The Walk

Yesterday, in an attempt to improve my health, I ventured into unfamiliar territory with my dogs.  It’s a route that I used to walk all the time, but haven’t traveled much in the past year or so.  The homes in our neighborhood are on 1 to 5 acre lots and its got lots of gentle hills…an ideal place to walk.

So, I leashed up Matilda the Basset and Barret the Dog and we started walking. We walked about a mile down the road, hit the dead end, and turned around.  The weather was beautiful and we were just slightly winded…having a good time.  All is well.

On the way back, however…

One of my neighbors, who I had not previously met, had let out (into her fenced yard) three of the biggest, bad-ass looking dogs that I have ever seen.  They may well be the sweetest dogs on the earth.  I try not to judge by appearances.

Matilda is one of those dogs that thinks every human and every dog on the planet is here to be her best friend (and rub her belly).  She is also very vocal.   Barking away, she tries to run up to the fence and say hello.

I try to discourage her.

She does not want to be restrained.

She really wants to meet these dogs.

I am becoming entangled in her leash.

She pulls out of her collar.

I am completely hobbled by her leash.

She is at the fence.

The three dogs go wild.

Matilda is baying.

The three dogs are gnashing their teeth and lunging at the fence.

Spittle is flying.

They are all running up and down the fence.  Matilda is apparently unaware that they want to completely rip her to shreds.

Barret decides to come to her rescue.  Barret is a very, very scary dog when he gets riled up.

The neighbor comes outside screaming.

I am still tangled in the leash and my shoe has become untied.

The dogs are raising holy hell.

I can’t hear what the neighbor is screaming so I think she is yelling at me.

I’m apologizing…we are in her yard and my dog is loose.

Turns out she is yelling at her dogs and not me.

I am trying to get untangled and retrieve Matilda and keep Barret from going over the fence and introduce myself.

At this point, Matilda grows tired of “playing” with the three dogs and catches the scent of a rabbit.

When a Basset catches the scent of a rabbit, what little brain function they have shuts down and pure instinct takes over.  They will run for miles.  This property backs up to over 300 acres of undeveloped cedar and rock.

As I finish the pleasantries with my neighbor (which we are yelling at each other over the chaos of the four dogs trying to kill each other) I manage to free myself from the leash and hand Barret’s leash to my new friend.

“I’ll be right back!”

I take off after Matilda. I can hear her baying as she runs.  The path she has chosen is uncleared , cedar covered, rocky terrain. After climbing and sliding through a 6 foot deep rock ravine about a half mile away, I finally catch up with her.  She has come to a wildlife fence and stopped to rest. She is very pleased with herself and happy as can be.

I pin her in place with one knee and finally tie my shoe.

Then, I hoist up her long, wriggly, loose-skinned 50 pound body and balance her on my shoulder. I’m not trusting the collar again.  We hike back through the ravine and cedar.  Matilda is drooling down my back.

I retrieve Barret from the neighbor and once again apologize for the whole fiasco.

Then begins the long trek home. We still have almost a mile to go.

Today, I think we’ll take another route for our walk.

Solid Ground

Hello.

I’m still here.  And, believe it or not, I’ve been thinking about y’all a lot although I haven’t written.

I haven’t written here that is.  I’ve composed many a blog in my head, but honestly haven’t been able to summon the energy to reach out into the world and share – thoughts, feelings or stories.

I’ve identified a new truth about myself and have been spending some time in reflection as a result. After a period of challenges and stress, I have a need to pull in my borders and become a bit of a recluse.  In the past, I believe that I’ve resisted the tendency to do so because it was a sign of weakness.  I don’t believe that to be the case anymore.

August and September were really hard.  I’ve probably mentioned that more than once…

My sister was seriously ill…it is only just the last week or so that the full effects of her illness are being identified.   A lot of the issues are resolving. Some will not.  We are finding a new normal.

My daughter started private school which was a big transition from a relatively unschooling lifestyle.  Time was in short supply and she didn’t get all the attention and support she deserved.  She coped beautifully.  I am so impressed with her.  We struggled to cope with assignments and deadlines and hoped it would all become a comfortable routine – in other words, normal.

Our precarious financial situation deteriorated under the demands of everything that was going on.  Tempers grew short as we all became overwhelmed.  We were all stretched to the limit. We all longed for our old problems, our old life…what had been normal.

