challenging

The time has come to do some math

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fresh new date book waiting for greatness

Yes it’s going to be a new year. And yes I am excited about it.  Why? I don’t know.  I suppose its a results of many years of conditioning.

Here the thing about my new year, I did a little math equation and to tell you the truth it kind of blew my socks off. I’ll share it below:

 1 hour of FB per day x 365 days = 365 hours

If you are at all like me, there are days I don’t go on at all, and other days where it feels like I can’t stay off.  In any case, it’s all time and every little bit adds up. Even if you are waiting in line or at a soccer practice it’s time taken.

365 hours / 24 hours in a day = 15.208 days per year

That is more than a two week vacation.  This blew my mind.

I’m not saying I will quit FB, nor am I suggesting anyone else to stop using the beast.  I’m only offering some insight to something that has been on my mind and that I hope to curtail.  Especially because I have been known to complain about not having enough time, and yet I have used my time poorly.

I have some lofty goals this coming year.  Why I chose 2016 may have to do with the fact that 2015 went by so fast that I feel like I missed the entire year.  Flat out missed it.  So yes, this is my resolution-to be aware and conscience of my minutes.

I wish you all a beautiful time ahead.

Cheers to all.

Post Positive Images- Baltimore Protests

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We all are aware that the media has taken all the good of the Baltimore protests and turn it into the destruction of the Baltimore riots!  I ask everyone to counter this misrepresentation by posting of peaceful photos of demands for justice.  Do it anywhere and everywhere you can. Thank you and spread the word!

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042815-national-baltimore-protest-2Freddie Gray Protest in Baltimore

Protests in Baltimore After Funeral Held For Baltimore Man Who Died While In Police Custody

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Source: Suze Orman 8 Qualities of Success

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The Eight Qualities of Success

  • Harmony is when there is complete agreement between what you think, say and do.
  • Balance is the reward of harmony; it is when you are most calm and content because there is no disconnect between your thoughts, words and actions.
  • Courage. Is the ability to make choices that bring harmony and balance. Courage is not always about action. It takes courage to do nothing, rather than do something that you do not believe in or understand.
  • Generosity. True generosity is an offering; given freely and out of pure love. No strings attached. No expectations. Time and love are the most valuable possession you can share.
  • Happiness: bubbles up when the first four qualities are in abundance. Happiness is not a luxury. It is a necessity. When we are happy we are in the best possible place to be good to ourselves and those we love.
  • Wisdom: is the ability to make the right decisions at the right time. Wisdom alerts you when you are out of balance or having trouble summoning courage. It is your inner voice guiding you through and past the noise.
  • Cleanliness: When there is clarity and organization in your thoughts and your physical space you can more easily access the inner wisdom and courage that makes harmony and balance achievable.
  • Beauty is what you possess when you incorporate the seven preceding qualities into your life.

Speak up, even if your voice shakes.

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ericG“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ~ Elie Wiesel

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Wow, patting self on back.

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So I have something to show you:

before
before

Ta da!

storage unit empty and gone on Halloween 2013
storage unit empty and gone on Halloween 2013

It was a long time coming but we finally got rid of this stuff and the monthly fee to save it.

We still have some items at my Mother’s house and in our garage and basement but we are getting so much closer.  During the course of this effort , many things have taken time away from our goal.  I say that not as an excuse but rather a reality check for myself.  You see I always think I can get everything down FAST!   Life doesn’t work that way.  More important situations come around that you have to tend to, or in many cases that you want to tend to.

It’s been a tough lesson, changing goals, deadlines, and lowering expectations….but I am better for it.  I’m still cluttered, but only half as crazy as I was before.

Cheers!

mindtrash fall-out

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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!

Five Unproven Tips

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I have an issue with getting too  close.  I could explain it away based on many things, now that I recognize much of the baggage I carry.  But that doesn’t change it, and I question if it even need to be changed? Or am I like this because I want it this way?

Yesterday I had this imaginary turn of events play out in my head that lead a friendship from casual and strong to really really close friends. And that’s when I noticed this “pull-back” inside of me, I could physically feel it.  It was like – Oh, I don’t want to do “that.

Mind you, in the past few years I have lost five different friends each by one of the following ways; two by way of death, one good old fashion betrayal, one from a realization, and one because of relocation.  Also during this same time my three children left the nest for college.   (Irish triplets; I knew this day would come, didn’t make it any easier) Feelings of loss are never easy.

In the beginning, Unpack The Rat was focused solely on material stuff, clutter and junk, but when some of that stuff made me cry I knew there was much more stuff stuffed inside me.  I realize that now, right now, is the time to fix everything the best I can.  It’s been brutal a continuing challenge.

