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Update: Giving It Up For A Better Life

NKLA Kitten Dave 1

Me and Kitten Dave from NKLA

Hello Lovely Muses,

How have you been? I’ve been excellent! I went to Peru, but more on that later.

This has been an amazing year so far. You could even call it a banner year in which I am resetting priorities and generally reorganizing life.

My major project was to give away 1/3 of my physical belongings this year, and I have almost reached that goal. It seemed overwhelming at first, but by going through my apartment section by section and asking questions like, “If I saw this in a store now would I buy it?” I’ve slowly cleared house, taking a box to Goodwill every other week.

If you’re thinking about doing a similar project, don’t get overwhelmed. I recommend small boxes and bi-weekly trips. I can tell you that now I can find things quickly in my closet, and no monsters can hide under my bed undetected.


Butters from NKLA

I will say that this cleansing of items has been transformative. It’s insane how much we hold ourselves back, trapping ourselves with possessions we feel we must care for or maintain. Every time I take another box to Goodwill I felt lighter, less stressed, and free.

Also, I read a wonderful book, which helped me on the journey to live life with less, but more fully. “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown is closer to a philosophy book than business or self help. It argues successfully that you will have a happier and more fulfilling life if you scale down to the essentials not just physical items, but also hobbies, goals, and obligations.

As many of you may have noticed I have also limited my GoodMuse activities this year in order to focus on only a handful of groups, namely NKLA, LA Green Grounds, KIVA, NOH8, and visiting the elderly.

I added three KIVA loans so far this year, because I’ve decided to start a new tradition where I make a loan to any country I visit as a thank you. It also encourages you to travel more. P.S. Peru is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  Picture on front page is from Machu Picchu – it is THAT stunning.


Margaret at NKLA

The pictures attached to this blog are from NKLA, which announced that they had helped cut the LA euthanasia rate by 50% this year! Hurray! The other pictures are from LA Green Grounds, which continues to inspire me by fighting poverty with gardening.

And today I am taking a bag of books (the thing I have found the hardest to give away) to the nursing home so that the residents have some new more entertaining reads.

Another reason I’m not running around to 50 different charities this year is I am rewriting by children’s novel (20 pages to go), and working on new plays. I’ve finished a full length called “Timeless,” and will be working on a piece about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also, I am working on my keynote speech for Maryland Non-Profits Conference on November 5th, and I hope to see some of you at the event.


LA Green Grounds Puts in another garden in South Central

It’s been busy! I wish you all the happiness that I’m experiencing this year, and the freedom and determination to chase your dreams while making the world a better place.







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