Photographs

I have been trying to get photographs moved from photo boxes to albums for 20 years.  Really. Twenty years. 

They haven’t been spread out all over the whole time.  I have gotten them out, sorted, discarded some, and boxed them back up more than once.  I couldn’t find photo albums I wanted until two or three years ago.  I got the albums and additional filler pages.  Eventually, I started loading photos only to find the first groups were too small to stay in the pockets.  I got black acid free paper and cut it to fit in the pockets and stabilize the photos.  Sometime in August, I set up the folding table and cleared the kitchen table and went at things again.  I have made very slow progress.  Slow progress is still progress. 

I find the task of sorting and deciding how to load them and the actual loading into the pockets tedious. The real challenge is seeing my tiny children in the prints.  I miss those little people so terribly much. 

I am trying to get this task complete because I do love mine and Rock’s two people and I want them and their girls, the Duchesses, to see all these pictures.

I want all of them to see all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, too.  The family connections and where we come from.  Roots matter.  That is one of the major lessons I learned from Granny Sally.  She taught it through family stories, through visiting cemeteries and explaining the family behind the names carved in granite, through cooking her mother’s dumplings for me when she could and pinto beans when she couldn’t.  

Mother was always pulling all of us together.  Family ties matter.  Something about knowing our people creates connection.  I try to get our children together whenever we can.  We have several friends who are closer than a lot of our family members.  They create an even richer connection for us. They are included in my party tribe these days. 

I don’t remember to take pictures enough when we are all together.  I am in very few of the photos scattered on the table because I was always behind the camera. We all have phone in our pocket to take pictures.  Yet, I forget to do it.  Another thing that I don’t like is having everything digital.  I would like to have a lot of the photos saved on the computer or my social media account or a thumb drive printed into those ready-made photo books.  One of my sister friends is scanning her old prints of photos on to her computer.  It’s all a bit overwhelming for me.  There seems to be no end to this project. 

Oh, well.  I will keep progressing.  Slow, no doubt.   Slow progress is still progress.  I will keep reminding myself. 

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.