The other day, I stumbled onto this little known non-profit it’s called,”because I said I would” The premise behind the concept is that when people are true to their word and follow through on their promises and commitments the world becomes a better place. I tend to agree. Also the action of writing your promise down on paper really can solidify your commitment. I found the “because I said I would” concept completely complimentary with my Dad’s mantra “be true to yourself”, which is now how I live.
Rewind back to last year when we struggled to raise funds for our dog, Batman’s, wheelchair. It was during that process I really understood how difficult it is to raise funds after you have tapped out your resources. So I promised myself that I would donate once a month to a cause. Not to a huge corporate fundraising machine, but rather to an individual or a family. (In my mind someone that’s who really needs it and I know the money goes directly to their fund, a win-win)
I wasn’t sure how I could keep this commitment because money is so very tight. I had to come up with an amount that I could handle regardless of what other emergency pops up, and they pop up all the freakin’ time so I settled on ten dollars. How could I remember to give ten dollars? My answer; ten on the tenth.
So here you have my first “because I said I would.” 10 dollars every tenth of the month to a fundraiser on youcaring.com. ( a free fundraising site)
What will you do because you said you would?
Self sabotage. Ever hear of it? It’s when we know better, and yet we continue to follow ideas, thoughts and actions that will not get us where we want to be.
Why do we do this? I have no clue, but I am willing to try to figure it out. So here are my guesses:
1. We are comfortable in habit.
2. We are afraid of failure.
3. We are lazy
4. We have no will power.
5. We have low expectations.
6. We are afraid of change.
7. We doubt our abilities.
Those are the top seven reasons that just popped in my head. You may have come up with different reasons. (I would love to hear from you in the comments)
Now, I want to take those same reasons and listen to them as if a child was telling me why they could never ride a two-wheeler.
My reaction to the child’s reasons was simple and automatic. I effortlessly and instantly offered encouragement. I quickly reassured the child that there was no harm in trying. I let him/her know the worst that could happen isn’t that bad, and that she could always try again.
So why is it as adults we (I) fail to encourage ourselves? I don’t have the answers, nothing is popping into my head.
As a matter of fact, I must take this little post and apply it to myself. It’s time to encourage myself. Wish me well. Cheers to all of you out there who are trying to break out of your existing patterns.
Tip: Treat yourself like you care about yourself.
Inspiration: “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn
One-day one-thing: I am going to paint or draw something today.
I know I have been missing from this blog, I have been working super hard on our renovation Project 1923. I have been without a kitchen and a real bed for quite some time now, and I think it has help to change my perspective. Simpler is better and easier for me. Oh, and we no longer watch TV……that’s huge.
If you want to get the trash out of your head, turning the TV off is essential. Try it for a week…. I dare you. For serious down time, too tired to move or think down time, I have Netflix. Not the greatest selection, but the documentaries seem to suit me well at the moment.
Bit by bit, I am applying what I preach to my own life. I have tamed the old wild-ass-consumer I used to be. Curbed the hoarder I became as a result my shopping and now I think more clearly. Literally I pause before each buying decision. This solidifies my desire to use less, have less, and want less. Not buying is incredibly empowering. It truly is.
Just recently I’ve caught myself walking away from negative conversations. That’s right, just walking away…..I don’t care if someone thinks I am a weirdo. Who cares what anyone thinks anyway? ( you never know what is in their mind, so quit thinking about it. It’s trash thinking, a waste of your own time and mind power.) Be yourself, be kind, and do your best. It is that simple.
As far as politics go, I have to turn it WAY off. I am very opiniated about my political beliefs, however, I am never going to change a right-winged mentality. I have learned that lesson and want no part of it. It’s all trash- doesn’t accomplish a thing. I am liberal at heart, and I have no problems with that. ( good thing I have a handful of political friends on line – or on-demand if you will – it’s nice to touch base without all the drama. )
Life is still hectic.
Our move has proven to be a great decision. We love our new town and our neighborhood. It’s diverse, interesting and people are super friendly. The house was a bargain, and the work we are doing to it is rewarding. I have learned many skills and am stretching my imagination. The satisfaction from a completed project is HUGE.
We are appreciating the good and actually ” living with less” is much more awesome than I ever thought possible.
I heard a friend say one day, ” My goal is to live well below my means.” That stuck with me and I have chosen it as one of my many goals. It’s fun.
Mini Update: I have weeded out my pottery, and actually am parting with some of my children’s art work. The storage unit is less crowded, we hope to move to a smaller unit by September first. Currently my focus is on our renovation, 29 days of giving, real work and family. Soon I will be paining ( art) again, it’s nice to even feel like painting again.
Whatever you want to change, you can – even if it takes forever – you have the power. Until next time. Cheers!
There is no more time for delaying the final sort. ( just bought a house and we are closing soon) We measured the rooms and basically most everything will not fit.
I think I will start with the items I like the least….that would be papers and letters, and all that stuff you have to have or you feel like you have lost something if you get rid of it. But in reality you never even look at it. It’s stored somewhere, maybe even being eaten by mice.