It is all too evident that once life has stretched beyond tolerable limits, it doesn’t rebound back into it’s normal proportions.

Things have changed and we can’t go back.

We can; however, seek solid ground and get our feet back underneath us.  And that is what we have done.

I’ve allowed myself to pull back from outside commitments and concentrated on family and myself.  The news has been switched off and I trust that the world will keep on spinning.  There is only so much that I can do and to attempt to do more only results in anxiety, anger, frustration and hopelessness.

Our daughter is back home and we are instigating  a learning plan that fits our needs.  We learned a lot about what works for us, and what doesn’t as far as education goes.  This week has been very good indeed.

The budget is back on the drawing board as we  reassess our goals and the reality of what we can and can’t do to improve our financial situation.

The dreams and plans that we were so excited about at the beginning of the new year last January have been brought back out into the forefront.  We’re evaluating and making adjustments in light of all that has transpired.

And, most importantly, we are resting and actively seeking joy.  There was very little fun and laughter in the last two months.  That must change.

I am exited about having identified my need to stop and rest and recover from hard times…to heal from the damaging results of stress.  Forcing myself to continue on when I’m exhausted and anxious isn’t being brave and strong.  It’s a huge mistake.  It makes me miserable and when I’m miserable…the whole family is miserable.

It’s important to learn from the past, let go of regrets and move on into the future.

So, for now it’s rest and laughter and family as we become comfortable in our new normal.

 

Some Days

Some days, I’m ready to take on the world.  I work the budget, earn a bit of money, do a few dishes, get a meal on the table, run the laundry, teach my kid(s) a thing or two, and watch a show with the hubby on T.V.

Some days, the world takes me on.  I manage to get out of bed….that’s about it.  There isn’t any more happening.

What’s the difference in those two types of days you may be wondering.  Hmmmm…me too.  I have no clue.  It doesn’t seem to be the amount of sleep I get or the events of the day.  The stress level doesn’t appear to change significantly.

Some days, I get it done.

Other days, I don’t.

Sometimes, I even manage to make it through the list of to-do’s that I’ve planned for myself.  It seems to take all of my energy and concentration to accomplish that though.  I’m more easily distracted and less inclined to do anything extra – like decluttering or being creative.

I’ve decided that those days are okay.  And I’m learning to accept myself as I am and acknowledge that it’s alright that I’m not able to do it all.  I am my own worst critic and project those expectations onto those around.  When I’m frustrated with myself for not being “good” enough, I start to believe that everyone around me is expecting better of me as well.  I feel guilty and get defensive.  Then I get stressed and angry.  Then I yell.

One of the things that I’m working on is not trying to figure our what everyone around me is thinking and feeling all the time.   That’s not my job.  I know that behavior is rooted in a childhood of angry parents and constant discord.

I need to feel my own emotions and let others work out their own feelings.  If I have a problem with me than I need to work on that.  If someone else has a problem with me, they need to express it and we need to work on it.

Some days I just feel overwhelmed by the stress I’m dealing with.  I’m coming to believe that a lot of that stress is self-initiated.  I’m creating it by having unrealistic expectations of my own making.

It all boils down to being kinder…to myself and those around me.

I am a work in progress.

Decluttered the last couple of days:  nothing.

Created the last few days:  nothing.

That’s okay.  I’ve spent time with family, shown up for jury duty, cooked three full meals, cleaned the toilet, done 5 loads of laundry, said yes to my son adopting a dog, let said dog in and out 3,000 times, fed said dog 300 times, mopped up said dog’s sloppy water drinking puddles too many times to count, worked on math with youngest daughter, and written one blog post.

Good enough.

I hope that you gift yourself some peace today.  We are enough, we have enough, we do enough.

 

 

 

Knowing vs. Worrying

 

There are many changes happening around here.  Change can be challenging when you are the type of person who likes to believe that you have it all under control.  Change can mean admitting that everyone is not okay and that there might be a better way to do things.

Change can mean that “growth” is taking place and changes are in order to accommodate that growth.

It would appear that the current art project is a reflection of that.  The glass jar is now obscured, although we all know that it’s there…buried under several layers now.  The house has evolved and will continue to do so, I expect.  The roots appear inadequate now as a foundation for the house.  They worked for the jar, but need to grow to support the new structure.  What’s it all mean?  Good question.  I’ll leave that up to you.

