What do you want?

The gift-giving holidays are wrapping up (pun!), the new year is approaching. What do you want is a common question for this season, and one that’s been on my mind.

Stuff is easy, at least the smaller every-day items. I can purchase anything I truly want for myself. It was nice to have some Barnes and Noble gift cards on my account for a while; buying ebooks took less decision making, but truly, it doesn’t matter. If I want it, I can buy it. If I’m not sure I want it that much, I can investigate the options in the library. Stuff is hard if your goal is to have less of it. Acquisition is so much easier than decluttering.

It’s the bigger questions of who I want to be and how I want to live my life that weigh more heavily. I’ve been reading the Power of Habit by Charles Duggin (I think I’ve read this before). It reminds me that when we are in major life transitions, those are the easiest times for our habits to change — for good or ill. So be mindful and pay attention to how you line yourself up.

I hope to move into a more permanent residence this next year, and that’s one subject of my musings. I have learned that I would rather be out doing things, or even in doing things, but cleaning and yard work are not very high on the list of things I enjoy doing. I would like to minimize my investments here. A place that is easier to take care of, enough money left to pay for help, are ways to accomplish this. I can hire help where I am, but I am not so sure that I can find a lower maintenance place than what I had before.

I also need to work on my habits, as mentioned above. I don’t have a good way to deal with all the paperwork that comes into my place through the mail; it stacks up. Finding a better habit and way with this would help. I am not awful with dishes (my current place does not have a dishwasher), though undoubtedly I could improve. I think my biggest problem is that there are many times when I get home, or on weekends, that I just collapse into a chair, doing nothing productive. Perhaps, as Duggin suggests, my willpower is worn out for the time being. Perhaps I need to work on my willpower muscle to grow some more. I don’t like those long unproductive stretches.

I know I want to live in a place that has clean, uncluttered lines. Places to work that are ready for work when you need them. I want a certain Zen-chic, that leads towards peaceful thoughts and a peaceful mind. I am sure I will have to fight against even my tendencies towards acquisition and clutter. I am sure I need work on the paperwork demons.

I hope I can use my transition to create better habits. As with the ε>0 exercise plan, one step at a time. I hope I am mindful and aware of what’s going so that I can actually decide what changes to make, rather than having them made for me by default.