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Getting my life organized....suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Just got back from a nice stroll with the dogs during which I did some more thinking. I think I should earn "brownie points" for all the calories I burn when I think too much.....ha!

Anyway, I have to confess that I'm chronically disorganized. My husband refers to me as the most disorganized-organized person he knows. I try to be organized but then life happens and it all goes out the window.

So, along with fanning the flames of my Spark, I am going to embark on trying to get myself organized. I'm going to approach it with the same game plan I did when I joined Spark. I'm going to take it slow and steady. I am teaching myself to always put my keys in the same spot when I come home. Same goes for my wallet and cell phone.

I think I'm so messy because a) we never had kids so we act like two teenagers and b) I was raised to be anal about any clutter that I rebelled. But now, I'm ashamed of myself.

Any ideas on setting up routines for housework, meal planning, laundry, etc.? I'm going to try to write down my plan and keep it out where I can see it. Maybe then life will seem a little less crazy.

I don't know what I would be like if I had children or worked full time?! Maybe, I'd be okay because then I would only have a set period of time to do stuff. Right now it feels like I spend half of my life cleaning up and there always seems to be a mess, of some sort, around.

Talk to you later!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I'm going to get a white board, post it on my bed room door, and each night, I'm going to put a list of things I have to do for the next day. That way, when I wake up, I know exactly what I have to do.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 1/5/2011 10:54PM

    I'm no help. I'm the worst. I think the only hope for me is to move into some place that's half the size of what we live in now. But I really would not offer that as a piece of advise.

Comment edited on: 1/5/2011 10:55:42 PM

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NEVERMIND2010 1/5/2011 10:12PM

    I am terrible at this, but you might want to check out FlyLady (flylady.net). She has helped a lot of people. I've been fluttering along with her for years. There are some good ideas there, at any rate. Good luck!

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TEMPEST272002 1/5/2011 9:26PM

    I was much more organized when I had kids in school & was working. Now, unemployed & empty nester, I tend to let things go a little more. I'm ok with it though. I grew up in a spotless home - and a little mess feels liberating. As to getting organized, I suggest getting a minute timer and 2-3 times a day just doing a 1 minute clean up. You'll be amazed by how much you can do with 60 seconds of concerted effort.

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HOPEFULANGE 1/5/2011 7:28PM

    Can't help ya! I'm messy messy messy! Even at work, if anyone came in looking for something, I'm the only one who could possibly find it. I let things get out of control and when it gets unbearable, then I clean it up. But I must say, it's a great feeling of accomplishment when something gets organized!!!

Good Luck!

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CCORRIVEAU 1/5/2011 4:55PM

  Hi Susan!
I am the messiest person I know, but I'm also a big lister. I make lists (then I misplace them, so I make another). Actually I save them all in a folder on my desktop! I plan my menus a week in advance, and only pick up the things I need on Saturday morning (its amazing how much you don't overspend when you plan). I have a big box on my bookcase for bills, they may not be filed, but I know where they all are! And as for cleaning...I made a huge monthly list with columns and I just scratch off when I complete an item (something I learned from working at Reitmans)! Save the list on your computer and every month, print out a fresh one.
Best of luck Susan!!!!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/5/2011 4:24PM

    I'm with u on the disorganized organized. And I have kids!

And u can get Brownie pts. Contribute your mileage to my little challenge!
Info link in my blog!

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TEXAS38 1/5/2011 4:16PM

    We have a lot of the same bad habits! I too rebelled against the ridiculous cleaning habits of my mother, and still have a messy bedroom. I have found that the more time I have, the less organized I am. My kids are grown now and I was much, much better when they were small and we had so many activities. The best thing I do is throw out things and take unused items to our church's Friendship house. I also pick one thing at a time and finish it, like cleaning out my closet and then move to the bedroom or junk drawer, etc. I also have a rule about going to the grocery store once a week (I hate the grocery store), so it forces me to make a meal plan and stick to it. Good luck - it's a new year!

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JLITT62 1/5/2011 4:13PM


Check it out.

And oh, I seem to spend all my life exercising, making meals, walking dogs, feeding animals, and cleaning. Just when would I have time to work? LOL!

