I have had a very busy week at the 9-5. We had a project to do on short notice. The results showed I have made more progress than I imagined in a major audit that occurs next year. Every three years we have an audit that requires annual documentation to be collected from dozens of areas. The information has to be compiled into folders. I do a lot of the collecting and all of the compiling. I have some co-workers who assist when they have time and I appreciate them like a glass of sweet tea in August. The nice thing is that (Lord willing), the audit next year will be my fourth and last one. I should be able to retire before it comes around again.
I also had a challenge to try to say the right things to a friend going through a major crisis. She has a lot of difficult and heart rending things happening. I reminded her that it will be okay, that she is strong, that she has a large support system. I know He will take care of every need.
I am challenged with trying to write this post. I am not feeling very inspired. But, the exercise is to show up and type. For one trying to develop a writing lifestyle, it is an important thing to just show up at the page.
He always encourages me to write. I tease him that he just likes to read how wonderful he is and see me telling the world how wonderful he is to me. He is my Valentine every day. He has been for thirty four years. He continues to amaze me with his ability to face the world with such bravado and touch the world with such compassion for others with less bold courage. What a treasure is my True Love.
My usual winter blues have arrived in full force. February has always been a very difficult month for me. Obviously cold is not the problem. We have had record warm temperatures for a while. Is it the low sunlight? Probably.
Compounding the problem is what my health care provider and I believe is fibromyalgia. I started a prescription medication today. The pain and fatigue is constant in different levels of intensity. The kind of ache that occurs with fever or the flu. All the time. I have sought help for this several times over the years. Most providers just dismiss my complaints as stress and depression. I told this one I don’t care what she calls it. Just give me something to help me feel better. It will take a few weeks to get results. Interestingly, this time my trip to the provider was not from a feeling of desperation. I have a feeling of positive expectation to have my symptoms relieved.
Despite this problem, I think I finally have what I need to complete a long standing project. Family photos. I am certainly not a scrap booker. I have boxes of photos I want to put into regular photo albums. Over the years I have sorted through the stacks. I have passed along and throw away stacks and stacks.
I want to state how I came upon the albums. I was on the way to the doctor’s office. I was thinking of the things I wanted to look for in the city shops. Suddenly, I was impressed to pray over “my plans”. I had photo albums on my list among other things. About the only thing I purchased were the albums and additional pages to fill them. The rest of this story is that they were on sale half price. I got them at Hobby Lobby. I picked up a sheet of pretty poster board paper for something else for a couple of dollars. That was it. Nothing else purchased despite stopping at several places looking for some things on my list.
A definite yes. That is how I am trying to operate these days. When shopping, when cleaning and sorting, when doing anything, I am seeking a definite yes. If I have a maybe, it is a no. For example, today I went to a department store to check for a pair of shoes. No shoes found. But, purses were seriously on sale. Oh, my! Temptation. Serious temptation. I found a purse I liked. I didn’t love it. But I could think of several positives with it. I went so far as to have the sales clerk check the actual sale price and got in line with it. Suddenly, I realized I didn’t have a definite yes decision. I had reservations about the color and a couple of the details. I had reservations about buying a purse I could do without. It does not fit in my 2017 theme to reduce.
He has been intensely concerned and supportive, as usual. One of my best blessings is him. I don’t deserve him. I am very grateful to Him for him.
This is where I am this week. Positive expectation. Seeking a definite yes. Reducing distractions.
I did not complete the January project as planned. No real surprise there. How many plans actually go forward perfectly without a hitch?
So, now what? Should I continue with the idea? Should I back up and regroup? Should I dump the plan?
I don’t know, yet. I don’t want to think of it right now. Perhaps that is my answer. Nothing right now. Just let it go for a couple of days. Saturday has great potential as a day to think about things. I will have time to ponder over what I am going to do next.
I will have time to figure out “what now”. I am a little frustrated because I want to be doing something else. I just don’t know what the “else” is supposed to be.
If the weather permits, time outside in the sun would be a great help. I need time to look at the trees making patterns against the sky. I reviewed my personal photos. I surely love trees.
My “now what?” is to stop and look around. Look up. Keep looking up.
I have one more week to complete my January plan to finish it or forget it. I need to make a good push the next couple of evenings. I need to make sure I haven’t missed anything that I wanted to get resolved. It is unlikely I will get everything done as intended.
