’t count out to 33 pieces. A quick survey looks more like 60-70 pieces if I include the jeans and sweaters that aren’t hanging. To be honest, this makes me want to go even further and get closer to 30 pieces, but I’ll start with this. There’s a suitcase full of clothes that’s already been removed from my apartment, and I’ll take this energy on to the next area of my apartment — like all of that office stuff I mentioned earlier that’s been stressing me out.
The goal is to create a space that is both cozy and productive, inspiring and restorative. This is my first time living alone, first time truly creating my own space, and I want to make it my sanctuary.
[photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash]
Hooo-boy. Do you ever read or hear something that punches you directly in the heart? It feels like a big ol’ spotlight was just cast on everything you ever knew (but didn’t know you did). “Of course that’s Truth,” you think to yourself. For me, […]
“A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who works with clients to help them feel their best through food and lifestyle changes. Instead of prescribing one diet or way of exercising, Health Coaches tailor individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs.” […]
You’ve found a blog. My blog. This blog, belonging to me, Doniree. It’s been awhile since I’ve published like this, but I’ve been itching to do it again.
Here’s a little bit about me, and what I’ll be doing in this space.
I’m Doniree (that’s me, that little blond head over there). I live in Portland, Oregon where I spend my time doing a number of different things. Things like:
Eating & Drinking
I love to eat. I love oysters and fresh produce and tacos and ramen. I also love to drink, especially wine. Mostly wine. When I drink cocktails it’s probably gin or tequila based. When I drink liquor, it’s probably bourbon or scotch and probably on a rock or two. I like beer and cider sometimes. But mostly, my drink of choice is wine. It’s rosé season now (it’s rosé season always), but I also love a good bottle of bubbles.
Working in the Food, Hospitality, & Service Industry
I’m on the management team at a British Isles-inspired restaurant and craft cocktail bar. My focus is on learning how to lead, making people happy, and I get to do a lot of running around serving and selling drinks and tasty meals in the process. I love our regulars, I’m proud of our food and bar programs, and the team is incredibly hard-working, talented, and passionate.
I’ve been in this industry for three years, including a year spent opening and managing a wine bar in the heart of the city.
Prior to the restaurant & bar biz, I worked in HR, advertising, social media marketing, blogging, and start-ups/tech.
I hold a yoga teaching certificate, though I don’t practice as a teacher. This education and personal practice fuels this next part of my life:
Studying to be a Holistic Health Coach
I recently started a program that will certify me as a Holistic Health coach by this time next summer. It seemed a little crazy to take on an educational endeavor right now in the middle of all of the other things going on in my life, but at the same time – I just knew this was the right time for me to do this. Sometimes you just know that, you know?
Holistic health coaches help people set and attain goals in all areas of life: nutrition, fitness, finance, spirituality, family, relationships, education, home life, and more. I love to see people happy and healthy in these areas and I can’t wait to start practicing as a coach.
I also believe that this training supports my work in the restaurant & bar as someone who believes that a happy and healthy staff leads to success in business.
My dream job blends food & hospitality with health & wellness. My dream life includes travel as the third piece to that puzzle.
I also love being on or near water, and am determined to get out in a kayak more than once as the weather gets warmer. I love to float rivers, be on boats, go to the beach, and see the coast. I practice yoga and love Orange Theory Fitness. I’m addicted to subscription boxes like StitchFix, FabFitFun, and Mighty Nest. I’m currently reading Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened,” and Amy Schumer’s “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo.”
I’m currently watching or re-watching New Girl, Will & Grace, and the new season of Queer Eye. I’m always watching/re-watching Friends and How I Met Your Mother.
I’m on both Instagram and Twitter (@doniree for both), though I’m much more active on Instagram.
Current Major Goal
My #1 focus for my life in 2018 is financial stability. It has been a hard journey, it’s still hard, but I’m focused now more than ever on getting past years’ worth of debt and into a stable place, one from which I can start to build actual wealth.
On a recent flight, I decided to try utilizing some of the tools I’ve developed over this past year. I started all sorts of new self-care practices: working out, eating better, deep breathing, meditation, reframing certain limiting beliefs I’d held. Typically when I fly, I […]
This was originally written in January 2016, but never published. It’s still pretty relevant, so… here it is.
– – – – – –
Empty studio, first one there. One window lets in natural light, but it’s winter in Portland, so it’s cloudy light.
Wood floors, light music. Heat.
This is the noon hot class, after all. 100-something degrees. Not Bikram, but still very sweaty. I prefer this kind. I like leaving drenched in sweat, wiping salt water and feelings from the surface of my skin.