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    oh my Susan, you are talking to me again today. I was ALWAYS neat and tidy and had things in there place. I was 5 months pregnant with Rebecca when I had my gall bladder taken out and I was in the midst of packing to move into our new home when that happened so we ended up with many, MANY unmarked boxes. It seems that I have never got back into the organized position. Although those boxes have been long gone I find I am always trying to keep up and things never go back in their spot.
But what I try to do is take it one step at a time. Be it one cupboard, one box, one closet or one bag. It has to start in one spot and don't stop until it is done. Don't let yourself get side tracked...that happens to me alot...lol.
For meals I plan for two weeks, I make a list and I buy what is on the list and I cook what is on the menu for the day. This keeps it simple and keeps me on a budget. There will always be those days where something will get in the way of your plan but you just pick up the next day...same as sparking emoticon

Good luck my love because I do know how it feels. Also put a small table close to the door with a basket, you can drop all the essentials in there so you will always know where they are.

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JHADZHIA 1/5/2011 3:18PM

    Pick one chore each morning and get it done before the excuses and other things start happening to crowd it out. Put the most unpleasant chores first so they are out of the way and you enjoy your day.
I would be lost if I don't put my keys in the same spot. I have spent hours in my little apartment getting frantic looking for 'lost' things LOL. I do have a bad clutter going on with my desk most of the time, but other places are kept neat as I don't like looking for stuff -a strong motivator.
Most people find decluttering their lives and simplifying things really motivates the healthy lifestyle.
Good luck with it.

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MEMARE 1/5/2011 3:01PM

    I hear ya! My DH and I don't have children either... I'm the gatherer.. he's the tosser.
I don't have any concrete ideas for you.
I'm just trying to de-clutter something 15 minutes a day. If I go over that time limit; all is good. Less clutter = less mess.

We'll have to compare notes on this again next year same time to see how we've done. LOL.

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Type II diabetes....am I doomed?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Good evening!

Today was my first day back to work since December 21st, so I'm a bit tired tonight. Funny how that is, isn't it? I was up half the night again coughing and to cope I kept sipping on honey which probably put me in sugar overload! Ha!

Speaking of sugar, I had to take Mom to a diabetes clinic today as starting tomorrow she has to start taking insulin injections twice a day. She was first diagnosed 20 years ago and except for the first year, she did not make any lifestyle or dietary adjustments.

When we were talking to the nurse today, I found out that I have an increased risk of developing diabetes as well since both Mom and her sister had/have it. Plus, I'm overweight.....by a lot!

I was reading a newspaper article yesterday that stated that Newfoundland has the highest rate of diabetes in all of Canada and we are double the national average. That is scary!

So, what can I do? I guess I have to accept the family history but I can change my diet and lifestyle. I think I'm working on both of that now. I'm also exercising and trying to get my weight down to an acceptable range. Apparently, it has a lot to do with the circumference of your waist. I'm doomed....or am I?

The same nurse told me that the changes I am making are great. She also explained that I should be eating my fruit with meals rather than as snacks because the other foods help prevent spikes in blood sugar, Interesting.

Anyway, I'm not going to worry about it but I will make an effort to become more informed to see if I can beat the odds!

Thanks for reading! Still a balmy 5 degrees Celsius here!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 1/5/2011 5:15AM

    You are definitely not doomed and all the difference you are making now can add up to a BIG difference in your future. Great job!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/4/2011 8:03PM

    I dont know much about the subject but agree with knowledge is power

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ALASKAPSYCH 1/4/2011 7:33PM

    I have a really good friend who totally beat type2 diabetes through diet and exercise. He was actually diagnosed with it, but was determined to not be a victim. He did it and so can you!

