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Mother Clutter! (a disorganized review of 2019)

Wow!!! 2019 is over and we are in the roaring 20's again. I never make New Year's resolutions, rather, I challenge myself with goals to achieve throughout the year. For example, last year's goals for my art and Wasted Talent Studio business included a blog to showcase adventures taken and artwork created throughout the year. It would inspire others to not waste time or talent. But my biggest goal for 2019 was to declutter and become more minimalistic in my life and personal surroundings.

As the year came to an end I realized I missed achieving some of my 2019 goals. I started off so good at the beginning of the year - what happened? Let me break it down for you: First, I realized that I actually produced more clutter in my life by giving myself too many goals to achieve in a year. There are only so many hours in a day - with working full-time and maintaining a home, there isn't always adequate time to be creative, whether that is painting, drawing, or writing a blog. The art part is the least difficult for me. I have tons of ideas, several canvases, and a sketchbook that I try to draw in every day. It is getting started that is the tough part. Good news is that once I do get started drawing or painting, I find a new spark of energy. I did manage to hit my 2019 goal on commissions and the number of paintings I wanted to create. I was also able to take the next step to get my products into different markets and gain new exposure.

The idea of doing a blog that would coincide with creating art really excited me. I quickly found out that I really don't have much to say, and what I deem awe-inspiring may not be awe-inspiring to others. Or who really cares what I have to say? Also, it takes a lot more time than I realized to create and maintain a blog. If I was a full-time artist then it might be a little easier. Not wanting to be a "starving artist," I do have to keep my "real" job. I might revisit the blog goal in 2020. Stay tuned...

Decluttering started off like wildfire. I was easily blazing through closets, bookshelves, CDs, kitchen cabinets...finding satisfaction in letting go of stuff! But then I found I had simply created piles that made it into a spare bedroom but never managed to leave the house. (For the record, none of the stuff in those boxes ever returned back to where it came from.) What do you do with old computers, iPods, cell phones, non-working printers, scanners, computer wires, external hard drives, etc? I didn't want to just throw it all away to be in a landfill; I was hoping that these things could somehow be repurposed. I have boxed up old blankets, sheets, and towels to give to an animal shelter, but the box still sits in the spare room with additions piled on top. I was, however, able to donate 100+ CDs, a few books from the library, clothes that I no longer wear, and some kitchen I did make a little progress. By March the progress had stopped and I still have those filled boxes ready to donate. I'm hoping my new idea of moving the boxes downstairs, in plain sight, will spark a quicker self-response to get them of the house.

You might be asking "Riece, why are you so determined to become a minimalist?" Good question. With each move to a new place I have managed to lighten my load from items I have held onto for way too long. But I couldn't allow myself to let go of some things because of emotional attachment or the possibility to make them into art. When I did let go of things that I battled with, I immediately found myself feeling lighter and relieved not only of the stuff, but emotionally freer as well. Which for this year is so important because I need to make room for the best thing that has come into my life - my fiancé, Jessica. I want to make room for her to make the house Ours. The only things I want to keep are the personal reminders of good friends and family. I want her to fill in the empty spaces with her own keepsakes, and together we will fill the remaining spaces with tokens of our adventures together. I want our house to be a haven, not a place filled with useless clutter.

As I reflect on my 2019 goals (that I had so eagerly written down at the close of 2018), I can't check as many off my list as I hoped, and I realize my over-ambition created more clutter than it reduced. This has been duly noted and I am seeing a pattern that I have to change. 2020 will be the year I truly declutter and become more of a minimalist! The reward for doing so will be making space for new memories and art inspired by all the great adventures with my soon-to-be wife!

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