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Sustainability for 2019

I spent a large portion of 2018 organizing my life. For a few weeks, my apartment was filled with boxes that I stuffed with keepsakes, clothes and papers. I was in a cleaning frenzy, spending hours scrubbing grout and painting rooms. It seemed that overnight I had discovered my life was filled with clutter and I couldn’t stand it.

This realization coincided with the awareness that I was spending too much of my days working on things I wasn’t passionate about and was merely doing so from a sense of obligation. I took on projects because I needed to pay my rent. I went to gatherings to show support to associates and network, but rarely saw the favor returned. My life was saturated with things and people that made me unhappy. As I began to physically declutter my home, I also began removing ideas, people, and activities that no longer brought me joy.

No, I’m not getting all Marie Kondo on you. I have no interest in folding my jeans into little triangles or whatever. However, as 2019 rolled in, it became clear that I was scrutinizing my goals, dreams and priorities, and the daily actions that either helped or hindered me from meeting them.

2019: The Year of Sustainability

For 2019, I want to do away with things that weigh me down and I’m looking at every area of my life. One of the nice things about living in the HV is that it has an atmosphere conducive to a more mindful, intentional life. Don’t get me wrong. It can become hectic here and honestly, I don’t mind a little chaos, but I’m more interested in living my life than curating a life that makes others envy me. This is a big reason why I haven’t been posting as much on Instagram.

We’re living in a culture that demands people to be on twenty-four/seven and Instagram perfect versions of ourselves on and offline. There are numerous articles about why this is dangerous (check out this one and this one) and most of us have stories about how the modern world has burned us out in some way. However, I see few people trying to do anything about it.  As I continue to take stock in my own life and what I want for myself, I realize so much of what I spend energy on is not sustainable. I can’t read more if I’m always trying to keep atop of pop culture or go to the latest social event. I can’t enjoy the celebration of a well made dinner if I’m trying to photograph everything on the table. I certainly can’t meet all my financial goals if I’m spending my money on the rising Hudson Valley rent and cost of living. It’s a huge problem here, but many are not addressing it or trying to downplay it.

I created The Upstate Edit because I loved all of the changes that we’re taking place in the Mid-Hudson Valley and wanted to highlight some of the local brands and activities taking place. However, the last thing I wanted to do was create the idea that this place is a “scene” or a trend of the week. The tag for the blog is “making the cut in the Hudson Valley.” It’s a double meaning; not only referring to my favorite places to visit, but snipping down the unnecessary crap in your life to what really matters which at the end of the day shouldn’t be dictated to you by me, people on social media or those who “weekend” here.

In effort to practice what I preach, I’ll be posting more stories about sustainability and how you can tailor that concept to yourself. Of course, I’ll still feature brands and businesses that are amazing, but you can look forward to seeing more personal posts about how I’m incorporating more sustainable practices in my life.  Currently, I’m trying to redo my entire wardrobe (look out for future posts of where I’m buying new threads) and am going to be donating some things to the Dress for Success in Dutchess County. I hope you continue to join me on this adventure and as always, thanks for reading.

Holly J View All

Hudson Valley based writer.

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