May: the month of mayhem

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I have nothing to report that I have gotten rid of. I am not worried. This summer is a time of cleaning for our household. I will be moving a lot of stuff out of the house. Whatever game I suggest that gets a “no, I don’t like that game,” it’ll be donated. Whenever a summer toy breaks, we won’t fix it, it’ll be tossed. When the stains of summer fun (watermelon, popsicle, snow cones) don’t come out in the wash, goodbye t-shirt. Prepare for a summer of items.

Let me catch you up on why nothing has gone out the door as of late. First, we just got back from a 4 day trip to Las Vegas for a 5 game soccer tournament. Long, but fun weekend. I didn’t blog before I went ’cause I’m uncomfortable saying I’m going out of town online until I return. I didn’t even send an instagram all weekend for the same reason. We had a house sitter but I still don’t like to announce “we are out of town.” Another quirk of mine.

I have referred to the busyness of this time of year in the past few blogs I wrote. Somehow I found stuff to get rid of those weeks. I just can’t right now. The busyness caught up with me. During the day, I usually can catch up on things but lately even my days are full. I had two meetings with friends that were long overdue. I led worship at Bible Study and facilitated my table in my leader’s absence. I had lunch with a friend who has a new job. My daughter had girl scouts while I took my other daughter to her yearly checkup. My son got a last minute playdate where the mom even said, “wow, this is not like you to be last minute.” We had soccer practices and one I showed up for that was cancelled but I didn’t get the email. Open house was last week for my elementary kids which isn’t just walk around the classrooms anymore. It’s show up at 5, eat dinner at the school, watch the orchestra and band perform, then run to the classrooms to see all the work the kids have done all year. Again, all fun stuff but all packed in. Throw in my making a skirt for my older daughter’s performance this week and packing for a trip. I survived.

What’s funny if that I felt so guilty all weekend not blogging? I truly thought it was weeks since I have written. I feel like I have lived several weeks only to find that I wrote last Sunday. A week and two days is all it has been. I am shocked. I can almost promise you that I won’t be blogging this week either. It’s as busy as last. Four day school week due to Memorial Day (thanks for your service men/women who give so much for our freedom.) Today is a minimum day for elementary school (why, we just had a day off?), orchestra concert tonight at middle school, soccer practice, last girl scout meeting of the year (did I mention I am the leader so I need to be prepared to run the meeting?), soccer\boy scouts\youth group all on the same night at the same start\finish time, tennis (that’s fun), parent night at the middle school, then the weekend with baseball closing ceremonies, another soccer tournament and a birthday party to attend. Again, all good stuff but seriously, I don’t know when I am going to even have time to buy a gift.

Thanks for listening to my venting about May. At least Sunday is June. Maybe June will bring one open day in our schedule. It will once school ends. I already know I have 3 PTA luncheons and two thank you luncheons in two weeks time. So much for watching my waistline. OK, I am done. I need to get started on my crazy week.

By the way, the only way to survive the May mayhem is clinging to God. I woke up and sang this song to Him in my head

“As I come into Your presence, past the gates of praise,
Into Your sanctuary, till were standing face to face,
I look upon Your countenance, I see the fullness of Your grace, And I can only bow down and say,
You are awesome in this place mighty God.
You are awesome in this place Abba Father.
You are worthy of all praise, to You our lives we raise,
You are awesome in this place, Mighty God.”

I stand before His throne, praise Him, sit at His feet (today I climbed on His lap), then I start my day. He can handle it all and allow me to handle it all with grace.

Dream Big!

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Smore please

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Today I got rid of my expired graham crackers. Thankfully I had a one fresh box since we made smores tonight. Our neighbor gave us jumbo marshmallows. Probably the size of four or five regular marshmallows if you measured it. We lit up the outdoor fire pit and smored. We made them with our leftover peanut butter cup chocolate eggs from Easter. So yummy. I did add graham crackers to the list since we have about 20 more of the massive marshmallows to eat. Summer is coming.

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As for the past few days, I got rid of two pairs of flip flops. I wore one of them on vacation and got that red line – nearly a blister – from the straps. They were so uncomfortable. I had two identical pairs so I got rid of both. They are cute and blingy but uncomfortable. I bought a new pair yesterday so I still have a pair for pool days.

