Well, here we are, 2013. Can you believe it? I can’t. Thirteen is supposed to be an unlucky number. I’m not sure I buy that though – I have some very good associations with that number. My mom’s birthday is May 13th, and she’s one of the best people I know. And, I was born on May 10th, so she came home from the hospital with me on her birthday – so I guess the 13th is when I really ventured out into the world.
I’ve tried multiple times to keep a blog. And multiple times, I have failed at it. Maybe this will be my lucky year, this unlucky 2013, and I will finally persevere. Part of the problem in the past has been the fact that I used blogging as a diary/journal, writing about whatever struck my fancy on a given day. I suck at that. In fact, throughout my life, I’ve kept diaries and journals intermittently, but only tended to write in them when I was having a really bad day. I went back and read one of my childhood diaries once, and was horrified at the thought someone would find it and read it and think I had the worst childhood ever (I didn’t – it was super normal and quite happy). Without a focus of some kind, there was no point to me starting another blog.
For the last several years, I have had a “theme” for my year. I print it out and keep it over my desk and refer to it when I’m making decisions, or losing focus, or down in the dumps. For instance, one year it was “F*ck the Haters.” Last year it was “Run Your Own Race.” Having a yearly theme has proved to be a good thing for me – it grounds me, pulls me back to my hopes and dreams, and keeps me from getting too scattered. I am a woman who is easily scattered.
At the end of 2012, I had an experience that helped me land on my theme for 2013. I’m a professional actress – I make my living mostly doing live theatre, voice over, and commercial gigs, with some teaching scattered in there to make ends meet. I am fortunate to usually be able to work in Portland, OR, where I live, but I ended up with an opportunity to work on a show in Naples, Florida this past fall. For the first time since college, I lived with roommates in a house. I had my own room, but shared a bathroom, kitchen, and other living space with three other women. I was there for two months, and took one large suitcase full of clothes, and one box with electronics/home goods.
Before I go further, it’s important to know another fact about me – I am a recovered (okay, recovering) shopaholic. I love to shop. I love STUFF. I love clothes, shoes, jewelry, makeup, music, books, household goods, electronics – I LOVE IT ALL. I cannot get enough. I’m not proud of it, and there are times in my life it has gotten me into financial trouble and emotional strife. I am aware of my problem, and the circumstances that make that behavior crop up for me. I’m a work in progress, to say the least.
But an interesting thing happened while I was in Florida – I rarely wanted more than I had packed into that one suitcase and box. Did I shop while I was there? Yes, yes I did. Mostly as a result of having too much time on my hands. But I never bought more stuff because I really wanted for anything. I was happy and totally covered with what I had. And that was a new feeling for me. I had just enough of everything. And when I got home, I was overwhelmed by all our STUFF. Stuff that needed to be sorted or cleaned, stuff I didn’t have a home for, stuff that wasn’t ours, stuff we’ve had forever but never used, stuff I think I might need someday, some stuff I don’t even like but for some reason keep.
Prior to heading to Florida I had been reading a lot about minimalism. And I am FASCINATED with the show “Hoarders” on A&E. Both extremes rivet me. I am nowhere near hoarder status, but I don’t think I could be a minimalist either. (In the Florida house, we had maybe six forks for four people, which meant we were constantly doing dishes. I’ve read minimalist blogs where people had one fork per person, to be washed after every meal. No thanks.)
But then I stumbled across a great blog called livinglagom.com. What is lagom? It’s a Swedish word that doesn’t have an English translation, unsurprisingly. But the gist of it is that it means balance – not too little, not too much – just right. Like Goldilocks. Or you know, being content with “enough”.
Now THAT is a concept I can get on board with.
So my theme for this year, is lagom – more specifically finding my lagom. How will this play out? I have no idea. But I am going to try to find it – my lagom. I’m guessing it will start with my relationship with my stuff. But I am curious to see how it will affect other areas of my life – career, relationships, food, etc. The idea that by the end of 2013 I might feel just right feels…well, just right.
So welcome to my journey. Feel free to comment, encourage, roll your eyes, judge, laugh, whatever. I’m probably doing all of that too.