Friday was mine and Dan’s 16th wedding anniversary. Sixteen years of relatively smooth sailing. Not bad. We’ve gone from two working adults with two dogs and two cars in a 1000 square foot home with a beautiful garden to one full-time and one part-time job with two children (13 and 10), five animals (too many), one car and a 2600 square foot home with a beautiful garden.
A couple weeks ago, Colleen reprinted this post from The Happiness Project. I’ll wait while you review it.
Certainly it got me thinking about Dan and me. When we were first married, I remember quarreling about “who did more” and it made me crazy that on Saturday – housecleaning day – Dan didn’t necessarily feel like cleaning at the same time I did. I was deeply annoyed to be bustling around while he was reading the newspaper and enjoying coffee.
Now those quarrels make me laugh. I could do all that work with my eyes closed and still have time to take a 5 mile hike with the dogs, get an hour-long massage, and go to the movies. I hardly knew what was coming my way!
As Gretchen says, it’s easy to think that your work is more and harder and to undervalue the contributions of others. I do appreciate that Dan is good at his job and makes a salary that allows us to live very comfortably. But I think I do more – work part time, take care of the kids, manage the household finances, make appointments, grocery shop and prepare food. But what do I have that Dan doesn’t have? Freedom and flexibility is a big one. A condition of my employment was that I would take off whenever necessary and that I would only work three days a week. If Dan and I switched places, we’d both be in trouble: he’s no good at the stuff I do and would dreadfully miss his work, and we’d be living a radically different lifestyle based on the salary I made while working. So is my work “better” “more” or “more important”? Or is it just different and part of an overall picture that makes our family and our marriage successful? Even if my work was better and more important, does it benefit me or my family to think that way, or will it just create resentment and a feeling of self-entitlement? I can tell you that if Dan started strutting around thinking that his contributions were so much more important than mine, I’d slap that notion down in a heartbeat.
Decluttering can be about so much more than just your stuff. It can be about attitudes that don’t help you and don’t move you closer to your goals. Decluttering animosity, anger, and resentment so that you can be your best self and do your best work will free you to accomplish so much. If decluttering is your goal, sure it would be lovely if your spouse got on board, but it’s your goal. Act on it. Change your attitude and you can change your life.
Today’s Mini Mission
Round-up and declutter stationery ~ Keep a pen in each room of the house if that makes your life easy but the bulk of your stationary items will be more easily found if they are all stored together. If you don’t have a desk or set of drawers for this task why not use that spare shelf you have cleared in the linen closet during your last towel and sheet declutter.
Eco Tip For The Day
Aluminium can be recycled so be sure to recycle all items made from it including aluminium foil when cooking.
It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow