Category Archives: behaviors

Look Elsewhere

 

For years I recommended a book search engine to people who wanted to evaluate whatever books they had. Today I did a search there and noticed something, it was basically an amazon search engine. Not surprising, as Amazon bought the site a few years back.

It had been balanced. Most of it was Amazon, but you could still find things elsewhere. The major used book site was bought a few years back by Amazon too, so that’s there, but I stopped buying from them when Amazon bought them.

Sigh.

Sometimes I think I’ll be the last person in America who won’t buy things from or sell on Amazon. I don’t buy things at Walmart or use self-checkouts either. I’m just weird.

J

New Rules

  1. Handle things as little as possible.
  2. When items are for sale, if they don’t sell at some previously set time frame, try to remove at least 75% of the items from inventory.
  3. If it’s in the house, you don’t use it, haven’t used it, and you have no idea when or if you’ll use it, get rid of it or reuse the components.
  4. Ask for help when you need it.
  5. Take advantage of good weather.
  6. Talk to the people you do business with. If you’re personable and reasonable, it can save you money. Maybe not a lot, but some. We drove the rental van about 8 miles yesterday. Because we were personable with the folks we rented from and the person before us had put in a little more gas than they had to, the guy told us if the gas hadn’t gone down below x level, to not worry about it. It hadn’t, and so we didn’t buy gas.
  7. Make use of the resources and tools you already have. This one actually cost us money. We forgot our hand truck yesterday and so had to rent one, sigh. We didn’t use it much, but we still paid for the one we rented. Today I’ll throw the one we own in the car.

full hand truck

Flow or No

Whether it is because of the PTSD or otherwise, I tend to work in spurts or fits and starts. I keep thinking I should just be able to schedule something for a few hours, I can, but mostly don’t.

I need to accept that the abuse, panic attacks, and PTSD all make a regular schedule very difficult, if not impossible, as much as I’d like otherwise.

I need to stop fighting this and just accept it as the way I flow, period. I think when/if I can do that, the panic attacks or vestiges of them will lessen dramatically. It’s my belief that the panic is due largely to people being able to “see” what I’m doing or have done. I have a lot fewer problems, like nearly none, when I’m working for other people. This is only the stuff I do at home.
fits & starts2
Can I repeat, again, how much I really, absolutely hate the woman who abused me? It totally sucks to have your brain be your main enemy. It sucks more to view any finished project as something which will be attacked, belittled, or sneered at, whether it’s a clean kitchen counter or an art work. This just makes getting anything done a real challenge. [And I needed more of those, right?]

P.S. Reading this, I realized t’s wrong. I don’t hate her. I hate what she did to my brain. If it wasn’t that no matter how much work I do, this will be with me forever, I would have very few feelings about here at all.

She’s gone, her daughter is gone. The memories of what she did just make me feel sorrty: for her that she could be so nasty, her daughter and myself because she felt it necessary to emotionally attack two innocent little girls,, who grew to be wounded women because of it. It was just a waste.

Figuring It Out

There are many things I’m working to figure out: the best way to track business info without the data base I’ve used for years, the best arrangement of furniture (and what to use) in the living room, kitchen and dining room, the best way to remove the excess stuff from the house and storage, etc.

It seems I’m damned with either too much or too little: too much stuff, emails, things to do, too little time or resources. And I need to add a job to this? Well, yes, I do. One resource lacking is a chunk of money.

So, I’ll go look for a job in July or so. In the meantime, I need to go into high gear shedding excess stuff, reducing expenses by getting into a smaller storage unit, or getting rid of it altogether. Nothing there is new, except the idea of getting a job.