Those big frames are still causing a roadblock. I haven’t done the project I planned. It was actually about the third plan for one of three. I like the idea of the project. But, I don’t want that hanging on my wall. What was I thinking? Back to square one.
If I do what I promised myself, the frames have to leave on February 1. This late in the evening with the week I have had, I don’t know what the outcome will be regarding this matter.
Monday, I went in to the 9-5 in tears. We have an upcoming audit and I was certain a critical portion of documentation was missing. He knew of my dilemma and prayed all morning for me. That afternoon, I found the documentation in my file right where I would have looked had I not been so certain I didn’t have it. Not only was the paperwork there, it was complete. That is the power of a praying man. That is the mercy of a loving Father.
This evening, while riding home from church, I told him he has a red phone directly to Him. It’s one of those that doesn’t even have a dial. He just picks up and it rings in Heaven and He answers. He told me I have the same. I told him no. I have to dial my phone. Someday, perhaps I will have faith as large as his. Meanwhile, I am very grateful and blessed because of his direct red phone connection to Him.
I have been noticing and reading about hygge. It is trending in my web orbit on various sites. As I read about it, I am not finding anything new to me. The Danes are crediting with creating a way to survive the long, cold winters by doing certain things.
Here in Southeast Texas, long cold winters don’t happen. However, we do have days strung together of damp, grey rain. This morning is one. Yesterday was one.
As long as I can remember, I have set myself to enjoy such days. I have the curtain drawn back and the window open to hear the rain. The lights are low. A candle flickers. My pillows are propping me up as I snuggle under my coverlets. A cup of tea is steaming on the nightstand. I have my journal at hand to scribble my thoughts.
I have spent time this morning thinking and planning. Pondering where I want to go with the projects I am working through this month. As an update, over the past week, I have hauled off some odds and ends to the charity shop. I have added things to the costume box for our daughter’s theater. I have dumped some projects. I will be continuing to haul off the junk associated with those projects.
Additionally, I have determined to dump the mindset that tells me I must have everything on our place clean and orderly before I can actually feel happy, content or satisfied. Several years ago, in an effort to fight off this very mindset, I wrote an exhaustive list of all the things necessary to achieve such a situation. I actually included: no fire ants anywhere on the place. We live on seven acres in Southeast Texas. I included no fire ants. Of course, it was one of those extreme exercises designed to show me how ridiculous are my thought processes. In the quiet of this morning, I recalled that and laughed all over again.
What does that have to do with now? I have some items on that very list that are not so ridiculous still holding sway over me. I am determined to rewrite the tape that plays in my head. “If this, then that” goes round and round. If I could get this done, I could have that. But, I am like the mule at the millstone going round in circles chasing the carrot that dangles on the line out in front of me.
Already I have significantly reduced the incoming flow of stuff. I have unloaded things. I am focusing on the things I really want to pursue. Not pursuing them, yet. I am thinking about those things rather than the carrot dangling out there.
I am allowing myself to truly enjoy the art of doing nothing. I am giving myself permission to be happy with being imperfect. I am granting myself leave to embrace my oddities. I was once described by a friend as one who marches to the beat of her own drummer. I have tried so hard to seem normal. To be less strange. To not distance people with my weirdness. I am giving myself permission to let it all go and see what stays. See who stays.
This is a good trend to follow. “To thine own self be true.” What year did W.S. write that? After 400 years, it is still a good trend to follow.
I have made some progress. He helped me put together and set up bookcases to house my books and other items. I love the way it turned out. I have the rocking chair sitting at the bedroom window. The view is of the woods at the south end of the house. I get winter sun through this window.
I made my way through some areas of the washroom storage spaces. And I am pleased to report working through one kitchen cabinet. I’m not sure how much actually went to the “out the door” pile. I did relieve some of the congestion in the space.
I am getting a clearer view of how I want the end result to turn out over all. I had cleared some areas in the washroom. The next day, I went back because I had kept a couple of things that I really don’t want to keep. They are now in the “out the door” pile.
I haven’t read the Konmari book. I have skimmed over blog posts and e-articles that discuss the ideas in the book. At first, I was resistant to the concept. And I did read an inquiry that asked how one is to manage something like a hammer or screwdriver type item. It doesn’t “spark joy”, but it sure is useful to have around. I suppose I would have to break down and read the book to see if that writer addresses mundane things or is she just discussing socks and how to fold tee shirts as has been related in above mentioned readings.
