Trying on Success
In December, we start to think about the past year, and what we have accomplished. Rather than think about what I have not achieved this year and line up the resolutions for the New Year, I thought I would think about what I am grateful for. I am posting some thoughts about what has worked this year, and the positive changes that resulted.
Trying things on for size
This one I have used before. A very smart uncle of mine gave me this advice a few years ago when I was thinking about buying a house, and was worried about the financial burden of committing to a mortgage payment. He suggested that I decide on what I thought I could afford for a mortgage payment, and save that amount every month. This way, I could spend some time living with the commitment without risking my financial future. I did this for almost two years to see what this would be like, even with unexpected expenses.
What happened was like magic. I managed to save that money, and ended up with a pretty big part of a down payment. My uncle just smiled when I told him, but this was a huge lesson for me. I could live the way I dreamed. The fact that I was just trying it on made the switch easier to make, but the outcome was the same.
Last year after the holidays, I decided to try on a simpler life, and writing about my experiences in a blog. I bought three large storage bins (they are really inexpensive in January) and filled them with items from my house. I decided to keep them full for 6 months in the garage before I donated them. Putting some items in those bins was painful, but I knew I could take them out, so in they went. A funny thing happened. Not only did I not miss any of the items, it only took a few weeks before I could not even remember what was in the bins. At the end of summer, I did a huge de-cluttering project that had the same result.
I started writing in January as well. I took a small notebook that was in a swag bag from a scientific symposium (yes! we get pens, notebooks and USB drives in our bags) and started writing my thoughts, simplifying experiments and strategies. It took several months to take the next step, but in May, I started this blog. Now, I have over 120 posts, and have had a wonderful time connecting with people through a new community. Some posts were read by only a few friends, and some by many people. This has been one of the best “try it on” experiences of my life.
Thank you to all of you who are reading, and thank you for all your support, comments and advice.