Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not

It's official. I've turned into my mother. It's happened gradually; over a lifetime, actually. When I was young, I was the freespirited artsy person. My mom was always very "accounting," both literally and figuratively. She worked in accounts payable for a large corporation for much of her professional life, and now she's the office manager at city hall in the town where I grew up. While she was all about the literal: straight lines, black and white, numbers, true crime and biography, I was the figurative: curves and waves, messy rooms, painting, novels. Some of those things are still the same, but I've begun to morph. I guess it's part of growing up and preparing to be a mother myself.

One of the most distinct things I remember about my mom from when she was about my age was her vigor for cleaning and order. And voila! I have this new thing about order, structure, organization, and cleaning. I know my life is about to be upended by a totally new type of chaos, but the new habits are setting in hardcore. With five people and four pets living in my house, it's become obvious and absolutely necessary to have some rituals. The kids make a sweep through the living room at night to pick up their belongings, and we have a new dishwasher policy to make sure the sink doesn't pile up with sad, wet plates (and this is just the tip of the ritual iceberg). I see this as completely necessary to keep us from being buried in our own junk. As a result, I have this new resolution about waste.

I hate waste.

Not only do I mean waste like trash and disorder, but I mean waste like waste. Waste like leaving the lights on, throwing away leftovers, using excess gas for stupid trips, and other such things. Suddenly it seems vital to not be so darn frivolous. I must streamline!

Part of this inclination kicked in when I took the majority of my books to storage. Now that I only have about 100 or so books in my house, suddenly I feel lighter! It's much easier to choose what I want to read next, it's easier to decide what I *really* want to buy in physical book format or on e-book, or what I just want to snag from the library. Suddenly, I don't even feel guilty about getting a bag of books from the library because I'm much more inclined to read them without 400 TBR books staring me in the face!

It's a revolution!

How do you waste and how could you cut down? Books are just a first for me. I'm ready to clean out the whole house, and so far we're off to a good start doing just that. I'm feeling lighter all the time.

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