As you know, I’ve been in the midst of changing my life for a while now. Sometimes it seems that for every step forward, I take two steps back. However, lately I’ve been feeling quite optimistic. Losing weight has been a great “kick-in-the-pants” for me. I’ve changed my eating and my exercising, and feel much better both physically and mentally. Of course, there have been days where I’ve felt besieged by life, but those days are far fewer than they were.
However, I’ve been having a hard time putting all the changes that I want to make together. It’s hard to fit everything into one day. My creative life is suffering a more than I’d like, and I’m not de-cluttering my house the way I thought I would. It’s hard to get much done with the hot weather (an excuse if I’ve ever heard one), but I also have lost a little motivation in regards to these aspects of change.
I think that my real issue is with organization. So, my not-so-new goal is going to be trying organize each day into blocks where I work on different things at specific times of the day. How do you organize your day in order to fulfill your goals? Let me know, if could use all the help I can get.
I thought that I’d take a look back at 2015 so that I can see where I did well, and where I need to make improvements. Every year is such a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly. I also need to take a good look at my failings so that I can avoid repeating them in the New Year. There is nothing worse than making mistakes and not learning from them!
So, to start off on a positive note, my vegan lifestyle was pretty easy to continue. I had no desire to eat chocolate candies on Easter (which had been my downfall in 2014), and no animal products passed my lips. I also didn’t buy any clothing, etc. that contained animal products. Very good job, if I do say so myself.
My writing didn’t do as well, unfortunately. I did indeed write all the blog posts that I wanted too; so that was a good thing. However, my novel needs work, and all the other plans I had fell to the wayside. This is definitely an area that needs much work.
Organization of household chores and crap didn’t really lose much head-way, however, my schedule needs to change. I really need to work on including all aspects of my goals for the year into my daily schedule. This is an item on my to-do list for the New Year.
Exercise and health are other areas that need much improvement. I’ve been staying up much too late and not getting up and working out. Boo me! Again, I must change my lifestyle to include this all-important part. I also need to make appointments for a physical at both the general practitioner and the “lady doctor”. This is going to be included in my goals list.
Overall, I’m not really happy with what I achieved this year. However, I do know what I need to do to make more changes and meet my goals in 2016. On Friday I’ll let you know what those goals are. Let me know how your year stacked up. I hope that you had more on the positive side, and less on the negative.
Yesterday I went through my desk. I have a beautiful roll-top desk in my bedroom that I mainly use to store my checkbooks in. There are a number of drawers, and since they were all filled to capacity I thought that I’d better see just what they contained. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had checkbook carbon-copies dating from 1995 continuing up to the present day. No wonder I had no room in there for anything else! So, I spent the entire day shredding all of them. I now only have the carbon-copies from 2015 in there, and have virtually three empty drawers.
Now, since I’m not really a pack-rat, but I do have a few things that I tend to be pack-ratty about, I luckily had two large empty cat food bags and one large empty dog food bag to put all my shredded papers in. Wasn’t it a lucky thing that I kept those bags? I just knew I’d find some use for them. I usually throw my excess recycling in them after I’ve filled up the wastepaper basket that holds the majority of it.
While I was ripping apart the desk, I also found a picture of my kids that I totally forgot about. They were dressed up for some Christmas play when they were little. I love the way they look. There is my daughter, less than thrilled to have her picture taken and her brother is looking at her trying not to laugh – typical.
So, even though I gave up a perfectly good Sunday to do some much needed, and much put off cleaning and organizing, it wasn’t a wasted day – I’ve got the picture to prove it!
I started taking some classes recently, and I’ve been having a hard time dealing with them. I can’t seem to find a regular time to do my classes, or to plan on when to listen to them. It’s been so long since I took any classes, that all I feel is relief that these are on-line and I can finish up whenever I want. This could perhaps be my problem, since I don’t have a deadline; but I’m so unorganized and confused as to what time of day is the best to study. It seems that as soon as I decide that this or that time is the best, something comes up and interferes with my plans.
Last week it was my pets. My daughter’s cat was very sick and had to go to the vet twice. We spent countless hours worrying about her, trying to get her to eat, and generally feeling exhausted with stress, that my on-line school suffered (so did hers). It’s a terrible thing when a beloved pet is ill. She seems to be on the mend now, but is still a source of constant worry.
