Monday, June 06, 2011
Do you have a junk drawer?
I have a confession to make - I have a junk ROOM. A whole room. Filled with stuff!
I was thinking this evening about the tasks that I have put on hold; there are three that stand out 1) clean and organize the laundry room, 2) get the kitchen remodel planned, and 3) organize and clean out the junk room.
The laundry room issue revolves around not enough closet space - or too much stuff.
The kitchen remodel issue revolves around the fact that my DH trashed the kitchen so that the sink and counters are ruined. Do I really want to spend money remodeling only to have it trashed again? Or would I rather just live with an ugly kitchen. Don't know quite how to resolve that one, so it remains at a stand still.
The junk room - ah, THAT! I started organizing last summer, with quite a few trips to Goodwill, then the school year hit and I threw everything left over back into it. Like the laundry room, it has been on hold all school year, and with good reason. I just didn't have time to tackle it.
What it comes down to is - letting go. Stop grasping, Chris. You have not used that stuff in a year (well, the Christmas tree, I did use the Christmas tree.) It needs to be set free. The same thing with the laundry room. Not enough closet space for the sheets, towels, blanket, and clothes in there? Then, yes, I must have too many. It is time to let go, and make more Goodwill runs. There are closets and rooms that need to be filled; mine certainly do not need to be overflowing. Time to purge. Stuff can get in the way of life. Out with it!
I will post a progress report to keep myself accountable.
Do you have accumulated stuff that clutters your life? How do you deal with it? Want to join me in a spring clean-up and Goodwill (or other charity organizations) donations?
Sunday, June 05, 2011
I am by nature an introvert. It isn't that I don't enjoy the company of other people, far from it, but I need alone time to regenerate. Perhaps because I work so intensely with people, have to keep track of children's activities and whereabouts, plus the responsibility with all of this, I tend to really enjoy alone time. I relish not having a rushed schedule or a schedule dominated by the needs of others.
Mornings alone are particularly delicious. It is luxurious to be able to ease out of sleep, listen to the birds sing, stretch, and think about the morning before getting out of bed.
I rarely (or do I ever?) get bored being alone. There so many things that I enjoy doing, and I love to be able to do them at a slow or even scattered pace. Rather than rushing to meet demands and schedules, the day unfolds and reveals things that would be overlooked in a busier pace. There is an inherent flexibility of decision making, leaving room for spontaneity and unexpected turns of events.
I enjoy the quiet as well; no television or radio blasting, no bells or buzzers, or people who need something from me. It is restful and restoring.
Occasionally, alone time DOES feel lonely. I would not enjoy being alone all of the time; I enjoy being with people. Time away is like a vacation, a restful pause. Alone as a consistent life-style would feel isolating.
What is alone like for you? Do you relish the quiet spaces around you, or do you feel lonely and/or bored? What do you do with your alone time?
Being the Life-of-the-Party in China on my 50th birthday. Oh, wait, these guys are terrocotta, I'm the only life at THIS party!
Saturday, June 04, 2011
In my guided journal, my writing prompt was to write thoughts about my birthday so this will be my blog for today.
Once upon a time, I was little girl who celebrated my birthdays with party hats and streamers, a birthday cake, ice cream, and friends. I have always thought my birthday was special and even as a child I liked it better than holidays because it was about being here. Right here. On this planet.
It did cause me a bit of philosophical angst, though. Before the war, my mother was married to a man named Max. Max was a war hero in World War 2, who died trying to rescue his fallen comrade amidst enemy fire. My mother became a widow in her early twenties, and I don't think she ever got over the loss of Max. She had been high school sweethearts with my father; and when he came home from war, a shadow of himself and weighing only 98 pounds after living in a POW camp, their relationship was reestablished. She married my father and slowly his physical injuries and malnutrition healed, although both of my parents suffered from their emotional wounds for the rest of their lives.
Max was not mentioned in our house, but I discovered some photos of him in a drawer and hounded my mother until she told me who he was. Having gotten a scolding for snooping and the bare bones explanation that he was her first husband who was killed in the war, the subject was closed. So I was left alone with my pondering. What if Max hadn't died? What if Mom hadn't married Dad?