The cool thing about this paper de-cluttering is that a while back I bought a NEAT scanner off of Woot. So if I wanted I could scan everything, and still have it if I wanted it. I think that would be a cool way to handle this mess, but I have never been that organized, and it kind of scares me. Lol…a scanner scaring me is ridiculous.
These papers, are weighing me down. I worry that I have kept the unimportant ones and lost the good ones. All this worry is fabricated in my mind. And I know it. But it still bothers me.
I put this off, I say it’s too cold, or I have to do this or that, or I’ll do it tomorrow. I am suffering with serious dread. All in my mind. I am mental. Maybe Icey gets it from me????
At any rate this is my goal for Saturday. You read it here, I’ll update as soon as it is finished.
3.Three secure file box for each child. Secure meaning it can close and mice and water wont get in. Most likely a plastic item. :(
4. One file box for the hub and me.
7. A glass of ice water, if it takes too long, I’ll switch to wine.
Tip: Just do it.
Inspiration: “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”- Peter F. Drucker
One-day one-thing: Reward yourself at the end of any successful day.
So this is my question today and I do not have the answer.
Why do we hang on to things? What is it in our minds that puts value on things that in reality have virtually no value?
Our past is gone. No matter how great or how horrible. It’s gone. ( I am not talking about photos, because they actually catch moments in time) I am talking about things, stuff, and sometimes weird stuff. Items that we personally value whereas a stranger may consider it nothing more than trash.
What triggers our minds?
A Standard Life study suggests 28 to 40-year-olds don’t plan for the future because they prefer to reminisce about past times. Yet experts say nostalgia can give meaning to our seemingly dull lives.
In the extreme cases people can become hoarders.
From this article: “Some hoarders seem to feel unable to process all of the things that are part of their daily lives and feel “anxious, overwhelmed and ashamed” as the piles of clutter accumulate around them, according to Birchall. These people are often perfectionists and worry about making the right decision about what to do with each possession. The stress of trying to make a decision becomes too much for them, to the point where they avoid having to decide altogether by simply keeping everything.”
However, nothing can scare you straight better than watching A&E’s “Hoarders.” I fall somewhere in between, maybe…not really as bad as an on TV hoarder, but I have enough crap to really dislike it.
I like to look at websites like Dwell and Apartment Therapy for inspiration of designs with little room or less stuff. There are many more interesting people and sites out there that deal with living better with less. Some people live with nothing, that will never be me, but they inspire me just the same.
We don’t need to know the exact answer, it could be helpful, but I believe it is unnecessary to know in order to move forward. Knowing what drives us in the past is good, but forget about it if you cant figure it out. We only have to take things one step at a time with a dedicated focus as our goal.
Remember; if you are anything at all like me and you have too much stuff – change is hard, it takes times, and you will get there, eventually. Keep your focus.
You set your pace, rather your life sets your pace. Good luck. 2012 is the year for me. I just know it.
I wish you well. Cheers!
Tip: Don’t buy anything. Make a wish list. Write it down. Think before you buy.
Inspiration: “To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people. ” ~John Powell
One-day one-thing: Get rid of something, anything.
I am so amazingly happy that it is a regular Friday. No holiday anything. Just a normal day, and the best day of the work week.
But I have lost some very important papers. So that’s about all I can think about at the moment. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Living in my mother’s house without even a dresser to use for ourselves has served to teach me well. I am living in disarray, in uncertainty, and in limbo. I am a bit mental at the moment as well. And I don’t even care, if I tell you this or not. I am meeting the challenge of this living arrangement , but there has been collateral damage. Well-being damage. That’s okay. (it’s not forever….I keep telling myself)
Currently I am considering writing a book of how NOT to be when you get old. I am getting old, but man when you are really old it’s an entirely different story. Very scary. Maybe if I take notes of “do’s and don’ts” now I’ll be able to save myself and those around me later.
What’s the REAL kicker for this Friday? A house, of coarse, what else?
Yep, once again, we are putting a bid in on a house. I’ll keep you posted, because I cant help myself. If we get this house, I am planning on posting before and after pics as we pour ourselves into making it livable. (Good thing, I like that kind of work )
So go ahead stay on task, sort something, donate at least one thing, and toss five items into the trash.
Meanwhile, I’ll be in a demented mode searching for lost papers and waiting and looking more and waiting….
Enjoy your Friday- Cheers!
Tip: Organize your important papers….lol…once and for all.
Inspiration: “Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.” – Maya Angelou
One-day one-thing: Find that accordion file and start the new year right.
So another year’s over, and what have you done?
I’ve made excuses as to why I can’t get past my personal road blocks. That stops today. I know it’s cold as heck out there, and personally I am not a snow bird, but I have let the weather squelch my forward momentum, and for no good reason.
If I told you that everything inside this house was sorted and reduced to a minimum I would be only playing make believe. That would be easy to do, but it wouldn’t help me in any way. Oh I know I said I can’t sell anything in a garage sale in the snow, but what about all those pesky little things…like my belts.
Because little things don’t take up a lot of space they seem to be allowed to stick around. This is not good. They have to go.
