Growing up I don't think I realized how much time and money my parents wasted acquiring and dealing with the junk in the house. Money went into buying junk instead of into family vacations. Time went into hunting for anything and everything instead of actually spending productive time with each other. Time went into listening to my parents complain about how they didn't have money, when I realize now that they had a very solid income.
I won't repeat this pattern when I have kids. Oh, I'm sure I'll make my own mistakes. But having time and money to spend on myself and my non-existent children matters to me. It's a large part of why I'm decluttering my living space.
But what about decluttering the rest of my life so that I can have more time and money for the things I really want to do? Well, I've decided to quit cello for a while, and to consider dropping it permanently. I was never very good and while I do enjoy playing a Messiah sing-along every other year it's the only time I play. Guitar and piano are what I'm really interested in. Not going to orchestra rehearsal every Wednesday night frees me up for pre-triathalon swimming training. Spending more time running, biking, and swimming was one of my life goals.
The question that looms in the future is, how do I get more time to spend with my children? No, I don't have kids yet but we will soon enough. And this, folks, is why I'm going to be tired for the next couple months.
You see, where I work we have an unusual leave plan. You can work up to an extra hour every day and bank that extra hour to use as vacation time.
We know we want to take three big life-goal vacations between now and next January: one week in the Caribbean (wedding present we still haven't cashed in on from the MIL), two weeks at Glacier National Park, and three weeks in Australia.
Math majors beware, I'm going to try some arithmetic!
The three vacations are going to use up 29 days of vacation leave. The way the rules work is that I'm allowed to use batches of three days of banked leave at once. So with three vacations and three days of banked leave saved per vacation, I'll be able to avoid using 9 days of my vacation. Why?
Because the more I read about life with a baby the more I realize that I'm going to really, really want those nine days when I suddenly find that half of my genetic material somehow got mixed up with the DNA of some guy I've known since 3rd grade.
So for a while (24 work days until we go to the Caribbean to be exact) I'm going to be shorter on time and energy than usual. I'm complicating things now for the sake of making them easier later.
I'm unfortunately also in the middle of writing a paper for publication, which is another way of saying a miserable, drawn-out, never-ending, self-deprecating way of justifying the fact that I kept my maiden name so I'd still be recognized in my field (ha!) meanwhile ensuring that I have very little free mental time and more anxiety than I deserve. But my boss wanted our group to get published and I volunteered, so I get what I asked for. So I will really be feeling tired and worn out.
Will it be worth it? It's nine measly days. Nine. I'm going to be tired for two months. Nine days / two months. Seems to be quite a difference there.
Have you ever complicated things for a while to make your life simpler, easier, and more pleasant later?
And since it's a decluttering blog, I better get back to decluttering.
Item 139, a box of crayons I bought for my mother four years ago.
She wanted to sketch the awesome view from my apartment when she visited so I bought her these. The sun rose. The sun set. The crayons stayed in the box. Now they're going into the school supplies donation box at work to help out poor kids.
Money wasted on the crayons: $7.00
Total money wasted on junk so far: $1504.00