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. 

Gratitude

I am so very grateful for the blessings of this past holiday.  Thanksgiving Day, my daughter and her fiancé came for dinner.  We had a lovely visit and some fun on the target range.

I am grateful for technology that allows us to video chat with our children half a world away.  We plugged the computer into the big screen TV so we could see them larger than life!  My son! A TV star!

When he was a baby and we were living in California, we could only call home once a week and write letters that required an envelope, stamp, and a few days to get to the recipient.  In his young life, how things have changed!

I am grateful for the extended visit we were blessed with by my niece and her lovely family.  The girls are wonderful!  A four year old and a 9 month old.  He was especially touched by the extraordinary affection the baby had for him.  I was able to work on some of my preschool age entertaining skills.  I am still not at full speed.  Though, I did manage to improvise a princess breakfast table for the four year old.  Served in the living room to enjoy morning cartoons, naturally.

I have plans and dreams and ideas for little girls’ play.  I do have some of the toys set up in the guest room.  I want to work on that area some more.  I sense some more furniture moving may be in order.  I keep saying I need to stop that.  My body doesn’t recover from the strain as easily as it once did.

I am grateful to be included in their lives.  Each of my children and their mates, my niece and her husband and their girls.  Grateful to be able to love and enjoy them.

A friend and I had a conversation recently about bitterness.  Most folks go through difficult times, tragic times, even.  We get to choose whether we will be bitter or not.  I could be very bitter about the things that have happened to my loved ones and the losses I have suffered.  But, I want to be happy.  I want to love and be loved.  I want laughter and fun and tenderness and joy.  I want to be part of the lives of children and old folks.   I want to pass along the resilience and good humor given me by those who taught me to not be bitter.

Life is the stuff that happens in between the troubles.  Life is not the troubles.  Get out there and live and there are bound to be troubles.  Heartache, stress, fatigue, questionable situations.  But, in between, there is magic.  Love, joy, connectedness, tender sentimental moments, lazy moments of companionship, a beautiful spot in an ordinary day.

A friend once told me she was in a doctor’s office and rushing out to her next scheduled thing.  She noticed a rose in a vase on the table.  She paused and thought about me.  She reflected that I would stop and notice the rose and comment on how lovely it was.  I hold that as one of the best compliments I have ever received.  I do try to stop and appreciate beauty.  I took one of those aptitude and interests type tests in home economics in high school. I still recall the highest value I have as indicated by the test. Beauty.  My highest value.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  What the world counts as beauty may not catch my eye.  But, when the beholder sees beauty, whether in the face of a four year old when her mermaid hair is pulled away from her face for a moment or in the toothless grin of a happy baby, or in the twinkle of brown eyes so familiar and yet so treasured…………..oh how this old gal’s heart pitter patters!

Grateful for making my life simple and choosing to see the beauty. Raining Orchids.  The beauty of my simple life.  Yes, that is me.

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