And now…today

Two more layers done.  I kind of hate it at this point.  I walked away rather than paint over it.  That’s not an uncommon reaction.  Today was the easiest day to work on it so far.  I really have missed making stuff.  It’s been months and months and months.  I kept saying that I would get back to it when I got this or that done.  As I’ve discussed recently this and that never get done.

I’m not really a flowers in a vase, still life kind of artist.  We’ll let it “simmer” overnight and see what happens tomorrow.

Decluttered today:

  1. some old seeds
  2. 3 shoes (a pair and a shoe and interestingly enough, the random shoe is not a mate for the odd shoe earlier in the week)
  3. a favorite t-shirt that was more holes than shirt
  4. a stack of old artwork that my kids made – I saved my favorites
  5. an old journal that is not filled with happy memories

I’m going to count today a success.  I made a little money and I made a real dinner for the family.  The trash is out before the trash men are pulling into the cul-de-sac tomorrow morning.  I didn’t yell at anyone and used mainly kind words.  I had to drive the dying car without air-conditioning and it made it where it was going and back and I didn’t melt.  I worked on some art and decluttered and cleared off a surface or two.  My youngest and I did a bunch of school.  Oh, and I deposited the money I made in the bank before we were overdrawn.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  Most of the day, I didn’t feel like it was a good day.  But I’ve been regularly reading a friend’s CaringBridge entries and she is relentlessly looking for the bright side.  If she can do it, then I certainly should be able to do so.

So today, I have been trying to live in gratitude – in all things and in all ways…grateful for a car that serves my needs if not my wants, grateful for a small paycheck that was just enough, grateful for excess that allows me to have trash, grateful for people in my life that I love even if they drive me crazy sometimes, grateful for the opportunity to homeschool and spend time with my daughter, grateful for my talents and the desire to use them, grateful to have choices, and opportunity and wise friends.

And that was today.

Embracing Imperfection

You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.   – Ram Dass

I am embracing imperfection today.  Doing what needs to be done, but not more.

Friends are coming over.  Sweep up the big stuff off the floor.  Don’t mop.  Pile the dirty dishes by the sink.  Don’t wash them. Take-out fried chicken is just fine.  Every meal doesn’t have to be homemade.

Outside finishing the chicken coop.  Hoping the rain holds off for just a little while longer.  Friends and family.

Allowing myself to actually slow down, then stop and really feel the contentment.  The happiness.  Is this what joy feels like?

For too long I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by the minutiae of everyday life…and missed the joy.  Always seeking perfection and the approval and validation that will accompany it.  Striving for that which only I can provide for myself.

Change is slow, but good.  And today is an accomplishment for me.

 

The List

Just a quick follow-up ’cause I gotta go work my “part-time out of the house for a little bit o’ cash”  job.

Yesterday’s list was a success.  I got almost everything done with a little bit of help from the family.  The things that I didn’t get done are just going to roll over to today and I’ll fill back in the list up to 20.IMAG0608

I’m actually happiest about the things on the list I didn’t do.

Why?

My husband has been working crazy, long hours.  I’ve barely seen him all week.  Last night, he got home around eight.

I had actually cooked a real meal (with veggies and everything).

I chose to sit down and eat a meal with him…and then didn’t get back up.  We spent the time together.

Stuff on the list may not have gotten done, but something more important was accomplished.

My goal is not simply about living in a more organized, tidy home.  The home is important, of course.

My hope is for a simpler, less complicated environment that lets what is really important be the focus…my family, our life,

my life…

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.
IMAG0504
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.