It’s finally 2021, and though this doesn’t mean we are back on planes and out dancing again, at least the end of Corona is in sight. I have totally had it with this pandemic and most of us are quite drained emotionally and financially from it. I personally took a huge financial hit and had to give up my office which means working from home again while trying to home school my 1st grader in a foreign language. What a challenge… BUT friends, this post is meant to encourage you so I’ll get to the point. I want to tell you a little story about the morning of January 1, 2021 and how a huge pain in the ass caused me to push a giant reset button on my life.
There is so much negative news that anyone can complain and be justified in doing so. Complaining does nothing except allow you to blow off a little steam, and after some time, it actually intensifies the situation because the more you dwell on negative things, the more negative you feel. The more stuck in the mud you stay.
We can never underestimate the power and importance of having ownership, of taking responsibility, for everything in our life not just the stuff that we technically can blame others for. Yes, in some cases others have been the cause of our pains in life, or situations like Corona can be to blame for many problems, but ultimately we must take action on everything that is thrown on our path and either move it aside, throw it out, or jump over it. To stand on the path and blame the thing laying in front of us, or worse, to turn around and walk back, is the true definition of insanity. We may need to pause for a moment to determine the best way to proceed despite the obstruction, but proceeding is the goal.
This is how I decided to ‘reframe’ 2021 – much differently than 2020. To take responsibility and ownership of my life in a new, more deliberate, way. Last year, I definitely paused too long on my path with nearly everything that was thrown my way. I didn’t take action quick enough. If it was related to my son, family or close friends, I jumped immediately to save the day. If it involved me, my career, my life, I froze and felt victimized a lot. I gave in to wine on the weekends to take away my stress and anxiety. I gave in to starvation and coffee during the week to make up for the calories of the wine on the weekends, which made me tired and addicted to coffee instead. I was either jittery (during the week) or as relaxed as a slug (on the weekends). In either case, I felt more useless than useful.
Corona became the go-to excuse for everything that didn’t work.
And in most cases, it really WAS.
Yet, I realized before the holidays that I couldn’t go on allowing Corona to drive my life. It was in control, not me. One lockdown after another meant more schedule changes, cancellations, stress, and problems. This had to end yet not one of us can end a pandemic, so I woke up on the 1st of January and decided I would END IT in my own way. It would start with me. It had too.
I remember exactly how I felt that morning – cold, withdrawn, lonely, sad. I felt like my life was no longer exciting, interesting or fun (it was up until Corona). Corona had become a huge pain in the ass. I missed my friends, parties, I wanted to fly back to America to visit familiar places and faces, I longed to plan a vacation or simply use the sauna at the gym. I wanted a fresh start, a fair to attend, friends to hug.
I KNEW NONE OF THIS WAS POSSIBLE YET (VACATION, PARTIES, FLYING, FAIRS).
I KNEW I HAD TO LIFT MY OWN SPIRITS BECAUSE I WOULD BE DOOMED OTHERWISE.
I KNEW I NEEDED TO BE STRONG AND MIGHTY FOR MY SON.
I KNEW I HAD TO RE-FRAME CORONA AND STOP FEELING SORRY FOR MYSELF.
I thought about what is needed during times of hardship. What do you need to do to come up for air? You make the most of what you have.
What did I have that I could control?
That was the burning question that kept presenting itself to me.
THE ANSWER: My home, my business, my health.
These are the things that I realized needed all of my attention. On January 2nd, I woke up in a different state of mind that I did a mere 24 hours before. I was in control. I was ready to tell Corona to kiss off. I was ready to push the reset button and begin.
I decided to detox my home and my body. I immediately went off of alcohol and sugar, and decided to gut everything in my house – my closets, my drawers, the kitchen, the bathrooms, my storage rooms, everything would be emptied, looked through, and reorganized. I vowed to donate 50% of my belongings, sell another 5% (things I couldn’t imagine giving away), and keep the remaining 45%. It was a big commitment, but once I emptied all of my rooms, one at a time, and started the home detox, and committed publicly to it on my Instagram @decor8 (which helped me to stay accountable), I knew I could do it. I had to. There was no backing out.
As I sorted, friends locally and even online cheered me on. Some came over to help, like Gabi, Esra and Jasmin. Others accepted my donations of love like Diana and Kristina. I felt lighter as my many beautiful things left. I gave things to neighbors. I got rid of over 400 magazines, some I’d collected since 2006. I never realized I had so many, but I had stacks and cabinets full of them. I know they are part of my profession, so naturally magazine obsession would be part of being a journalist and creative director, but still. I couldn’t justify owning 400 magazines. Now I have one favorite stack of about 30. It feels good. I can’t even count the amount of ceramics that I donated to charity. And throw pillows. Wow. I have been working 6-12 hours a day on my home since 2 January and today I finally paused to write this post. It’s the 19th, so 17 days purging, full-time. Tonight I’ll start again. I am determined. Control is so liberating.
I am nearly finished detoxing my home. Now I want to detox my cellar room, maybe next week. I have about 30 nice things to sell, some will go on my new second-hand Instagram @decor8holly and the others, I will peddle in the spring once flea markets reopen and I can rent a table. Yet, as I look around my newly detoxed house, I think about how I want to do a round two next month and get rid of even more. Keep decluttering until I feel more freedom from “stuff”. The overall relief, joy and that fresh start energy I love so much has become addictive.
My wine on the weekends and coffee during the week has been replaced with less coffee, more water, fresh juice and smiles. My energy soars. Life feels totally good again and I have a sense of comfort and hope. My home is once again my creative launchpad and happy spot for me and my projects. I even created a new podcast studio and office in my former storage room, because it’s much better for recording than the large office in the front of the house that I use most of the time. The smaller office is cozy, charming and full of light – and it’s very quiet and my son likes that I am in the back of the house where his bedroom is. He can play and have me nearby.
Once I have finished my home detox, I’m building my all-new classroom online to replace Blogging Your Way. I will offer a shiny new e-course. It will be all about marketing yourself online through newsletters, online classes, communities, and more. I will also put a new guide in the decor8 shop to download all about how to detox your home. My home detox helped my creativity to return tenfold. I also will paint some rooms, move things around, and reinvest in new pieces after selling some off (like my dining room table/chairs and a few other pieces). I plan to finally renovate my son’s room from little boy to big boy – he turns 7 in only 3 weeks and bears holding kites are no longer cool (that’s the motif on his wallpaper).
The best part of home and health detox goes beyond all of the benefits mentioned already… The greatest benefit is that I barely think about CORONA or what I miss. I have no time, I’m too busy leveling up so that once this pandemic ends, I’ll be ready to throw open my doors to guests, host parties again, and enjoy going out with friends because I’ll be healthier AND so will my home.
If you need support detoxing your home, I’ll create a post a guide in my shop soon, and you can use hashtag #mydecor8 to post the after photos of the rooms that you’ve detoxed so I can see your space. You know, I am so glad I found control over my home/life again. You can too.