Just more crap or looking for the beautiful underneath it all…

Found while working on the house today –

a lost can of Pringles turned ant farm underneath a bed

another stash of “special” hand-made paper squirreled away for the “perfect” project – being turned into art cards right now.  No more waiting for “perfect”

a bag of miscellaneous canned goods bought for Thanksgiving – obviously not needed.  Not things we use regularly so going to the food bank.

a stash of treasures that my dogs were hoarding under the sofa.  Ugh.  No further description provided.  You can thank me later.

three bags of clothes that someone gave me.  I forgot about them and need to go through them.  Or maybe not.  We’ll see if it ends up in the giveaway tomorrow.

another sack of plastic grocery bags to be recycled.  Why can’t I remember the reusable ones that I have?

a bee in a plastic bread bag that my dog dragged out of the trash.  Maybe the bee found me?  In any case I got stung.

Break time!

Also decluttered today – working in my son’s room as he ponders his life journey and what he needs and wants to carry with him on the way…

  1. 3 shirts
  2. a bulletin board
  3. 3 sweaters
  4. a winter hat leftover from his football and baseball days
  5. a storage box (contents tossed)

I just know that there is a simpler, more intentional life in our future.  I’m just hacking through the wilderness that is our present in search of the beautiful.

Honestly, most of the time, right now isn’t so bad.  There is beautiful along the way.  Sometimes it’s just hard to see underneath the clutter!

 

New Day

clutter-is-not-just-physical-stuff-717x1024….from the website becomingminimalist.com

Today is a new day.

-and this was the first email I chanced upon (out of the more than 900 that fill my inbox).  I’ll take that as a sign.  A positive sign.  A bit of encouragement and a thought to carry around in my brain for today.

…while I wash some laundry (including the “doggy” sofa cover), wash some dishes so that we have clean silverware, blow off the carefully planned menu of new recipes and just make some food that I know everyone will eat…

try to accomplish a bit of schooling, sort through the winter clothes and see what fits and doesn’t, fill a box (or two) with giveaway…

put my fitbit on and work towards 10,000 steps while avoiding the bag of candy corn that I bought to decorate cupcakes for my husband to share at work.    I probably should avoid the cupcakes and frosting also.  Crap!

…take a deep breath and balance the checkbook and update our online budget plan.  Remember that these are first world problems and that we are making progress…slowly…

hug and love my family (and myself)…

I’m NOT going to make a list of everything that needs to be done around here and “beat” myself up for not accomplishing it all.   I’ll do the things I listed above and if more happens I’ll celebrate.

I’m NOT going to try and deal with all 900 emails today…although I will try and figure out why I have so many and unsubscribe to the ones that no longer add value to my life.

I’m NOT going to get so focused on following the planned school schedule that  it causes stress. “Rabbit trails” are part of homeschooling. The point is to learn, not to check off items on a list.

Today, I am going to live in the needs of the day.  Do what needs to be done.  Be open to the interruptions – aware that sometimes they are the work I need to do.  I’m going to enjoy the tasks at hand and keep my mind focused – not running ahead to the next thing on the list.

There will be laughter and rest and hugs and smiles and…

it will not be perfect.  And that’s ok.

It all depends on how you look at it…

Here’s some random observations (light bulb moments) from this weekend:

First, I participated in a fun “conversation” on facebook yesterday.  The thread was started by a friend.  She asked a seemingly random question which resulted in some honesty, some creativity, some “rabbit trails”, and some smart-ass banter.

Then she turned serious on us and revealed that what she was really talking about was habits.  The slow building of habits in our life as we seek self-improvement.  It can’t be done all at once (and shouldn’t be because that doesn’t result in true change).

When she first mentioned the word “habit” though, I have to admit that I first thought of “bad habits”.  Once she elaborated on her idea, I realized she was speaking of good habits.

Why did my thought process automatically turn towards the negative?  Am I truly a pessimist?  Do I look tend to look towards the “down” side of things?

I hope not and I will be watching for this trend in my thinking.  I’ve always thought I was a realist with naïve tendencies, but it’s probably an area I need to work on.  I’ll add that to my “bucket” list!

Next, I was taking out the trash this morning and was disturbed to see that the big can was almost full already.  We did have company over this weekend and I am clearing out some stuff, but trash pick-up isn’t until Thursday.

