Looking Back…

Friday already!

Slow down world…

Today, I am packing and prepping to head out to Sherwood Forest Faire for the weekend.  I’m working there again this season.  Sherwood is similar to a Renaissance Festival, but set in a different time period. I’ll once again be working in the kitchen of the Italian restaurant…behind the scenes, but still involved with plenty of time for wandering around and taking in the sights.  People watching is one of my favorite activities.

I’m only slightly anxious about leaving for the weekend.  I can feel it building, but I think that I’m dealing with it fairly well.  Maybe the new meds are helping?

Looking back is not always a bad thing (as long as you don’t live there).  I can remember a time not so many years ago, when going away for the weekend would have been almost impossible.  I certainly wouldn’t have been able to drive myself an hour and a half away.  In fact, there was a time when going to the grocery store was a serious challenge.

It’s good to remember those times and to realize that progress and improvement is possible.  Things can get better.  Maybe never completely resolved, but better.

Sorry for the hurried post, but I still have a long ways to go to be organized like I once was.

The dryer load is finishing up with the clothes I need for the weekend.

My art class materials still need to be gathered up.

The car needs to be emptied of things that will be needed here this weekend.

I need to double-check that I remembered everything.

And then triple-check!

I need to take a deep breath and relax.

All shall be well.

And life is good!

Well, hello there…

I think I’m coming back to the land of “normal”.  I also believe it and I am quite certain that thinking and believing are two different things.  So, I’m going to conclude that there is a definite improvement in my “being-ness” since both thought processes are in play.

We had a fun Fourth of July celebration at the home of old friends.  They are friends that we have known for a long time and are not necessarily old although not as young as they used to be.  It was going to be a smallish celebration, but as most good parties do, it grew and grew…  There was laughter, food, beer, tension, fireworks (mostly the actual physical kind, not the human interaction kind) and more food.

I was stressed going into it all, but by the end of the night was doing pretty well.  Time spent with folks you know and who know you can be healing.  And I did not kill any small child who threw loud noisy things to the ground behind me.  I don’t know what those explosive devices are called AND the small children will never throw them near me again, but I didn’t permanently harm any of them…I promise.

Today saw us dropping my oldest daughter off at her summer job.  She is working a Renaissance style childrens’ summer camp.  She’s the daughter with culinary school and an in-process degree in Food Service Management.  She’ll be working in an unairconditioned kitchen in July in Central Texas.  Fun times…

Did I mention we helped her convert our old trailer into a Vardo type habitat for her stay.  She decided that a tent might be too rustic for her for a month (Gee, you think?).  IMAG0865IMAG0868IMAG0875IMAG0871

She did almost all of the work herself with some manual labor assistance.  She got an air-conditioner and everything….pretty sweet.  I totally forgot to get a photo of the finished dwelling…a description will have to suffice.  Corrugated metal on the ceiling, a sari-fabric hanging light, a full mattress covered in pillows, fabric lining the walls, a desk/table with storage underneath, and a chair.  Very snug, cozy and climate controlled.  I’m almost jealous…except for the whole kitchen job thing…been there, done that.

I followed up our morning excursion with a three hour nap.  I definitely feel better.  I woke up to a quiet and empty house.  I took a moment to wander through and assess the level of untidiness.  On a scale of one to ten with ten being complete chaos, I think we’re hovering around a 13.

It’s pretty “lived-in”.  That’s okay.  We’ve done a lot of living so far this summer. I love a challenge.  I will start out tomorrow with my list in hand and start to tame the beast.

For now, I’m going to be happy to be me.

The Lights Went Out and a Light Dawns

We had a pretty awesome storm last night.  The works:  rain, LOUD thunder, and lightning.

The lights went out.

Remember the pathways through the stuff I’ve been telling you about?  Try navigating those in the dark while trying to find the candles and matches.  Those cluttered counters?  Not helpful in the dark.  Stuff falls off onto the floor (and your toes) while you are fumbling around looking for a match.  Also, there’s no clear and safe spot to set a candle.

If kicking a box (or five) didn’t break my toe, the can of tomatoes did when it fell off the counter.

I just went to bed.

This morning, while getting out of the shower, this is what I saw. IMAG0592

It’s looked like this all week.  I’ve been “going to clean it off” as soon as I had time to clean the bathroom properly.  “Going to’s” just aren’t a good way to get things done.

I timed it.  It took only 5 minutes, 40 seconds; including the time it took to take things to their proper home and to use that Soft Scrub to actually clean the counter. Those steps count on my fitbit – I’m still trying to achieve 10,000 steps on a regular daily basis.IMAG0594

Double win!  Clear and clean counter, more steps.

