Monday, February 20, 2012

Today is the Day

The title of this post is inspired by the marvellous Meghan Telpner. She has recently shared her creed with her readers, and is challenging us to share how we are "Living the Creed". I don't know if I'll share this with her readers, but I'm comfortable sharing it with mine. Sort of. 

This post is very rough. I realize there are things won't be clear to anyone but me, and I'm sure there are mistakes. I'm a bit pressed for time, so I'm going to post anyway. I feel the need to get this out now.  Today is the day...

Once upon a time, back in the olden days when Brambles still existed, I wrote about duck eggs. I fretted about my inability to decide what to do with the eggs. Rose-Anne, from Life, Love and Food commented with excellent advice. In her comment she also mentioned a book. I immediately hopped over to my library's website and put my name on the wait-list for the book. (I'm a nerdy book-girl that way.) If it prompted such solid, useful advice, I wanted to read it too.   

It took months, but eventually I received a copy of Gretchen Ruben's "The Happiness Project". I read the book with great excitement. There was so much I could apply to my life. The first chapter alone confirmed things I already knew, but wasn't necessarily practising.  I was drawn to the connections between exercise, organization, procrastination and happiness. If I could work on those things, I too could amplify my happiness. I was stoked.

Coincidentally, or possibly conveniently, the book arrived just prior to Hubby going out of town for a week. I was sure this was the perfect opportunity to get my stuff organized. I had visions of surprising him with all I accomplished in his absence. (Note that I had no intention of organizing his stuff. That route leads to madness, and divorce court. I'm always shocked when friends tell me that they cleaned out their Hubby's closet. That just seems wrong.) 

I made a list of all the things I was going to do.  High on my list of priorities was dealing with all the recipes I had clipped, printed and copied. I had a binder where I had been storing them, but it was full to bursting. There were several months worth of collected recipes in a messy stack on my kitchen counter. 

I chose to start with this project as it was something I could do while I watched chick-flicks, and it allowed me to make a trip to the stationery store. I *heart* shopping for stationery. (All part of the nerdy book-girl thing.)  I came home with binders and binder dividers and plastic page protectors. I was so going to organize the heck out of my recipes. 

The recipes did get organized, in spite of the fact that I had completely underestimated how many I had. It required a second trip to the stationery store for further supplies in spite of my culling old recipes as I went. My one-evening project spread out though the week. With my on-call job, and my attempts to keep up with the few household chores I do regularly, this was the only project that was crossed off the list. I was completely discouraged. 

In spite of this, I still found the book intriguing. I ordered it from the library again and again, but I just couldn't motivate myself to act. Small attempts would be made, some with lasting results, but overall not much got accomplished. I found ways to excuse myself. Ms. Rubin lives in a New York City apartment. I'm assuming it's much smaller than my small-town house. She isn't likely to have yard work, and on and on and on. There was always some "good reason" why I couldn't make this work. 

But I know I can. In fact, I was able to keep up with the basics for several weeks late last year when there was a steady stream of painters and heat-pump installers and energy advisers through the house. It felt so good to get up and get things accomplished before workers started arriving. Somehow, I keep meaning to get back to that routine, and that feeling...

Today is the day that I do it. I'm starting small. This is a pathetic admission, but I rarely make my bed or wash the breakfast dishes. Silly, small things I know, but I feel better when they are done, yet most mornings I choose not to do them.  Today they are done. My goal is to do them every morning this week, then add something new next week. I think this is the only way I can manage without feeling overwhelmed and giving up.  My plan is to organize my household chores and routines then move on to larger projects. It's all a part of a bigger picture to create conditions that are inviting to contentment

I'll report back occasionally and let you know how it's going. I hope you put up with me as I muddle through this. It can't always be balls and pineapple p*nis pops, though one can dream...

* Yes, sadly, Brambles is gone. It closed well over a year ago, and I have yet to write about it here.  I'm still in denial.

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