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. 


After some weeks of deliberation, I have decided to take a hiatus from weekly posting.  I will “take off” the rest of December.  I am changing my schedule to the first Monday of the month and allowing myself to post randomly if so inspired.  Look for me again January 2016.

After a particularly difficult post, a friend asked me why I even bothered to publish that post.  I made a commitment to myself to post every Monday regardless.  Good, bad or indifferent.  Just show up.  For almost two years I have showed up regularly with few exceptions.  I am writing this on Tuesday rather than Monday because I was too ill to write coherently yesterday.

Having satisfied myself with the first exercise, I want to focus now on quality and depth.  I almost without exception have posted “off the cuff”.  I would just sit down, open my computer and start typing.  I found I easily reach 300 or more words in a sitting.  I often bring some closure to my thoughts.

I am finding myself holding on to things that need writing.  They need writing in my story rather than randomly in a weekly blog.  If only my inner circle has opportunity to read it I will be satisfied.  Because I will have finally done it.

I am still staring at the first tentative page in longhand of a story that needs to be written.  I believe I have begun because it contains dialogue.  I have never written dialogue.  I have not written fiction since elementary school.  I don’t know what I wrote, but back then we were required to write a short story from a prompt from time to time.  I don’t write dialogue because I have difficulty recalling what others say in a manner to quote verbatim.

I have a sense of what I want to tell.  The feeling and idea and concept I want to convey.  I need to get an idea of how to convey the message.  It will be fiction.  But, I don’t think the ending will be exactly happy.  I want to be real in the sense that life doesn’t stop at happily ever after but that a sense of wholeness is possible even after tragedy.  Even on the final day.

I doubt I will get overly religious, because I am not overly religious.  I am a believer in Christ.  I struggle to be a disciple.  But, I do know He has carried me through more heartache than some would believe possible.  He has restored my belief in myself as well.  He and he worked in tandem to bring me up from the depths of sadness and break the grip of grief that had such an icy hold on my spirit.

I will have to rely on him to help me through my emotional turmoil when I am writing.  He will have to be patient and understanding.  He will have to know I am fine, but my characters are not.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Meanwhile, I will try to bring more substance to Raining Orchids.  Just less often.  Thank you for reading and supporting my effort at fulfilling a lifelong ambition of being a writer.  See you after the holidays….