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    we have to do what we can to alter any chance of following the "family history" road. My mom and dad both had high blood pressure and they both got it under control with diet and exercise so they broke that cycle for themselves. Now I am doing what I can to not travel that same road.
And I totally get the stats because we always ate bread and sweets with every meal.
Good job on knowing what to do, now I bid you good luck on beating the odds. emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 1/4/2011 6:41PM

    The best prevention is knowledge. You should join a diabetes team and get some good tips. They HAVE to live a healthy lifestyle if they want to live. Also, Sparks has numerous articles on it.
There is no turning back now, you just have to do it!
Wishing you all the best with it

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    I'm so glad that you are educating yourself on what to do to PREVENT this happening to you BEFORE it is a worry! Way to GO! emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 1/4/2011 6:32PM

    The very balanced diet that diabetics need for optimal health would be good for all of us. It would seem to me like an excellent policy to go ahead and live as though you have already been diagnosed. Perhaps you can dodge that bullet AND maintain an optimally healthy lifestyle.

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BARBARACT 1/4/2011 6:13PM

    No, you are not doomed! You are making the right changes in your lifestyle so you won't get it.
I think the key with your mom is you wrote that she didn't make any changes in her lifestyle. You are!!! Doomed you are not!!!

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LIVING4HIM_INWI 1/4/2011 5:28PM

    Good for you for recognizing that you are not doomed! Diabetes also runs in my family. I have two brothers that have been diagnosed with it. The brother that was the most severe has done the best, he is able to regulate everything through diet. He decided that he has enough other health problems, he didn't want to also have the complications from diabetes. The second brother really tried but was not as motivated and he has pretty much given up and has decided that he can't do it. It is sad to see more complications come about because he quit. But we all have choices and it is up to each of us to decide for us alone. Good luck on your journey and may God be there with you to help guide your path!

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TEMPEST272002 1/4/2011 5:25PM

    I've had type 2 diabetes for 8 years now. Weight definitely makes a difference. Now that I've lost so much weight, I no longer need to take medication. Good for you for taking control NOW... before you get the disease. Definitely not doomed!

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IBECCA 1/4/2011 5:24PM

    Diet and exercise will drastically cut your chances of getting diabetes!

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Another challenge.....yipee!

Monday, January 03, 2011

I discovered a fun little challenge yesterday entitled Valentine's Day Sweeties Challenge 2011. I participated in my first challenge earlier in the fall that revolved around Halloween so I am excited to be involved with this one. I'm finding that I need these mini-challenges at least at this stage of my journey.

Week 1 has us recording our food. Now, I'm not big on that as I found it involved an incredible amount of time. Therefore, I'm just writing down what I'm eating on a piece of paper. I'm the type that will write it all down....even the half box of Kashi crackers I ate last night.....so it does help me keep accountable. I don't want to repeat the Kashi binge tonight so already I'm more aware.

Walked in the rain tonight! Who would have thought you could walk in Newfoundland in January with a fleece jacket and sneakers! Wow....what is happening to our climate! It is scary when you think about it.

Must go and get the house tidied up a bit. Back to work tomorrow for me and back to school tomorrow for John. Things will get back to normal hopefully.


P.S. Lou is doing fine! One of the Vet Techs dropped by our house today to have an "unofficial" look at her. Maddy is doing well too but was sad today as one of the neighbour Poms died suddenly in his Mom's arms.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 1/4/2011 6:24PM

    So sorry about your neighbor's Pom, that would be just heartbreaking :((
Food tracking is essential to getting your calories accurately, not to mention getting your nutrients in the right ratio to fuel your metabolism to make your exercise pay off. I never would have lost weight without tracking my food and fitness. I am also keeping it off with careful tracking too

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JLITT62 1/4/2011 1:30PM

    Oh, how terrible for your neighbor! Tell her more people than she knows are sending her condolences.

Glad to hear Lou is fine, tho. That's got to be a huge weight off your mind.

Go challenges!

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OLDERDANDRT 1/4/2011 12:21PM

    Your food diary is a great idea. Keep it up!
I found your weather! Well, besides the Christmas snow, it's just been way colder than normal for us here! Want to trade? hehe
I am so glad that Lou and Maddy are ok. (Esp. Lou with her 'chewy') So sorry to hear about your neighbor's Pom. It's soooo sad, even when it's not our own! emoticonfor your neighbor for consolation and strength. If she is even close the animal lover that I am, she'll need all the prayers possible. emoticon
Glad you are getting out and walking!! Keep it up!!!