No matter how large or how small your crap is, you have to get rid of it. Space displacement is not the determining factor when eliminating clutter and crap in your life. Think about it like a junk drawer. Who wants it? Who likes it? Every little space, drawer and/or container filled–I can’t even breathe when I think about it this way.
I read something recently, that said storage isn’t good. It only serves as vehicle to neatly hide your junk. It doesn’t solve any deeper issues, and it does not advance you to a goal of living better with less.
Advisory: Don’t go to Target, January is “store your stuff” month, containers galore on sale! All so you can make more room to buy more useless stuff, from guess who? -Target.
So for this week, and for the rest of these gloomy winter months, I will work on the little things in the little drawers and in the little containers. I actually wonder what I might find.
Tip: If there is something that needs to be fixed that you have been putting off – bite the bullet and fix it.
Inspiration: ” Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” ~Coleman Cox
One-day one-day: Old stationary-clear it out, when is the last time you actually wrote a letter?
I am seriously finding my focus, after surviving the last horrid holiday season of my life. Spent Christmas eve in the emergency room, my Mother broke her arm in two places and she goes tomorrow to find out if it will need surgery.
We learned that no pharmacies anywhere close to hospitals are open on holidays at 12 midnight, and we met Johnny, the lone pharmacist. He was a double for the assistant on 30 Rock.
Once again, I am reminded that no one else will even consider helping with the care giving. It’s me and my family or nothing. Haven’t seen the siblings since Christmas day.
I am on a mission for change. I mean it. I know its going to be hard because it was hard before… but determination has a key role here.
I’ll catch up soon. Happy New Year – or else!
Nothing accomplished. December has become another month to just make it through. To handle all the crises that came our way and try to do it without total self destruction. Look at me, it’s only the 2oth and I am already writing the month off.
I am in New York, and last night hearing my son tell me he is never ever moving back to Ohio makes me wonder than why the heck am I staying here? My daughter would like us to move some where near the east coast, so she could visit more easily when she wanted. My youngest son just wants to have his own room again. Heavy sigh. (he just informed me, So Cal.)
I don’t know how to handle a situation I can not control. We are not in a position to move anywhere, except maybe locally. Do you know how scarey it is to have to sell your house, and it doesn’t sell? Fourteen months on the market, not one offer. I never want to be there again. I also am not hip on getting a house that requires a bunch of repairs, but we are limited by our budget.
I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know how other people do it. How do they just start over? That’s one of our issues, we can’t start completely over, because we have commitments and constraints. We hold certain cards, and without picking up a pair of aces I think we are working with a measurable handicap.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t change, it’s just means we have to plan around everything.
For about a week, for maybe 5 days, we thought we had an answer. We believed we made a choice. But now, I am no longer interested in that. Too far and too close at the same time…why bother?
Just got our yearly Christmas news letter from some relatives. I mean seriously, I had to read it twice to make sure my sour mood wasn’t clouding my judgement. Nope, it wasn’t, still as pretentious as ever. Most years I don’t even read it.
Why did I choose to read it today? Because I am an idiot, who feels bad, and wanted to feel worse? No. I think I was honestly hoping for a twinkle light of inspiration. Not to be.
Have I mentioned how stressful the holidays are for me? I swear, the biggest luxury for me would be to avoid the entire Thanksgiving to New Years Day season.
I want to move beyond my dissatisfaction, but it’s inside me tightly holding hands with my lack of clarity.
I can’t tell myself what to do anymore. I can read my own advice and that helps in certain areas, but not this “where to live topic, how to get there, is it the right choice” dilemma. So so complicated.
I am flailing. Holding myself together, with avoidance, denial, and distractions. My own personal brand of ADD. A mental cocktail of sorts. I highly recommended it for anyone, in a messed up situation.
About to go out to dinner…..it’ will be great, I will be in full ADD mode. Cheers!
I had already set my New’s Resolution to stop swearing, then I realize it was more than that.
It is not only the about words but also about what is behind the words. An anger or a rage lives there. Who needs that? We have all witness someone who gets angry. It can make us uncomfortable, it can frighten us and change the mood of an entire experience.
We can easily see what we don’t like about it in others, but many times when we do it, we feel perfectly justified. We become entitled and self-righteous, “I’m just telling it like it is.” (again, I am speaking for myself)
What we are really doing is hurting those around us and ourselves, even if that is not our intention.
All words carry energy. The old saying “stick and stones” isn’t true. In fact, it is plain false. Even when you are not swearing, but just talking negatively without fore thought or speaking with an “attitude.”- those words cause damage. Each word is what you are as you speak. That is what you are contributing to the world, to the greater good.
Is what you say good?
Words to Promote Positive Changes in the World by Jill Lawson- addresses the importance of words in her short and to the point article. She breaks it down to three items.
1) Avoid idle chat, gossip and words that intend to hurt.
2) Speak your truth.
3) Be a good listener.
Also in The Four Agreements, one of the four agreements is:
Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
So I shall do my best, starting today, even though I said it was a New Year’s resolution. This will take practice. I know change is hard and change takes time, but I want to change. So I have half the battle won already. Cheers!
Inspiration: “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. ” ~ Buddha