The rest of the bathroom isn’t done, but progress has been made.

A light dawns.  Maybe my list of things “to do” should be broken down into smaller jobs.

Not, clean the bathroom, BUT clear the counter, take the dirty laundry to the laundry room, empty the trash, etc.  I don’t have the time to get it all done, BUT I can get something done.

Hmmmm? Maybe I should actually write down a list.  I’m always going to, but never actually do. There’s that “going to” phrase again.

I know that writing things down gets it out of my head.  It actually clears some of the mental clutter.  There’s also the satisfaction of crossing things off of the list.

The list would have to be realistic and specific.  Not clean and de-clutter the entire house by this evening.

I’m going to do it.  I mean really do it.  Right here.  Right now.

To Do Today

  1. Clear off and clean master bath counters
  2. Gather dirty laundry and take to laundry room
  3. Clear and dust surfaces in the living room
  4. Clear and clean hall bath counters.
  5. Clear and wipe down hall counter
  6. Clear desk top
  7. Stack all boxes of paper that needs to be shredded in one spot (by shredder)
  8. Put all of daughter’s boxes in one location
  9. Gather all empty boxes in on place to await use or recycling
  10. Take shredded paper to recycling and donations to thrift store
  11. Do 2 loads of laundry – wash, dry, and put away
  12. Maintain fridge and pantry
  13. Wash dishes
  14. Find quote for new art card and print out
  15. Stare at canvas for a little while
  16. Make daughter deal with two boxes of stuff today
  17. Don’t forget to pick up youngest daughter from her friend’s house
  18. Enter expenditures in budget and reconcile account
  19. Run errand for husband
  20. Be kind to myself if I don’t complete this list because sometimes life happens – remember that sometimes the interruptions are the work that needs to be done.

This is the new plan.  The new and improved plan.  Where there’s life, there’s hope.

Please be forgiving as I’m not going to spend a lot of time proofing this.  I just realized that it’s almost noon and I just publicly wrote a list of things to do.  The perfectionist in me doesn’t want to fail.

Gotta go!

If You’re Not Paying Attention


What happens if you’re not paying attention?  Good question.  It may actually be more than a question…more like an actual lifestyle issue that needs attention.  We may be talking about my problem with addressing and paying attention to more than one area of my life at a time.

By now, you may be asking a question of your own.  What is she talking about  – or trying to talk about.

Remember my health “crisis” last October?  Emergency surgery, intestinal obstructions, the imminence of death.  What I didn’t share was that a month later I had some out-of-whack lab results that indicated pre-diabetes.

My focus was fully on my health.  I started exercising.  Walking about 3 miles a day.  Dropped most carbs from my diet.  Only whole grains.  LOTS of veggies and some fruit.  Dropped almost 40 pounds.  Felt fantastic!

And then…

because I felt so great, I started getting lots done around the house.  I decluttered and then organized.  I ripped up carpet and made plans for all the little (and big) stuff that needed to be done around here.

And then…

because the house was looking better, I had the opportunity and peace of mind to go on a creative binge.  Lots of art-making.

And then…

you guessed it – somewhere along the line, I forgot (conveniently) about taking care of myself.  I quit paying attention.  One missed day of exercise became two.  Eventually it wasn’t a habit at all.  I’ll just have one slice of pizza with my salad turned into pizza with no salad at all.   And so on…

And the house?  Well, it only stays decluttered and organized when you actually pay attention to it every day.  Otherwise, you wake up one morning and you’re right back where you started.

So, keeping in mind that I’m having an anxiety attack right here, right now…let’s establish this as a judgment free zone.

I started this blog with a promise to myself that I will always be open and honest.  I may not be telling you everything, but what I am sharing is the absolute truth.

I struggle with keeping my life together and sometimes I feel like such a failure.  I start to believe that I must be the only one in this same struggle.

But, I know that isn’t true.  Others are seeking to find balance also.

If you struggle with not “having it all together”, here’s some encouragement for you.  You are not alone.  We’re in this together!

So, here’s the “before” photos…some yesterday and some this morning.

the pantry...
the pantry…
the fridge...
the fridge…
the kitchen...Sigh.
the kitchen…Sigh.
the blank canvas…
the unworn shoes and only 3257 steps on the fitbit...
the unworn shoes and only 3257 steps on the fitbit…
dinner last night (there were two cookies also, but I can't take a photo of them because I ate them)...
dinner last night (there were two cookies also, but I can’t take a photo of them because I ate them)…

I’m going to work towards improvement, but not perfection.  There can be room in my life for health, home, family and art.

There can be celebrations for small successes.

There can be forgiveness for failures.

I can try to pay attention.