Tag Archives: goals

Defining the Job

I finally came up with a set of concrete goals for the house work. I’ve put it on the 7 levels site. You can find it here.

It was interesting to finally figure this out. The sliding scale of how much is enough has been an issue of mine for some time. It is possible to go way over the line from hoarding to OCD and the definition will also help (I think.) to keep me from doing that.

And, because of the need to find that “enough is enough” and not too much, I think the set definition will also help keep the PTSD anxiety at bay.

Another step,


Getting Back on Track?

I have wandered fairly far afield in the past 2-3 months. That is, I’ve nearly stopped posting the weekly “to do” list, stopped thinking about or working on my larger, long-term goals, except in a spotty fashion.

I haven’t done a concerted purge for the tally in the past few days, either.

The house is staying cleaner, which is great, but for more than a month I’ve been doing whatever was in front of me, instead of trying to make the work I do count towards my bigger, long-term goals.

I know why: I’ve been fighting off exhaustion and depression. Rather than simply ignoring it and trying to push it away, a couple of days ago I finally sent an “I need help!” email to my nearest friends. I got what I needed, that is, a reminder that I’m not alone, there are people in my corner. In the recent past, except for real crisis, I haven’t asked for help much (or at least that’s my perception). I had a good therapist, and that’s what I used her for, I leaned on her, and our session recharged my batteries about 2x a month, and usually, that was enough.

She retired in June. The idea of establishing a new relationship with someone else after 15 years with the same person was just exhausting. Also, the people she recommended did not appeal to me at all for various reasons. Maybe in person that would be different, but the short bio forms, much of it a sales pitch, just left me cold. This means I haven’t gotten a new therapist.

Unknown to me, my energy started to fade. When I finally realized what was going on last week, I saw that it was like a slow drain of my energy and enthusiasm. I think of myself as a self-starter, but I need energy shots or something from others. Didn’t realize that those energy shots were a lot of what I was getting from my therapy. It was my 2 hours a month to be as whiney and selfish as I wanted. For someone with PTSD, or at least for me, it was a time/place to talk about all the ways/places/times that others pushed those buttons and how I should or did deal with them.

Because my flashback is a 3 year old’s grief, I have as I say, ” a grieving 3 year old, caught in the amber of my psyche.” Accordingly  my PTSD reactions to things are almost always inappropriate! Having a safe place to start there and then see/figure the more reasoned response was a blessing I’ve now lost. That created another drain, as I’ve been monitoring myself and my behavior in ways I hadn’t had to for a long time.

All of this and a few other things created a situation where I’ve been fighting off depression and exhaustion. I’m glad I finally realized what was going on and asked for help. I’m not sure what a long-term fix is, as I really don’t think I can do this every six months for the rest of my life, any more than I think I can afford a therapist 2x a month forever either, even assuming I had one.

I need to find new answers.

In the meantime, I need to get back on track: purging, culling, cleaning, and moving towards a time/space where I can do whatever’s next, even if it’s just dying.

New and Old Plans


What I’ve done today 8/7/16:

Empty/remove the 3rd bookcase box. There are two more larger bookcase crates (came from the storage) in my car to be added to the house. (In the house 1:30 pm.) When the bookcase boxes are “put back” they’ll be added. It’s too easy to eliminate cases without replacing the storage I’ve found!

Last night I quit moving things when I realized that the living room had about  the right amount of “things” in it. . . after three days of moving boxes, furniture, and stuff out of there, to the kitchen or the storage.

One of the problems I’ve had is just this: how do I know when I’m done culling stuff? I guess the answer is “When it feels right.” All I can say is based on this, I have a LOT of culling yet to do!

My Plans for the rest of today 8/7/16:

Finish the bookcase box move, then prep the wallboard on that wall (living room side of the stairs 1 of 2). Then remove whatever else is on the interior parallel wall and do that. Should keep me busy for a little while, ‘eh?

Largest piece of the room side wall has been taped, cleaned and spackled. The last 2 bookcase boxes still sit in front of the other side of this wall, it is untaped, dirty and unspackled right now. 10:49am Done! 7:09pm.

I’ll edit this as I get things done to indicate where I am.

