The Mindful Hustle

thoughtfully, reluctantly adults.

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Getting rid of guilt that comes with getting rid of stuff

getting rid of guilt

Less than a month ago, right before No Spend May, I bought a pair of shoes. After just a few wears, I wanted to get rid of them. Commence internal struggle: “But I shouldn’t, right? I just spent the money on them. Wouldn’t that be a waste? Maybe I’ll change my mind. I should hold onto them for awhile, just in case.”

*Throws shoes into closet/abyss and forgets about them*

The truth is, those shoes aren’t serving me. They are no more than clutter in my closet. Rather than repeat my usual pattern, I am determined to donate them immediately. But how to overcome my guilt and jettison a new pair of shoes?

Marie Kondo of “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” fame suggests thanking the item for its service or thanking it for teaching you what doesn’t suit you. I’ll admit I scoffed the first time I read this because it sounds, well, ridiculous. Who talks to stuff? And HOW do we learn from inanimate objects. I didn’t get it.

After having some time for the idea to sit in my brain, I’ve slowly developed an answer. What’s helped me to let go of the guilt has been to focus on the lesson learned from the discarded object, rather than the gratitude. I’m not saying you should get rid of all of your belongings. If there are items that hold real sentimental value to you, maybe consider alternative forms of storage like barns and sheds to prevent your home from being overwhelmed with belongings.

Take for example my shoes: the original value I was hoping for was a cute/affordable pair of comfortable shoes I could wear to work. Ultimately they did not meet my criteria because they stretched out and became too loose to stay on my feet without considerable effort, therefore no longer meeting the comfort criteria. The new value in the shoes is the lesson that Mossimo brand flats might stretch. In the future, I should try sizing down by a half size or consider avoiding the brand.

Still unsure how to distill the lesson out of possessions that don’t spark joy? Try these steps:

List the reasons you don’t like the object Let’s use another example of something I recently discarded, a pair of work pants. I did not like the feel of the fabric. After a few washes, the interior was pilled and scratched my legs, despite following the wash instructions.

Determine the cause My best guess is the blend of the fabric and possibly made worse by the dryer (even though the wash instructions said it was ok!) led to the scratchy interior.

Find the lesson For me the lesson is not to buy pants with that particular blend again.

Reassign the value of the object The value the pants originally represented was $50 and in exchange for that money, the ownership of an item I hoped would be comfortable, stylish, and durable. The new value of the pants is the lesson that the “exact stretch” style pants from the Loft (and any others with the same fabric blend) are not durable enough for my standards and I will not buy another pair in the future. By conscientiously focusing on the new value, I was able to put the pants in my donate pile without hesitation.

I use clothing examples because these are the purchases I most frequently regret. But this method could certainly be extended to just about anything, from food to household goods to cars. What have you been holding on to out of guilt or fear of wasting money? Give this method a try! Would love to hear how it works for you.

Don’t call me kiddo

Coworker: “You know what kiddo, I think you’re right.”

Me: *Dies a little inside*

That name, along with other generic terms of endearment like honey and sweetie, are often thrown my way by older coworkers. To the people using them, they are innocuous or maybe even affectionate.  Perhaps I remind you of your daughter or you’re from the country and that’s “just the way we talk.” But to me, it’s like nails on a chalkboard.

These names have been chasing me since I started my professional career at 22. Eight years later, I still regularly receive these verbal equivalents of a pat on the head.  I want to interrupt the usually self indulgent speech that follows the offending nickname with,  “I am aware I am young enough to be your child. But here’s the thing: I am not your child.  I am your peer. I do the same job, have the same authority, and take home the same paycheck  (in some cases I make more.) So please stop.” But fearing I’ll sound petulant, I let it slide. Instead my annoyance hides behind the facade of a weak smile.

The same words used outside of the office roll off my back. When a gas station attendant calls me dear it’s a little irritating but ultimately inconsequential.  There is very little at stake in the interaction with the person who swipes my credit card at 7-Eleven. I will probably never see them again.  Not at all like the office I report to 5 days a week, where my reputation, source of income and future are all tied together.

This practice of infantilization is not exclusive to older men talking down to young women. Women have also called me “dearie” and male friends report being called “honey” more times than they care to remember. Regardless of gender, calling your younger coworkers by a term of endearment, whatever your motivation, is obnoxious and unprofessional.

I think I speak for most of my peers when I say: Don’t call me kiddo.

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby: Finanicial Advice for my 22 year old self

22years old

Oh hindsight, you know-it-all, ever-present bia. You can’t change the past so why bother dwelling on it with a post like this? Well, I am hoping someone could learn from my mistakes and missed opportunities. I like to think I have not grossly mismanaged my funds, but there’s always room for improvement. I was told to use the best credit cards to build credit by everyone as it would help later in life with interest and APR rates but did I listen? I think you can guess the answer…

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No Spend May

Ay chihuahua. I sat down and evaluated my spending from February-April and oh man, I am waaaaay too kind to myself. “Another pair of shoes madam?” Oh don’t mind if I do. “Don’t worry, they’re for work!” I rationalize internally. Given the fact I could get away with wearing scrub pants and no one would bat an eyelash, I ought to stop investing in clothes for the sake of work. No I don’t work at a hospital. I work in an office setting that is not even medical adjacent. So yeah, business casual with lots of liberties in the dress code.

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The Problem with Pinterest

Problem with pinterest

and other heavily female trafficked social media sites.


I was setting up The Mindful Hustle on Pinterest the other day and found myself prickling at, what I perceived to be, some latent sexism. Let me explain: I was creating a board called “Financial” and in addition to naming it, Pinterest prompted me to further categorize the board using a list of pre-defined subjects.

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GSD Week of April 25

I promise one day I will post something other than GSD lists. Today is not that day.

How did I do last week? Not too shabby. By the end of the week I had added and crossed off a few more items, and the only things that rolled over into this week are in CAPS. I am effectively yelling at myself. Car stuff is just….so…..blah.

I also added two new long term goals under GSD 2016! As always you can find the updated daily version here.

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GSD Week of April 18

As I mentioned before, my GSD list is renewed every Monday. Sometimes (like this week) it looks a lot like the week before because I did not follow my own advice and Get. Shit. Done. Shame on me! Follow along here as it gets updated throughout the week. Hopefully I will be able to cross a few more things off. Otherwise see list below.

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It Starts with a “To Do” List

Or as I affectionately refer to it, my “Get Sh*t Done” list.

Every Monday I create a new one. Sometimes I’m able to cross everything off by Sunday. Most times I’m not.  But the best part is: I no longer forget altogether the things I’ve been meaning to do.

This week’s list:

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