Thursday, August 27, 2015

My List Grew?

Did you ever make a short list of things you needed to do, and you wondered why it took you so long to complete it?  Or, maybe you have felt frustrated and fussed at yourself about not getting enough done.  Take a deep breath.  Now, breathe slowly. That's right.  Relax.  Maybe, you have just gotten more done than you think you did.  

There have been many times in the past that I looked around me, and I felt like I was inadequate; because, I have high expectations of myself.  Then, my expectations got less after realize I was simply too sick to get everything done.  I was not able, so letting go of some of my expectations of myself was a matter of saving my "sanity."  I learned to be content to do less, which in that setting was okay.  However, now things are different.  I feel better, I actually have more I want to get done;  and, I know I can do more.  Can you see where I am going with this?

I started letting some of my perfectionism start creeping back in.  I took on more and more, because I could.  I finally let some blogs and Facebook pages go, because I saw that I was working more than taking time to smell the roses or clean my house.  However, I still had Mr. Perfectionist sitting on my shoulder, saying "That sure is a short list.  You did not do enough today.  Why aren't you doing more?  You need to manage your time better."

Today, I knocked that burden off my shoulder.  I had my list.  I took a much deserved break to eat lunch and read a novel.  It's a Christian novel, and the things that were being said in the story kept speaking to me.  Then, I started reflecting on this list, and I decided to write down everything I had done that day.  Actually, I probably forgot something, because there are so many small things we do that we do not even think about just to get one basic job done.  Moreover, I know I will do other things that are important that are not even listed on my long list.

If you ever feel like I did--inadequate, frustrated you are not up to your or someone else's expectations (roll my eyes), imperfect (well, aren't we all?), or unfinished--make yourself a list of all the things you have achieved for that day.  You might surprise yourself!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wow! I Already Did That.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to again start using the missions on and to hook up with her page on Facebook.  I had to drop everything last week and go out of town for a devastating family emergency, but now that I am home again, I want to get back to flying.  Today, it became a huge reality in my life that I am seeing the results of having worked steadily for the last few years to take back my household.

When I was younger, it was much easier to care for my household;  however, cleaning house became very difficult when I became chronically ill.  I have been rebuilding those habits with the idea that I was going to have a reasonably clean house, not a perfect one.  Imagine the thrill I felt when I discovered that the most of the jobs in Flylady's Zone Cleaning for this coming week are already done. I have been making these things a regular habit.  I will actually have time left to work on some other areas in the house that are calling for my attention.

Also, it was nice coming home to a shiny, clean kitchen sink and spotless kitchen counters on Saturday.  My bathrooms were clean and the floors were mopped.  My bed was made.  The fact I had to drop my housecleaning for several days did not matter, nor did I have to run around like a madwoman trying to get it done before I left.  Of course, I could not do that anyway, because it was one of those times one has to pack as quickly as possible and go.

Someone brought us a cake this afternoon, and my porch was clean!  I was still in my pajamas, but that was because I was still tired when I woke up.  However, when our friend brought the cake by our house, I was actually on my way to the shower.  I had decided to get dressed, even though it took me longer to get going today.  If we have more visitors this week, my living room is clean enough to invite someone in without feeling embarrassed.

Knowing all these things actually helps to lift a burden off your back.  I know it is hard, but don't give up.  Someday, you are going to be so happy that you worked at this little by little and formed better habits.  Maybe you are trying to get back habits you used to have or simply improve on what you already do.  Whatever your reason for working on getting rid of the clutter, it is wonderful to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

I am looking forward to my Monday jobs.  I have already been putting away the things in my suitcases, and I hope to finish tomorrow.  It doesn't seem like a burden, but I look forward to knowing the job will be done.  I may even finish before I go to bed tonight.

This is what I want for you too:  to find that balance,  to learn to clean according to your ability, and to stretch those wings of yours a little at a time.  Don't compare yourself to other people:  just do what you can.   Remember, you can do it in baby steps.

P.S.  Even my dressing table was neat and clean.  How cool is that?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sorting Through Old Cards and Boxes: Is It Worth It?

image courtesy of somkku9
Yesterday and Today, I have been working on what some people might consider the dullest of tasks. However, I have not found it dull, even though I am feeling drained now;  but, only because of the work and the many emotions that cross the barriers of my mind during this job.  Also, I tend to get drawn into it, and I have a hard time stopping.  I found myself ignoring the timer.

If you are like me, you are the spouse that usually gets the sorting tasks;  so, I put aside whatever I have I think might be important, throw away other stuff, and shred the rest.  My goal is to condense a lifetime into a couple of boxes.  I thought I had done that, but I found I was not satisfied with the job. Sometimes, I think that if it all burned up, I would still be who I am now.  But I have to admit that it is interesting seeing how I have traveled the journey.  Also, I am blessed to have been married for many years, and it is nice to see where we have been together in our lives.  

image courtesy of chrisroll
Mixed in with our lives is recalling happy times, difficult times, the people that loved us, and ordinary daily events.  It is up to each of us to decide how to sort this;  and, I am not going to give advice on what you should do.  However, I am going to tell you what some of my personal guidelines have been. 

My Guidelines for Sorting Through Relics of My Past

  1. Save pictures from different stages of our family's lives.  Save enough that each grown child can have their own copies.  Don't save all of them if you took a lot of pictures.  Save the ones with special meaning.
  2. Save cards and letters that remind you of special relationships.  If you have a lot of the same type of card, then you may not want them all.  Save samples of special letters from your parents, your spouse, your children, and other important people.
  3. Some people may not agree, but I have also found it cathartic to throw away some of the things from places and people that are no longer in my life.  Many of them are only memories to me, and I have lived too full a life in too many places (work related) to keep up with all of them.  I think some people may feel guilty about this, but I have to grow where I am planted now.  If I can become reacquainted with some people someday, that would be nice;  however,  that is going to have to based on more than the past.  I do regret that we cannot connect with some people, but it is physically impossible.  Someday in Eternity, then I hope to see some of those wonderful people.
  4. image courtesy of Simon Howden
  5. Plastic bins would be nice for keeping the saved things.  My sinuses are still suffering from inhaled dust and debris.  The plastic bins will keep out insects.  Yes, they do get in there, even if you have a clean house.  Certain insects love paper and cardboard.

Best of luck in searching through your things and cutting them down to size.  Be strong and be brave:  you can do it!