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.
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?
So many times we think of the new year as the starting line. The moment in time when we are going to get our shit together and make a real difference in the time we spend here on earth. How silly is that? I mean so many years I have considered the New Year as the day of change. I waited for that very date to start, to be better, then over the weeks I stop, and I usually failed.
This new year is different. No, really it is. Why? or How? you ask. I’m about to tell you.
Here’s the thing. Every second we have the power to change. But we get lazy, we become out of tune with ourselves and many times just completely over powered by circumstance we do not control. We listen to those who do not have our best interests at heart. We follow ideals that are impossible to achieve. And we worship the wrong gods. This is what has to end. We can only be led to follow the wrong direction if we stop paying attention to ourselves.
It’s all about personal awareness. It’s all about keeping the life you want forefront in you thoughts and actions. Its about really making what you want into a priority. Not only on January first, but during every second of you life.
Now I am not saying this is easy, heck no. If it was easy I certainly would have mastered it by now. It’s not easy. For some reason, however, this time, I don’t see my life as drive, guts, or ambition. I do not criticize myself based on achievements or willpower or anything thing like that. All I see as real is awareness. Be aware. Recognize your thoughts and change them to align with who you want to be. Identify your feelings and process them. Calibrate your actions to fall in line with your life and only your life.
Everything will fall in place if you remain aware. Get ready to be amazed and enjoy!
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.
So I have something to show you:
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.
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.
Once a pack-rat always a pack-rat? Could this be my fate? I am disgusted with all the crap in my new fixer-upper.
Even after all this time of moaning and reasoning, learning, and purging, there is still too much crap! I give advice like it’s nobody’s business, yet here I am facing a mess. And when I see it I feel like, “Damn what happened?”
What’s my excuse? Tell me because I would like to know.
My guess is that I am fearful. All the self help books out there claim fear is the strongest of emotions that guide our decisions….so I must be afraid.
Afraid of what?
I am afraid of being without, even though being without is my goal. So I have a major problem here.
I was raised in the material world, with the material girl. I used to claim to my step sons that Madonna was my sister….they were kids (little kids), they didn’t now any better. I also told them I was from outer-space and that was even way cooler than being anyone’s sister. Point being materialism runs deep in my veins. I am ashamed to say, one of my nick names was “Shoppin’-Shirley.”
I held no limits and knew few worries. Whatever, whenever as long as it was fun, and even better if I could buy something. My life was spinning without direction or boundaries. Anything was possible. Everything was an adventure. Things were fun. Buying was fun. For me the late 80’s and all of the 90’s were out of control. And I liked it!
Sorry if I am repeating myself
So fast forward to reality, ugh, do we have to? Yes we do. Now I am still on this quest. I call it my “journey to living better with less” but I am in a funk. I have not reached my goals. I am slowly pulling myself out of this funk, but that doesn’t make the extra stuff magically disappear.
Now for the: What am I going to do about it question?
I am going to start over. I am going to the Start Here section of my blog and follow my own advice. I may skip around the numbers some, depending what I feel like doing. I am adding a new twist, I am going to hold myself accountable. Astonishing right? Accountability. Wow.
I have been lax in taking photos. So regarding photos, I am going to try something new. I am going to take Reward photos, pictures of stuff packed-up and ready to go. No matter where it is going. The rule is there are only four places anything can go:
4. ?Question? box.
The ?Question? box is new to me. It’s my last thin thread of my holding-on tendencies Items placed in the ?Question? pile can live there a week, and only a week. Seven days. After that week is up their fate is sealed.
This is my plan. If you are in the same boat maybe you too can kick-start your journey to living better with less. Wish me luck. Cheers.
Tip: The more you put in the ?Question? box the better.
Inspiration: “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby
One-day one-thing: Make a ?Question box? or area.
What a difference a year can make. Last year at this time I was highly stressed over everything. I was dreading the holidays, and looking for answers to my dysfunctional family of origin. I was burdened without knowing where my next home might be and uncertain as to our future regarding EVERYTHING.
I carried my disappointments front and center all the while trying to make sense out of things that had no answers. This practice lead me to intense sadness, and counter-productive thoughts. Even though I logically was writing about solutions which contained numerous rationalizations, I wasn’t really seeing positive results.