Another thing I have learned during my journey is, it will go on as long as I am breathing.  Meaning no matter what happens, I will have to work at conquering my demons every day, or they will take me over.   My demon, disguised as clutter, boxes and disarray, is actually negativity and all that encompasses.

Much like an addiction, I have to fight negativity every day or it will overpower my mind, body and soul.

So right now, I am going to come up with five unproven tips to counter my negativity. Maybe they will help you, me or someone we know.

Five Instant Tips:

1. Stop swearing  unless it’s used in positive comment.  Example: ” That’s so f*cking incredible. I am so excited for you!” Swearing when you are upset or angry only serves to  fuel and intensify any negative emotion.

2. Do not allow yourself to get hungry.  We are grown people, we know we have to fuel our bodies and minds.  Pack a lunch box to take wherever you go, make a first aid kit for the hungries.  Suggestions for your kit: carrots, fruit, cheese,  nuts, crackers and water.  Dig in before you end up in a sour mood or even worse find yourself driving through Wendy’s or the likes. 

3. Remember those who are thirsty.  The time you waste being negative could be time spent promoting Charity Water .  I am signing Unpack The Rat up  today. ( if I can do it this way)  Of course what this really means is help anyone (a person, animal or plant) who needs help rather than filling your own cup with negativity.

4. Daydream about a ridiculous or fabulous adventure. If you want, go ahead and close your eyes for a few seconds and slip away. Envision it all as if you were really there.

5. Be grateful for having the ability to love.

That’s what I came up with.  Now I am going to Charity Water and see if I can sign up.

As for getting too close,  I am not going to worry about it for now.   Not everything needs an answer the moment you think of it.  Sometimes you just need to “be.”

I be being.

Okay, it worked…..Here’s the link to donate to Unpack the Rat’s Charity Water campaign.

Cheers!

Personalized A.D.D.

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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!

# years, are we there yet?

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“#” is representative of the number of years since you [I] decided that, well, you weren’t cut out to follow the herd. The # number of years that have past since the time in your mind when you said this or that is bullsh*t. Or the time you said, I don’t think this how I want to live, I want to live differently.

I am not there yet, not after many ## years..

It is kind of obviously from my tormented posts, and my ups and downs and my vacillation and creative rationalizations. I fall into the category where I can easily identify the steps anyone else, except me, should take to change their lives. I am excellent at telling others what to do. But I try to do it for myself and I try really hard, and I fail.

Each time I fail, I start to settle for less and then I begin to procrastinate. I justify my failures, and I rationalize them away with excuses as to why some thing didn’t work. This leads me right back to the place I was when first I decided wanted life to be different. That, I will tell you is why my posts are a roller coaster. There are many times I stop believing I will ever get “there.”

I read several other blogs, and I love them all. I see I am in good company with some bloggers. But there are others bloggers who were able to do the hard work and really change their lives. Success stories. Those people have moved on to bigger and better things expanding their lives and living their dreams. And they manage to make it all work out fine within the confines of the need for money, shelter, work, love and fulfilling responsibilities.

I enjoy reading them, especially the honest ones. But they have done it, they are “there.” These blog are inspirational in a way that says,” I did it, so can you.” But they are so far beyond the point I am, that I barely identify with their reality.

Unfortunately, I think I need to see the the process. (someone’s progress other than mine because mine sucks) I want to see how they made their choices, and what they would do differently and how they learned from their mistakes ( if they had any). I want to know how they balanced responsibilities with their dreams. If they ever felt like they were letting anyone down, or possibly crushing someone’s dream to get to their own.

I understand nothing is simple, and one size will never fit all. This is a difficult journey.

For the sake of a simple example; one small change I am doing, trying to do, is I am changing Christmas and it’s not going over well. And maybe I will change it back. But right now, it’s most unpleasant to be the one that stands up and changes something that effects others. No one talks about how they really feel and I am just plain worn out from the dysfunction and I want it to end. So I am ending it.

I will be viewed negatively, and be seen as the odd-ball who “just can’t get along.” I already have be given the silent treatment on my proposal. Zero acknowledgement that I even spoke the words. Nothing negative or positive. Nothing. What I said was so inconsequential, it didn’t deserve the most basic level of respect, an acknowledgement.

And this is why, people who actually accomplish anything challenging, who create change, are so incredibly awesome. Because it really isn’t easy, no matter what “advantages” you may think someone has. To create real and lasting change of any sort, epic or teeny-tiny is quite possibly one of the most difficult things in life to do.

The tide of time never stops and it makes me wonder if we will ever get there.

Tip: Some people are happy with the status quo, they rarely understand those who seek to live differently.

Inspiration: “The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.”- Oscar Wilde

One-day one-thing: Ignore your detractors, as best you can.