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mermaidcamp

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#WeekendCoffeeShare Earth Day Edition

April 22, 2017 6 Comments

antique glider

antique glider

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.

cookbooks

cookbooks

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.

#WeekendCoffeeShare

#WeekendCoffeeShare

Weekend Coffee Share, Procrastination As Art

September 25, 2016 6 Comments

spark joy

spark joy

If we were having coffee this weekend I would invite you to join the world wide gathering of coffee and tea drinkers who share an interest in reading and writing.  It is fun to be back at the table with such a diverse and interesting crowd.  I feel good about hosting you this weekend because I just received my fall order from my favorite tea company.  Even though I had many on hand, I just love having a wide variety of tea because we drink it all day every day.  I also drink coffee, but cold tea is our main beverage de la casa.  I can offer you roiboos, honeybush, green, white, and fruit based tea.  I am binging on one of the new ones, a green tea with caramel hints for fall.  It is not overly flavored, but the hint of caramel lingers after I drink it.

If we shared our deepest conflict of the week mine would have to be the stand off in which I find myself with the Japanese tidy lady, Marie Kondo.  She has published two books that have inspired a wave of praise.  I decided to have my robot Alexa, and Audible in general, read her first book to me.  This step by step guide to clearing out junk by clearing out emotional clutter is specific and wonderfully logical.  After hearing The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up I realized that I had no hard copy, and would never be able to follow her intricate folding technique without that.  I bought her second book, Spark Joy, in the kindle print version, then added narration in order to continue my audio tutelage from Ms Kondo.  I listen to her at home and at the gym. I am convinced she is right about everything.

While I do donate and cull my possessions all the time I know I will not have permanent freedom from clutter, both emotional and physical, until I follow the tidy steps.  Instead of doing that I am listening to the books and telling everyone how great they are.  I have not started the program, and have, indeed, while supposedly enrolled in Ms Kondo’s Key to Happiness class, placed a big tea order without going through my tea cupboard to tidy. I have also purchased a fabulous reversible jacket on sale at a thrift store that came out to just $3 per jacket, if you count both sides. I am a complete jacket-a-holic.  I know when I finally make the clothing piles the jacket pile will be the most obscene and ridiculous.  I have them stashed in every closet and in the barn.  Marie would so bust me, and in fact, she has fully busted me rhetorically.  I would like to see her try to bust me in person…really I would.  I am now using major procrastination, thinly disguised as training, to listen to the books instead of doing the tidying.  I am pretty sure this is antithetical.

I had a comical conversation about the tidy lady and her program with a friend who is a successful real estate agent.  She owns lots of stuff as well as lots of real estate.  We discussed the perils of owning a barn.  In the end we decided we should just walk around and give our stuff directly to homeless people.  We would have fun doing it.  However I go about this I need to commence.  The agony of procrastination is not worth it.  I am not a terrible hoarder, but am certainly meeting the part of me that would just as soon become one in the future.  Her little shadow persona must be brought to heel.

I enjoy hearing from all you nordics at the coffee party, with your leaf colors, and your fall customs.  I had to buy a new air conditioning unit last week because it is still very hot in Tucson, and mine died.  I did get a good deal from a local company, so all is well.  I have every kind of tea, and the house is cool and comfy.  I think you will be fine with the present level of tidy, but don’t open my office closet.

 

Sun in Virgo, Time to Organize

August 22, 2016 12 Comments

Virgo constellation

Virgo constellation

The sun has just moved into Virgo for the transitional month between summer and fall. In just a month’s time it will be equinox. This month is perfect for cleaning and clearing space, time, and clutter of any kind.  Virgo month is also the ideal time to upgrade daily health and fitness regimes.  I have returned to a study that requires intense reading, meditation, and writing.  I had fallen out of the discipline needed to finish the course, but now I am enjoying the material and looking forward to doing my homework.  Virgo is all about discipline, order, and maybe a little bit of fussiness over details.  This is the right time to take up journaling and daily meditation in order to ground body and mind.  This is the month to put everything neatly in order, and keep it that way.