In the meantime, I’m still figuring things out. I’ve decided on two things to reduce stuff, stress and disruption. They have nothing to do with each other, except both are things I’ve decided to do to reduce my overall stress. They are:

  • Making appointments in the morning, preferably early morning, so I don’t have to switch gears midday, then switch back to whatever I was doing before.

appointment book

  • I use mechanical pencils by preference. I think they use fewer resources and I like the way they write better than traditional, wood-clad pencils. Because of the tax effort, I was using a lot of leads. After replacing one lead, then another, and then another, it occurred to me that instead of replacing one lead with one lead, most of the pencils will take an extra 3 or so. I got down the extra leads and filled all my pencils.pencil lead

This is very much like the resolve I made a few months back: that is, not to let my tank get less than 1/2 full, period. When it is down discernibly, I try and buy gas on the way home. End of “Oh spit!!! I have to remember to buy gas . . .” when I may (or may not) have actually included enough time to do such a thing. I’m also keeping a car journal now. Doesn’t take that long and next year I will absolutely have the mileage I used on business. I won’t have to figure it out from receipts, checks, etc. Hurrah!!!

 

gas guage

More Minimalism, Sort Of. . .

I found another one of those lists. On this list that I do buy: drinks from Starbucks (when we’re there, it’s an hour away), usually I get them free with stars. I do buy newspapers, on Sunday. It tells us about events happening around our rural area and we like the comics and articles. (And, yes, we’ve been known to start the wood stove with them or use them for shipping materials as well.)

No “as sold on TV” things, well that one’s pretty easy. We haven’t had a TV in > 10 years. Books? Well, yes, I do still buy books. I am who I am after all.

I think our minimalism is more like, cut it down until you don’t have excessive extras. I cleaned out an area earlier this week and found a stapler. Fine. Took it up to the office, where staplers should live, right? We had 2 there already. I couldn’t find one when I wanted it and hauled the one from the kitchen to the office. Then I located the office’s designated stapler. And yesterday, the other. So. . .for the moment there is an office stapler and a stapler on my desk.  The kitchen stapler went back to the kitchen. If/when I move to the other office again (this summer hopefully?) I’ll take the 2nd office stapler with me. Two offices, two staplers. We use the one in the kitchen to seal herbs in brown paper bags in summer to dry them, amongst other things.

Do I really need 3 staplers? No. But it’s convenient. Until it stops being so, I’ll keep them. I could get by with just one, DH hardly uses them at all, but it’s always on the wrong floor, or in the wrong room. (I tried that.)

Other things I’m going to do which are not minimalist. I’m going to make 24 monthly envelopes from fabric for the current and past years’ accounting papers. Why? Because at the moment I’m using manila envelopes, and they’re all over the place as I’m doing the 2016 taxes.

manila envie

I’m tired of opening up the envelopes to find this or that, then closing them, then shuffling thru the stacks of manila envelopes trying to find the RIGHT one. Not now, not til after the taxes are done, but then I’m going to make 2 matching expanding envelopes for each month. I will no longer have to have 24+ envelopes for the 2 years’ worth of data. Three year old data can be filed in the filing cabinet.

If I were really going minimalist, I’d close the business. That won’t happen until the storage is empty and I’ve culled, sold, or whatever the excess stuff. And maybe not then? I’ve been selling things a long time now. Wonder what I’d do otherwise?

 

Always Unplanned

I picked up a load of stuff from my car last night and brought it in. Remembered, just now, that my phone’s battery needed charging. Phone wasn’t in any of the places where it gets put away, no ringy-dingy when we called it. Thought I’d left it in the car?

Nope. It had fallen out of my hands onto the ground last night. And it poured last night and poured. My phone is almost certainly dead. DH said, “Well, maybe those $60 waterproof cases are worth it?” because my case cost $20 and as far as I was concerned it should have been $10. We’ll see. The phone currently sits in a bowl of rice. My bet is that it’s fried.

sick cell phone from images.google.com

I guess I need to do a spot check, every night: phone, wallet, and keys. I usually do that as I’m walking out the door. Too late then if I’ve left it somewhere or dropped it, like this.

Blast!

