Quotidian

And this is my desk this morning…

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I cleared it just the other day when I was struggling and knew that just one small win might help.

But today, it is covered again with information from the fair, cold medicine, seeds waiting to be planted, mail, notes, really important stuff and I don’t know what else.  Even St. Francis is reeling in despair.

It’s easy to get frustrated when nothing is ever really done or completed.

“Didn’t I just wash this same dish yesterday?”

“Didn’t I just wash and dry and fold this shirt?”

“Didn’t I just clean this high chair a couple of hours ago?”

Word of the day…

Quotidian which mean “to occur everyday” or “belonging to each day” or “commonplace, ordinary” according to Merriam Webster.

I used to run from routines and schedules preferring to think I was spontaneous and free.

Truthfully, the most spontaneous thing about me is my depression which can randomly show up at the most inconvenient times.

More and more lately, I’ve be intentionally pursuing routines and schedules seeking stability and peace.

I most like the definition of quotidian that says “belonging to each day”.

                                                          belonging

 noun: an affinity for a place or situation.

“we feel a real sense of belonging
And it’s true that each and every mess that occurs each and every day belongs to me and those that I love.
The detritus of lives fully lived fill my days and keep me busy.  And occasionally frustrated.
So today, I will once again sort through the stuff on my desk and wash dishes and clean the high chair and run laundry.  And a hundred other little commonplace and ordinary things that belong to this day.
Some tasks are unique to this day.  Most are not…I will be scraping banana and mango off of the same high chair tomorrow.0218191230a (1)
But one day, sooner that I’d like, this kiddo will be out of the high chair and moving on just like his mama did before him.
So, I will tend to the tasks of today and do my best to find joy in them.
Peace.

Big Can, Little Can

One of the things that happened during my time away from writing here was a step towards being a zero-waste home.

I’d always said that it wasn’t possible for us and then postponed working towards the goal because of that “perfection” thing again.  We’d recycle on and off, but never really committed to the ideal.

I guess you could say that my mantra for this year is:

Don’t let perfect get in the way of better, or good, or good enough.

Almost two months ago we got busy.  I researched recycling in our area and gathered information.  We don’t have curbside recycling, but do have a recycling center relatively close.  I typed up a detailed list of what can and can’t be recycled in our area. It’s attached to the top of our recycling can.

And speaking of our recycling can…

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The big can used to be our trash can and the little one our recycling.  They have now switched service.

Our big blue curbside trash can was always stuffed full on pick-up day with at least two more big black bags stacked alongside.

Since tackling our trash problem, we rarely have more than two small white trash bags of garbage each week.  And that’s for eight people living in the house (one in diapers).  I know, cloth diapers are a thing.  I’ve tried in the past and maybe we’ll try again.  Baby steps…

We’ve become more aware of what we are buying.  There have been times that we looked at a product and decided to find an alternative because there was too much packaging that needed to be dealt with.

Driving to the recycling center is kind of a pain, but we are working it into our schedule.  We store the recycling in big tubs (that we already had because of our decluttering efforts).  They stack in the hallways until they are full to cut down on trips.

Our compost pile is filling up and our chickens eat any food that isn’t suitable for the compost pile.  We have accomplished zero food waste.

We aren’t doing  it all perfectly, but we are doing better!

 

 

 

 

Seek & Find

Journal page 24:

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If I was to title this, I think I would go with “seeds” or “new growth”.  It is a watercolor background and when it was dry I just traced some of the lines with black marker.

Once done, I saw seeds sprouting and growing up towards the sun.  It may be just what I was thinking at the time…nobody else may see it.

That’s the great thing about unfettered art journaling.  Sometimes it clarifies what is going on in our head or our lives.

I actually went into the spare room yesterday evening and with help managed to almost clear it out.  It took frequent breaks as the decisions were stressful.

There was saved lumber that had so many possibilities…too many.  It is gone except for the plywood scraps that can be used for cut-ins on the new floor.  Shelving, doors, scrap trim, and what-not are out of here.

Also gone are several pieces of furniture that were waiting to be fixed-up.  We don’t need anymore furniture.  At this stage in our lives, we need less.

Three bags of trash are filling the trash can.

One box was taken to recycling.

Two boxes are ready to go to the thrift store.

A box of photos and frames are waiting to be considered.

Evidence of an unwelcome resident of the rodent variety has been uncovered.  Ah, the joys of living in the country during the dry season. Steps have been taken to ensure that he knows he is not welcome if he chooses to return, but I suspect he has already moved on.

All that remains is a stove and a microwave that I will be posting to give away.  They were acquired when we had plans to make a small “apartment” in case my sister needed to move in with us.  She has made it clear that she has no interest in doing that and I am making peace with her decision.

The room is now ready to make-over into a usable and peaceful space for my daughter.

Oh yea…you may notice that I am typing in both upper and lower case letters today.  In the back corner of the otherwise empty closet in that room we cleared out, I found a brand new computer keyboard…still in the box.   Nobody remembers purchasing it or sticking it in there. It has replaced the one that I messed up yesterday during my ill-fated cleaning spree.

It’s true that when you get rid of what you don’t need, you get what you are seeking!

Peace.

My Voice

Journal page 17…

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A quiet weekend.

Today begins a new week.

I have an idea for a biggish canvas that I want to work on, but first I need to clear space in my studio.

I have been sorting through the stuff that is in there – trying to be aware of what actually contributes to art-making and what is there to simply make me feel like I am an artist.  This process is a lot harder than one might think.  I still struggle with saying that I am an artist.  I used to just say that I made stuff.  So, I’m making progress in that respect.

