The success rate of Cold Turkey

Let’s be real here, cold turkey has a success rate of about 3% (don’t quote me). My case studies include:

  • New year’s resolutions
  • My attempt at a capsule wardrobe
  • My “write an album in the month of February” goal that I tried for the last 3 years, despite the fact that I can barely write 1 song per year for those other months (sigh)

This blog is totally (hopefully) going to help keep me honest in this journey of removing the crap from my life that keeps me from living the life I want to live – but if I’m setting myself up for success, I need to snap out of the delusion that this is going to happen with the stroke of my keyboard and the camera shutter of my iPhone.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Let’s start small, shall we? The Bookshelf.

I am absolutely not the minority when I say I have a weird unjustified attachment to (the contents of) my bookshelf. I love the feel of a good paperback, the smell of crisp pages, the look of an un-bent spine. I love tangible progress – so I cherish the change in balance from the “unread” to the “read” side of an open book. I’m obsessed with cover art and will buy multiple copies of my favorite books with different covers, collecting different sets of notes in the margins for each time I read it. Sound familiar?

But if we’re sticking to the theme of being real with ourselves, how many of the books on your bookshelf make your heart swoon so strongly as the passion in that descriptive love letter I just penned for the paperback book? Probably not many. I learned this like a smack in the face during my recent move.

One of my bookshelves was sacrificed during the move, which meant that when I unpacked I had to find a new system for organizing them. I had to decide which books might temporarily remain in the cardboard box and which books got to be on display. I quickly learned I could fill a whole shelf of unread books. Some I had only had for a couple months, some I had had for years. Some I had started 3-5 times but could never get through. Why am I holding on to these?!

So in my attempt to have less and do more by getting rid of the things that don’t add value to my life, I’m going to begin by plowing my way through that “unread” shelf that is busting at each end. Each book gets 2 weeks – if it’s not done, I shouldn’t waste any more time (or space) on it. I can accept that it’s not for me and send it on its way. Up first: the classic On the Road by Jack Keuroac himself. See you in two weeks.