Can I live with nothing?

Can I live with nothing?

I’ve completed packing the books, linens and decorative items in my home. These are the things I know I won’t need while living in construction land. And now I’m asking myself, “What can I live without?” “What can live in storage for many months?” I even wonder, “Can I live with next to nothing, for 6 months?

How many times am I going to want some object I own, but can’t access. I have a dream that I’ll become the carefree, young, hippie, traveler girl of my 20s and not care as long as I’ve got some clean underwear. Yet, it feels like I’ve got many more responsibilities these days than then. (particularly other living things to take care of- children, pets, plants….)

It feels hard to know all the things I’m going to say to myself, “ohh, I need _____.”

Life will keep happening; the kids will go back to school and need school supplies. Soccer will start and we’ll need balls, shin guards, and goals…. and then something else will happen and we’ll want more things.

I’m trying to think of all the regular activities we’re involved in so I can pack those items separately, but it’s not an easy thing. And I’ve not come up with the perfect solution- wait, I haven’t come up with any solution.

So just like with my clients I’m going to ask myself, “What’s the first step I need to take to move this big project forward?”

For me, I think making a list (not in my head, but on paper or digitally) of all the activities that require accessories. I think if I go from there I might know what the next step will be.

When it comes to big projects or juggling many projects simultaneously, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and try to figure out what all the steps are going to be, what all the scenarios might look like. Yet, from years of experience with project and time management, I know that thinking too far out can hurt my brain and create a stalemate within me, where I’ll want to eat potato chips and binge watch the Fabulous Mrs. Maisel for days on end.

Instead, taking what Martha Beck refers to as Turtle Steps, is the sure fire way to keep moving towards a goal without getting too overwhelmed.

So what is a turtle step?

I define it as a small, easy, and measurable action that would be laughable if not accomplished within a couple days to a week. For me, right now, it’s not to pick out all the tiles for my remodel -NO- way too much to bite off. It would be to spend 15 minutes looking at bathrooms on Pinterest and saving the ones I like to my master-bath board. From there I’ll learn something- it might be that I’ve got a particular style, or that I like certain colors. From there it can be easier to decide what my next turtle step will be.

I hope the next time you get overwhelmed with a project you can remember to pause and ask yourself, “What’s the smallest, easiest, measurable action I can take to move this forward?”

Ideally the next time I write to you, my home will be all packed up and demolition will have begun. Cross your fingers for me!