Not Complaining

Another quiet Sunday.

The only other two occupants of the house are my son and his best friend (home from college).  They pulled an all-nighter on the computer and are now gently snoring under piles of blankets.  What a good feeling.  I’ve missed having the two of them together on the weekend.  Kids grow up and we can’t go back, but we can have brief interludes of the old days every now and again.  Whenever they wake up, I’ll cook breakfast and hold on to the memory – of today and all the other breakfast meals we have shared.

It’s raining and I’m not complaining.  We really do need the rain.  I choose to live here – in the land of all or nothing.  Drought or flood.  That’s just the way it is.  My chickens on the other hand – they are complaining.  They’ve had enough of the rain, the drips, the wind and the chill.  We’ve hooked up the warming light for them.  They venture out of a snack, squawk, ruffle their feathers and huddle back together under the warmth of the light in the coop.  They are so cranky that they are refusing to cooperate and take a decent photo.  Usually they smile and “ham” it up for the camera.  Not today.

IMAG1057

And the focus of the day.  The studio…

IMAG1055 (1)IMAG1054Sigh…  I know.  It’s more of a storage room right now.  Storage for materials, supplies, possibilities, and ideas.  Those things are important to have, but basically useless without a workable environment to utilize them.  I’d like to be making art, but first I’d better make room.

No doubt, I will find five things to declutter from this space today.  Wish me luck!

Feeling good!

Today is an awesome day.  Hey, I’m not perfect, but I kinda like myself today.  What’s the difference in today and the days I don’t like myself?  Beats me…got no clue, but that’s okay.  I’m just going to enjoy the day!

First thing, got a little confidence in myself and upgraded this to my own personal domain.  I guess that makes me a “real” blogger now.  The main change will be that my soon-to-be Graphic Designer, BFA graduate daughter can fancy things up a bit and make some improvements to the look of the blog.

Next, I just wrote for the first time in a long time on my unearthedart site.  I’m going to start making the art cards again.  It’s been too long and I need to get busy.

And now for today’s topic:  I couldn’t get to sleep last night and stumbled upon a blog, dailydeclutter.com – I stayed up wayyyyy too late reading.  This guy posted every day about decluttering his life.  Every day was a post with a  story about what he was getting rid of.  Sounds boring, but…he wrote well and it was pretty interesting and really funny at times.  Most of the stuff he was getting rid of was stuff I wouldn’t have had in the first place.  Getting rid of any of it would have been a no-brainer for me.  But, we all have our own struggles and no matter what the crap we are surrounded by, the struggle is real.  Why is it all here, where did it come from, what do I do with it, and how do I keep more from coming in?

And, as I am coming more and more to realize, the stuff is just a symptom of other problems and issues.  My journey continues and I will deal with it all…cause and symptom.

Last December was a sort of tipping point for me.  I went into the holidays with a lot of family and guests coming in and a lot of clutter and mess already here.  I vowed that it was time for the stuff to go…it could no longer be taking up space that should be welcoming those I love.

Have I made progress?  I think so.  In my current, optimistic mood, I’m going to say that I’ve dealt a lot with the root issues in the past 10 months.

Am I cured?  Have I reached my goal?  Not so much.  But, I will never become a completely different individual.  The issues and problems that I deal with are part of who I am and not always in a bad way.  I can change and make progress and become better and I will continue to work towards positive growth.

There is no actual destination…it’s a journey!

The new game, project, challenge….whatever you wanna call it – is this.  Between now and Christmas Day, I will consciously declutter 5 items a day and document it here.  I’m always on the look-out for stuff to get rid of, but I’m going to make it a “thing”. I’m going to pay attention to it and share the experience.  Probably won’t be as funny as the blog I read through last night, but that’s okay.  We’ll see what I can do.

Today, finished going through the winter clothing.  Youngest daughter has grown a lot…five shirts and a skirt that we’ll share with a friend.    Also gone – a sweatshirt leftover from an ugly sweater dress-up day at work that my son gave to the cause – going to the thrift store.  IMAG1052IMAG1051Seven things gone on Day 1.

And now since the rain continues and is unlikely to stop anytime soon…I’m going to find a snuggly blanket, a snuggly dog and the company of my hubby and enjoy some Netflix.  Then, I’m going to paint and create.  And that’s just about the perfect day.

material things and spiritual things

 spiritual – of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.

synonyms: nonmaterial, incorporeal, intangible; inner, mental, psychological

 

I live in the Texas Hill Country (U.S.A.).  Previously in a drought, we have now been hit with seriously serious weather.  Day after day of thunderstorms, wind, more rain and recently tornadoes and flooding.