The biggest change around here has been our new attitude towards money – specifically the purchase of the new window unit.  We all agreed that change needed to happen.  We would be most uncomfortable living in a home without air-conditioning when the temperature is 95 degrees and it’s June.  It’s only going to get hotter.  We briefly considered attempting to get a loan of some type to solve our problem.  That would be solving one problem and adding to another one.

We are committed to getting out of debt.  We managed to not add to our debt and purchase the air-conditioning we needed.  Less than a year ago, we would not have had the information we needed to work through this issue in a responsible manner.

Because we started a budget (You Need a Budget) and started using Dave Ramsey’s Snowball Debt Reduction Plan, we are better equipped to make responsible decisions.  I recently found another tool, UndebtIt.com, that is also helping.  This site calculates our debt accounts, payment amounts and projected payoff date.  I love having programs that do the math for me.  I do not have a head for numbers.

I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed the brutal process of getting our finances in order.  It was hard to face the amount of debt we had versus the income we have.  It was a shock to see how long it will take to pay off everything.

But now we know.  We know how much money we really have and it’s not the amount on the paycheck.  Now, when I am shopping, it’s easier to make the distinction between want and need.  There is a goal in place to work towards.  Knowing, even when I don’t like the information I have, is better than not knowing and doing nothing to improve the situation.

We have the beginnings of a savings account to handle true emergencies.  I know how much we need to pay on each debt monthly to reach our goal.  Unexpected things can still happen and throw a metaphorical wrench in our plan, but I’ll be on top of the situation and have a better idea of how to deal with it.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading about debt.  I’ve read the advice of experts and personal blogs discussing specific stories and solutions.  I don’t normally give advice here – if someone finds something of use or inspiration here that’s great – but I don’t have any great insights or answers (just my stories).

In this case, I’m going to make an exception.  If you are struggling financially, in debt, and spending way too much time worrying about money, it’s better to know the facts.  It’s better to have a budget and a plan.  It’s better to face the facts right now and start the process of fixing the problem.  Denial doesn’t help.  I have shed many a tear over our finances.  I have blamed myself and everyone around me for our problems.  I have ignored the situation and pretended that everything was okay.  We have paid out money in bank charges and late charges and interest.

Not any more.  Now, I know where we stand.  There is a goal, a light at the end of the tunnel and hope.  It’s easier to make financial decisions when I understand the consequences. We no longer are living a life where it seems like the current situation will never end.  Things are going to get better.

Knowing that simple fact makes everything easier to deal with.

Decluttered the last few days:

  1. a ball cap
  2. a small shelf
  3. some old records
  4. a bank for spare change
  5. a cookbook
  6. another ball cap
  7. some more socks with no mates
  8. some textbooks
  9. curtains
  10. expired medication

 

Nothing.

I talk a lot here about goals and dreams and plans.  Things I want to get done.  Things I need to get done.

I realize that I have a definite inner voice (or critic) that I am constantly trying to please.  Where that voice comes from doesn’t really matter anymore.  Maybe some of us are born with it attached to our perfectionist gene.  Maybe it is recorded in childhood from the voices around us – intentional, careless, or misunderstood language that we recorded as children and carry around with us.

Does it matter?  What’s done is done.  The past is the past and no amount of striving, obsessing, or analysis can change it.

All I know is that I have a choice.  I can choose to continue behavior that doesn’t bring me peace and joy once I have identified it, or…

I can change.

What am I striving for?

For everyone who comes into or might come into my home to think I’m doing a good job as a homemaker, wife and mom?  My family already loves me – just as I am with all my flaws and faults and potential. The love me even when there isn’t a clean towel or two vegetables at the meal (maybe especially then).

For the world to see me as a “real” artist?  I like to make stuff.  That should be enough – to create for the sheer pleasure of it.

For the world to acknowledge that I do enough, I am enough, I have enough…

Unrealistic expectations.  Stupid even.  This is not the first time that I’ve had this realization and I’m sure that it won’t be the last.

Affirmation from the people around you and the world at large is meaningless if you don’t believe in yourself.

What brought all of this on?  Yesterday, I started feeling ill – reminiscent of my emergency surgery almost two years ago.  I was scared enough that I went to the doctor voluntarily today.  It turned out to be nothing significant.

I now think it was stress.  I’m not good at relaxing.  I suck at it.  I always feel the need to be doing something productive.