Anyhow, getting rid of stuff that I don’t need is a good thing.  It makes room for what I really need, and clarifies and simplifies the process of making art for me.  A studio that is functional is better than a room that looks like a studio in a magazine spread…not that I actually achieved that look, but I kept trying.

Still, parting with stuff that I might need for a future, hypothetical project is difficult.

And that difficulty applies to all areas of my home, not just the studio.

So, today we are redoing the Konmari method for the whole house.

Not the whole house today, of course.

Today is clothing.

I don’t anticipate that there will be a lot to get rid of, but who knows…

Until tomorrow –

Peace.

Lost and Found

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I picked that quote because I have no idea what this drawing is about.  It just happened and is in no way my normal thing, but I kind of like it…I imagine that more work will be done on it in the future.

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And in other areas of my life – this quote fits today.

Yesterday, we went to drop off a car load of de-cluttered stuff that had been piling up in the dining room.

We visited a new thrift store set up in an old house.  I naturally ended up in the kitchen where there were lots and lots of cabinets with the doors removed and painted a beautiful clean white.  On display were lots and lots of beautiful dishes.  It was a dangerous situation to be sure.

As I browsed and enjoyed the abundant wonders, I thought about how amazing it would be to have a kitchen that looked like that.  I have a kitchen with still unpainted cabinets, half-redone walls, missing trim, a plywood floor and dirty dishes.

Then I stopped.

Nothing in that room would make my kitchen look any better.  Adding more stuff would make the issue worse – no matter how beautiful the item is in its current setting.

I am blessed to have a kitchen with electricity, running water and working appliances.

The rest will come with time, effort and money.  The money will come if I quit spending it on comfort purchases and attempts at quick-fixes.

Buying and acquiring stuff is an emotional response that I have developed over the years.

The clutter is a symptom that I have been attempting to deal with.

That doesn’t work out too well in the long run.

You feel better for a while, but you’ve only treated the symptom.  The cause is still there and inevitably the symptoms will return.

I believe that I clutter to try and protect myself from the difficulties and traumas of my childhood.

A scared little girl wanted to buy the pretty dishes in an attempt to make everything better.

I am not that little girl any longer although she does live within me.

I think I am finally reaching a place where I am realizing that I need to become the adult who heals the scared child within me.  She doesn’t need more stuff.  She needs to feel protected.

I need to address the problem and not just the symptoms.

I can’t keep ignoring the fear and trying to live as if its not there.

The fear is just as real as the clutter that I try to bury it under.

This is feeling a bit like an overshare, but I know that I’m not the only one living with either the fear…or the clutter.

There is another empty box waiting in the dining room.

What will I find to put into it today…

And what will discarding it reveal?

Peace.

 

 

 

57 Page Journal Project

 

 

Page 1 of the fifty-seven page journal project is done…

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I also sorted through all the fabric, lace and trim  in the studio.

Stuff that I don’t love anymore has been bagged up to donate or thrown away depending on it’s potential.

And as a result of looking through and handling the pieces, a new project has been started with what remains.

Pictures will be posted when sufficient progress has been made or, in other words…when it actually starts to resemble the pictures in my head.

The stuff that made it through the “purge” is being neatly organized and stored in one area of the studio instead of all over the place. Two medium sized boxes of fabric and one shoe box of trim and lace are all there is.

End result of this decluttering project:  one box for the thrift store and a big bag of trash.

Less stuff to deal with and two creative projects undertaken!

A good day…

Peace.

 

Bent Pins and Collected Things

Life is too short for bent and dull sewing pins, fabric I no longer love and dried up paint.  I could add a hundred and one other things to this list and never even leave my studio.

I’ve decided that it all comes down to FEAR and it’s constant companion ANXIETY.  There is no simple button to press and make those two disappear from my life.  I just need to continue to work towards a peaceful home where we can exist together harmoniously.

My studio.

That’s where I have been for the past couple of days.  Not for long periods of time, but little visits so I can work out a way to want to be in there…

To make stuff again.

I’ve identified two specific things that I fear with regards to that room:

Fear of getting rid of things because I might need them someday and the accompanying fear of using things because then I won’t have it and it might work better in another future project…

and that hypothetical scenario leads to the next fear…

Fear that anything I make won’t be “good enough”.  I can’t even explain that one.

Is it a fear of someone else’s opinion?  Maybe a “real” artist judging what I’ve made or…

Am I really just afraid of my own inner critic?

– that voice that does such a good job of telling me that “I can’t”

In any event, the result of this fear is that I’ve become more of a collector of possibilities rather than a creator of them.

I have fabric, canvases, paint, brushes, ephemera, stamps, ink, adhesives, buttons, threads, jars of fascinating little things, pencils, pens, paper and more paper and a hundred and one other things.  All of this was purchased, found and gifted to me because of it’s potential to become something more.

I’ve even collected quotes about creativity…

But I’ve made enough lists for today.

It’s summer.

I have fewer responsibilities to use as excuses.

Today, I have decided to start a summer journal project and publicly declare it’s existence.

Fifty-seven journal pages this summer.

One for every year that I’ve been alive.

Instead of saying that I want to make stuff over and over again, I’m going to make stuff.

Make pages with no excuses or apologies for what they look like or don’t.

Process, not product…

Along the way, I’m going to get rid of anything taking up space in there that doesn’t work for who I am now as an artist.

starting right now!

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