Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee this weekend I would invite you to sip a long glass of iced tea or coffee. The weather is muggy and the ground is muddy. My ambition is active in starts and fits. Last weekend was extremely successful in the possession purge department. I unloaded a big car, loads of fabric, twofold funky floor cleaning machines, and about 300 pounds of glassware. We went to the used book store with our DVD’s, but only a small portion were accepted for trade. The initial phase was exciting because as items left the house, more was revealed that needs to go. I did uncover space in the garage and in some cabinets in the house, but I am not even 10% into the work that I need to do. It is exhilarating to see the empty space appear. It will be even more exciting to clear out the barn and sell the lot across the street. The financial reward will be more than worth the effort. I will perceiver.
With all the extra emphasis on physical things, my muse decided to be lazy and fickle. I wrote very little this week while I settle into my work and commute schedule. I made some excuses about all the “work” I have to do. I admit that this is pure malarkey. My commute is an easy 20 minute straight shot, and my work is fun. Plenty of people go to school full-time and work full-time and get graduate degrees. Surely I can work a tiny part-time job while purging my possessions and still find time to write. I am putting this muse’s nose to the grindstone in the coming weeks. It is better to write something, even if it is not my best work, than to skip too many days. How do you handle your productivity issues? Does your muse just lounge around and refuse to work? Today I am working a shift on Sunday so I can take a full day off for my facial tomorrow. Ms Muse should realize she is living in a very privileged and pampered being, and be more grateful. If I discipline her she just leaves. I can usually squeeze a poem out of her as she exits, but there is no telling when she plans to return. She is a lot like me.
While I fill your iced tea glass, tell me how your life and writing are going. I hope you are feeling more productive than I am now. Are you looking forward to the next season (back to school for some) or treading water? I love summer because I spend so much time in the pool. I don’t really mind the heat because I have a pool at my condo village I can use 24 hours a day. I am very fond of moonlight dips. The water cools off in the middle of September, ending the nighttime enjoyment. Until then I can be found in the deep end, thinking deep thoughts, teaching the muse to swim.
Please join us each week for #WeekendCoffeeShare, hosted by Diana at Parttimemonsterblog.com. Share your news and catch up with the gang on the weekends here. The feast is moveable and the drinks are all digital and calorie free.
If we were having coffee this morning I would invite you to sit in the antique glider that sits next to my desk (since last week when we spotted it at a yard sale), and chat with me while I take care of all my office and internet chores. We are taking off later this morning for a night in a tiny house on a farm in Patagonia, Arizona. Nothing could be earthier. There is no internet, which is fine since it is only an overnight trip. I am not constantly connected anyhow, but this will be a tiny earth house kind of disconnect. I am excited because it is a big time for the humming-bird migration, and Patagonia is right on the flight pattern. It will be a lovely place to take some photos. I will fill you in next weekend over coffee.
If you were in my office you would see that since taxes have been filed my excuses for the big pile of paper on the desk have vanished. The desk is clearing up, and I am tossing out old stray junk from the office closet as well. I am rounding up some books to take to the used book store while examining my own need to surround myself with cookbooks. I love to read them, but seldom actually follow any recipe. Ditto with all the yoga books in my library. I feel secure somehow owning them but never pull them off the shelf. I had the occasion to want a yoga book recently and it took me a while to locate it. That is just silly. If I trim down the total number of books and make sure they all give me great joy, as the Japanese tidy lady advises, I believe my whole life will improve. That is my next great task. I do own her detailed tidy book on kindle, but I am not following her recipe. I am starting with books and office clutter. I may discover my need to own all these rules and directions I do not obey. There must be some crazy thing going on there. I had some issues about buying the very chair in which you are gliding, but decided it was an asset and it does bring me joy. I hope it is bringing you some to sit in it while I type.
I am not in danger of becoming a minimalist any time soon. I think that is what Earth Day really should be, a celebration of using and owning less. I will consume a bunch of gasoline to go assume my minimalist tiny house on a farm lifestyle for a night. Then I will drive back to Tucson on Sunday where it will be time to start air conditioning the condo. It will be hot today while we are down south at a higher elevation chilling. I will check in at the library in Patagonia to use the internet and post my daily poem for #NaPoWriMo this afternoon. All this is making me realize how very high maintenance I still am.
I want to know how your life and writing projects are going this week. Fill your cup and then fill my ear with your stories. I look forward to hearing the news from this talented and diverse group of writers. Nerd in the Brain hosts this lavish party each weekend. This is where you go to submit your own coffee share post, or keep up with the news of others in this lively group. Thanks for visiting today, and happy Earth Day to you all.
I have been listening to the popular book by Marie Kondo, the life changing magic of tidying up. She is an expert in this field who has a very specific way to approach all possessions in consideration of the happiness of the objects, as well as the joy of the owner. Her technique is being adopted all over the world, but she is from Japan, a country where living space is much smaller typically than housing in the US. She has been kind of obsessed with organizing and tidying since she was a very young child. Her overview of the practices as well as the pitfalls of common elimination and storage strategies is brilliant. Formulas, as she demonstrates, must be simplistic, or they backfire.
