Be Willing to Let Go: 11 things I don’t need in 2011

The December 11th Reverb 10 prompt is from Sam Davidson, author of 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need.

 He asks:

“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?”

Here are my 11 things that my life doesn’t need (in 2011 and beyond):

eleven things my life doesn't need

Eleven things my life doesn't need

#1.  Entertaining “Unreasonable Doubts”: The law asks that we consider evidence beyond “reasonable doubts”.  One would presume then, that there are also “unreasonable doubts”. Here’s how I would draw the distinction: Reasonable doubts keep us from the brink of megalomania; Unreasonable doubts block our path to success and happiness.

#2.  Ruminating about things I can control: If I do the math, I have easily spent twice as much time thinking about the dust in my house as I have actually dusting.

#3.  Ruminating about things I can’t control: I’ll admit it.  No one gets my panties in a bunch quite like Sarah Palin.*  But it appears (after much wishful thinking)  I can’t control what comes out of her mouth.  Only she can.  I, on the other hand, have complete capacity to control what comes out of my own mouth.  See #4.

* Note:  I only use SP as my personal example.  You probably have your own panties-in-a-bunch fave.  It’s my behavior that matters here, not the behavior of the person in question.

#4  Spending time ranting about You-Know-Who:  After ruminating about Sarah Palin* it often feels good to rant out loud about her.  It blows off the steam that has accumulated in my head after boiling my brain in rumination.  I frankly have spent way too much time doing this.  I aim to live without regrets – and I think when I am on my deathbed I will want back the 13 hours, 28 minutes, and 17 seconds ** I have spent ranting on and on about her.  So I shouldn’t spend another second on it, starting now!

** Time is only approximate.  I actually have no idea how much time I have spent doing this.  I certainly do hope it isn’t much more than that. Oh. And also this goes not just for SP rants, but all unproductive ranting.

#5.  Eating standing up in the kitchen: I never, ever truly enjoy any food I eat standing in the kitchen, leaning over the counter. Never. Ever.

#6.  Checking to see if people “like” what I posted on Facebook: (Admit it, you probably do it, too) If I want to know that I am liked, it is probably a much better use of my energy to find opportunities smile at  the people who actually like me and see them smiling back at me.  In the end, that is much more affirming than a little red number up in the right-hand corner of my FB page. But . . . oh . . . I do like that little red number so much.

#7.  Rolling my eyes and sighing in exasperation at my children’s behavior: As if I was never a messy ten-year-old, a distracted twelve year old, or a self-absorbed teenager.  Been there. Done that.  I should let my childhood experience guide me with compassion and humor.

#8.  Pretending I am listening when I am not: Bad habit honed over a lifetime of living with ADD.

#9:  Interrupting: Okay, usually when I do this, it is actually because I am EXCITED about what you are sharing and I can’t wait to tell you why.  But I know it comes off as the exactly the opposite.  So, I can certainly wait to share my excitement until you are done speaking.

#10:  Not inviting people over because my house isn’t clean: Here’s a great story from my family lore.  When I was about five, my maternal grandparents came to visit.  My Nana made absolutely no secret about what a poor housekeeper she thought my mother was.  One night, my parents had invited some friends of theirs over for dinner to meet my grandparents.  About five minutes before the guests were expected to arrive, my mother went looking for my grandmother and found her on her hands and knees in the bathroom, scrubbing the ring out of the bathtub.  “What are doing?” my mother asked, “Our guests are going to be here any minute!” “Do you want your guests to see how dirty your bath is?” my grandmother answered incredulously. My mother’s answer was swift and sure: “Leave it. If people come to my house looking for dirt, I think they should find it. I wouldn’t want to disappoint them.”

My friends know me.  They know I have four kids.  They know I work. They probably know I don’t have money to hire someone to clean.

So if anyone comes to my house looking for dirt, they will find it.  Good luck to them (though they won’t need it). Those who love me will either not see it or not care.

#11.  Pretending I am anything close to perfect:  So I am hereby officially not going to give myself a hard time if I go back on my word and do any the things I listed from #1-#10.

No.  Sorry.

Make that #1-#11.



Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds 

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