We used to recycle as best we could.  We don’t have curb-side pickup where we live so we have to transport it to another city near us.  I even bought nice bins from IKEA.  Then we couldn’t find a good spot for them in the kitchen.  We dropped down to one car and transportation was an issue.  The recycling started piling up in the kitchen and I just gave up.

I guess I saw it as an all-or-nothing proposition.  Solution:  This old white armoire in the dining room (awaiting a fresh coat of paint) has been repurposed.  The shelf is one my son found in someone’s discard pile.  The boxes are leftover from my business paper purge.  A spot for cardboard, paper, plastic, and metal recycling.  It’s not pretty, but it’s out of sight  and easily accessible.  I’ll recycle what I can and throw away what I can’t if transportation becomes an problem and the stuff outgrows the cabinet.IMAG0781

It doesn’t have to be perfect.  I can choose to look at it as “good enough”.

And finally –  Am I in this life for the journey or the destination?  I keep looking at the work to be done and thinking, “when this is done I’ll ______.”  (Fill in the blank with any number of plans)

When the house is de-cluttered?  When the laundry is done?  When the kitchen is clean?  When the garden is weeded?  When my inbox is empty.  When the canvas is completed. The work in my life doesn’t  get done.  I’m a homemaker (among other things).  When the work is done, it means I’m done (if you know what I mean).

Always looking towards the destination is a wasteful way to live.

I need to enjoy the journey.

Happy!

Yesterday was a happy day for me.  Everything just seemed to come together beautifully.

My husband has been working extremely long hours and the overtime will definitely come in handy.  I am grateful for the added income.

He got off on time yesterday.  My oldest daughter didn’t have to work.  My son was home.  We all just hung out together.  My daughter who is at school even called to say she would be coming home on Sunday.

Everyone was outside working on a project that I’ll show you in just a bit, but first…

My son asked me to come out an join them outside.  I hesitated and he said “I understand you have a lot to do – don’t worry about it”.

Whoa!  How caught up do I get in accomplishing tasks that I miss opportunities like this.  I dropped what I was doing and headed outside.  The dishes still aren’t done and I’m okay with that.

Here is what happened:

A coop is being built for our new chicks.  These three are some that my sister’s hen hatched.  We aren’t sure what kind they are.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.IMAG0667IMAG0630A baseball was tossed about.IMAG0640 (1)IMAG0646

The garden is growing like crazy because of all the rain.  We’ve barely kept ahead of the weeds, but we haven’t given up like we did in the past.  I’m slowly letting go of my “perfect or not at all” mentality.

Our first harvest of the season – purple and green beans, purple basil, peppers and an onion!IMAG0621 (2)

What a happy day – I’m still smiling.

I Am Enough

“I am enough!. I am full of sparkle and compassion. I genuinely want to make the world a better place. I love hard. I practice kindness. I’m not afraid of the truth. I am loyal, adventurous, supportive and surprising. I am a woman. I am enough. I make mistakes, but I own them and learn from them. Sometimes I make lots of mistakes”   – Molly Mahar

I found this today while I was searching for a new quote for my next guerilla art card.  Haven’t heard about those?  Check out my other blog:  unearthedart.wordpress.com

I don’t know who Molly Mahar is, but someday I’ll look her up.  Right now, all I know is this quote was something I needed to hear.

Who is that voice inside my head that tells me I haven’t done enough?  That I can’t sit down to rest at the end of the day because I haven’t accomplished enough.

The voice that tells me my house should look better.  My car should be nicer and cleaned out.  My art doesn’t look right.  I should look younger or wear makeup.  That jeans aren’t okay everyday. And so on…

I think that the voice is a composite.  I hear my Mom in some of it (and I hear myself repeating some of it to my kids).  Some comes from media – advertisements, television, and movies.

The rest of the voice – I’m not so sure.

It sounds like me.

Should I tell myself to shut up?  I’m “crazy” enough without walking around talking to myself all the time!

Telling myself to shut up doesn’t seem very kind.  I think I need to be kinder to myself.  Maybe I just need to change the message.

“I am good enough”

The internet is fixed (obviously).  Here is the ugly painting from last night – it did reflect how I felt.IMAG0576

And now – a work in progress – just like me.  Perfectly imperfect.

IMAG0577

P.S.  The fridge and pantry are still clean and tidy!