I believe that habits require 40 days to become a part of life.  After the equinox I need to be vigilant and orderly with my newly established practices in order to secure them.  Before the equinox I plan to do a major purge and tidy program in my home and garden.  By cleaning and clearing space I will also clear some time for myself.  Less stuff requires less maintenance.  I am convinced that I will be happier owning far fewer books, pieces of clothing, papers, and personal mementos.  I am going to listen to the joy of tidy book again because I still have a month of audible for free, and I think I need to hear it all one more time.  I know the author is right about junk representing unresolved issues form the past.  Physical space has a direct impact on physical as well as mental health. Clearing closets has the effect of clearing cobwebs from the mind.

To honor the virgin of the harvest in my own way I will use her energy to:

  • clear and organize my home
  • clear and organize my barn full of stuff
  • keep a daily journal
  • do daily homework
  • keep regular gym and fitness schedule
  • record data on the fitbit dashboard

This will be an excellent jump start to the fall season.  Establishing healthy habits and clean clear space is a gift that will go on giving through the end of the year.

 

 

 

Spirit of Giving, Animism

December 10, 2014 8 Comments

first box to go

first box to go

I have a rather animistic relationship with my possessions and potential possessions.  I find them in a somewhat psychic shopping style, and buy them in a love at first sight condition.  This happens on a regular basis with jackets..and other items of clothing.  I adore costuming and potential costuming.  I like it way too much.  When I first find the unusual jacket/prom dress/beaded top I believe we are meant to be a pair.  I see us as fabulous fashion partners stunning and shocking our fans.  This is where the delusion begins..but not at all where it ends. It ends in my closet, my garage, and alas, gentle readers, in my barn.  The truth is that after a brief romance, all these dazzling duds live a life of drudgery, never seeing any action or fun.  I need to set them free for their own self realization.  They need to party as their original construction intended.  No clothing is happy in the bottom of the drawer or the back of the closet.

Yesterday on PBS radio a lady was reviewing a book about Japanese style tidying up and animistic treatment of the objects in the home.  The author had been a Shinto shrine maiden in Japan in her youth, so she really knew a lot about space and ritual.  Her method of cleansing starts with a realization that we are not treating our objects with love and respect if we allow them to pile up and collect dust.  She emphasizes the feeling of happiness an object must evoke in order to stay in our presence.  She aptly notes that old papers never give us feelings of happiness.  By keeping so many objects that do not make us happy (any more) we restrict our own spacious feeling and daily comfort.  I listened in the car to this radio interview and felt very personally touched by this message.  I recently chipped the glass on vase containing fake amaryllis that my mother gave me about 15 years ago.  It has been on display in my living room in a prominent place all those years and we have enjoyed it.  It is not by any means the only gift I have that she gave me, but I do feel an attachment.  My partner and I talked it over and joked about it, and I am ready to part with the object, for the good of all involved.  Someone may recycle it if I set it free.  It has served its purpose and now it can do something new.

Today my friend is going to visit while I go through my clothing to determine which items truly contain joy for me now.  I do not dare to estimate how much needs to go, but I now see my wardrobe as a family.  I have cramped the pieces into prison quarters with no light or air.  How could they possibly be happy as my wardrobe, overcrowded and starved for attention?  The majority of these items need to live in another person’s wardrobe, where they can be loved and treated well.  Then I will have a well ordered place for the happy items that will remain with me.  The Japanese method suggests that while our socks are in a drawer, they are on holiday.  We want them to rest and feel good for the next time they go on our feet.  We must pay attention to the state of the holiday resort by assuring proper order and visibility for the resting clothing.  I totally love this whole concept, and am sure my clothing will applaud the good news.  I just told a friend that by the end of the year I plan to make my closet look like  a Shinto shrine.  He said, “Send me a picture.”   Now I have made a true commitment, and at this point nothing looks less like a shrine than my closet.  I have a goal and a deadline.  I look forward to making the clothing that makes the cut very happy in the future.

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