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#reverb10: 11 Things

Today's #reverb10 writerly prompt is: December 11: 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

1. Mindless internet surfing. I actually don’t do much mindless surfing, but usually at some point in the day – particularly if I’m putting off a large task – I will mindlessly surf for a few minutes. Thanks to the second #reverb10 prompt, I haven’t browsed mindless celebrity news since December 2 and I want to keep up with this practice in 2011. Whenever I’ve been tempted, I look at my to-do list and tackle a small task for quick gratification – this strategy works well for me since I love checking things off my to-do list. So, instead of wasting time, I'll get things done.

2. Haven’t-been-worn-since-we-moved-into-our-house-over-two-years-ago clothes and shoes. I’ll package these items up to donate, thus doing someone else well while clearing personal space.

3. Pantry items. I’d like to clear our pantry of non-perishables we have purchased or been gifted but won’t use. If they’re within expiration, I’ll donate them to a food pantry. If not; I’ll clean out and repurpose/recycle the jars. The benefits will be the same as in #2.

4. Basement clutter. We live pretty minimally and don’t have a ton of basement clutter but we can always improve on this. Next year I’m determined to have the yard sale I’ve been talking about since we moved into our house two years ago. If we experience another freak flood as we did this past spring, I imagine it’ll be hugely helpful to have less stuff down there!

5. Excess sugar. In general, I eat very healthfully but sugar is definitely a vice for me. I want to continue my mindfulness practice here to cut back on sugar. It will no doubt help me both physically and mentally.

6. Academic files and books. I clearly don’t need these any more. I sold a bunch of my academic books on Amazon a while back. I want to finish the purge in 2011, which will help me both make physical space and achieve closure.

7. Ratty old towels. This sounds so minor but I hate that almost all of our towels are in such bad shape. It would take all of 15 minutes to pick and purchase towel sets and then I wouldn’t feel pangs of embarrassment every time I’m scrambling for towels when we have guests.

8. Old cosmetics. It’s not exactly life changing but it’s necessary. Less is more.

9. Our everyday chipped up dishware that makes me cringe every time I pull it out of the cabinet (which is, um, every day). We got this dishware when we got married 10 years ago; it was inexpensive and all of it is chipped up. Replacing the dishware would not be hard and would release me from cringing every day.

10. Joyless client projects. This will be a tricky one because I have a hard time saying no to projects since, well, I earn my living as a freelancer. But joyless client projects prevent exciting creative projects from breathing and developing.

11. Lingering negative personal mojo. This year was so pivotal in the letting go department. I know I have more work to do here.