I used to describe my living condition as a sort of limbo hell both physically and emotionally. In essence that was what it was; limbo hell.
I wrote. I read. I planned. I learned. I tried everything, nothing worked.
You know why nothing worked?
Nothing worked because I thought writing the ideas, reading them, and believing I knew something would be enough to make things better. I am going to tell you right here and now….”knowing” anything is worthless without “doing.”
And that is where I am now. I am in the “doing phase.” I am, once and for all, dropping all the slights and the hurts that I perceived over the past several years of my life. Seriously, in order to get anywhere you have to stop “feeling” the past. I use the word ” feeling” the past instead of living, or thinking about the past because it’s how you feel that squashes out your light.
Very soon after I started this “journey to living better with less” I broke down and cried when told I had too many framed photos. That scene made me well aware that my journey was about much more than just “stuff.” I know why I cried. Inside all those frames I saw photos of better times. I cried because I was forced to acknowledge time had vanished into thin air faster than a blink. It all hit me at once like a ton of bricks. I was without. I was in limbo.
Fast forward to now:
This year I am hosting Thanksgiving for my entire family, including my family of origin and I am doing it with an open heart. That’s right, for those people who I have said terrible things about and who I saw as a problem. Those who I shut out and avoided. I am kind of shocked about this myself, but I have thought about this for a awhile and it feels right.
They say time heals, but I don’t think it is time. I think we heal by our own choice. I am not saying it’s easy, but at some point in time you have to move on and you have to let go. You need to live in the present, and see the here and now and you have to eliminate feeling the past. The past is gone.
So now, maybe now, I can say I have grown. Maybe I am capable of putting everything I have learned to work. I’ll tell you this much, it feels like a huge heavy boulder has been remove from my soul, and that is a good thing. I don’t plan on ever holding on to emotional garbage again. From my experience emotional clutter is far more destructive than any of the items collecting dust in my storage unit.
Time to carry on. Cheers!
I am currently drowning in a sea of paper. Paper that I never ask to recieve. All junk. Junk snail mail.
We closed on our new house in April, and I still have not changed my address. I am afraid of the mail. Actually I am terrified as to how much more will show up.
I have so many papers from the kids, the business, my many other non-profitable wastes of time, bank cards, student loans, medical billings….you name it, and it keeps growing. I am sure some of you can feel my pain. I just want to be left alone. Remember Kramer and the post office episode:
That’s where I am….. “I want out, permanently.”
I am tire of the mindset that something important will be in the mail…..it is never important. Never. If it is important someone will knock on your door and make you sign for it. Been there and done that a few times, and guess what ? It is usually important, and usually not good news, so why would I want any more of that?
This is all getting to my clutter “issue”…..Okay let’s call this one a Problem with a capital “p”. I have been trying to de-clutter for what feels like and eternity now, and I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere.
I want to be honest, but I can’t even bring myself to take a photo of where I am sitting. Okay, you talked me into it…..I am only sharing this photo to make you feel better…..here goes…..gotta find my iPhone…. still too lazy to get my big camera out. Ok ready……
This is bad.
Granted we are in the middle of a total renovation of our house, and we haven’t yet finished even one room. The renovation is taking far longer than we ever could have imagined in a million years.
Dining room table/desk inventory: Wine glass from last night (nice touch gonna have to rinse that out for tonight), dog brushes thus add “dog hair to my clutter”, a paint palette, a white board, a printer, a stapler , headphones, a new light fixture from Ikea….and of course junk mail, and papers.
This isn’t acceptable. I gots me a problem.
What to do when you are overwhelmed and unable to focus:
1. Drink alcohol.
2. Stay up real late browsing the web.
3. Make zero attempt to fix this situation because you know it’s only going to happen again.
4. Acknowledge you have this problem, because they say that’s the “first step” to fixing it…..Do this so you feel better and can justify another glass of wine.
5. Talk with anyone around about funny things that have happen in your life….This causes you to laugh and forget you even have a messy desk/table.
6. Make a plan in the back of your head as how to procrastinate cleaning up this mess tomorrow. After all weekends were made to enjoy. We only get so many summer weekends in a year. Make it a good one!
Okay, so yeah this isn’t the way to get anything done. It’s the tomorrow of yesterday, and I am about to go to the park. By nightfall I plan to have a living room and a dining room that are identifiable. Wish me luck!