Tuesday, November 27, 2012

clutter is magnetic!

Once I leave "stuff" on a surface, the next thing I know, there's a whole lot more "stuff."  This is particularly true on my kitchen table and kitchen cabinets.  It happens so quickly it's like magic.  In less than an hour I can cover up every surface.  It's all stuff I want to do something with but just not right now.  So today I'm going through piles and doing something with it all.  It's not going to be finished today either.  Probably going to be several days.  Grrrr.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I am Loving Simplicity and Intentiion More and More

I am the queen of clutter working toward being a minimalist.  Ever so often I notice that "stuff" has piled up everywhere again.  Back in 2000 we had a fire which pretty much wiped us out.  Our insurance let us replace the necessities but we didn't replace "stuff" so the house was almost minimalist.  It only took a couple of months for things to be cluttered again. 

Periodically I clean everything out.  I did that last spring and had a garage sale.  It's time to do that again!  It's mysterious.  I seem to have twice as many books as I did a few months ago.  Some of that is due to Amazon sending me emails about books I might like for ridiculously small prices, the friend who donated to the garage sale - several boxes of books, many of which I couldn't wait to read.   Okay, it's not mysterious.

The shelves in my room and in my bathroom have a whole bunch of stuff.  My desk is covered with this and that.  I have little and big piles of things on the floor of my office.  I am a very lucky woman because I know what to do.  Every day I will pick out a section of one of my rooms and sort the "stuff" into three piles:  1) throw away 2)  put away 3) sell or give away.  Little by little I will be back to minimalist again.

The thing is, I want to stay that way.  So now I get to figure out how to do that.  I think the answer is going to be to sort everything that comes into my house into those three piles on a daily basis,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why I don't Change When I'm Sure I Want To

I'm really sure about the changes I want to make in my life.  I've never lied to myself about it - not even for one moment.  But somehow...

I think this problem might be universal from what I hear from other people.  Women I share with in the program surely have this problem.  It's really our only problem.  Some of those women are dealing with problems that tear them apart on a daily basis.  The problems are solvable but they don't take the action.

I think that there are a few people in the world that actually decide to make changes in their lives and do it.  So why do they succeed and I don't?

Here's my guess about what I think are the main reasons -

  • We don't realize there are solutions.  Somehow we've come to believe that our problems are caused from outside ourselves and so we don't realize WE can make the changes that would solve the problems.  Our egos don't want us to believe we're responsible for our lives.

  • We don't have the tools or the support to take action.  Somehow we've come to believe that we should already know how to do everything even though we've never had the information needed.  Somehow we've come to believe that we should solve our problems without help.  (A lot of us think we're getting help when we complain incessantly about our problems to other people.  This is a big mistake.)

  • We haven't suffered enough to be motivated to take action.  A lot of us have a huge tolerance for pain.  We live with problems that would kill someone else, and we don't even notice because we've gotten used to it.  In the past I've actually gotten kind of comfy with being a wreck all the time.

  • Last but not least, we don't care enough about ourselves to make the needed changes.  Somehow we've come to believe that we are just basically unworthy.  This was never true, but until we dig through those beliefs and clean up our past mistakes as best we can, we will not believe in our worthiness.
 So what's the solution?  For me it's been daily working the principles of the program.  In the program we talk about recovery being like peeling an onion.  Little by little as I work at it daily, I come to see the truth and am able to take baby steps toward change.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Being Temporarily Disabled Instead of Retired

For the past year I've had a 32 year old roommate.  She "ran away from home" (a difficult situation in her marriage) and eventually went through a divorce.  Now that her life is settled, she'll be moving into her own place at the end of this month.  There were many valuable and enjoyable experiences because she was here, but one of the most surprising ones for me was that I got to see my life from the point of view of someone who goes to school (for her master's degree) and works part time.  Every day when she breezes in from her busy life, she asks me what I did that day.  Very difficult question for me to answer.

After being asked that question every day for awhile and trying to figure out what the answer was, I finally figured it out:  What I do all day is all the things I used to do in the evening or on the weekends when I had a very challenging full-time job.  But errands, personal business, etc.  take up all my time now.  It's very weird. 

I never intended to retire.  I thought that was a stupid concept developed in a time when people were decrepit at age 65.  I watched other people retire and thought they had incredibly dull and meaningless lives.  There's only so much "traveling" you can do.  I'm not into golf and other retirement-type stuff.  I did think that volunteering looked fun.  The last two organizations I worked for utilized huge numbers of volunteers for very important work and a whole lot of them were retired people.   At the same time it seemed silly to me to quit working for money and start working for free.

So I decided to keep working at least until I was 72 and then get a part time job so I could relax a little but not too much.  I looked forward to just hanging out with my husband which I could never get enough of.  Of course, like everything in life, it didn't turn out the way I had it planned in my head.  As a result of the wreck we were in, he left the earth and I was left with this less than able body.

For several years I did my utmost to work like I always had.  Boy, was that ever a dumb idea!  My body would not cooperate.  I tried to work at my full time job.  Couldn't do it.  Tried to work part time.  Couldn't do it.  Tried to just work a little bit.  Couldn't do that.  So I quit and took training to be a life coach and began writing my memoir.  I had one or two coaching clients.  I did several classes for people in recovery and took some writing classes.  I did quite a bit of writing on my memoir.  But eventually my body refused to do any of that, so I focused on doing everything I could to heal my body and my psyche.

All the work I did to heal definitely helped and I am greateful to be able to do what I'm able to do.  But still I'm only just getting by.  It's a hard thing to accept.  I do have quite a few responsibilities - I have a son and daughter who are adults now but who have very severe disabilities.  I am their guardian as well as for my daughter's roommate.  That's not a huge responsibility but it does require time and thought.  I'm also sponsoring several women as part of my recovery program.  This can be pretty challenging since people in recovery often have very difficult problems and my job is to help them figure out how to use the tools of the program to solve them.  And then I also do quite a few things to continue my own recovery which includes three or four meetings a week, reading program literature, step work, etc. 

So I've arrived at the point where I just have to answer the question, "What did you do today?" with - a whole lot of just stuff.  I don't like it but my job right now is to learn even more acceptance.  I still don't want to be retired so I still answer questions about what I "do" that I'm a life coach and writing a memoir. I say that I'm temporarily disabled.  And I am working on getting really good at prioritizing so that with what ability I have I use it for those things that are absolutely the most important to me.

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