Personally, we’ve been lucky and blessed.  We lost our driveway, washed out.  We don’t have the money to fix it, but still not a big deal in the scheme of things.

All around us, people have lost things to the weather.  Homes are damaged or destroyed.  Some have lost everything they own.

And there has been loss of life.  Friends, family members, whole families gone.

So much loss that is hard for me to comprehend…to take it all in.  The devastation is so widespread and complete.

It leaves one with a helpless feeling.  And perhaps a slight feeling of guilt that some lost so much and we were spared.

All in all, it has led me to further contemplation about the space that material things hold in my life versus the spiritual things.

As I look around my home, I think about the material things I own and what I would miss the most.  What would I need to replace?  What is irreplaceable?

Our home (a home) is essential.  We need clothing and food.  Toilet paper is high up on the list of “needs vs. wants”.

I have photos that are important, but the memories would remain if something happened to them.  I would grieve their loss, but I’d be okay.

I have artwork that I would miss, but I’ve become more and more comfortable with giving it away as well.  My kids’ artwork…that would be a big loss for me.

I’ve noticed that, in my life, as the material things have decreased, more space has opened up for spiritual things:  personal reflection and growth, the building and strengthening of relationships, and creative pursuits.

I think it’s time for another evaluation and round of de-cluttering.

I am so grateful that my transition has been voluntary.  I am choosing to get rid of material things at my own pace.  The decision isn’t be made for me by circumstances.

 

The Home Sweet Home List

I think I have blindly and accidently stumbled upon something brilliant.  Last week, I made a list.  A list of things to do. Note to reader:  I realize that list-making is not a new concept and that I did not personally discover “the list”. I was hoping it would help me focus on specific things that needed to be done AND help me stop before I lost focus and became discouraged.   I wrote down numbers 1 – 20.  Why twenty?  It seemed like enough tasks to make some progress and challenge myself a bit, but not too many to accomplish. I didn’t get everything done on the list.  And I forgave myself.  I just “rolled over” the undone tasks to the next day. The items were very specific.  I didn’t write “clean the kitchen”, for example.  I picked the most urgent tasks.  Wash the dishes (so we actually had some clean ones) and sweep the floor.  Once those were done, the kitchen was somewhat presentable and I was able to move on to another area. The idea is to deal with the worst of the situation and end up with a reasonably lived-in home that is not overwhelming and discouraging.  Spending all my energy and time on one room results in one clean room, but I’m eventually going to have to leave that room and come face-to-face with the rest. I’m not going to write down “finish the laundry” because the laundry is never finished (unless we all walk around naked for a day).  I’m going to do a load of laundry a day or two if there’s a lot. I’m not writing down “weed the garden” because that’s not doable.  I’m going to weed for 15 minutes. Small wins…the satisfaction of crossing something off the list. And when the day is over and it’s time to rest, I can do so knowing that I’ve taken steps in the right direction.  Progress. To celebrate that – and to ensure that there is creativity in even the hardest days – I’m going to paint over the day’s list and do a quick journal page.  Nothing fancy.  Just a symbolic gesture.  That day is over and done.  It can’t and shouldn’t be re-lived.  Let it go and move on. IMAG0715 I’m three days in on the list-making.  It may not be a forever thing.  All I know is that it’s working for me right now. It was an awesome weekend.  Lots of family, friends and accomplishments.  Oh, and LOTS of rain.  Did I mention that it rained this weekend?  It’s raining now.  I’m not complaining (much).  We’ve been in a drought.  I would imagine that it’s over. It’s part of who I am to start worrying when things are going well.  When is the other shoe going to drop?  This happiness can’t last.   Something is going to go wrong. What a horrible way to live. Missing out on the good because of worry about the bad. I’m going to work on changing that.  It may be an actual item on the list today! Good things will happen.  Bad things will happen.  That’s just the way it is.   One doesn’t cancel the other out.   It’s a matter of perspective. In reality, my problems are still with me.  The financial issues aren’t resolved…and a thousand other things.  I’ve just changed my focus and moved the good stuff into the forefront.   Perspective.  It all needs my attention, but in equal measure. There is that balance thing again I am a work in progress – with a list.