Comment edited on: 1/4/2011 12:21:53 PM

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LESLIES537 1/4/2011 11:11AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HOPEFULANGE 1/4/2011 8:34AM

    Glad to hear about Louisa! You have an amazing vet to do house calls! Sorry to hear about your neighbour's Pom...that's sad and scary! emoticon

I also walked in the rain last night - it was quite warm out! Our snow is all melted out here. Hopefully we'll get enough this year to do some snowshoeing!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/4/2011 8:34:42 AM

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TEMPEST272002 1/3/2011 10:37PM

    I'm not big on the food tracking either... but when I do it, I get results.

As to the weather - yup, little scary to see how warm it's getting up here in the Great White North. We had balmy temperatures here too for 3 days - but last night we had a freeze. Now everyting is icy and slippery.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 1/3/2011 10:03PM

    Lately I've been too lazy to track and, guess what, I've been overeating. It's a lot of bother, but it sure adds up to consistent success.

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APIRLRAIN888 1/3/2011 8:51PM

    good luck with the challenge
do you have SP on your phone?
it has tracker, it's with me 24/7. fitness and water ;p

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BARBARACT 1/3/2011 6:39PM

    Yay for Louisa and Maddy! Sorry about your neighbor's dog though, that's so sad.

Never really thought of walking in the rain..but I guess if it isn't raining too hard it can be refreshing!

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It's all about ME!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Happy New Year to all of my old SparkFriends and to my newest ones!

If you've been reading my blogs lately you will notice that I haven't been my normal upbeat self. In fact, it has been over a week since I've walked my dogs, drank my 8 glasses of water, felt normal. Do you see a trend here? I do! So I'm officially declaring that 2011 is going to be all about me!

This self-centred attitude flies in the face of everything I've been brainwashed into believing. I was raised to never consider my personal needs and to always think of the other person first. Well, this made me a "nice" person, I was and have been searching to find out who I really am...deep down.

I've so lacked in the self-confidence department that I've failed to ever decorate my house in the fears that others won't like it, I wouldn't wear makeup because heaven forbid, I thought something of myself. My poor mom still believes that using hair conditioner is a sign of vanity and I won't begin to tell you how she feels about skin care, let alone makeup.

2010 brought along a lot of changes in my life, most of which were self-made. I started blowdrying my hair (another sign of vanity), experimenting with makeup, (a big no-no!), wearing clothing colours other than neutrals (don't want to draw attention to oneself), etc.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my mother and I think she has her own issues that are making her into the woman she is today. But now, thanks to my self-journey, I'm starting to realize that they are her problems and not mine. I can help her through them, I can listen to what she says, but I don't have to believe her negative self-talk and choke myself in the process.

So, this is a big step for me! I'm officially declaring that I am going to delve deeper into my journey of self-discovery this year. I'm going against everything I was brought up to believe in and I'm putting myself on the pedestal! My decisions will be mine and not directed by my negative body image and self-loathing. I've always known I've had very poor self-esteem and I had always tried to find a quick fix for it. But, you know what, there is no quick fix......it is a process and I'm packing my bags to enjoy the ride.

The past few months have brought with them a big change in me. People are not so much noticing my weight loss but something about me that they can't quite put their finger on. I'm making some great SparkFriends who like me for who I am. I can write about anything and nobody judges me which is encouraging me to be more open.

I know a lot of you are religious and I've taken the first step in admitting that, while I don't go to church, I am very spiritual. I do not like what organized religion did for me in the past (that is another story!) and I really feel happier with my beliefs. I have my chats with my god every so often and usually they occur in nature while walking the beasts.

I am challenging myself and nobody else! I'm not going to become more like so and so, as I'm going to finally discover who I am! I'll be 45 this year and what a year it is going to be!

Thanks for reading! xo Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIES537 1/3/2011 3:48PM

    It's time to DO YOU! You are worth it! emoticon

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HOPEFULANGE 1/3/2011 7:48AM

    You're definitely worth all the hard work! You deserve it!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Good for you!!

You have to look after number one and a little vanity does nobody any harm.