J

Phone was in its case. We removed it and put it in a bag of rice. Last time we tried this, it didn’t work. But this time, it did! My phone is working.

Revisions and Edits, for Reality and to Fight Depression

I rewrote my “to do” list, it was so cumbersome it was just overwhelming, so I revised it.

I brought one of the narrow, long tables from the attic last night. Except for displacing the books (currently on the coffee table’s shelf) it looks as if the narrower table might work.

It appears the skinny table is TOO long, but I  measured it. It’s actually not as long as the couch. It certainly IS longer than the other one, but it’s also not as wide. The width of the current table is the issue.

So, part of what I’m scheduled to do today is set up the “new” table and take down the one we’ve been using and see? I have a possible plan for the current table too. If it works, it will eliminate a “to do” item for DH –always good.

It’s nice to be using my creative juices for the house again. After months of being rather depressed and overwhelmed by a variety of things, it’s nice to have ideas churning away again. That’s my particular power source. It doesn’t matter if things work or not so much, it only matters that I have another idea, another option. For months, it seemed as if my mind was saying “Dull-dull-dull. Too much! Dull-dull-dull.” And although the rest of the world would likely not see me as being depressed, I sure wasn’t doing the zinging that is my normal. My usual internal dialog is something like, “Oh! Look, maybe it could. Look! It could be “this” or “this.” Wow! Look. . . .”

Learning to use those endless options and the idea of the endless options has kept me out of massive depression most of my life. As I said, it doesn’t matter if the ideas work, it is the process of continually looking at almost everything with the idea, “How was this done?” or something I’ve done with the idea, “How can I improve it?” or using odd pieces or, or, or . . .

possiblities

I learned the idea churning from two places: my Dad and science fiction.

My Dad had a PhD, in physics. His apparatus for his thesis didn’t work and it didn’t work, and it didn’t work — for three years! When he told the story about this what he said was  “I learned to plan for failure, not success.” and although that sounds really defeatist, it isn’t. It’s continually planning another option, if necessary. (His apparatus finally worked for one day and he wrote his thesis on that data.)

Science fiction is the “what if” genre. Writers start with “what if…?” and go from there. If you don’t limit yourself to what you know you can do, know can be done, has been done before in  your thinking, then many more options are available to you. Some options are nonsense or impossible. Flying without a plane is out. Spending millions is out, etc. but all ideas which might include those pieces are still  possiblities, although gravity and your bank might eliminate those.

To solve the couch table problem, I could:

  • Eliminate the couch  – not going to happen.
  • Get a different couch – not going to happen.
  • Move the couch, table, bookcases, and chairs in front of the hearth – not going to happen.
  • Hang the couch or table on the wall  -see flying above
  • Float the table over the congested area – see flying
  • Eliminate the current coffee table – considered. The current end tables aren’t big enough to be used without another table. It will cost $ to store, we might not be able to sell it, then what?
  • Get bigger end tables/eliminate the coffee table – considered, requires spending $
  • Cut the current table in 1/2 lengthwise, creates a “honey do” item, to be avoided if possible
  • Bring down the table not being used in the attic that’s long and skinny and see if it will work?
  • Maybe move the current end tables (3 small tables, which nest) into one long row with a piece of glass atop them and use that as a coffee table – requires $ for the glass,  but this is a possiblity.

My criteria are these, if possible, not a given!

  • Little or no cost.
  • Uses what we already have.
  • Requires DH or myself to do little or nothing (no new projects!)
  • If we eliminate pieces, they are sold.

Life is full of endless options, possibilities. If you approach it that way, it’s rarely depressing or overwhelming, because there’s always another option. More, the turning problems this way and that, standing them on their head or whatever it takes to “see” more possiblities helps keep things from being overwhelming.

My bugaboos are: overwhelming and no hope that change is possible. Creativity, the approach that there’s always another way to solve a problem, keeps those wolves from my door.

 

J