Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 16 – letter N – "No! Not now!"

“No! Not now!” my mind pleads with me whenever I think about retackling the clutter in my office. “You have so many other things to do. This whole process is such a pain!”

Like a whiny teenager it goes on and on reminding me of deadlines looming, articles that I want to write and marketing tools needing to be prepared. It comes down to the battle of dividing my time between the urgent, the necessary, and my long-term goals.

Some days my clutter-busting goals win the battle. For example this week I went through all my bathroom cupboards, threw out a lot of outdated products, rearranged things to a more convenient place, and added a huge check mark on my list of to-dos in this process! I transferred the now unneeded shelving unit to my office closet. With a new home for them in sight, I took inventory and organized my CD's that are still waiting to be sold. Instead of carboard boxes on the closet floor, I now have a neater and more efficient arrangement for that part of my career. This is good, and encouraging.

Some days though, it seems like I am in survival mode, just trying to maintain what I have done so far. Spring arrived this past week with temperatures around 15 C. My cat is not the only one in this household with Spring Fever! Being an avid gardener I am just itching to get my hands in the mud. Good thing it snowed again last night. I don't want to rush the process out there. I am recognizing though that my timeline for indoor cleansing is shortening. Soon the garden will call and I will be lost to indoor activities unless it rains.

So when my brain howls, “No! Not now!” I need to remember my long term goal. Even if I don't feel like it, the answer must be, “Carpe Diem. Now IS the time!”

Saturday, March 7, 2009


The informative and inspiring comments that I have received from some of you have prompted me to dedicate this blog post to letting you encourage each other to keep on with the task. If I were to tell the truth, I would have to say I totally fell “off the wagon” this week. Working full time at a particularly exhausting placement, leaving early and arriving home physically and emotionally drained, left my good intentions crashing down around me.

Dealing with my internal “clutter” by going to bed at 7:15 last night has me feeling much better this morning. I was up early, have put through two loads of laundry and done the dishes that were beginning to pile up on my counter, as well as in my “dishwasher” under the sink (see day 2).

So here are some ideas and encouraging news from other readers.

My sister Kathy from Massachusetts shares, “Isn't it encouraging when there's something that has immediate visible results? (That's why I like to make the bed first- a big swatch of space is cleared and tidied right away. It feels so satisfying that I get inspired to keep on going). I have been realizing that everything I have ever accomplished happens pretty much step by step. I learned to play the piano one note at a time; the sticking to it is what helped me get good at it."
"I remember Dad having a cartoon on his desk - something about procrastination being "the thief of time". That has stuck with me since I often puzzled over that cartoon. I dusted his desk many times, with all those gazillions of knick-knacks on it, and I think that helped me decide to be a little more Zen in my approach when I grew up. Keeping it simple seems to work best for me in terms of my surroundings. Otherwise I lose stuff and get stressed out about it."
"I do notice when I am in a creative right-brain phase I become obsessive about whatever I am doing and everything else goes out the window. Chaos reigns. (Boy, can I relate to that!)"
"I tend to get overstimulated really easily and have noticed that I am much more calm if I keep the mess at bay. So I try to clean things when I see them so they don't escalate. Somehow it is easier for me to put something away right away than to have to pick it up later."

Elena, (Kathy's daughter) says the most important thing for her is that everything HAS a place, so that everything can be put IN it's place.

A friend here in town has been telling me about shredding mounds of paper records from years back. We do tend to get in the habit of keeping those financial things for income tax, but often keep them for many more years than needed. She has also culled those recipes, you know the ones that you clip thinking “I'll try that sometime.” Really, if you haven't tried it yet... will you ever? After clearing my mother's recipe clippings when we were getting our family home ready for sale, I remember thinking I would NEVER allow myself to do that, and with each move over the years, I have gotten rid of a few more recipe books. But they do have a way of building up again, so that corner of my kitchen needs to be a little side task some day soon.

It has been very gratifying to have people write or catch up with me to say, “Hey, I am enjoying the blog and guess what I've done?” Please do leave your comments on this site so others can see them and be encouraged as well.

That's it for today. My desk top (yes, it also fell apart somewhat this week!) is calling my name.