They say one of the characteristics of having a poverty mentality is the fear of letting go of things, of holding on to things well past their usefulness. Growing up, I was taught that throwing things away meant that you didn’t appreciate them. Every birthday card, every random trinket given at an event, every ugly sweater thrust upon you by relatives, even the wrappers, boxes, and bags that there’s things came in had to be held on to for some rainy day when they could be used again.
Now, I’m all for sustainability and upcycling. Of course, we shouldn’t be wasting things and we should try to reuse things as much as we can. However, I think the best way to live is just to not accumulate all the nonsense in the first place. Now, I tell people I’d rather they not buy me gifts but give money so I can invest it. If I take photos, I only print a couple for my scrapbook of my wall frame. I don’t keep albums after albums like I used too. If I go on vacation, I’m not compelled to purchase random trinkets to mark the event. This is in part because I’m not afraid that I’ll never have another vacation again. I don’t buy a million pieces of cheap clothes because Walmart has a sale. I don’t even shop at Walmart because believe me those low prices come with a high social cost. I’d rather go to Newman Marcus and buy three solid, well-constructed blouses that will last me for years.
However, I wasn’t always the way I am now. Actually, these changes to how I operate are rather new. Only since 2020 and my pandemic sequestration have, I adopted Marie Kondo’s minimalist philosophy into my life. It has changed everything though. You’d be surprised about how being mindful about your possessions can make you realize what you don’t need and truly make you appreciate what you do have.
Out with the old.
Since last night, I’ve been going through my baby scrapbook and photo albums. I bought a smaller one and am transferring the most precious memories to it and throwing out the rest. It’s funny how in one moment something can seem so significant and then as time goes on you realize it wasn’t. Looking at photos of folks I no longer remember, folks my son will never know, I ask myself why have I been lugging this around for 17 years.
Then there are other things I’ve come across that have taken me back to such joy. Having my son was the most magical experience and being his mom has been a gift. I’m happy that I was a very hands-on parent because there are tons of wonderful memories that I’m able to beautifully capture and the process has greatly lifted my spirits.
Diego told me that one of his friends, a white boy, called me a helicopter mom. He said, “I simply smiled and said, My mom’s Black. It’s different.” Indeed, it’s a scared thing raising a Black boy in America. There never really safe and we know it. One wrong move and their life can be over, or worse taken away. Rarely are there second chances. So yes. I watched him like a mama bear, and I made sure to cover him in love and attention. Not to where he’s coddled, that would only weaken him, and that certainly wouldn’t do him any favors, but to where he always knew mom had his back.
Looking at my new 8×8 scrapbook taking shape is a process I’m greatly appreciating. It’s like a perfectly curated story of motherhood from pregnancy to manhood that I’ll be able to take with me anywhere I go and can pass down to the next generation. Much better than the big clunky books I had full of all sorts of random clipping and photos.
Does it spark joy? Yes!
Shaking up my routine.
Now, I’m about to wrap up my evening by going out for a stroll to unwind. My spirits are a little higher than they were yesterday, and I know I need to get some exercise in. I downloaded 5 AM Club, The: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Lifeon Audible so I’m going to listen to it as I walk.
The funny thing about being depressed is that you think you’re sleeping a lot but you’re not really resting. Turning in early tonight is going to be very easy cause I’m already halfway there. It’s too early though. Going to bed now would only mean waking up at 2am and who wants that. My son is with his dad tonight so after my walk I’m going to take a hot bath, pour myself a glass of red wine, and tuck myself in for some much-needed sleep.
One of my friends suggested that I download the PrimeMinds app. I’ll be starting that tomorrow morning and I’m setting the alarm to wake up at 5am. I think getting off to an early start will help me feel more focused and get me moving forward to where I want to be in life. It certainly can’t hurt. I do know routines are powerful and shaking my morning routine up might give me a good kick in the skirt.
That brings me to another thing I’m thankful for, friends who motivate me and support me when I’m down!