I've recently enjoyed catching up on classic literature, from Lord of the Flies to 1984. With that said, maybe you'll be slightly less judgmental when I tell you that I'm currently reading What Alice Forgot, a fun beach read (hey, it's July, people!) about a woman who wakes up from an accident to find she's forgotten the past 10 years of her life. And she's changed so much during those forgotten years that now she barely knows herself.
Which begs the question: If you jumped back to July 2001, what would you be most surprised to know about the July 2011 version of yourself?
I've had some career milestones and huge changes in my personal life in the past 10 years, but the absolute most shocking change for me?
I've become a neat freak.
|These days, even my bath products are organized-- |
and color-coordinated. Who am I anymore???
I've always been partial to what I called the Mixed Media Mess. Any available floorspace, closet or tabletop was always piled with clothes and bills and beauty products and books.
All that changed when my husband and I bought our first home together, two years ago. I promised myself that our new home would be a restful retreat from our stressful careers... and that I would keep it neat from Day One. About 5 months before moving in, I read a book by a man I'd seen -- and loved -- several times on Oprah, Peter Walsh. His book, It's All Too Much, literally changed my life. Walsh explains something that had somehow escaped me for years and years: The key isn't to organize the tons and tons of stuff you have, it's to declutter. Get rid of the clothes that don't fit, the magazines from 6 years ago, the shoes you wore for Halloween once and will never wear again. So simple. So liberating.
Another key Walsh piece of advice, "Imagine the life you want to live." Envision your home as a restful retreat (or whatever you're going for), then declutter accordingly. That way, instead of thinking, "But I might fix this lamp and actually use it someday," you keep your eyes on the prize, give stuff like that away, and just keep the most meaningful, important items.
So while the old "Jill of July 2001" would be overjoyed to see that "Jill of July 2011" has a great family, and a career that has included interviews with Angelina, Gwyneth and Madonna, the biggest surprise to her would be this new wave of neatness.
What about YOU? What would the old "You of July 2001" be surprised to learn about the new "You of July 2011?" Anything as fantastically shocking as "I now have a hamper and I use it?" If so, I'd love to hear it!
What's been the biggest change in your life in the past decade? Share it in the "comments" section below, or at: