This is another topic that could easily fall prey to leaden sarcasm and fallow grievances. It does, too. Just wait for it. While I tried to be thoughtful about it and find things that I could reduce or cut back on, it really became about things that annoy me and need to be eliminated from my life.
3 Things I Want Less of
My methodology for determining these once again brought me to my journal. I looked for dissatisfiers in the form of things I could do without, and things that create problems for me. Theoretically, this is constructive. Eliminate obstacles. Find better ways of doing things. What keeps coming up that has a negative impact on my productivity and overall well being? Which things create a need for self care? This is what I came up with.
My first answer will always be noise. I suffer from hypervigilance, which is connected to PTSD. It’s my top anxiety trigger. White noise doesn’t do it for me, because that’s just trying to down out one set of sounds with a different set of sounds. It just exacerbates the dysphoria for me. Even without my issues, it’s been proven that people are happier and more productive in distraction-free environments. We could all use less noise in our lives.
Mostly I just deal with it. Having my anxiety under control helps. Knowing that at certain times of the day, and particular days of the week, the neighbors are more likely to be noisy, I schedule around it. Having a polite conversation with the neighbors has worked, too. Most of the time, when I ask them to turn down their music late at night, they didn’t realize anyone could hear it. They weren’t aware that it wasn’t confined to their own flat.
This is mostly about my chronic pain and my bum hip. I don’t like to be jostled, because it’s easy to knock me down. It’s happened. The herd is anarchy and Brownian motion, and having to suddenly stop, change direction, or alter my pace causes strain on my leg. I can walk for several kilometers with no problem, but a few minutes fighting through a crowd can leave me unable to walk for a day or two.
I run my errands on the days when the stores are the least busy. Which means you won’t catch me shopping on the weekends. I don’t do movies or plays or concerts any more. When we go to events like the Yule Market, the Harvest Festival, and so on, we tend to go early when the crowds are thinnest, and have plans to duck out if it becomes overwhelming.
The things is, we get overrun with cardboard somehow. The sorts of things that come in cans in the United States? Those come in cardboard cartons here. Seriously, I buy beans in containers that look like a juice box. Stuff that Americans buy in jars also comes in cardboard cartons. Yes, little milk cartons with tomato sauce. And milk, too. With the metric system, smaller refrigerators, and a commitment to eliminate plastic waste, there’s no such thing as a gallon jug of milk here. That would be four liters, in four cardboard cartons. If we’re not constantly taking it down to the building’s cardboard recycling bin, which is the size of a dumpster, it takes over. We’re apparently not the only ones with this problem, because that dumpster is almost always full to overflowing.
What I Can Do With This
The way I handle the first two of these should work for the third: avoidance. I need to start questioning anything that comes in cardboard packaging. Do I really need to buy that? Is there something else that I could get instead? Not really. Mostly milk and eggs. Even if we switched from cow’s milk to almond milk or oat milk, same container. The reason I have so much cardboard is, well, the same: avoidance. When we leave the apartment, the recycling is not in a direction we walk. It requires a special trip down to the opposite end of the complex. Ugh. My life is hard. I just need to take the recycling out more often.