I have a choice.  I’m going to make the choice to start practicing doing nothing sometimes – Scribbling, coloring, staring, thinking, telling the voices to be quiet,  just being.  Decluttering my possessions is not enough.  I need to declutter negative behavior and unnecessary stress also.

I imagine that this will take some practice.

I have enough, I am enough, I do enough.

 

 

Losing It!

Last week ended on a rough note. I kinda lost it. I was so frustrated with life that I just blew. All the little (and some big) things that I’ve been dealing with pretty well, just started to seem like insurmountable hurdles…

The washer?  I’ve been okay with waiting on a new one or a new to us one and have been pretty patient – maybe not happy but working on a plan to get a new one. Until – Matilda the Basset Hound ate a whole lotta cream cheese that she stole off of the counter and threw up all over the sofa. Every stinking sofa cushion. And the stinking is an adjective in more ways than one. Yuck. The washer may sound better with our “poverty fix”, but it’s not washing very well. Yuck. I could only wash a slipcover or two at a time and even then they didn’t look or smell much better. I confess that I took the stick out that holds the washer at the appropriate angle and tried to beat the washer to death.  Didn’t even dent the washer – shattered the stick. Might have scared a few family members in the process.  Sorry guys.

The bad mood continued for two days. Bad moods aren’t productive. They happen because we are human, but they don’t solve any problems. They just create more – like guilt, anger, hurt feelings and headaches. I’ve gotten back to work on the three biggest issues that are causing our life to be less than perfect – the three main obstacles to a simpler, more intentional life:

  • Clutter and it’s contribution to an untidy, less than serene home
  • A diet and exercise that contributes to better health and to us feeling better mentally and physically
  • Financial well-being which includes better money management, a savings account and paid-off debt.

On Friday, we went to Houston to help our second daughter move into her first home post-graduation from college.  She moved from a suburb of Houston to almost down-town.  She did a lot of research and found a cute little apartment in a great neighborhood at a reasonable price.  Very proud of her.  Did I mention that it’s on the third floor?  She decluttered a lot of stuff, but the apartment is still on the third floor. A big thank you goes out to family in Houston that dropped everything on a Saturday and came to help haul stuff up. Up to the third floor in case I forgot to mention it.

She has inspired me to come home and recommence the decluttering effort. I can’t imagine (and don’t want to) what it would take to move us at this point. More has gotta go.

Anyway, I’m working on trimming down the budget some more to increase our debt snowball plan. I went back to look at the totals when we first started so I could feel a little bit more encouraged about the whole process and we have made some!

I’ve re-subscribed to The Fresh 20 meal that we used to use. I’m not advertising here, but I find it to be really helpful. I got an email for 40% off the subscription and it seemed like a good omen. I like it for three reasons:

  1. It helps limit the amount of groceries I buy. I tend to overbuy and we waste some food or just have too much in the pantry. I’d rather have just what we need and use the extra cash to pay on a bill.
  2. It includes a lot of veggies and fruit so we eat healthier. It’s reviewed by a dietician so I feel better about our diet.
  3. The main reason. I don’t have to figure out what we’re going to have for dinner.  That’s less stress for me and we are less likely to eat out at the last minute because I didn’t have a plan.

I’m getting closer to an actual budget (as opposed to a spending record).  I’m using You Need a Budget  which I find to be very friendly for a non-numbers person like me. The subscription is $5 monthly which is worth it for me because it helps keep me on track (and does the math for me). I just found out about Mint which is a free online budget. I’m trying it out, but am struggling with it a bit. It doesn’t track debts as well that are closed credit accounts or medical debts. It links to open credit accounts and automatically tracks payments, interest, and balances. Once again, not an advertisement – just information on what’s working for me.

And that’s why this post is titled Losing It.

Last week, I lost it and had a complete meltdown.  That sucked and was not helpful.

Now I’m to lose it in a good way:

  1. Lose more stuff!
  2. Lose food waste, unhealthy food and lose weight!
  3. Lose unnecessary budget expenses and debt!

Life is all about choices.  I’m going to keep trying to make good ones.

Festivities

Hello!

Did you miss me?

I’ve thought about writing many times over the past days, but was busy with the festivities and then recovering from them.

But, I’m back (sorta).

We had a great Thanksgiving celebration.  We sat nineteen celebrants at one long feast table that my son helped me create out of tables, desks and a door.  The food was plentiful and almost all good. Nothing is ever perfect, but it was close.