Somewhere along the line I have read some helpful things regarding this process on which I am working. One remark is about clutter being the result of indecision. The idea for me at this point is simply to decide yes or no. It is either definitely YES!! Or it is no. There can be no maybe. I confess I have never watched more than a few limited scenes of Star Wars. I have heard Yoda get credit for a line that goes something like: do or do not. There is no “try”. I translated that to “yes” or “no”. There is no maybe. In this process, that means no more gray areas. No more “we might need it later”. Either I know we will use it and it is right to keep it or it goes away.
I will have some extra days at home next week. Those days should be the final push. If I could complete this final process sooner than January 31, so much the better. Then what will I do? It will be time to dig deep and get serious about writing. I will have to face the fear of feeling too deeply. I will have to face the grief again. I will have to face the demons that chase me through my dreams. I have some special people waiting for a real story out of me. I will have to face the possibility of them being disappointed in the story. I will have to face the possibility of them not being disappointed in the story and pushing me to do more. To dig deeper. To pour out my soul onto the page. To feel too deeply. Am I brave enough to do it?
Let me get through January. In some ways, the task at hand is building my courage. When I am able to put an object in a box to go away, I have to trust myself that it is the right decision. February will know if I have been brave enough and bold enough. If I have pushed my limits of comfort enough. Everything is intertwined. One thing builds on another. If I can do this, I can do that. That leads to those other things. On and on.
There is a part of me that stands back and watches to see what I am doing. Judging me. Criticizing me. Over the years, I have trained that part to be more compassionate toward myself about so many things. That part of me is on the edge of her seat watching to see if I walk out on this limb and it breaks off. She can laugh cruelly as I fall. Compassion will be out the window on this one. I am my cruelest adversary.
I rode up to a nearby park the day it was cold and sleeting here. The blackbirds were all over the ground. Like a black cloud. As I would approach, they would move is a retreating wave further along. I was unable to capture the wave on video sufficiently to illustrate their movement. Will I be able to capture my thoughts on paper sufficiently to illustrate my story? I could only get a photo of them perched in the trees. Black against a gray sky. Eventually, I will capture the stories black against a white screen.
Rather than resolutions, I have set a deadline. I have several “projects” similar to the snow village lined up to do. I have a large ornate framed canvas with an oil painting I don’t like. I only bought the piece for the frame. I picked up a landscape picture about 20 by 40 inches. There are some other things I can’t specifically recall at the moment. Things lurking in the closets and on shelves. I have particular plans for some of the items. Some of the items are still awaiting inspiration. The deadline has to do with actually completing things.
I am going to spend some moments gathering things. I will either complete the project at hand or get rid of the stuff February 1. January 31 is the last day to complete things. Let’s see if I can stick to this plan.
Additionally, I have set the same deadline to unload some excess dishes and kitchen items. With all my talk of decluttering, my kitchen is seldom mentioned. Rather, I continue to add to my packed cabinets. Dishes are like chairs for me. Both represent hospitality and parties and a house full of people visiting. They are occasionally irresistible. Particularly when they match or resemble things from the ancestors’ kitchens.
Another area that remains untouched is my jewelry collection. I don’t have any real stuff beyond a few rings and a pair or two of earrings. I have piles of costume jewelry, though. Some of it has to go. And not to my daughter’s house. She says it will go to the prop room at the school theater. I’m not sure it will make it there. She likes to collect as much as I do.
I intend to keep this scheduled deadline for several reasons. I want to resolve past projects. Either finish or eliminate them. I want to spend time working on the yard in February and March. I am supposed to have a particular visitor coming in February as well. By May, I will be fully engaged with another new Dream. This one a Texas Dream.
Incentive and motivation are so important in my venture. The incentive is increased physical space, less cleaning, easier cleaning, more energy, more free time, less wasting of mental energy on indecision. Motivation is preparing for the new generation before they get going on their feet.
I have a slight hope that eliminating distractions will force me to write. Not this babbling. Not my journal scribbling. I need to focus and write the stories. Write the tales that haunt my dreams and drift in memories. Write the tales that will be unfolding in the coming years. Write the tales I want my grands to read. Tales that will show them who we are. Show them the toughness and the love that brought us to this point in this race of beings.
Yes. I would say I have incentive and motivation to meet my self-imposed deadline. Now, if I can just pay attention long enough to get it done!
Happy New Year. May all our plans be guided by a Greater Hand and be filled with His Love.