All hail ‘the awesome principle’.
When we moved from a 650 sq ft condo to a 375 sq ft houseboat I did some serious purging.
Now, you might be thinking, surely you couldn’t have had that much stuff; presumably you’re not a hoarder (I’m not) and 650 sq ft isn’t that big (it’s not).
What you’re not considering is the sheer volume of junk in kitchen drawers. Like 5 spatulas when I’ve never used 1.
I had clothes from university that I would never wear again but held on to because ‘they were still good’ (Are my clothes bananas?).
There were brand new clothes with tags on. Like pants I’d bought a year earlier when I thought I might be the type to wear a wildly patterned drawstring pant even though I don’t have the shoes or accessories to support it. I’m not.
A magic bullet that was gifted.
Shoes that hurt.
Beach towels even though we never went to the beach.
A duvet cover with a rip in it.
Sheets I didn’t even like.
Drawers run deep.
There was ceiling storage I forgot we even had.
. . .
Anyways, I Marie-Kondo’ed the shit out every single thing I owned (I mean, as far as I could tell. I didn’t actually read the book but my superior interneting skills told me that does it bring you joy and needing to be able to see everything in a drawer about summed it up, right?).
I got rid of all the clothes that didn’t fit or I didn’t like (this TEDx talk on a 10-item wardrobe was super helpful. Not that I’ve achieved capsule status — but I have watched the video 10 times, and that’s almost the same thing.).
I pretty much got rid of any clothing that wasn’t black.
I got rid of sheets that weren’t black or white or a combination of the 2. Towels that weren’t white. Shoes. Glasses. Plates. Jackets. Bags. Sieves. Scarves. Suitcases.
I ditched a good 70% of the debris of my life.
And it felt fantastic.
But, you know that already. You’ve heard all about The Life-Changing Magic of Being Superior to All Mortals by Owning Practically Nothing. You’ve read the internet.
But I’m not here to preach the good word of minimalism (or is it Minimalism?).
What I want to tell you about is Minimalism’s secret sister that isn’t as pretty but is way more fun to hang out with, Awesomalism.
. . .
Awesomalism like minimalism for your not-material life.
Awesomealism is simple. It’s a framework that makes decisions easy and, if followed, will lead you to a kickass life.
All you have to do is follow ‘The Awesome Principle’.
THE AWESOME PRINCIPLE
If it’s not awesome, chuck it. People. Jobs. Places. Stuff. If it makes you happy, challenges you, adds something to your life, brings you pizza, keep it.
Surround yourself with awesome, and you can’t be anything but.
Any time I need to make a decision, I ask myself, but is it awesome?
Then I listen to my gut.
. . .
A cheat-sheet on awesome:
1. It’s your awesome.
Don’t take someone else’s awesome and try to make it yours. My awesome and your awesome don’t have to look anything alike.
2. Part way to awesome is better than in no way awesome.
If you can’t get to awesome now, do the next thing that will get you to awesome.
3. You choose. You always choose.
You’re in charge of everything. If you don’t like it, change it. If you feel like something’s in your way, maybe it’s you.
4. Awesome can be shifty.
Keep checking in on your idea of awesome in case it shifts along the way. If and when it does, adjust.
. . .
Since I started saying yes to awesome:
I’ve moved onto a houseboat
- which has cut my rent in half
- made every morning gorgeous af
- and introduced me to a crazy-nice community
I’ve started working contract
- which has allowed me to stop working Mondays
- and make enough money while only work 3 days a week
- sometimes from home, which actually means from the bow/the rooftop/a hammock/my lakeside studio/the couch with a 360 view of the water
. . .
I’m not at 100% of my ideal awesome, but 2 years ago I couldn’t have foreseen any of this.
And things just keep getting awesomer.