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Sowing, Reaping and Other Consequences of Daily Life

Monday, October 07, 2013

Like lots of folks, I begin autumn on August 1st and end it Nov 1st, with three harvests in between - and we're coming up on the final harvest, when all the things you've planted - physically, mentally, psychically, spiritually - come home to roost. (Mixed metaphor - let it go - I haven't had my coffee yet.) Harvest doesn't always give us what we want, but it invariably gives us what we need for our personal growth. emoticon

I remember many years ago when I first started to lift heavy - I didn't understand why I had so much trouble with bench pressing, because I was strong in daily life. Finally a guy (this was before the advent of separate weight rooms for men and women) told me that I wasn't actually pushing - I was just tensing up all my muscles and thinking I was pushing. And he was right. I did the mental, then the physical adjustment, and the bar went up easily. emoticon

I, and maybe you, expend tremendous amounts of energy thinking about doing something. We prepare to do it, we rehearse it, we want it done, we see it done in our minds' eyes, but somehow the actual *doing* gets lost in the shuffle. The amount of time and energy I've spend griping and grieving over the (mostly clean - or at least it was) laundry spread all over the house far exceeds the amount it would have taken to fold it and put it away. emoticon

I approach loathsome activities, like cleaning floors, as if it will take all day, and rallying to do a day-long Yuck Task is very difficult, so the floors get worse and worse. If I'd just done the stupid floors in the beginning, it would have taken an hour, max, but by the time I've finished putting it off, it really does take most of the day. emoticon

Even things I know (or suspect) I'll enjoy - going for a walk, working on a book, meditating - gets put off until it appears monumental, instead of the pleasant little activity it was in the beginning. In terms of weight loss, it's "Oh dear God, I have to lose the weight of your average 8 year old - by tomorrow!" instead of realizing that a 5% loss in a couple months is a lot easier to approach and far, far less stressful to contemplate. emoticon emoticon emoticon

So after a year (or a lifetime) of waiting for some situation to reach crisis proportions and then declaring "All hands on deck!" and devoting a day, a week, or whatever was necessary to accomplish The Dreaded Task, this year I decided I'd try sowing a little moderation in everything. Less frantic activity, less planning and more gentle doing. emoticon

The harvest that seems to be coming in is mixed, but useful. I haven't lost any weight in a long time - even gained a bit, I suspect (my floors are so uneven, I can gain or lose 15 lbs my moving my foot) - but I am eating things besides raw or roasted vegetables. emoticon

I had the house in hand, but considered it "done" rather than "temporarily okay" and so now it looks almost like an episode of Hoarders - apparently I'm still working on the concept of doing a little each day rather than devoting whole weeks to overhauling my environment. emoticon

I did get a book out in time for Halloween, although it was only about a quarter the book I had in mind - but I understand that there's time for rewriting and all that later on. Meanwhile, there are new writing projects and a new Etsy shop in the works - and they can be approached gently, and like the enjoyable things they are, rather than rushed projects with only deadlines and profit margins as the end products. emoticon

In the diet and exercise world, I've finally figured out that *draws a deep breath* moderation really is key. A new exercise regimen doesn't have to begin with paralytic soreness, and new diet ideas, like juicing, don't have to be all or nothing - I now enjoy a green juice once or twice a day, but have regular food the other times. I know you've been telling me this for years, and my mother, God rest her, spent my entire lifetime trying to pound those concepts into me. emoticon emoticon

I spent most of last week sleeping - I don't know if I was fighting off a bug or just giving my subconscious time to assimilate some new ideas, but I woke at dawn this morning, ready to tackle the day. Notice how, for once, I didn't say "Tackle my Life"? emoticon emoticon

