Life cleanse, party of one? I got this.
A few weeks ago I had a quiet weekend. I wasn’t feeling great, had just returned from a work trip and felt a bit worn down by life (as well as a looming cold/flu). The weather – we’ve had a brutal winter in New York this year! – certainly didn’t help. So I became a hermit and hung out in my apartment all weekend, tucked away from the rest of the world. It was magical.
Out of that weekend came a plan to start what I’d soon call my life cleanse. It began with a purge. I cleaned out all of my closets and dressers and found two massive bags of things I haven’t worn and likely won’t wear. Someone somewhere will put this stuff to good use. That was just the beginning.
I decided to take a good look at my life and how I spend my time. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while but haven’t addressed. Why? Because that’s some scary shit. To have to acknowledge there are areas of your life that aren’t perfect when you’re a die-hard perfectionist? The stuff nightmares are made of. Really.
Let me start by saying do not feel bad for me. Not for one second. The choices I’ve made in life are mine and mine alone. I’ve made them knowingly and willingly. And I have no regrets. That said, I knew it was definitely time for a change. As I started down this path, I quickly realized a few things.
My life revolves around work. I’ve done this to myself. There are zero expectations from any of my colleagues – or my amazing co-founder – that I do what I do. I am working on finding that ever-elusive balance. This is getting better. Way better. It just means making hard decisions and knowing when to say no. Or yes.
Wine makes me happy. Really happy. And I love it. But. Those. Calories. O. M. G. Since turning 40, those glasses of wine I love so much? Not so much loving my waistline back. I’ve been working out with a trainer three to four days a week and realized I was self-destructing. Work out hard for 60-90 minutes in the morning, glass of wine in the evening? Doesn’t work. At least not right now. So the first thing I decided was to cut all booze for 90 days. Yikes.
I love pizza. I know, some of you are saying “so?” But when I say I love pizza I mean I could eat pizza every day. If I’m honest, when I say pizza I mean all carbs. Especially the bad ones. No bueno. I realized that my diet (that is, my eating habits, not food restriction) was all over the place. So I added pizza and all the other *junk* I sometimes eat to the list. No more yum for me. See you in 91 days, pizza bagel.
I also realized I was obsessed with dating apps. I have an unhealthy obsession with dating and I also have unrealistic expectations. Issues much? I want to be in a relationship but it also scares me. And I get bored easily. Apps like Tinder and OKC make it so easy to come and go. So, on day one of my 90-day life cleanse, I made a conscious decision to remove myself from the dating world. On day two I realized how often I was checking all those apps. Yikes again. So I’m taking this time to really think about what I want in a relationship. It’s really only then that I’ll be able to find the right guy for me. Lucky bastard, that guy.
And shopping. I love to shop. Love love love love love. I shop for myself. I buy things for other people. I give stuff to strangers. Maybe it’s not shopping as much as giving or doing. But it’s gotten a little out of control. Recently I ordered not one but two – two! – pairs of moto boots. I mean, really? I don’t even own a moto. So, yeah, that all went out the window too. Shopping hiatus, party of one? Hi, I’m Erin.
And, finally, I realized I’m living a bit large. When I moved to NYC two years ago I landed in a one bedroom place in Brooklyn. It had a tiny kitchen and a giant bedroom and very little storage. So when I moved to Jersey City in September I moved to a two bedroom, two bathroom gorgeous place with a massive kitchen and tons of closet space (that I soon filled). In hindsight, so very dumb.
I know that some of these things don’t sound like real problems. I have friends who are struggling with far more serious things. Health issues. Financial issues. Work issues. Relationship issues. Issues with their children. You name it. This is why I said don’t feel bad for me. I know these aren’t serious problems. But the first step in fixing any problem is admitting you have a problem, right? Right.
So here I am, 10 days in. No shopping. No dating. No drinking. No pizza. For 90 days. Ten down, 80 to go. This probably sounds like not much fun, right? Have I lost my mind? Perhaps. On the upside, I’ve already made a lot of great progress and I’m excited about this process.
When it comes to work, I’ve been (slowly) reading (aka listening to the audio book version) The One Thing. It’s life-changing.
When it comes to food and wine, I recently started the Whole30 Program. I mean, I already cut booze and good food out of my life for 90 days so might as well do this, too! It also means I’m cooking more, which I love. Yay.
Killing my dating apps? It’s all good. I honestly believe you need to be able to live happily on your own before you’re able to be happy in a relationship. I’ve been living happily on my own for years. What’s another 90 days? As a side bonus, after deleting all those apps, something amazing happened: I stopped being as obsessed with my phone. Go me. (Side note: I’m still obsessed of course but it doesn’t feel as all-consuming at this point.)
My new app obsession? Acorns. Whenever I get the urge to shop, I drop that cash into my Acorns account. It’s awesome. I’ve also made some other major changes here and there but it’s not cool to talk about financial stuff unless you’re a financial person. So I’ll just leave you with a few things that I’ve grown to love over the years and now am loving even more: Mint, Mr. Money Mustache, DailyWorth, this book, and this book. Along with a new financial advisor and a new accountant.
Moving on to my too-big apartment. Fortunately I live in a forgiving building. I’m moving in a few months to a one bedroom that’s absolutely perfect. Before you feel bad that my amazing view is going away… my new pad has wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony (!!) with views of the Statue of Liberty. I can’t wait.
Moving (which I love to do, by the way) also means I’ll get to purge some more stuff (which I also love). Anyone need a sleeper sofa? Two comfy chairs? Bookshelf? Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.
With the free time I’ve found, I’ve managed to read a few (fiction) books and I’m adding yoga to my workout mix. I’m looking into classes. Cooking. Bartending. Painting. I haven’t taken any yet but there are a few on the horizon. All in all, life is good. And it’ll be even better in 80 days. I’m so looking forward to that glass of wine. And a slice.
Be good to yourselves, homechickens. xoxo