Deleting

I always want to get rid of clutter.  To get rid of the too much in my life.  To edit and refine my vision. To focus clearly on the goals.  One of the ways I have focused over the past week or two is my on-line clutter. 

I went through my pins on Pinterest and deleted more than four thousand pins. I deleted boards and edited and remade boards.  If I want to use Pinterest to help develop my focus, then ruthless editing is required.  It is a source for the vision board I wrote about a few weeks ago. 

I have a couple of friends who like to communicate through email.  I am terribly negligent checking my email.  This very morning, I went through my email and cleared out folders of old mail, cleared all the new mail, pared down to two folders to e-file items.  I want to keep up with this clutter collector and be ready to receive further communication from them.

In working on Pinterest, I reviewed pins about getting rid of clutter.  Many, if not most, advisors on de-cluttering have lists of things to get rid of that are nothing more than lists of trash.  Yes, we should get rid of things that are broken or damaged or missing parts.  But, so much of the mess I keep is not broken, damaged or missing parts.  Much is barely used.  Much is terribly sentimental. 

I can probably work my way through the barely used.  It is the sentimental that gives pause.  I have a plan to work toward my overall goal.  If I cull every single item possible from the non-sentimental items, I will have space to display, to use, to store for easy access, those items that are sentimental.  Right?

I spent a couple of hours reading over past posts related to home keeping and this very line of thought.  In over seven years, my song has not changed much.  I found my posts from years ago sounding like I wrote them a couple of months ago. 

I do have one change to note.  In the past, realizing that would have made me feel frustrated, anxious, like a failure, hopeless.  Now, my feelings are of respect for my own determination.  My problems are not solved.  I have not evolved as much as I had hoped.  I feel I have a long way to go to reach my goals regarding my home keeping.  But I have persisted.  Persistence is key to resolving issues, to making progress, to having success in any endeavor. 

I sometimes feel I am not moving along as I desire because I haven’t improved my strategy.  I am doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  That could be true.  Still, I continue to seek new ways to work, new angles or attitudes to pursue.  I know I am recognizing some behaviors that are counter to my desired end.  I know I am not doing things as emotionally reactive as I once did.  I believe I am more deliberate and quicker to catch myself when I am not being deliberate. 

In thinking about my first 13 months retired, I will say I haven’t done a lot of things I thought I would.  Maybe because when confronted with no excuses, I find those things aren’t as appealing as they were hiding behind the curtain of “someday”.  I have a number of items on my list that are still appealing.  They require my pushing out of the cocoon I have created.  They require my using the planner I got for my birthday to schedule the tasks needed to get closer to doing those items.  They require me deleting ideas and mindsets that keep me distracted doing what doesn’t matter to me and prevents my challenging myself to do what does matter.  They also require my paying attention to how I feel about them as they roll to the front of the pursuit.  I must be diligent to hit “delete” whenever needed to keep myself on the correct path.   

I hear my daughter reminding me, I only have to keep, to do, to be what makes me happy.  What I choose to pursue in my pursuit of happiness is just that.  My choice.  She not only looks like her father, she sounds like him. 

I will continue to delete things from my home, my life, my mindset.  I may never reach the point I call “the click”.  That point when something inside me clicks and says, “Ta Da!! This is it!”  But it is something to pursue. 

Not every life has to be headline making.  There aren’t enough headlines for that.  My life needs only those headlines I see on my to do lists.  Headlines filled with adventures in blow up pools in the backyard, walks along woodland trails, rides among longhorn cattle, rainy afternoons on the glitter carpeted back porch. Those things must never be deleted.  Those are the true sentimental things I want to display, to use, to store in memory. 

Two More Months

I ran up to the store a little while ago and in conversation with the girl at the check-out, I mentioned it being August 31st and that meaning we have only two more months of heat.  It may be a little cooler over the next few weeks, but fall is two months away.  Around Hallowe’en we should get a cool front.  Meanwhile, cabin fever continues.

I want to go outside and do something.  It’s one o’clock in the afternoon.  It would not be even remotely pleasant.  Later, this afternoon, I have an outdoor project to work on.  I know that with my age and condition, I need to be careful.  I intend to try anyway.

A former co-worker has just retired.  I went to her retirement luncheon.  She has a retired husband.  They like to travel and already have a trip planned for the coming weeks.  I have been retired a year now.  I haven’t made a dent in any of my retirement plans.  I hear retired people say they are so busy they don’t know how they had time to work before.  I have managed to avoid that issue.

I have a few days each week to spend doing whatever I want here at the house.  And yet, several projects sit waiting.  Am I not really interested in getting them done?  Are they simply “should do” projects?  I was skimming through a book yesterday and came across a phrase:  rapt attention.  The rapt attention could lead to the feeling of childlike joy.  Or something like that.  I am looking for that something that can capture my rapt attention and evoke the feeling of childlike joy.

My mother had a gift for always being busy.  She had a sewing project, quilt project, crochet project or something going. In the fall or winter, she was often outside with a few hand tools clearing back the woods around the house a bit more.  Spring meant a vegetable garden to be put in.  Canning of green beans and shelling and freezing purple hull peas came around in the calendar. My brother was the muscle in the outfit.  Sometimes we would be joined by others just for the time together working on something.  As her physical ability waned, she focused on cooking for whoever showed up to fix this or paint that or watch the Cowboys play football on Sunday afternoons. 

I want to be busy, too.  I wrote last week of digging deep.  Looking for that something on all the lists that might be just the thing. 

Did I confess about my Pinterest boards?  A few weeks ago, I went through all the 4000+ pins I have on various boards.  I created a board of things that still seem to resonate with me.  Home décor, garden ideas, clothes, colors.  A variety of topics.  The other day I listened to a TED talk by someone whose opinion I respect.  He talked about vision boards being effective.  He doesn’t try to explain why.  He indicated he doesn’t know why they seem to work.  So, I made a vision board. I actually printed pictures from Pinterest and got a piece of poster board and put the board on the back side of the bedroom door.  I will let you know how things go. 

None of the things on the board are items for my rapt attention.  I will need to work on that direction some more.  I have some vague ideas, but I need some time and some resources to pursue the possibilities.  Time, I have.  Resources, not so much.  If Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s weren’t so far away, I would be able to move along more quickly.  I could at least see if anything is available to develop my ideas further. 

I am not really discouraged.  Just stalled.  If I am anything, I am persistent in this venture.  For more than 40 years, I have persisted in seeking a way to express my creativity.  I want to be bolder.  Take more risks.  Be willing to fail on a grander scale.  Out of those grander failures, I might just find something to get my rapt attention and give me childlike joy. 

The pursuit continues for me.  I take a tiny step or two each day.  Some days I even move a good bit along the path.  Today, I moved a good bit along.  My idea isn’t working. And so, a failure toward success.  Simply being able to classify today’s flop as such is success all on its own.  Let me stop here and go try to get through some more failures on the way to success.  Will keep you posted.