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The other day, I bought some crunchy granola bars to store in the car for those days when someone is starving. My daughter opened the storage under her seat and shoved it in. I asked her what else is in there. She pulled out a bag of crayons and an Elmo coloring book. Seriously? I got rid of them and now have plenty of room for extra snacks.

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Lastly, I got rid of a few pieces of food storage containers. For some reason, these containers began absorbing the smell of the soap and it wouldn’t go away. The food would absorb the smell too. It was gross to eat soap smelling meatloaf. They are gone.

So, here it is Sunday night. I am semi-back in blogging mode. Still only twice this week but hoping for more this week. I am eager to toss but my schedule is so full. I want to find the time to sort and toss. I am realized that I am adding a lot to my schedule because it is almost summer. Summer means I don’t have the luxury to lunch with friends or run a quick errand. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my kids home with me. Summer coming means I have a lot to accomplish now before my “open” schedule is less “open.” Hang with me.

I bet this summer will be a blog a day. “Got rid of an old beach towel.” “Tossed our sidewalk chalk finally.” “No more torn up beach chair.” Summer will open a whole new set of cupboards. Until then, we have to settle with random things that cross my path in daily life inside the house. Each week is a new adventure, but this summer, prepare for even more fun.

Dream Big!

College Candle

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I had to lead with the hurricane candle. The shape of candle holder still is used today but the gold band around the top, well, that truly dates it. The gold balls on the candle aren’t so common now either. I have literally had this candle and holder since college. It has moved from my apartment to my first condo to my current home. Obviously I didn’t use it much. I am not a huge candle person. Mostly because I am allergic to scented candles. This one has no scent but I didn’t use it. The bigger question, why haven’t I gotten rid of it yet? I was pondering this as I set it aside to get rid of. I even had it on display in my dining room lately. All I came up with is that it represents my past. It’s one of my first pieces of decor that I bought on my own. Thankfully it was a small item and not my old couch or something like that.

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Random tossing – an old pair of slippers. I get a new pair each Christmas so I should have tossed these in December. They are gone now.

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Lastly are a few cookbooks. I have a lot more to go through. I have kept almost every cookbook I have purchased or been given. I only use about four of them. (Hint – future blog all about cookbooks.) Honestly, today I usually google whatever I want to cook and find it online. I am just starting to dig into the cookbook stack.

Todays post is a bit late. I am honestly overwhelmed with the amount of activity the end of the school year holds. My life is full of Open House (two), music concerts (3 or 4), baseball playoffs, soccer spring cup finals, both girls have spring birthdays and then there is still homework and daily life. I can’t tell you how I stared at my cookbook stack and wanted to dive into it today. I literally pulled these few off the shelf between trips to bring food from the kitchen to the dining room table for dinner.

I love that I now WANT to get rid of stuff. I want to toss it. The issue is time. I can’t just grab and toss. As much as I am eager to declutter, I still have to emotionally work through certain items. I wish I could just grab and toss. My desire to toss is progress. My emotional attachment to things has lessened but still needs to be attended to and managed. For me to just toss would leave me in a state of guilt, regret and unresolved feelings. My hope is that when this process ends on December 31 that I will be in a place of decluttering without so much work behind the process. For now, I’m committed to the process and learning through each pile of stuff.

Dream Big!

Catching Up

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I have delayed blogging for the very reason I said I wouldn’t “to catch up.” I wanted to get rid of a ton of items before I blogged again. Another full week so my plans were interrupted. Here are the items I was able to gather and toss since our last discussion.

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1) Frosting packs from our Halloween party – they were in a drawer in the garage refrigerator. If I was being legalistic, those items caught me up – about 25 in there.

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2) My brown shoes that broke a strap. I was so sad. Aren’t they cute?

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3) An Easter bowl that we have had for years but haven’t used as of late.

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4) I also got rid of my elliptical machine. I haven’t used it for some time now. It helped me get back in a healthy state about 5 years ago. I used it at least three times a week for nearly a year. I lost weight, regained energy, and was prompted to seek new physical activities to keep me healthy. Those new activities replaced using the elliptical at home. I preferred biking, walking with friends, tennis, or just a fun game of soccer with the kids. A friend mentioned she was looking for home health equipment. I gladly passed it along to her. Of course, I felt a twinge of regret. It cost so much (5 years ago). Maybe it’ll be too hot to exercise outside and I won’t have this backup. What if I need it again? It sat unused for a while now. It is now in a good home with someone who will use it.

