What Now?

No writing the last few days…just a lot of thinking and a bit of keeping my mouth shut and some reevaluating my life.

This flu bug just keeps hanging on.  No fever, not really sick, but not feeling well either.  Lots and lots of coughing that’s threatening to become bronchitis.  I’m sure some allergens are responsible also.  I’ve been trying to take it easy and just do the really important stuff, but mainly thinking….

Thinking about the other night when I went into my studio and realized that my work table was once again so cluttered that I couldn’t actually use it.

One of the things on it was an old visual journal from 7 or so years ago.  It’s part of a box that I packed away about a year ago because I couldn’t make a decision about what to do with them.  And then I brought the box back out because there was an empty shelf in my new studio. Sigh.

I started paging through it.  There wasn’t actually much in it as far as original art went. There were a lot of articles about creativity and quotes.  There were some collaged pages using images and words from magazines.

I decided it wasn’t great stuff.  I reread the creativity articles and decided that they weren’t all that important.  You can find millions of articles in that vein on the internet.  I started copying some of the better quotes into a new journal and then realized that these can also be accessed anywhere anytime I might suddenly need a quote.

Then I came across a page that featured the words, “I need a pause button”.  I wrote about that just the other day right here in this blog.

The next page dealt with the issue of clutter…

And the next, dealt with finding time for creativity in the midst of life.

I burst into tears.

This journal is over 7 years old.

I’m still stuck in the same spot.

Sure, I’ll grant that I’ve made some progress.  There have been steps forward and steps backwards.  That’s how life works.

But…I have not changed my life significantly.  I am essentially still working on the same issues.

Insanity, right?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

I took the journal and went to the center of my labyrinth that I am constructing in my yard (it’s technically just a couple of circular rock piles, but let’s not judge…work in progress) and set the damn thing on fire.

We could be generous and say it was a ceremonial gesture ritually symbolizing significant change and hope for the future.

Let me be brutally honest.  That’s not what happened.  I was just a pissed off and enormously frustrated woman destroying something that I had previously found significant.

In reality, that journal was just another one of the hundreds of things that are in the way of what I claim to want.

So, it turns out that this year’s motto…Re-thing, Re-imagine, and Reflect…are the correct words for change.

I haven’t come up with any grand solution or any new plan.

It’s just very clear that the old ways aren’t working well enough.  I don’t have time to piddle around with these changes.  I’m not going to live forever!

For now, I’m sticking with sorting through things.  Hopefully, more ruthlessly and with a clearer understanding of what needs to go.

This thinking can’t just apply to belongings.  In fact, “things” are the least of my worries. Old habits, relationships, emotional baggage, and choices all need to be brought under the microscope.

What is beneficial?

What brings joy?

What is worthy?

What brings me closer to the life I envision?

Ugh.

Reality checks can be brutal…

and painful…

and enormously helpful.

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5 thoughts on “What Now?

  1. Welcome to my reality! I too have found myself, after years of de-cluttering (we have actually downsized significantly overall – more than 50% in the last few years), still in a sea of stuff. Mostly crafting stuff (which is hardest for me to release… yes, even when I see the sea is preventing me from being creative.) And I continue to struggle with not accumulating more, though I will say, most of what I gather now is from second hand or given to me. I just finished a book called Zero Waste Home and found it to be inspiring. Really making me re-think how I purchase things like groceries, but also everything. Another seed in the brain.
    I think we have all made progress. And sometimes it is 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. But we have inside of us ideas and concepts that two years ago were unknown or at least lesser understood. I heard a good podcast recently that helped me comprehend we need to all start where we are. And BE OK with that. It’s about progress, not perfection. It’s about how we are doing from OUR perspective, not compared to some ideal or someone else who seems to be ahead in the game. It’s here if you want to check it out: http://www.thepermaculturepodcast.com/2015/episode-1523-ethan-hughes/
    I do think burning things can be cathardic. And throwing away things can be freeing. Especially things that truly just have guilt of “I should keep this” or old feelings of hurt (even little ones) tied to them. I’m working now on trying to be kind to me as I move forward slowly. I’m giving myself pats for the good I’m doing and reminding myself gently when I find a mis-step on the path I believe I want to follow. Today.
    Life happens. I’m looking at slowing down, staying in the moment, and realizing more that there’s not a lot that TRULY has to be done, short of breathing, eating, huggung, sleeping and pooping.(Maybe hugging should be first…) I’m trying to find the joy in each moment and be present. It’s a gift to me.
    Thanks for all your ramblings. They bring goodness to the world as we all move forward to the next amazing version of ourselves.

    1. Thank you! All good words, good advice, and good thoughts. I’m hanging in there and trying to be kind to myself. I’ve looked at the Zero Waste Home site before, but it just always seemed like such an impossible idea…not realistic at all, but I’m going to give it another read. Just gotta keep moving…hopefully mostly forward, but definitely not standing still!

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