It was a fun mixture of family, old friends and new ones.  We played games, watched football, may have decluttered the inventory in the booze cabinet and…

for entertainment we had a guy breath fire and twirl a fire staff.  Betcha can’t top that!

I was fairly successful at keeping my perfectionism at bay and controlling my stress level.  Lots of cleaning didn’t get done and the house is a fair disaster now.  I do think the decluttering helped a lot.

I think I’m going to continue on with the game of decluttering five items.  There is definitely stuff that I have in readiness for a big meal or lots of guest that I never used last week:  dishes, linens, towels and the like.  Those can probably go.  And now that we are fully into cold weather, I’m finding some clothes that I don’t wear.  I pull them out, try them on, and take them back off again.

My health is moving to the forefront of my attention now.  Over the last six months or so I’ve been paying less attention to what I eat and one day of not walking become two and then a week and then a month.  During the holidays I ate whatever I wanted and can really tell the difference in the way I feel.  The fitbit is back on.  The veggies are back in the fridge. The carbs are going into someone else’s mouth.  I miss feeling good.  This tired, sluggish feeling sucks.

Celebrations are good.  Normal (boring) routine is also good.  I’m actually ready to cook a small meal, do some school, make some art, and read a book.  And definitely take a nap.

But first, I need to go finish the Thanksgiving dishes – don’t judge.  Most of them are done!  There’s just the odd glass here and maybe a few pans that needed to soak.  Maybe not for five days, but hey, I’m trying.  Remember, we are all works in progress.  Imperfect, but making an effort.

Decluttered today:

  1. 3 sweaters that are itchy (and ugly)
  2. 2 dessert plates
  3. some socks with no matches
  4. a wooden gate that is missing pieces and therefore doesn’t actually work as a gate at all.
  5. a box of thumb tacks

The Importance of Being Intentional

I am weary today.  My head feels full and my heart, not so much.  I have accomplished what needs to be done today and a little bit more.

Youngest and I went to the grocery store and shopped the special deals, sales, and coupons.  We are having a crowd for Thanksgiving and I am trying to spread out the shopping so it comes from multiple paychecks.  Shopping only for our Thanksgiving meal, we spent $70.35 for 46 items.  We saved $45.80.  I’m going to count that as school for the day.  We’ll call it consumer science or home management, or “how to save a crap-ton of money and host an awesome Thanksgiving celebration without breaking the bank”.

I cleaned out the pantry and ditched the expired items and unhealthy food that creeps in somehow despite my best intentions to be careful about what we eat.

I tried on a bunch of clothes this morning in an effort to get dressed to go out in public.  I definitely have public clothes and home clothes – home involves art, painting, cleaning the chicken coop, and various other aspects of real life.  Home clothes don’t last very long.  I felt fat, nothing seemed to fit right, and I was just generally unhappy.  When I got home, I realized that all of those clothes ended up in a pile that the dogs knocked to the floor and made a comfy bed out of.  More laundry and more clutter. I guess it’s time to once again go through the wardrobe and get rid of the “if” clothes…if I were thinner, if I wasn’t walking around in a 50 year old body that birthed 4 kids, if I actually wore something that needed to be dry-cleaned, ironed or hand-washed…

When I lost a lot of weight, clothes shopping was hard.  I had worn “fat” clothes (oversize T-shirts, sweats, baggy jeans or anything else that helped me hide and ignore my weight) for so long that I didn’t know who I was – what I wanted to look like.  I did almost all my shopping at thrift stores so I could accommodate my changing size and try out different styles.  That means there’s stuff in my closet that just isn’t me.  Time for it to go.

But first, I’m going to pay attention to me.  I’m not going to underestimate or under-value the importance of taking care of myself – of noticing the symptoms that mean I’m overdoing it or pushing myself too hard. I’m going to intentionally rest and recharge.  I’m going to sit, make some art,  and watch a cozy British mystery on the telly.  Youngest is going to snuggle with me and read while wrapped up in a blanket.  We may fall asleep.  It’s that type of day.  My thoughts can settle.  My heart can fill with love.  All shall be well.

Declutter for the day:

  1. A small trash bag from the pantry.  Out-of-date food, junk food, empty containers from opened foods that were combined and miscellaneous trash.  Donated, trashed and recycled.
  2. A vintage dish that could be cool to organize and store something in, but it’s empty and I’m not going to refill it.  Donate.
  3. Coat hangers from past declutters.  All the laundry is caught up and they are still empty.  Donate.
  4. A large wire spool that we have used as a table on the deck – falling apart but still hanging around.  On the burn pile.
  5. And to be done:  clothes from my closet.  I promise I’ll do it today so we’ll count it now.