I think one aspect of my letting go is realizing that these items may have been an important part of my past goals or activities, but they don’t fit the new me. We are called to grow, change, and become more like Christ daily. Certain items were needed to get me through a season or teach me a new lesson. They won’t be used again because that season has passed. I often hold onto books thinking I’ll reread it. Am I seriously going to reread a book on baby care? No. That season has passed. Am I going to need the paperwork from my kids first year in school? No. I’ll save their artwork but not registration materials. Am I going to need those leg warmers from my 80s dancing phase? Yes, they go in the untouchable costume box. I think you get my point.

Today was a day to catch up. I had a few hours at home and needed to clear my desk of to dos. One task was to renew my dog’s license. I couldn’t find his folder of information. I knew it was in my file box. I pulled it out and emptied it of a ton of unnecessary paperwork. The main picture on this blog is from emptying one file box. Here is how it looks now.

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It is all labeled and functional again. Yay. So happy.

Now that I am all caught up on this blog, getting rid of items, and cleared my desk to dos, I am ready to return to three times a week of blogging. The long delay isn’t good for me. I get stuck trying to think of what I should do next. When I stay on schedule, I stay on task and I don’t stress out. I just keep moving forward and sharing life with you. Thanks for tolerating these delays and long blogs.

Dream Big!

Nothing

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Forgive my delay in writing lately. I am going to start my blog with the many excuses I have for not writing. I promise I won’t end with that.

It has been busy since we last connected via blog. Here is my list of stuff that consumed my schedule for two weeks.

soccer and baseball practice
dentist appointments
doctor appointments
girl scouts and boy scouts
school carnival
award ceremonies
a teenager birthday party (yep, I officially have a teen in my home now)
school meetings
field trips
normal every day life

Truly a lot of excuses and valid reasons for being too busy to sort and toss. I just wasn’t home. On the go a lot lately, as you see. However, I personally believe, regardless of the excuse, you are still responsible for any committment you make. I am committed to writing three times a week. I haven’t written for almost two weeks now. Some of you may feel cheated, especially after I begged you to follow. I didn’t keep my end of the bargain. I apologize. I also realize that the longer I didn’t write, the harder it became for me to consider writing again. “I need to find 5 items now.” Then 6 then 7 then…

I woke up today missing you and missing this blog. I decided to write even though I have no picture to show of what I tossed. You see, I let the guilt of not getting rid of something daily, override the reasons I am getting rid of something daily – God asked me to do this in order to free up my life from clutter which gives me more time for Him and the things that are important to Him.

One of the things important to God is my care of my children. Most of what I did the past two weeks was invest in my children’s health, interests and just plain have fun with them. I met my goal without decluttering for a few days. I personally want to do catchup and find many things to donate. I don’t have to. There is no declutter police. The point is, when you make a goal or committment, know why you are setting that for yourself. Don’t let the process overshadow the reason.

For example, if you play a sport for fun and winning becomes the goal, the fun suffers. If you choose to read a daily devotional to draw closer to God and focus your mind daily, don’t view the days you miss as failures. Just start again. Catching up by reading several in one day, skips the main point. You are no longer reading for value just for a goal. If you write a blog to allow others to watch your journey of decluttering and discovering the reasons behind clutter collection, you can’t stop just because you didn’t toss anything. Write about why you took a short hiatus.

A setback can lead to an ending if you aren’t careful. I am not done. I am moving forward. I plan to get back on track. I hope to catch up but I may not. Today is another busy day with minimal time at the house. I will write this week regardless of my clutter status. I want to write. I truly did miss you. Hope you missed me too. (If you did, tell a friend to join. Maybe they will connect with this blog as you have.)

Before I sign off, I just thought of one item I did toss. I will post the picture here.

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My purple eye makeup is empty and I tossed the container. I usually save them as a small mirror for my purse. I did toss this one. Small but still progress.

Dream Big!