So this harvest seems to be a blend of Just Do It! and De-stress Rather Than Destruct. Carrying things in manageable amounts rather than Lazy Man's Loads. Breaking big tasks into a series of smaller ones. And instead of, "Oh, dear God, winter's just around the corner!", seeing October as the gift of 31 separate and wonderful days in which to work on accomplishing what I want in my life. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    OMG, girlfriend! We must be twins!! I do the same thing about everything!! My to do list rarely changes 'cause nothing gets checked off!! I think about those things (like you!) but never get off my duff to do them. It took me almost 2 weeks to clean my powder room. It's about a 20-30 minute job but you'd think I was tackling the restrooms at Dulles Airport. I "worked" on this a couple of weeks ago and felt so much better but then slid right back to my old procrastinating ways! emoticon Actually, you may notice that it's taken me 2 days to respond to this blog. Guess I thought I was writing a novel. emoticon
    1718 days ago
    You are right. Doing things as you go rather than trying to do them all at at once is easier and more efficient. I do let things go from time to time but then I get an energy spurt and tackle one room at a time to get rid of the clutter. But I do not fret about having the house of Mrs, Clean. I just make it as neat and clean as I need it. De-cluttering is the best way I can do it. Then once I get that accomplished I tackle keeping up with the daily stuff. Doing dishes daily, sweeping, dusting, etc as it is needed. I do not wax my drive way! LOL
    1719 days ago
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    1720 days ago
    In some areas of my life I've actually mastered the idea of eating the elephant one bite at a time, but usually I find myself staring at the creature in horror day after day. I've just got to wrap my mind about it. Thanks for this blog!
    1720 days ago
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    1720 days ago
    SCOOTER, You have it right. It is the only way to go.
    A friend of mine who buys and sells land was getting overwhelmed with house work. She decided to Hire someone to get the work done.
    The woman came in and did a good job for her and she was surprised the time it took and the price she paid.
    After paying the woman she said to my friend. If you pick up after yourself and if you clean up a spill then the next time I come here it will not cost you so much and I would not have been here so long.
    DUH! Money talks and my friend listened.
    She did as she was advised and she loves the woman for it. I am glad she passed the info on to me. I am doing so much better, I even make our bed, now I dare leave the door open. I do have to attack the overdue kitchen floor though.
    I too, did my harvesting and I said I would do it when I finished outside chores. They are so much nicer to do than the kitchen floor.
    Thanks,- you have renewed my commitment to small steps of work and leaps for the enjoyment. (((HUGS)))) and much love Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1720 days ago
    I am so totally in agreement. Doing things in increments is key to a great many goals. They come together almost magically when done in small steps. Spring slides into summer, fall into stages. My large projects get done this way: one small thing at a time. Now if I could just apply it to my weight loss I might be really accomplishing something!
    1720 days ago
    Another great blog that causes me to pause and reflect... niiiiiice!
    1720 days ago
  • SILVER1369
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    1720 days ago
    I'm doing the same thing. It is painful in ways but necessary and it's liberating once you solve problems. My doctor says "No more stress." So I'm doing things in chunks. No more concentrating on the overwhelming grand scheme of things but on the chunk I'm into now. Chip a chunk off and finish it. It's never as hard or long as I think it will be. So little by little things are improving. Not in monumental increments but in small noticeable ones. I don't feel the need to live in excess any more. If they are selling 5000 rolls of toilet paper for 5 cents a roll I finally got it through my thick head that I don't need 5000 rolls no matter how good the deal. I have nowhere to store it. So my ongoing hoarding has stopped and all I need to deal with now is the past hoarding. LOL.
    1720 days ago
    Great blog. Loved the part about approaching loathsome tasks. I had a day like that yesterday and got very little accomplished but I am going to concentrate on the small part I did get done.

    But still waiting to hear more details about driving Amish kids to school.
    1720 days ago
    What a great blog! It's something we can all remind ourselves to do each day - take it an hour or two at a time.

    Interestingly enough I have also been doing what you are doing. We are living similar lives in different parts of the continent.

    One of my old Spark friends who no longer comes around to Spark said to me, "You just have to keep chipping away at it." Hearing that 3 or 4 years ago and keeping it in mind since has really helped me from freaking out most of the time when I have an upcoming deadline or when there is laundry all over my bed or dishes all over the kitchen.

    It literally takes less than an hour to get those dishes done or get those clothes folded. I'm also doing a major de-cluttering of our home and will be doing so until next summer. I'm actually going to go thru 3 years of Bon Appetite magazine and cull what I can use and then recycle the rest. And as for all the other stuff (boxes and boxes of fabric and yarn)? Ditto! I'm just going to keep chipping away at it.
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    1720 days ago
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