Unroll the mat. Unroll the Yogitoes. Put the water bottle down. Grab a block. Grab a foam roller. Lay on my mat, old and familiar. Think about how much I hope my back pops at least in one or two places in the next hour or so.
Run the foam roller from neck to calves, decide I want to stretch instead.
Stretch. Supine twist. No pops, just pulls.
Other side. Switch again. Think about meditating. Search for mantras I used to know, but can’t remember.
Remember that I always associated a campfire with one particular mantra, because it meant something along the lines of “I release,” or “I offer it up.” Google it later and realize the word I was looking for was svaha. Or Amen.
Find more memories.
Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu.
Om namah shivaya.
Talk myself out of holding any expectations for this class. It’s been over a year since I’ve been on this mat, in this corner, in this studio, in this space. And yet, it was yesterday.
Let go of what feelings I might have, what postures might be difficult, what struggles I may face.
Let go of the sounds and presence of other people entering the room. Welcome people into the space near me (rather than hoping they give me space, give me distance, don’t pop my yoga bubble). Let go of who or what I expect the teacher to be, how I expect her to guide.
Let go, basically of everything but my breath and my commitment to follow instructions.
Lights dim. Music changes. Teacher greets.
And we begin.
– – – –
Somewhere in all of that, and in the hour that followed, I felt like I snapped out of something. Or, maybe I snapped back into something.
Yeah, like something clicked into place.
Something that had been misplaced or buried for awhile.
I remembered what it felt like to lay, twist, sit, stand, reach, stretch, open, and curl in these classes. I remember what postures evoked feelings, and I remembered where I was at various points in my life in different postures.
The last time I’d done yoga, I was working through a lot of things that involved my relationships to other people.
Healing. Accepting. Repair. Relation.
Today, any introspection I was doing, any yoga nuggets of wisdom I was absorbing were towards myself. Progress? Maybe. Different? Absolutely.
Today, something clicked back into place. It felt like I came home, like I stepped back into myself again. The next hour was, for all intents and purposes, exactly what I expected, for having zero expectations.
Some parts felt amazing, open, long, lean, stretched. Some parts were uncomfortable. I do not have the balance I once had (oh, the yoga:life metaphors!). My hamstrings are tight as fuck. Because of that, I skipped entire vinyasas in favor of hanging out in down dog a little longer.
I checked the clock a couple of times, once at the half hour mark, another with 20 minutes to go. I wasn’t in a hurry to be done, but my brain needed some idea of how much further my body had to go. I didn’t get my ass kicked, but it wasn’t easy. I liked existing in that happy medium place, and within the first few minutes of class (and for its entire duration), I was already eager to get back to the next one.
I’d been missing that whole feeling of belonging where you are, lately. A decade ago, I fucked up a financial situation through a series of lazy and ignorant decisions. I’ve been paying for it in the years since (of course), despite living mostly consequence-free for exactly the number of years needed to grow comfortable in that. In the past few years, I have made a very conscious effort to dig myself out of this debt hole, and in doing so, I’m bringing all of those old decisions (or, as has often been the case, lack of decisions), to the surface, and it is painful. There are many. The process is humbling, overwhelming, embarrassing, and scary.
I had an interesting dream a couple of nights ago. In this dream, there appeared two signs of good fortune:
First, I won $1,441 via lottery ticket.
Second, I found a bag of receipts (handwritten!) from the office supply business my grandfather owned and ran for years.
I woke up thinking I had to go to the bank to deposit that cash (in $20 bills). I made plans around that cash for a solid half hour before I realized it was a dream. I’ve been holding onto that feeling — that I had an unexpected large-ish sum of money that I needed to bank — along with the one of prosperity and success (from finding the receipts of my grandfather’s business). Wealth, unexpected income, success, prosperity, financial security. My dream was full of these images and feelings. Not worry or anxiety over past mistakes, present concern, and future planning.
Ease, peace, wealth. Very different than the feelings I’ve been confronting in my waking hours.
Finding my way back to my yoga mat opened up channels inside of me that have long been lazy or dormant, and I am not taking that relationship between those energy channels and my subconscious’s good fortune lightly. I’m just not.
– – –
Empty house. Glass of wine. Music. Couch.
Open laptop, open Pages. Write, for the sake of writing, because you missed it. Journal. Use names, don’t protect the innocent or the guilty. Say what you mean. Say what you feel.
Realize you just wrote something you could share. It could be edited, for clarity or something, but it’ll work. Sign into blog. Add post. Copy, paste, edit.
Don’t bother proofreading, really. This isn’t journalism, it’s your heart. Let it exist out here as it does in the world.