I used to own so many things that, when held, literally made me feel guilty—works of art I hadn’t finished, personalized gifts from family and friends, sentimental items from life events, mechanical things in need of repair, duplicate items for “just in case.” I’d moved these things in boxes from apartment to apartment, across the country, only to continue storing them in boxes.

I didn’t own this stuff, it owned ME. It was baggage. It was weight, shackled to me. In the end, I sold, donated, recycled, digitized, and in some cases, even ceremonially burned my way to freedom. Slowly, methodically, and once or twice in a sudden purging spree.

I took pictures of things I thought I’d miss, but honestly, I haven’t gone looking for them. There’s nothing I regret eliminating. It was a challenging process, but once that stuff was gone, I felt so incredibly free. And I felt good knowing most things went to someone who needed them more than I.

—  Emily Lindahl | blog | page
Yes, please. Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state

He says that people should – get this – pull their own weight and make their own decisions. Have you ever heard of such?

From The Independent:

King Willem-Alexander delivered a message to the Dutch people from the government in a nationally televised address: the welfare state of the 20th century is gone.

In its place a “participation society” is emerging, in which people must take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety nets, with less help from the national government.

The king traveled past waving fans in an ornate horse-drawn carriage to the 13th-century Hall of Knights in The Hague for the monarch’s traditional annual address on the day the government presents its budget for the coming year. It was Willem-Alexander’s first appearance on the national stage since former Queen Beatrix abdicated in April and he ascended to the throne.

“The shift to a ‘participation society’ is especially visible in social security and long-term care,” the king said, reading out to lawmakers a speech written for him by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government.

“The classic welfare state of the second half of the 20th century in these areas in particular brought forth arrangements that are unsustainable in their current form.”

Read the Rest

Obviously I have a real problem with monarchs (as all Americans should). No one should be able to force others – let alone an entire nation – to do things they don’t want to do. But a monarch who tells his subjects “hey, you’re responsible for yourselves. I will not hinder you or help you” is not really a monarch at all.

Happiness is like a drug - the more you experience it, the more you crave it, the more you notice when it’s not with you.. Life involves experiencing a whole range of emotions, and I’m going to document the best of these to keep me going during the worst.

Now is a time for happiness, and I am so grateful for that ✨