Tag Archives: New Habits

Background Work

The latest anthology is all but done. The (c) page and other formatting sort of things need to be completed. We also need contracts & money from the publisher. So, a bit more work there, but basically, it’s complete.

The taxes are done, or all but, as well. I sent the last number to the tax person after dinner last night.

The background work I’ve been doing is for the new domains and the new idea re this information and other writings I’ve published, are in process, or are complete, but not yet released “into the wild.”

The current plan is to have the book-related website up sometime in April. This is faster, why? Because a lot of what we’re going to do is post links for other people, the books I’ve been involved with, etc. Doesn’t require a lot of original content, just a framework.

The dehoarding piece (a lot of which will come from here) work has begun, but will take some time. Warning: posts may disappear from here altogether when I get the new things set up. What will stay: the how-to posts which are my most popular (how to cook madagascar rice, how to get more books on a bookshelf, ways to stay cool you may not have thought of, and others).

Re the housecleaning/purge? Things are better, although it certainly isn’t perfect. The bathroom counter is staying clean, the dishes are getting worked on, daily, as is the laundry. I’ve decided that when I can keep those three areas clean without it being a battle, then I will have achieved a major goal: that is, to deal with the inevitable addition of mess, daily.

That’s my first goal if you will. To get to where it isn’t something I even have to think about. The dishes are mostly there, DH or I do dishes, daily. We don’t get them all done or all put away every day, so that’s the next piece. The bathroom counter has been getting cleared off for some time, that’s really done. The exception there is that for a while now, the bathroom has been a construction zone. That should end soon. The worst piece of the three is laundry.

I learned that it’s impossible to keep a room clean if you just have too much stuff in it, I also learned that the daily influx has to be dealt with, first. I had this notion that if I just got rid of enough stuff, of any sort, that the house would be cleanable. Yes, that’s true. But when you count a dresser the same as for a piece of paper, as I was doing at the beginning, it doesn’t work very well!

 

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Weekend Catch-Up, 6 Items

Here’s what’s left that I should have done this week:

  1. Tidy needlework supplies and equipment.11:30 Saturday
  2. Put away summer weight coats.7 p.m. Saturday
  3. Deal with mail.7:30 p.m. Saturday
  4. Work on the wood piles (also on the to do list).
  5. Update grain storage: review/cull, clean containers, etc. A tiny piece of this was done as part of clearing the kitchen counter. Weds. 10 a.m. More of this was done Saturday evening, 7:45 p.m. The job is too involved to do really quickly.
  6. Work on the house notebook. 11:00 a.m Saturday

I’m busy tomorrow, so these all have to happen today (Saturday).

Also on the list is the usual weekend chores: dump, laundry, etc.

I’m off!

J

 

 

 

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

New Practices

I’ve been much better lately about using up our stored foods. I changed a few things and that has made all the difference.

  1. Rather than simply looking where I always have for food to cook, I make myself dig through the dark corners of the freezer or pantry before I start cooking. Frequently, I’ll find something which alters my proposed menu.
  2. I am trying really hard not to have leftovers, so I am actively working at using them  the following day if we aren’t using them outright for lunch.

Last night’s dinner, for example, was canned baked beans, with additions. The additions were smoked pork neck (needed to be cooked) and onion. There’s about 1/2C left. Also, after I cut the pieces off to add to the beans I still had a larger bony hunk, which I boiled.

I’d forgotten about that bit of broth and boiled meat but when I dug into the pantry  this morning and found a lima bean and barley soup mix, I decided to make it for dinner (it had been on the bargain shelf at the market).

When I got to the kitchen,  I realized I had a pan of cooked, smoked pork and broth to use up too. So, I did the obvious. I used the broth (and the meat) with the soup mix. The seasoning packet is separate, and I may or not use it — depends on the flavor about 1/2 way, in 45 minutes or so.

Previously, I might or might not have used the soup mix (I gave away a bunch of these last year) and/or the broth (I made and tossed TWO batches of turkey broth in November). I am working hard at changing how I deal with food and wasting as little as possible. Getting better!

More Progress

This is getting to be “normal” here, every day we make some significant step(s) toward restoring our living room to actual usefulness. Yesterday the small console table was placed next to the front door, the first flat strap bookcase was placed, and the pantry door was rehung. DH also did the caulking around the pantry door and worked on tightening up the exterior windows.

Put like that, it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s definitely different here, we’re both plugging away at the cull/restore/remove stuff project, daily. Instead of ignoring our home, the mess and the needed chores, we’re both working on it. Not full time, but things are getting DONE.

PTSD/Abuse Trap

I realized something the other day. That is, that since the “Breakthrough” post what, last week? (link) I’ve done a lot of work on the house, got 2 rooms cleaned up and culled, and no emotional/PTSD backwash, that is, no panic.

I also, after Thursday, when I got done with the 2nd one with help, stopped working on it and intend to not work on it (except to maintain or restore those 2 rooms) until next Monday. And no guilt, that is, no beating myself up with “shoulds.”

Both of those reactions were part of the trap the PTSD/abuse/self-esteem/brain washing (whatever) issues most of my life:

If I worked on something, it wasn’t done well enough or quickly enough, and mostly it wasn’t finished at all. When I quit, I’d then beat myself up because I was a loser who never finished anything.

A few years ago, I realized I had a similar trap about dealing with pain. I call it the Emotional Function Badguy. When I created this graphic, it was the first time I saw it was an endless loop I could not escape.

function bad guy

The PTSD/Abuse Trap was similar:

Clean?

(yes) -> Panic!

(no) – > Vile/Disgusting!

Keep cleaning?

(yes) -> Not fast/good enough! -> Panic!

(no) ->Wimp!


Again, there’s no way out. No positive side.

What’s different this time?

Clean?

(yes) -> No panic

(no) -> I did good, I can take a few days off.


If you’re me? The change is bizarre. I’m relaxed. It’s okay that I’m not cleaning. It’s okay that the rooms have degraded somewhat; I can fix it,. It’s okay. I can clean or not, and that’s okay.


F’n amazing.