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  • Caitrin McElroy

The Minimalism Game | Post-Mortem

We’re a big fan of project post-mortems at my (day)job. If you’re unfamiliar, a post-mortem typically consists of all folks that touched a project coming together in the days or weeks after the final deadline to reflect on what went well and what could’ve gone better.

At first I thought of them as an obligatory work pressure, but I quickly realized how valuable they can be. Performing a post-mortem allows you the chance to step back, reflect, and learn from what you’ve completed. I like to consider it a gift of mindfulness to myself.

It’s been a week since the Minimalism Game started - the perfect time for a post-mortem. Just far enough removed without forgetting some of the details of the experience. My boss’s boss’s boss sent me these questions after a project she asked me to complete, and while there are plenty of post-mortem questions that you could use, I appreciate the introspection that these ones incite. If you completed the Minimalism Game with us, or if you plan on doing it in the future, I encourage you to reflect on these questions. Feel free to comment with your thoughts, and see my reflections below!

“1. How are you feeling?

2. What are you most proud about?

3. What did you experience or learn that you might do differently next time?”


How are you feeling?

Relieved, proud, stressed, grateful. Relieved because I’m not sure I could’ve lasted another day, proud because I didn’t think I’d make it to the last day, stressed because I still have our donate pile in the trunk of my car, and grateful for a husband who was willing and enthusiastic about putting our home, our lives, and our stuff through this game.

What are you most proud about?

I really thought after playing the Minimalism Game twice and going through the process of a move that resulted in more purging that I wouldn’t have any more to give away. I’d led myself to believe that I’d gotten rid of enough things to call myself a minimalist without question. I’m proud of myself for coming to realize that there was more excess in my life than I wanted to admit, and I’m proud of myself for doing something about it.

What did you experience or learn that you might do differently next time?

Don’t let your junk pile up throughout the month! Life gets busy, but find time to make a weekly donation run, especially if you’re doing this with the person you live with. Also, don’t brashly get rid of things just for the sake of hitting the day’s number. I almost got rid of one of my favorite t-shirts in a “fuck it!” moment. I fished it back out and swapped it for a different item, but I would remind the future me to be just a little more mindful when considering the things to matter how brazen future Caitrin may feel.

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