As you said this is YOUR YEAR and you must "grab the bull by the horns" and take it with both hands.

Stay strong

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JLITT62 1/2/2011 4:02PM

    You've been sparked, that's what happens. Here's to fanning that spark into a roaring fire! It is not vain to want to look your best. Well, maybe just a little vain. But you'll feel better -- and other people will actually view you better, too.

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JHADZHIA 1/2/2011 3:32PM

    You have discovered what it takes to be successful in this healthy lifestyle journey. It IS all about yourself. Making the time to give yourself the attention you deserve. This is the right focus for you to have! Looking forward to the butterfly emerging!
I totally agree with you on organized religion.

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SHERYLDS 1/2/2011 3:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Believe in yourself
Appreciate Yourself
And push yourself to be your best
make 2011 the best year yet.

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TEMPEST272002 1/2/2011 2:54PM

    I totally identify with what you say about trying to conform, to "be nice"... and then waking up one day to realize I had no idea who I was. What did I like? What did I want to do? I had no idea. I think selfishness is an integral part of this journey. We are cultivating a relationship with ourselves, trying to find out who we really are under all these layers of who we think we should be. I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be an amazing year for you and I'm looking forward to following your journey!

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    You deserve the good things in life. You can stand up for yourself and yes, YOU need to come first! Be selfish for once. You have to put yourself first for a change. Self confidence will grow as you change. I say Good For You.

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RIMAJO 1/2/2011 2:35PM

    I LOVE your blog Susan & am so excited for you!! After reading your post, I got to thinking.. this woman is blossoming into something more beautiful & amazing than even she has yet to discover. I love that you are finding you in this journey & encourage you to keep it up & to enjoy the ride.. 2011 IS going to be your year!

PS: I too find the best time & place to speak to YHWH/God is in nature, in those beautiful, peaceful walks.. not in brick & mortar. So long as we know where we can find Him & continue to seek Him out.. that, IMHO is what really matters.
emoticon emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 1/2/2011 2:10PM

    emoticonYOu need to take care of yourself before you can "be there' for anybody else! You are on the journey of a lifetime!! Getting healthy and finding yourself!! What a great time to get a going!! You've come a long way already and you have the rest of your life!!! emoticon You're gonna like yourself so much!! I already do, so I know you will!! hehe

Come on, honey, let's pick ourselves up and get on with it!! Smile!! It increases your face value!!!


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APIRLRAIN888 1/2/2011 1:35PM

    a little selfishness is required in this journey

no one can eat for you, no one can exercise for you!

so you need to do when it takes to make it happen!

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Personal derailment and a big moment in our family

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to all of you, my very dear SparkFriends! As I like to say, I'd rather it be called Happy New "Rear" and other body parts as that is what I always wish for each time this year. For some reason it never pans out which is why I'm glad I started my Spark journey in August/September!

First of all, Lou had her third x-ray this morning which showed that the stubborn piece of rawhide should be passed over this weekend! That will be the best New Year's present ever. She seems to be over most of her discomfort and spent her time on the x-ray table wagging her table and trying to lick the people holding on to her!

Maddy is fine too but I expect will be very anxious later on tonight when people around us ring in the new year with rifle shots and fireworks. Any suggestions for dealing with that?

I'm in a bit of a funk. I like I've undergone a derailment and I'm just waiting to get back on the right track! I`ve had a weird sore throat and cough for over a week that is keeping me up at night, I haven`t felt like walking, I`m eating whatever, and I`m worried about Louisa.

I haven`t felt this ``down`` in several months but rationally I can understand why I am feeling this way now. It is like cause and effect which tells me this isn`t true depression. Still feeling pretty blah, all the same. I just went out with my husband and bought myself a magazine to browse through tonight. You can tell we aren`t big into celebrating New Years, hey.

I heard from my brother (who is travelling on some island off the coast of Australia) as the New Year is here, down there. My husband wanted to ask him for tonight`s winning lottery numbers....ha...ha!