Thursday’s “Duh” Moment

We live in a pretty big house.

Sometimes it seems way too big and too much to keep up with, but sometimes…

It seems just right.  Holidays, weekends, all four kids home, guests over for dinner and games…

Sometimes it seems too far away from everything.  A trip to the grocery store, a movie out, going to work, a quick jaunt to the library are all at least 20 minutes away – most trips are more like 45 minutes to an hour.

Most times it seems like the perfect spot to live.  Neighbors that aren’t too close or too numerous and lots of wildlife:  Deer, raccoons, possums, birds galore all wandering or flying about.  Lots of elbow room!

In any case, we are here to stay.  At this point in our lives when we are trying to get out of debt and live a simpler life, we just can’t beat our mortgage payment.  We have four bedrooms, two living areas, and two bathrooms for about what a one or two bedroom apartment would cost closer in.  That’s double the space for less money.

I read articles about families that are downsizing and moving to smaller homes to save money.  That doesn’t work in our area.  There is nothing cheaper than where we are now.  Not with working plumbing and a solid roof anyway.  I’ve done the fixer-upper house.  Even if you do-it-yourself, it’s not a real money saver.

One of the biggest problems with living in a large space is the ability to have more stuff.  We also have a ton of storage space – lots of cabinets and closets.  It tends to fill up fast and because its out of sight, it can be out of mind.

Unless you happen to have compulsive tendencies and obsess over what the inside of your cabinets and closets look like.  I am constantly pulling things out in order to tidy and organize things.

Today’s “duh” moment as I’m attempting to get things “together” for a peaceful holiday season with a lot of guests?

Having more doesn’t equate to doing more.

Having more art supplies does mean that you make more art.  A certain amount of supplies are necessary of course.  I don’t have any idea what that amount would be.  I am figuring out that you can’t keep it all.  Everything may have potential.  I can only create so many things…a finite number.  I can’t easily create anything if…

I don’t have a clear surface to create at or if I can’t find what I need to work with.  Some folks may work well in their packed studios with endless boxes and bags and shelves and…

…but I am coming to the realization that I can’t or don’t.  I need to find out what works for me and quit trying to “look” like an artist and just become comfortable with being one.

More chairs and pillows and decorations don’t make for a more comfortable house if…

…you can’t relax and enjoy the home.  If you are afraid someone will come over and see it as a mess or if you feel the need to constantly apologize for how it looks.

More supplies in the kitchen – dishes, pans, spices, food – don’t make for better meals or better entertaining if…

The dishes aren’t washed, the table isn’t cleared and the fridge is so cluttered that you can’t function in the kitchen.

More clothes don’t mean that you dress any better.

More school supplies don’t mean that you learn more.

More cleaning supplies don’t mean that you clean more.

More books don’t mean that you read more.

More just simply isn’t more.  More is not simple.  More is hard work.

It has to be paid for, picked up, cleaned up, stored, sorted, found, organized, accounted for…

and did I mention PAID FOR?

I know all these things.  Knowing and doing are two different things.  Sometimes knowing has to be realized more than once.  Sometimes I forget.

I have invited a lot of guests for Thanksgiving.  Folks that may not have a family to be with – a home to share a meal in.  I am excited.  I hope they all come.  It means a lot to me.  I want to welcome family and friends – old and new.

I want my home to be ready to welcome them.  I don’t want to apologize or be anxious.  I just want to throw open my door and say “Welcome, I’m glad you are here.”

I have work to do.

I haven’t posted the five items the last several days, but fear not.  Stuff has been going.  I just haven’t had time to take a photo or post.

At least five items have left each day. More old business files have been recycled.  Craft items, scrapbook paper, dried up markers, clothes, pillows, pantry items, trash, and more art and craft supplies – gone.

Today.  Thursday.  I have realized that more isn’t always more.  More stuff doesn’t mean more productivity or happiness or security.

For me, more stuff means more anxiety, more work, and more stress.  I’m so tired of dealing with it all.  I’m tired of it taking up so much of my time, energy and focus.

Change is hard.  Change doesn’t happen all at once.  Change is a journey.  Change is not a destination.

Back to the journey for me.  Happy Thursday to you!