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. 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.
work in progress
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.
And now – a work in progress – just like me. Perfectly imperfect.
P.S. The fridge and pantry are still clean and tidy!
Late and Quiet
It’s late at night here at home. The family is asleep or at least quietly in their space(s). I’m wandering through the house shutting out lights and taking an inventory of the weekend’s activity.
By the looks of things it was a busy weekend indeed.
There is not a tidy spot in the house.
We had a big family breakfast and the dishes aren’t done. Everyone was running around doing their own thing so the rest of our meals were “grab and go”. Those remnants and dishes are all over the kitchen also. On the bright side, the fridge and pantry are still clean.
I don’t do laundry on the weekend so there is a mountain in the laundry room.
It’s difficult to fit an apartment worth of stuff into one room, so my daughter’s stuff is still all over. She’s sorting out the “need now” from the “need later”. Half-empty and half-full boxes are waiting for those decisions to be made. The stuff from the guest room needs a new home as she transitions the room back into hers. She’s working two part-time jobs so progress is slow. In short, there is stuff EVERYWHERE!
I figured out a storage solution. We have a storage space in our classroom/studio that will work. It was filled with all the paper documents from our small business. It was moved here when we were still actively involved in it’s day to day operations. Sixty boxes worth. That needs to be sorted into keep and shred/recycle. Right now, it’s stacked everywhere other stuff isn’t stacked, waiting to be dealt with.
As you can imagine, there a lots of stacks. It might be more correct to say that there are trails through the stacks.
My house is a maze
All in all, my home is once again a mess – a total disaster. Boxes everywhere, piled laundry, dirty dishes, stacked counters and tables, messy bathrooms, and an art project or two.
Initially, I was upset and frustrated.
Then I had an epiphany of sorts. There is a better way of looking at it all. A choice – an intentional choice.
Today is done – the end of a good weekend. There is evidence of that good weekend everywhere I look. Meals shared. Creative projects worked on. Memories made. Time together. Everyone is happy and healthy. No disasters or drama.
Just a mess – my family’s mess in our home.
Could we learn to better pick-up after ourselves? Yes.
Should there be less stuff to deal with? Yes.
Is our life perfect? No.
We are a work in progress. I am a work in progress.
Tomorrow, I will get up. Start a load of laundry. Make breakfast. Tidy the kitchen. Supervise some schoolwork. Take my son to work. Pick up my daughter from work. Clean a little bit. De-clutter a little bit.
I’m going to remember to eat healthy foods and take a walk.
I’m going to hug my husband and kids and tell them that I love them.
It’s not my purpose in life to clean and maintain a perfect home. Nor is it a priority to de-clutter and have the “right” number of possessions.
Those are just tasks towards a goal. A comfortable home for our family to live and thrive and grow in.
There is definitely work to be done.
But, it will never be “finished”.
There will be another meal (and more dishes), a new day (and a change of clothes), more projects (yea, creativity!), and eventually someone will move out or back in. We will re-arrange, re-prioritize, pursue new interests, change, and grow.
It is my purpose in life to love and care for my family (and myself). I also need to make art, but that’s another blog post.
As I have been writing this, today has turned into tomorrow. Sunday has transitioned to Monday.
Time for reflection makes way for rest…for it is a new day, a new attitude and a new opportunity to make positive changes.