The piece below was one of my “drafts” here (I have 49 now.) I’ve deleted a few more and modded others to make them posts — part of the reason I’ve sometimes posted twice in one day. I’m putting this here because all I’m seeing right now is the mess in my kitchen, the pile o’ stuff, and the unfinished painting job in the living room. I need to give myself credit for persistence and yes, I AM, getting things done!

Desk/Office Ruminations Began 3/5/13:

I have 5 bookcases in my office from the old shop. One is entirely bead storage now, one is a mixed bag and contains all the little drawer sets. But that leaves three which have been a hodge-podge of mixed stuff and books. I have enough paper, metal, tools, supplies, etc. to fill all 5 bookcases.

The bead/button bookcase is pretty much set. If I can add the beading and related books\, it would be helpful. The case on the other side of the counter currently holds wrapping paper (and other roll papers), the little drawer sets, the templates, etc.

The three other cases, if organized, would go a LONG way towards making the office into a functioning work space.I have a lots of metal, cloth, and paper stuff. Most of the yardage & scrap fabric is in the drawers, so that what’s left are tools and of course the craft-related books. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of those too. I did this. It didn’t work all that well. The current plan is to find other ways to store the craft supplies and all FIVE of these bookcases wind up in the attic! 8/2016

The remaining furniture in my office is a black hole. That is, it’s the dresser that’s slated to be sold, but hasn’t been pulled out yet. In the hallway beyond, is the bookcase/desk that’s supposed to be my desk and replace the dresser. I suppose the next  step is to get the barrister’s bookcase into the new booth, or if not that, then get the dresser there instead? When we accomplish that, the the hallway gets unblocked, which would be a HUGE relief! No more balancing things in the hall, etc. Finished 8/2016


Chore Status (as of 8/1/16)

Decided I need ONE place to track what the next step is in each location.

Living Room: Sand, clean, knot Sealer Living room wood walls are done! Primer (1st coat) all of the front wall, behind the hearth, hearth to back corner, small piece on kitchen wall, stair walls, room side, pantry/office wall, bath wall, closet wall, bookcase wall, kitchen wall, entry wall (all wall board). Sanding/Knot sealer: door trim: pantry, office, bath, closet, and stair rail. primer (2nd coat) : kitchen wall, oak wall, front wall, wallboard walls.  Final Paint: entire room, entry, stair piece and hall. Cull/clean: get chair  & fabric to Jeannie’s for reupholstery. Window replacement on north side. (long term) Sand and redo floor.

Kitchen: (Cull/clean) 2nd half of fridge, 2nd half of freezer, make freezer inventory.Get the boxes out of the way so you can pull the table out, get antique table out. Clean the marble table, move the sewing machine.Unfold the rug. Get the 2nd Hoosier into the kitchen. Get the new freezer in the kitchen. Sell the old smaller fridge. Dismantle the f’n 30 square foot counter and redo it to something saner!!! (long term) Pull the windows, put in the new wall and windows.

Laundry: (Cull/clean) clothes, backlog (again). (longterm) Get the switch thing set up so you don’t have to pull the dryer out anymore!

Bathroom: (Cull/Clean) corners, window, closet floor clear out. Mail or distribute presents.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) get couch downstairs. When reupholstered chair returns, put it here, not living room.

Attic: Get cabinets in there and stuff organized. First 4 cabinets are here now, need to get the space cleaned, and them placed in the attic, then stuffed with stuff, and clean the area for the next ones. Get the 2 base cabinets in there (or elsewhere) and the cabinet from the storage. Get the bookcases from office 1 into the attic. Get the bookcase boxes on top of the cabinets, when they fit.

Office 1: Get the first batch of craft supplies to the shop. Get the counter cleaned. Remove everything from the bookcases on the north wall and get the cases moved into the attic. Get dresser out of there for SIL to take home. Bring in the new dressers? Clean where the dresser was.

Office 2: Clear off the blue desk. Sell/cull items waiting for that.

Dining Room: Unfold the rug when the oak table is removed. Take down candlabra, sell. Paint china cabinet and relocate it and the 2 Hoosiers.

Storage: Get the table to the person who owns it. Remove the folding screen. Remove the 2nd Hoosier for the kitchen and cabinet for the attic.

