[Downsizing Zeal] Raise Your Standards

Since moving into the apartment-mansion, my standards for object acquisition have increased so much that it’s actually kind of weird when I buy something; my bank froze my credit card for “suspicious activity,” amounting to a few purchases after months of inactivity. Since you’re reading this in my future, where nearly two months have gone by since I sat in my car writing this, I’m probably still trying to figure out my standards for things.

I think standards tie in with self-confidence.

I’ve increased the standards of what sorts of foods I eat, reducing out anything unhealthy, and I’ve seen results that have encouraged me to continue working toward my fitness goals. This has boosted everything related to myself. Likewise, I’ve become more confident in being OK that some piece of entertainment isn’t as nourishing for me as it might be for others. Among my colleagues, the joke is that I only watch one episode of things, if I watch them at all.

My storage room is full of low standards.

I kept many things beyond their usefulness to me out of this sense of obligation to the past. I held onto half-finished projects because I started them… once… While I’ve dropped off most of those prior obligations to focus on my core goals, I don’t often go in there because there’s still such a tangled mess of things. No matter how I organize the shelves, they’re still filled with things that I might be happy to sell for a dollar a piece just to get it out of the way.

I’m not sure I’ll bother much with online sales.

I thought about this on the drive in. Let’s say I sold a VHS tape for $10. If I worked minimum wage, which here is $15, then it would not be profitable for me to spend more than 40 minutes listing, negotiating, packaging, posting, and waiting for the deal to go through. If I did that in bulk, I might make it more profitable, but that sort of time sink is below my standards for acquiring money.

With this mentality, downsizing will be easier.

I still have many objects that could be worth the time to sell in person or maybe through the classifieds. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been learning to mesmerize my work routine into something predictable, so the daily motions are easy. If I prepare my lunches in two batches, if I set out my clothes the night before, and if I hit all of my timers for going to bed, waking up, and leaving for work, I’ll have the time I need to invest in my future as a writer, rather than as an acquisitioner of objects underappreciated.

Eventually, I’d like to be like the raccoon that wandered past my car.

Not really in terms of savaging for food as much as exploring new areas, engaging with high quality, disregarding low quality, and developing the confidence to be decisive.

Confidence, for me, is being attuned to your standards.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: I’ve been feeling this sort of pressure over the past few days to clear out more stuff because I’m probably about halfway through – closer to a third – my lease in the apartment-mansion and the only reason I would want to stay around for another year is because I couldn’t downsize to a smaller place. I think I can do it. I just need to work through the mental intricacies of the situation, like I am now, so that I can act quicker. Planning. Less thought in the moment means more action.
Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.
Picture: I agonized over this picture for too long,  thinking of making an intricate raccoon drawing, before going with this low-quality sketch for a quaint, dramatic irony.
Written On: July 20th [29 minutes, mobile]
Last Edited: July 20th [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.