This week I seem to be fighting the need to fall-clean the house; and my husband may be coming home for a few days. He’s been working out of state all summer, and nearing the end of the job; however, there will be a week’s lag in time for some much needed materials to come in, and he will be coming home for those few days. This of course will send the household into a frenzy, since he’ll be using some of his vacation days to get some things done around the house. Things that I’ll be expected to drop everything for, and help with.
So, now that I’ve listed all my excuses, I’m going to try and actually listen to a lesson! I’ll just have to do what I can do, when I can do it.
Well, once again the weekend went by much too fast. You would think that I had all kinds of things going on, but really it was not a busy one. The heat and humidity once again threw me to the ground and left me panting for air. However, I did actually get some paperwork shredded and recycling dealt with. I’m really trying to clean out my old bills and things like that. Just the nasty part of getting my house more organized.
So here I am, on Monday morning, looking at a week where I’ve tried to set goals and hopefully I’ll achieve them. Here are some motivations for you and me both!
I’ll leave you with this one to help with motivating your week!
I recently read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. While Marie Kondo usually works with people de-cluttering their homes in Japan, this created a little bit of a cultural difference with the book. However, I thought that a lot of her ideas had quite a bit of merit.
I live in a house, that, while I don’t have a lot of space for clothes (mainly because my husband is a clothes-horse), I do have a lot space in which to store extra food. My kitchen is small with limited cupboards, but I have two large cabinets in my basement that I fill with extra food. This is great, since I can buy a lot of one thing while it’s on sale, and then can use it up without having to pay full price. However, I can also end up with a ton of something that I don’t use all that often. For example, I recently went to the store, was convinced that I needed another bottle of maple syrup and when I got home realized that I already had two other bottles. If I had an organized cabinet, and had actually looked to see if I needed syrup, I never would have spent the money on it; thus, proving the point that I need to get a little more organized.
Marie Kondo repeatedly makes the point that you should only keep something if you love it. If you don’t, get rid of it. That statement really gives me a lot to think about. I don’t know about you, but my house if filled with things that I really don’t even like. I keep some things for sentimental reasons, other things simply because I’ve always had them. This just adds to the clutter in my house. I’m not even sure how exactly my house got to be so filled with the stuff it’s filled with. We’ve been living here for 23 years, so it only stands to reason that we’d have things that we really should get rid of.
Often our stuff becomes too important in our lives, and our life becomes secondary. I seriously wonder if we do that to ourselves on purpose. Do we acquire things so we can distract ourselves from ourselves? Hmm a good question. I’ll have to think about that.
The point of this is that we seem to need stuff, and then that stuff can become our worst nightmare. Clutter can confuse, frustrate and make you crazy. I hate the way my house always seems to be full of clutter. I’ll go through a period of throwing some things away, but then it suddenly becomes cluttered again. I’m going to start going through my stuff and start getting rid of it. All this is in an effort to find peace of mind. Clutter seems to destroy the ability for me to have peace of mind. Maybe this will help. Who’s with me?
Okay, so one of my goals for 2015 was to get my checkbook up-to-date. This process actually took me a week-and-a-half working at 30 minutes a day Mondays through Fridays. So, guess what I found when I worked through my checks, deposits and automatic withdrawals? Not surprisingly I found a problem. I was actually surprised that it was just one. But, one that cost me about $400.00. I had called to cancel one of the many trucks that we insure, since my son had sold it; and I had called and cancelled in September. But then, unknown to me, since I didn’t even remotely look at my statement and check my automatic withdrawals, the insurance company made a mistake and put that truck back on my insurance in October. So, there I was paying an additional amount on a vehicle that we didn’t even own. And, this went on from October to January. All because I simply filed my statements and didn’t look at them.
I’ve since called the insurance company, spoke to a very upset customer service representative, and have had the issue resolved. I now pay less than half what I did before, since I also subtracted my wonderful, very old Montero from the policy because we scrapped it and I turned in the license plates a week ago.
So, what did I learn from this experience? Well, being organized means more than simply filing away your bank statements. It also means looking at your bank statements and checking to make sure that you’ve got everything right down to a “T”. Okay, lesson learned. I’ll never again just open the statements and place them in the file thinking, oh what an organized person I am, I’m just so good!
Being organized means knowing just what the heck is going on in your house and finances. You would think that I would have learned that lesson by now, but apparently I’m an extremely slow learner. Well, on to organizing the kitchen this week. Wonder what lesson I’ll learn in there? Most likely that I’ve got multiples of my spices and extracts lurking in the cupboards.