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.