Garden: Continue, finish and keep up the weeding, so that the weeds don’t take over the yard and next year’s vegetable garden is a disaster accordingly! [Worked on this 7/24-5]

Storage: Get at least 5 boxes out and deal with the stuff in them. Move to a smaller storage unit 10 x 20 instead of 10 x 30 which is what you have now.

Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 51 as of 7/27, 50 as of 8/1)

Ratwheels Forever

Okay, okay all ready! Yes, I am READY to move on with my life.

But, but I’m weighed down by previous work obligations and all the stuff. I’d get a dumpster and have a “pitch it” party, but you might as well make a big target on my back , point and say,


This is what it feels like to be trapped in an Isben play, I guess.


I got here.

I don’t hurt.

I didn’t flashback with a major revelation.

I’ve waited for those two things to occur together for 58 or so years. And I’m bogged down with all the strings, ties, stuff: emotional and physical trash that I accumulated to deal with  the undiagnosed PTSD and abuse issues for most of a 1/2 century.

The mechanisms and stuff helped. It kept me safe. Now I’m not afraid to see what it could be like to live in a neat house, but I’m afraid of going too fast — because that’s always brought the issues up before, and I don’t know if it still will — but it always has, for 50+ years.

Will someone please just find the F’n switch for this stupid ratwheel I’m on and shut the stupid thing OFF already???

Bet: it won’t happen that way. I have to clean up my own mess. I have to keep fighting. I have to push on and on and on. Which, considering that I stayed alive at birth, as a preemie, when they expected me to die, means if you’re me, I’ve been fighting since my first breath. They expected me to die at the first suicide attempt, when I was 16, didn’t. I almost did the 2nd time I tried at 19, but I  didn’t. Had the motorcycle accident which could have left me brain dead or just dead, didn’t. On and on.

I’m alive. I don’t hurt. That took 58-9 years. Now what?

Well, “now what ” is that I have to deal with more backwash, more stuff, more things and mechanisms I had created so I could cope.

Part of me wants to PARTY! CELEBRATE!!! Find a new direction and go thataway!

But I have several 1,000 books to get rid of, first. I have a new way to live to learn, first. I have to learn new skills because the new me is more aware of my shortcomings than my old self (I was too busy hurting.)



And yes, I’m sick of this. I’m running out of energy and I can’t do anything but deal with the vestiges of my past, even though I’ve spent all this time/energy learning to cope with it.


This pity party stops here.

How I ‘ll fix this I have no idea, but I’ll find a way. I have to believe that or I will go mad. I’m just tired.





What Things Do You Have = Home?

I noticed not too long ago that a friend’s home had a “tick-tock clock” in the kitchen. This generates a very home-like and comforting sound. Seems like a great way to “make home.”

So, here’s the question: what piece of stuff or type of stuff do you have which makes your house your home?

I’ve been working towards cozy and comfortable and thinking for us that’s not fancy/high maintenance/sleek furnishings (not really shabby chic either), color with black & white accents, low maintenance. But sound was not something I’d really considered. A clock’s sounds would be nice.

Home has always just been a place to store my stuff. I do not expect safety, rootedness, belonging, comfort — although I’m trying to build that — difficult when you don’t know how.

Definite:  things which make me smile, my important books, cozy, colorful,  and comfortable. Maybe a clock.

The living room painting progresses, slowly. We just got a quote for the back roof. I still haven’t planted the veggie garden. If I don’t get to it soon we’ll have lettuce and radishes and that’s it this year!



My One Resolution

This year I decided to keep things simple. I made ONE resolution: to be more consistent. Being inconsistent is at least partially the product of the PTSD. You feel as if you’re targeted and so don’t want to do the same thing too often, the same way. Being inconsistent has cost me over and over again, in time, resources and just getting things done.


I needed a way to make myself accountable for this, or I knew I’d never do it. I have no idea what if any progress on this I made in January, but that pretty much says it all, ‘eh? I probably didn’t make any progress at all.

I belong to a self-help site where I can set my own goals. I came up with one. That is to use the site to document the self-care I’m doing — for 60 days. And, I’ve just upped the ante by posting this here too.

I wish it wasn’t so, but frequently the only way I can get myself to do something is to embarrass myself into it; paint myself into an emotional corner. [If you don’t have to do this kind of maneuvering to get things done, I’m jealous!]

The image I came up with for this “quest” is below. We’ll see how I do!


X'd calendar