Since 2019, I’ve issued a social media challenge to help people get organized. The first year, I prompted people to throw out all their underwear with holes in them. In 2020, it was to toss the pile of cords collecting dust. 2021 posed to get rid of every article of clothing that doesn’t give you the confidence you would have if you were Beyoncé.
2022 is my favorite challenge yet: Get rid of the supplies for every hobby you could have done during quarantine and didn’t.
I’ll issue a caveat to this challenge: If you aren’t quite ready to see it go, keep it for a month, and if you haven’t visited it in 30 days, give it up.
Quarantine gave us the gift of time like we have never known. A time to think, do, and recognize what is important to us. Since March of 2020 I: redecorated rooms, kayaked, rode my bike, watched Carmen Sandiego on Netflix, successfully baked macarons, focused on my mental health, played football, and discovered audiobooks (just to name a few).
I am proud of even the little things that I accomplished, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t let things slip through. Since March of 2020 I didn’t: finish the hats I convinced myself I was going to knit for Christmas, read the entirety of a single paper book that is not for children, reteach myself how to do a backflip, research the family tree I’ve wanted to bring to fruition for years, take a dance class, study a new language, or learn how to change the oil in my car.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. I don’t feel guilty for what I didn’t achieve. The past two years have been hard, but small wins are still wins. I will not feel shame for things I didn’t finish or even start. Instead, I am enjoying what I did prioritize. I put on events that supplied close to 1,000 pounds of food to local food shelves. I can ice skate backward and decorate a wedding cake. I cannot do the Charleston or identify a golden eagle from a hawk. AND THAT’S OKAY!
Did you finish ten diamond paintings? That’s awesome! Did you start one and move on to another project halfway through? Again, Awesome! You made a conscious decision to put your energy toward something more important to you.
Part of releasing guilt is releasing the liability you attached to it. I have loved knitting in the past but, at this point in my life, I can think of so many things to do that I enjoy more than sitting down to make a scarf. Rather than resting with the tasks that I did not complete, I gave away my needles and yarn to someone that got just as much joy out of it as I thought it would bring me. I’ll let you in on another secret. Knowing I helped a 12-year-old girl knit her family Christmas presents is more rewarding than staring at a half-finished beanie any day.
Perhaps I will decide to knit again in a few years. If that time comes, I find peace in knowing that I will have worked hard enough to afford the materials again.
So why are you still holding on? Post your unfinished puzzles to your local Buy Nothing page and give your dying plants to your friends with green thumbs! Cancel your Duolingo subscription and congratulate yourself for deciding on Carole Baskin’s innocence! Release your space and your mind so you can give your all to the things that are important to you! You haven’t failed at anything. You’ve grown in recognizing your priorities.
Oh! And those supplies you put away to start later? It’s later. You have 30 days starting now. Good Luck!
Let me know what you accomplished during “Coronacation” in the comments!