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Perspective changes everything.”

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Clutter Decluttered

Clutter Decluttered

Clutter Decluttered

I created this image to visually explain how I’m feeling while in the process of tidying.  The left side is my brain before decluttering. The right side is where I hope to be after tidying and organizing my belongings.

Having been city-dwellers in the past, we knew that our decision to come back to New York City would mean getting rid of nearly everything in our large, Southern home. We gladly accepted the challenge. This summer we sold or donated about 75% of our belongings. I wouldn’t say I’ve become a minimalist (although I enjoy listening to The Minimalist Podcast), but discarding these material things sparked something in me!

In a quest to organize our new, miniature space more efficiently, I discovered this book by Marie Kondo that challenged me to go even further with decluttering. By keeping only items that “Spark Joy”, I went from discarding based on what I felt I didn’t need, to discarding based on what I wanted to keep.

The top 2 takeaways for me were:

1) to give attention to each item one by one and

2) to only keep items that make me happy.

This slight change in thinking made a huge difference in my recurring choice on what to keep and what to throw or give away.

So I’m following the KonMarie method with a few modifications since I find it odd to say, “thank you” to every inanimate object that I decide to discard. 🙂

I’m getting started with the first three categories: clothing, books and papers; so far, I feel lighter and more focused.  As an avid CD collector, I never  thought that I would be able to part with the CD collection that I began accumulating in middle school starting with Usher’s debut album “Usher” and Hi-Five. Or the massive book collection that included every single book I’d ever purchased or that was given to me since high school (even old college textbooks.) 

Overall, I’ve been cultivating a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for the things I own. 

Digital clutter is another story, but one day I hope to begin unraveling that too. 

 

BEFORE

Discarded bags of clothing after Day 1 of tidying

Lots of very old papers to throw out after Day 2 of tidying

Mountain of books to sort through.

AND AFTER

Update:  I’ve published a follow-up post that shares Part 4, organizing Komono items. You can read about it here.

It’s a new season – Top 5 Personal Reflections on Greenville, NC

It’s a new season – Top 5 Personal Reflections on Greenville, NC

It’s a new season – Top 5 Personal Reflections on Greenville, NC

Road trip time! The adventure continues as we hit the road to our new home in Brooklyn, NY. The thought of going back north brings with it both excitement and sadness. Excitement because I ❤️ NYC and it’s an unspoken dream come true to be returning “home”! Sadness because there is so much I will miss about Greenville, NC!

I will forever look back on as our time in Eastern North Carolina with a thankful heart. It was a much-needed time to slow down, to reflect and to grow. A time to press reset.

As a tribute to the town we called home for 3.5 years, I’ve written my top 6 reflections about the people and moments from my time in Greenville. These are not really in any particular order 🙂

The moons and stars (for real!)

Being able to walk outside at night and look up to the sky to see bright stars and the full brightness of the moon – I’m gonna miss that. Especially the harvest moon.

(Random harvest moon story: I was driving home one night and turned a corner to see the biggest moon I’d ever seen and later learned it was called a harvest moon. It was so humongous that I almost wrecked trying to take extra long glimpses at it! I’d never heard of a harvest moon at all before that night. Now, I’m obsessed with them even to the point where I schedule them in my calendar.)

I also loved catching glimpses of full moons like the one pictured from the topmost windows in our bedroom and staring up at the twinkling stars when going outside to get the mail.  Of course, in my mind I know it’s the same night sky that I’ll see from the windows and rooftop of our new NYC apartment, but I’ll miss the experience of seeing them shine brightly without any competition from city lights.

GCF Church

Finding a church home in a new city can sometimes take years. We were thankful to have found our church family right away.  Because of the connections between our New York church, the church I attended while in college, and our new Greenville church, we were able to meet and get to know members of GCF Church even before moving to North Carolina. This helped our transition and helped us to immediately feel at home. For the first week or so after we arrived in Greenville, several families dropped off meals or came to help us unpack or to babysit so we could get settled. Over the years I’ve enjoyed getting to know and grow with members of the church. It was sad to move away, but I’m excited about the impact GCF will continue to have in Greenville for decades to come.  And that leads me to…

Building Hope

I’m grateful that my husband and I were able to get involved with the Building Hope Community Life Center, a local after-school program and nonprofit founded by Pastor Mike and several leaders from GCF Church over a decade ago.

Seeing firsthand the program’s positive impact on the kids and Greenville community has been a major source of encouragement. It’s not often that we are able to be part of a movement, and usually, we don’t really notice the impact our actions have until many years later. I’m thankful to have served on the Board of this fantastic organization and hope to continue hearing testimonies for decades to come.

Jack and Jill, ENC Chapter

I can’t reminisce on our time in Greenville, NC without mentioning our Jack and Jill family. Awwww!

We made memories together doing community service events and attending regional events at Great Wolf Lodge in Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta. This group of phenomenal moms impacted me and my family for the better.

Junior League of Greenville, NC

Another great group that I will miss dearly is Junior League of Greenville NC. When our family first moved to North Carolina, I kept hearing about an event called Touch-A-Truck from some of the other moms at my sons’ daycare. Little did I know my first encounter with this phenomenal event-sponsoring nonprofit organization was only just the beginning. That summer I randomly kept meeting ladies from what was then called the Junior Women’s Association (JWA) all over town. By the time they held an interest meeting that August, I was ready to join. And I’m so glad that I did.

During my 3 years as a member of JL Greenville NC, I made great friends and learned valuable lessons in nonprofit leadership, event and meeting planning, fundraising, team building, and marketing. It was sad to leave in the middle of my 2-year term serving on the League’s Board of Directors, but I’m excited for what’s in store for them this 2018-19 year and for the strong leadership of the current Board.

Arendell Parrott Academy (APA)

Where can I begin in reflecting on the impact APA had on my eldest son who went there for Pre-K and Kindergarten? I couldn’t have asked for a better start for him.

At first, I wasn’t too excited about the distance of the school from our home (it took 35+ minutes to drive one way), but I’m so happy we didn’t let that stop us. His classmates and teachers became an extension of family and we will miss them all dearly.

My most memorable moment will be his Kindergarten teaching throwing a goodbye/birthday gathering just before we left. He felt special having all of his friends come to say goodbye and celebrate with him. 

New beginnings are exciting, but with every new thing comes the inevitable end of something else.

There are still so many people, groups and places that I hope to always remember.

Greenville was good to us.

Thank you, Greenville, NC!  We will miss you.

Hello! I’m Tammy and I am so happy you’ve stopped by my little corner of the internet. This online space doesn’t really have a theme, it’s just a collection of my thoughts and experiences – what I’m learning, seeing, doing, figuring out…

Right now, I own and manage a website design/development company in New York City, and I also work with my church in the stage/production/worship space. Outside of what I do professionally, I’m a wife and mom of two fast-growing boys, and I love music (singing, creating, producing/mixing, listening, going to shows – music makes me happy). I’ve been on a start and stop journey for years learning how to play electric guitar and piano… so those are some of the topics you might see me writing about these days.

I hope you’ll feel inspired as you browse around. Enjoy!

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