Not My Life

It seems to me that we need new phrases to adopt at different life stages. They are put on us from the outside – Millennials, GenX, Baby Boomers – but we need to be cognizant of life’s passing phases, and choose our own descriptors.

Right now, at age 62, my phrase is Not My Life. It has helped immeasurably in my desire (and need) to evaluate the stuff in my life. (My royal consort gets stressed out by the word Purge, so we ‘evaluate’ instead.) Whereas Marie Kondo recommends holding each potential yard sale item and asking yourself if it sparks joy, I just look at it and say ‘Not my life’, and out it goes. It is fantastically liberating.

Like you, over the past decades, my life has included many different things:

  • Gardening Teacher and Designer
  • Courses in baking, cake decorating and floral design
  • Redecorating and renovation
  • Gourmet cooking and wine courses
  • Buying too much stuff and too many books and clothes
  • Various jobs
  • Multiple exercise machines
  • Ten Pin Bowling
  • Scrapbooking
  • etc., etc., etc.

But now, these things are Not My Life, so I have no need for the accoutrements that go with them. In the five-plus years of purging, we have probably donated and discarded thousands of things. If we had them all now, our life would be a chaotic mess.

I would encourage you to think about what is Not Your Life now, and discard the superfluous dross. It probably includes things and people.


  1. Thank you, thank you. Very timely advice based on LOADS of experience. As we pack and pack and pack with no end in sight, the phrase not my life is empowering. All sorts of things that were once my life (and our life) must take a final bow. I enjoyed them then…but now they are such a burden. I just filled a 14 capacity bin (big one) with stuff from my studio and basement and STILL am overflowing. I blame Costco and Amazon for the current round of being prepared for the better time that is long gone. New (surprising) better times are way more alive and engaging. Does anyone want an great elliptical machine? Just come and get it! I’m going for a wild rock in my new rocking chair (pending).

  2. Like this post!

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