Who would I be?
Would I be?
Would I be half me?
Would I be the same spirit, but in a different body?
I doubt my mother ever knew that her little girl would sit with a picture of Max and try to see the half of herself that she might be if she were Max's little girl instead of Gene's, or fret that it could have come to pass that she might never have existed at all.
And so the little girl had her birthdays and was always glad that she was here at all. By some mystery of the universe. By a special happenstance.
When my oldest son was six (about the age I was when I discovered that my mother had been married to Max) he called out to me that he couldn't sleep. I went in, sat on his bed and asked him what was bothering him.
"Why can't I see the atoms that are on my eyeballs?" he wanted to know. "They are right up close - I should be able to see them." I rubbed his back and talked to him about atoms, but knew the angst of those childhood journeys of metaphysical exploration.
Perhaps it is the unanswerable questions that give a special depth of personal exploration to our lives; the enigmas that we try to wrap our minds around that help us build who we are in this world. I am one who is always trying to figure out my relationship with the world, and my son is a physicist, still exploring what seem to me to be unfathomable questions about the universe.
Friday, June 03, 2011
I have been having a pleasant and quiet birthday. Mike is not big on birthdays and is at the Vietnam Veteran's reunion with his buddies; I have been being my usual independent self. So, starting with dinner, dinner for one does not have to be boring, in fact, it can be quick, colorful, delicious, and nutritious. I usually bake a few sweet potatoes and boil a few fresh beets to have on hand to add to meals without having to cook for each meal individually.
My birthday dinner:
1/2 baked sweet potato sprinkled with cinnamon
steamed fresh asparagus
beet and feta salad ( fresh beets on a bed of mixed lettuce, sprinkled with feta, and drizzled
with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
wild mushroom ravioli topped with sauteed mixed mushrooms
This was Shamelessly Pamper Myself Day. I started the day with one of my favorite yoga classes, Women's Seasonal Yoga. It was a very gentle, restorative yoga today and I left feeling both refreshed and relaxed. From there I went to the groceries store to pick up food to cook for dinner.
Once home, I spent quite a bit of the day playing my guitar and working on the techniques to learn before next class. Class, by the way, went really well. I was a little worried that I would be disappointed in my new teacher - that he sounded better on his music profile than he is in person. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is very knowledgeable about flamenco, plays with skill and grace, plus is an excellent teacher. I am very excited about the progress I think I'll make with his help. I miss Dave, but I think Fernando might be even a better teacher - and that's saying a lot.
This afternoon, I took a long walk in town with a good friend. We enjoyed walking through the allies, admiring people's back yards and gardens, and catching up on each other's busy lives.
So, on today, my 61st birthday, I have been with Spark for 1 1/2 years. I have lost the weight that had spiraled out of control during the those five tragic and stressful years, and got my energy and strength back in spite of some physical set backs. I am back to exercising and enjoying better strength, agility, and vitality. I do not need any prescription meds - blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, still excellent.
This is the birthday picture I took today.
A special thank you going out to J Lo for making having round feminine hips, well...hip!
Thursday, June 02, 2011
I am going to meet my new flamenco teacher this evening. It has been two years since my teacher moved away, and until now, I have not found another teacher who says they can teach flamenco. In fact, most people around here think it's flamingo music,
or confuse it with mariachi and ask if I have one of those giant guitars.
So i am thrilled to find someone who actually knows something about flamenco and I am crossing my fingers that he is at least almost as good as my previous teacher, who was excellent.
One thing most people don't know about me is that I am a little shy until I get to know someone, so I am actually a bit nervous about going to my first class this evening. There is always that first time of meeting someone - I know I'll get over it, but darn I wish I was more gregarious from the onset.
Here is Paco de Lucia playing a flamenco solea - I won't live long enough to be this good,
but I can enjoy every step toward being a proficient flamenco guitarist.
Wish me luck - I really hope this new teacher is a good match!
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