She has helped me see the light about my yo-yo decluttering habits. Exactly like yo- yo diets, the system that does not holistically evaluate the perfect items to keep as well as the way to permanently let go of objects will end in rebound to the status quo. In the exact same way people buy weight loss products rather than making a permanent life style change, some of us buy organizing and storage products rather than just trimming down the volume of what needs to be stored. She has my number. I am addicted to the concierge pick up service offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. When they call I always gather a load for them to pick up in front of my garage. Since I began this practice I have significantly reduced my total volume of items that I own. It makes me feel accomplished every time. However, this temporary feeling of successful lightening of the load is always…I can admit now it is always….followed by more junk that creeps back up and fills my office desk, my closets, and sometimes my garage. I am too old to allow this to continue. This is just mastery over my space, so I am not sure what is so difficult.
I love systems, and think the end result must be heavenly. She promises that if you go through each and every item as instructed your breakthrough to minimalist living will be complete. I am sure she is right that dealing with your stuff is dealing with your past. If you only deal with part of it, you will never be finished. One of her points really hit home for me: You can deal with your stuff right now, later, or never. Right now is the only one that does anyone any good. The stuff contains that “emotional baggage” about which we hear so much. When you have properly dealt with the reasons you keep stuff, you have fully examined the past and put it to rest.
Do you struggle to stay tidy, gentle reader? Or are you a natural?
Testing boundaries and applying discipline will lead to mastery of any skill we choose to practice. We generally rely on what we consider to be our strengths to solve most of our problems in life. Most of us hide our weaknesses, primarily from ourselves, since others can clearly see them. While I am on a big push to clean and clear out my home I notice similarities between my mental state and the state of all my various projects. While digging out all the clothing that is heading for new closets in other people’s houses I discover very cool things I had forgotten in the back of the closet. I have both stupid stuff I have barely worn and the most brilliant, well crafted wardrobe imaginable. The problem has been mixing them all together and overstuffing the space. Nothing is appealing when it is disheveled and jumbled. The same thing applies to my sewing supplies, my office desk, my kitchen cabinets, and, (dare I say it?), my mind. In each one of these cases I go looking for one thing and find 100s of useless items just hanging around for no reason, and a few real treasures I never see or use because they are in a sorry state of order. This clearing must continue until everything I own gives me joy. This must apply to all things, mental as well as physical, digital as well as analog. At the end of the month, which is the end of the year, our brand new bed will arrive. The mattress is named Truth. The truth is that I have a lot of cleaning to do before it arrives:
What needs to go?
What are the mental steps to take to assure I maintain my unobstructed new life?
I am looking forward to exposing this entire phenomena. Often it is said that our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness. I think we all keep a lot of junk out of sight. I maintain a clean and orderly home (to the naked eye), but stuffed into all available nooks and crannies are things I do not need or want. I believe my talents and spiritual life are similar to those overstuffed cabinets. Not only do I have way more than I can use, but I have some trouble distinguishing one thing from another because the agony is all wrapped around the ecstasy at this point. I don’t embrace resolutions. I do want to find myself at the end of 2015 owning fewer things and liking them more. How do you fight the clutter bug, Gentle Reader? Who will win in 2015? I am planning a victory!
Americans have started to rebound from the culture of excess. The Tiny House Movement is a valid reaction to the waste and lack of awareness of the past. It is a growing trend with new options sprouting up all the time. There are rolling versions that replace the old trailer model of mobile home. There are plans to build your own as well as contractors who specialize in this kind of construction. The biggest advantage I can see is the tiny amount of time it would require to keep it clean. It would be impossible to leave any clutter I should imagine, since you have to see it constantly if you are not organized. I am so far from being able to contain myself like this. I own a barn and have an entire extra lot in which to garden. I do think it is an admirable goal, so I have started to think about what it would take for me to get tiny. I must start by selling many of my treasures that I no longer treasure. How hard would it be for you to go tiny?
Clean desk, clear mind, well defined goals, and a new practices are being planned for the new year. Finishing what one starts is a big lesson in my life since I like to start everything all the time. My declaration of the war on clutter has revealed how much of an overstock I had in some parts of my life and space. Dilligence to stay clean is a constant effort, since tax season is upon us and the paper will be flowing in and sorted for that fun activity. I know taxes are an excuse, and not a good one, to pile up papers rather than file or discard them on the spot. I have had a remedial session with a house keeper deep cleaning as I deep organize and toss. I have a box of paper I need to sort, but I created a temporary clean desk for the week, and will not return to the stack of paper lifestyle in 2014. I am dedicated to wasting less space and less time on distraction. Nothing is more distracting than a bunch of really important tax documents mixed and stacked in a pile of all the latest AARP junk mail and bank offers, taking up the space around you. It is very silly to allow that junk mail to get to the desk..Just like wiping one’s feet at the door, it is easier to keep the unwanted schmutz from entering in the first place.
In order to take off the runway must be cleared of any obstructions. The glass top of my desk is to remain clean and clear beyond National Clean Desk Day. I will not allow this achievement to drown in a sea of paper. I vow to throw it out at the mailbox and edit it before it comes to the office. Every day I will file, use or throw out the papers that I keep. Sticking to this practice will make me a happier person and therefore a better writer. I am enthusiastic about the #CleanDeskDay contest launched in celebration of this wonderful concept. Let’s get clean and stay clean all of 2014!!! I can’t wait to see what will be posted in instagram under #CleanDeskDay to enter the contest. The real prize is the clean desk.