Archive | January 2013

My First Minimalist Attempt….

I decided to tackle the kitchen today.  It’s not finished yet, but I have made some incredible progress!

Here is my kitchen counter before I started this afternoon:

Before...

Before…

And here it is after!  I’m super thrilled with the results!

after..

after..

another shot...

another shot…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also got a very full garbage bag out of the house, too!  I grabbed a tote from the basement to stash my sell/donate items and already filled it up!

Donate / sell

So, all and all, a productive day!  Still a LOT of work to do– lots of cabinets to clear out and a bunch of other surfaces to tackle.  Next up?  Microwave cart and refrigerator!

I am feeling slightly overwhelmed and sore, but I am absolutely digging the clear counters!  I forgot how much room I actually had up there! I am excited about this adventure, and hoping that the kids don’t wreck it in a day!! *sigh*

 

Happy (late) New Year!

As I begin 2013, I have decided to take a look backwards and see how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, what still needs work, and what it is I am actually working towards.  I have come to the disheartening realization that I’ve been working towards absolutely nothing.  I spend hour after hour, day after day, spinning my wheels but getting nowhere.  I have set goals that have never been reached.  I have set priorities that were completely ridiculous.  I have misplaced my better judgment in exchange for an “if-I-am-not-keeping-up-with-the-jones’-I-am-failing-massively” mentality.  Without any doubt, the Jones’ are kicking my tush, so, I am pretty much spinning my wheels and getting nowhere on purpose!  This is not good.

“You can’t solve the problems created by current pattern of thought using current pattern of thought.”—Albert Einstein.

Quite certainly, no truer words have ever been spoken.  I have come to the harsh realization that change is inevitable.  I am not a fan of change, though.  It makes things tough.  It makes extra work.  It makes me think—and, anyone that knows me knows that me thinking is not usually a good thing.  Change makes me uncomfortable.  It makes me feel stupid and under-prepared.  Change makes me feel as if I have no control over anything taking place.

And, I need control.

I cannot see the gray areas in life.  I cannot fathom that there is anything other than black and white when it comes to difficult situations: There is always a right and a wrong.  I simply do not wish to choose which side I should take.

I am a fence-sitter.

When I look at those two statements—which were purposely given their own line, I kind of giggle at the hypocrisy.   Seriously, what fence-sitter do you know that has a desperate need for control in most aspects of his/her life?  I cannot list any.  Fence-sitters like to wait and see what everyone else does before they make their decisions and moves.  Control freaks do not care what anyone else does or thinks—they make a decision and control the actions that take place from there.  I am incredibly drawn to both perspectives.  Unfortunately, being both a fence-sitter and a control freak is not working.   And, it never will.  I understand that if I am ever going to progress and stop spinning wheels, I need to change my current way of thinking to something that works.

Having said that, let it be known that I am not much for New Year Resolutions because I simply do not do them.  Sure, I have the ones that repeat themselves yearly.   I will eat right and lose a ton of weight.  I will not yell at the kids.  I will learn a new skill.  I will keep my house spotless.  I will cook more, and freeze meals for the future.  I am pretty certain I have been working on some of these since, oh, I don’t know, 1993?  I, typically, start out with great energy and dedication, but the minute something breaks protocol, I give up.  Anyway, I have decided that I am not making any resolutions for the year.  I am, instead, going to make resolutions for my life.

Kind of cliché, right?

I thought so, too, so I am going to take it a step further.  I am going to attempt to adopt a minimalist lifestyle—adapted to fit my needs as a full-time, single mother and employee.  If you know me and have seen my vehicle—or my house—you will know this is no small task.  I have, since adopting my “if-I-am-not-keeping-up-with-the-jones’-I-am-failing-massively” mentality, amassed an incredible amount of stuff.   Some of this stuff will never leave my possession, but most of it is just stuff—useless stuff—stuff that has done nothing but clutter up my living space, my life, and my mind.  It is way beyond the time to let go. The problem is: I do not know how.

I downloaded a Kindle book called “Simple Living: thirty days to less stuff and more life” by Lorilee Lippincott, and have decided to take the daily challenges.  I am pretty certain that I will not be able to do every challenge every day as written—it might take me a week to do a challenge because of my schedule—but I will do them.  The first exercise requires me to dream.  I can do that!  I absolutely LOVE to daydream.  I usually end up crying hysterically by the time I am finished daydreaming, though, because I know that none of the dreams will actually happen.  This time, however, I am going to daydream with a purpose.  Lippincott states “you can’t get to the destination if you don’t know where you are going”.

I need to dream my destination.

The exercise asks me to answer specific questions in my dream—some of which I never wished to answer previously or simply have no idea how to answer.  This should be an interesting, and quite challenging, task.  I will be posting as I move through the exercises—sharing my frustrations, foils, and follies.  Stay tuned!

Have you embarked on something new this year?  I’d love to hear about it!