Okay, you are all wondering what the big family news is! Well, my beloved grandmother is celebrating her 98th birthday today. We went to visit her this morning and she was all dressed up in her blouse, skirt and dress shoes. She looked awesome. Then we walked her to the dining room (she lives in an old age home) and there were balloons tied to her chair which excited her. She is in good health and her mind is mostly great except for some short-term memory loss. (Mine is like that now!)

Well, that is my rant for today! Wishing you all a safe and happy evening ahead and a great holiday weekend!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OLDERDANDRT 1/1/2011 8:13PM

    I feel like Lou is going to be fine. Praying for all to come out fine! As for your cough and congestion, Here's my prescription.....run a cool mist vaporizer to increase the humidity in your home's air, blow your nose (never sniff), and drink plenty of water and hot green tea. Maybe throw down some orange juice, too. And get plenty of rest. So, now that'll be $75.00 please for the consult! LOL!!! But seriously, sounds like what I went through and that's what I did and I'm practically better now.
Congrats to the birthday girl!!!

HOpe you feel better soon!!
Happy New Year!!!

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HOPEFULANGE 1/1/2011 7:22AM

    Happy New Rear!!! emoticon

Very happy to hear Louisa should get better on her own! That must have been so stressful! The time after Christmas always leaves me in a funk. Hopefully we'll both get over it soon!

Happy Birthday to your grandma! 98 is a great achievement! Especially when she still has her wits about her!

We're lucky our dog doesn't mind fireworks (I think all the shoot-em-up video games my husband plays has him used to it), but last night our cousin's dog came over and was shaking the whole night since fireworks started around here at 10:00. They live near Quidi Vidi and so escaped to this side of town since when the City fireworks start down there it's like their being bombed!

How did Maddy do with the noise?

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JLITT62 1/1/2011 5:18AM

    First off, happy birthday to your Grandma! Wow, that's awesome. That's what I want to be -- mostly healthy & happy at that age.

This time of year seems to invite feeling down. Get out there & move a little -- you'll feel better! Seriously. Just do it, even when you don't feel like it. Tell yourself you can stop after 10 minutes if you're not feeling it -- I bet you'll go longer.

Sounds like Lou's gonna be fine -- I'm so glad. I know how scary that is. Can't help you with the fireworks thing -- thankfully they don't do that here, but when we lived in TX, that was a big problem (seemed like they did it in the neighborhood for every holiday & Lola is very noise sensitive).

I was in bed long before midnight, but hey, I'm also up now!

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APIRLRAIN888 12/31/2010 9:30PM

    wow 99th b-day very cool!! horray for lou!!!
happy new year

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GAYLE-G-63 12/31/2010 8:16PM

    SO glad to hear Lou is doing well!

Happy Birthday Day to your beloved grandmother and Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

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    COOL! It's my Dad's 88th birthday today! emoticon emoticon

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LESLIES537 12/31/2010 5:50PM

    Awww, how sweet is she! Happy Birthday to your sweet, dear grandmother! emoticon

I'm glad Louisa is passing everything A-okay! Woo hoo! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/31/2010 4:40PM

    Glad to hear Lou is out of the woods. Sorry you are feeling under the weather. All my relatives are sick right now so no get together. We usually don't do anything with it either. None of the women like to drink, but the men will have their rum and coke..
Our dog is frightened of fireworks too (if there were rifle shots, the cops would be called with our tight gun laws), so my Mom puts him in the basement where the sound is muffled and not so harsh. We have a warm finished basement and he sleeps down there at night anyway.
I hope you recover from what ever is ailing you soon!
I wish you good health, happiness and prosperity for the New Year and always!

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KAYDE53 12/31/2010 3:14PM

    Poor Maddy, my dog , Jake would be terrified, too, if anyone rang in the New Year with gunshots & fireworks, he's afraid of both!! I hope Lou is over the worst of it and that nasty rawhide is gone for good! That's wonderful about your grandmother; mine lived she was 96. We're not party people either; but have a Happy New Year!! Hope you're feeling better soon! emoticon

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SHERYLDS 12/31/2010 3:08PM

    glad to hear the pooch is doing well.

I had a huskie who was terrified of firecrackers. He was calmer if we set up a little 'house' in a corner by us so that he felt protected and knew we were nearby.

happy new year and good luck

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