Give It Up! ~ A year of learning to live better with less
by Mary Carlomagno
Unlike the title might suggest, this book isn’t about decluttering the material things in our lives so isn’t particularly in keeping with the subject matter of my blog. It does however does draw a parallel, as it is about decluttering life in general of excesses that aren’t particularly conducive to a healthy, stress-free, balanced lifestyle.
The book is about how Mary sets herself the task of voluntarily abstaining each month from a different “vice” that she uses in an attempt to keep life “manageable” and perhaps bearable in some cases. Coffee, chocolate, alcohol, multitasking and television are some of the vices she tackles, that if taken in moderation are harmless enough but overdosing on them can have a detrimental effect like any other substance abuse.
It’s a short, lighthearted read, amusing at times but carries some great insight about how we get ourselves into these habits, why we should get out or them and the difficulties Mary faced going cold turkey on a new vice each month.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter for December where in the mids of juggling her end of year work commitments, the festive season celebrations and Christmas gift buying she insanely chooses multitasking as the vice to abstain from. I got the feeling that
she may have learned more in that month than any of the others.
One thing I did have trouble reconciling was the photo of Mary in the back of the book. This picture (at the right here) to me shows a person for which butter wouldn’t melt in her month and the only thing she might do excessively is attend church. As it turned out she wasn’t as innocent as the photo makes her out to be.
I am tempted to add in a few quotes that Mary chose to include amidst the kaos but then you wouldn’t have the joy of stumbling across them yourself as you read the book. And besides I have already decluttered the book back to the Library.
Today’s Declutter Item
No matter how small the item it is still one more burden of possession if it isn”t being used.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
No matter how good of a time I have when I am away from home I am always grateful to return home again. To be in my own uncluttered home, to sleep in my own bed and to enjoy the peace of being in control of my day. And as is often the case, to be back with my husband again.