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. 

Eating the Elephant

Apparently, I sounded down in last week’s post.  It wasn’t intended that way. I was actually feeling optimistic.  I did make a run to the fabric store and craft store.  Came away with a few things.  I even found some of the items on my list at the local Walmart. 

I have been making progress on the less than pleasant projects.  Little bites consume the elephant. 

A couple of dear friends are eyeball deep in the restoration of a cabin while inhabiting it.  She mentioned having an opportunity to go through her recipe collection that has been in storage and it giving her renewed inspiration and enthusiasm to keep on with the less than pleasant portions of the project.

It models the method I have used for years to get things done.  I will make my list of tasks and then set a timer for twenty or thirty minutes and work on the first one till the timer goes off.  If I am really going great, I will keep on till I stall.  I move on to the next item on the list and do the same thing with the timer.  It is sometimes best to stop exactly with the timer.  If the project is going well and the stopping place won’t cause a problem for proper execution, stop on the high point.  When the project comes back around, it will be easier to pick up and move forward. 

For the less than pleasant tasks, I have interspersed the happier ones to work on as well.  For example, I am trying to sort out a box of his papers and get them filed.  An elephant.  I also picked up a fish bowl and some aquatic plants to make a water garden.  A happy project.  I am moving back and forth on chores and projects to keep from getting bogged down.  I don’t always use a timer.  After so many years of doing so, I can “feel” the time. 

We had a good trip this past weekend to the longhorn sale.  He came home with his pick of the lots.  We got to visit with people we care about and only see once or twice a year usually.  The sale has been going on for twenty-four years and some of us have been there since the first one.  The trip for me was like my friend’s perusal of her recipes.  It has given me renewed enthusiasm to push through the less than pleasant things. 

I have been productive yesterday and today.  I read a book, watched a movie, washed clothes. As mentioned earlier, I have worked on his filing. I have taken pleasure in drinking my own coffee on the porch and watching the hummingbirds battle it out for a few drops of sugar water.  Even the elephant projects have been good. 

Reading back over the above paragraph, I should clarify that reading a book and watching a movie count as productive for me since those items are on my lists of things to achieve for personal satisfaction.  The book was one from the 1960’s by a favorite writer, Rosamunde Pilcher.  The movie was one of Margaret Rutherford’s portrayals of Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple.  As an aspiring writer, soaking in the art and craft of storytelling through books and movies is important.  As for the comment about the coffee, one of the only things I struggle with when traveling is missing my morning coffee on the back porch.  Traveling makes me appreciate it more when I do return home. 

Here’s to a good week of creative expression and loving actions, good books and good coffee.  May we have time to play and time to love.  And time to stop and see the beautiful world He has made.