hard

year end rambling….

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I’ve been pondering, yes more than usual, and I think that I am going to throw some of my thoughts out there.  No order, no goal.

I’m sick and tired of the economy.  And seeing as I am part of it, I’m going on strike.  For the year 2017 I will only buy necessities like food and toilet paper. And of course home repairs, car repairs, and vet bills…..but you get the idea.  F-them.

About social media, yeah it sucks.  It time sucks and it can be a wasteful distraction from better things.  I mean seriously, you’d feel one hundred times better if you took a nap rather than spend an hour on Facebook. Cutting back, but not cutting out.

And regarding Donald, I dont want to hear what he tweeted.  Until a story is actually news worthy, I’m tuning the Donald out.  Can I tell you something? When I hear his name my stomach literally turns.  He, and the mention of him, makes me physically sick.

I will support issue that are dear to my heart.  Mother Theresa once said,

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”

I never understood it until this year.  It’s that mentality that I have to carry to get through this f-up world.  War and social issues are complicated and there is just way too much negativity.  My body can’t take any additional turmoil.  So I hope this year, to support some of the most simplest causes protecting human rights, animal rights and our environment.

You do know I am extremely liberal.  And by the way, I am proud of that.

I made a list to live by, for my daily grind….it’s a bit over reaching.   I can’t find it now. Shit.  I forget everything.  It was things to do everyday.  Making life habits.  Now I have to think it all up again.

  1. read
  2. give something
  3. do art
  4. play with dogs
  5. write something
  6. I cant remember… probably yoga….I’ve been meaning to take that up for years.

Anyway you get the idea.  I just can’t waste another year filling my head with all the crap in the world that I can not control.

Those are my thoughts for now. Just ramblings …. I hope to be writing better stuff real soon…..Carry on and cheers!

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Help them now.

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A person can only be pushed so far.

I really do not know how people do it.  How do people continue on peacefully when the world around them is crumbling?

Last week a young mother was shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.  From what I understand there was a fight going on between two groups of girls.  Someone pulled out a gun, shots were fired, and people ran away.  This young mother was running away, to save her life.  It didn’t work.

This was in a neighborhood of housing.  People live there, sleep there, laugh there, feed their children and sing lullabies.  Yet outside at any given moment someone can be shot dead in the middle of the afternoon.

I am so touched by this story, and so entirely confused as to why this violence  is allowed to continue.  Is it because these people are poor? Is it our cities failing to make security and safety a priority?  Is it the crumbling school system, or the rarely existence family support? Is it caused by the onset of  the gun culture?  Or is it really because the rest of the city and surrounding suburbs just don’t give a sh*t?

We need to take a moment and wake the f*ck up.

_____

Since writing this many months ago, a terrible shooting happened in a small quaint town of about 5000 named Chardon, not too far from Cleveland.  One morning before classes started, three students were shot dead.  A 4th student  is recovering in the hospital and the fifth shooting victim is recovering at home.  Three young people shot dead in cold blood by a 17 year old student.

I have pondered the effects of the school shooting and nothing I come up with makes any sense except that we the people have to start caring about each other.  We need to teach kindness, and tolerance.  We need to teach the basics of  right from wrong in our homes.  We need to be reminded that people can be cruel and bitter, but usually because they are in a painful place, and they need help. We need to do all we can to build bridges in stead of walls.

We need schools that are safe.  And if that means we need police there, then put police there.  If it means we need metal detectors then place the detectors are the door ways.  We need to take bullying seriously, and we need to listen to our children, especially if they are saying something that sounds off-base or unusual.

We need to wake up to the fact that there are drugs in every school.  It’s a fact kids drink and drive, and they have parties and drink their parents booze.  Students cheat on test and make trades for homework, and just like always they have unprotected sex.

Parents need to get their heads out of the sand.  School administrators need to be fair and consistent when enforcing the school codes.  No more hiding the dirty little secrets.

We need to recognize that all students are not the same, some are gay and some students are homophobic.  Students are every race and racism is alive and well in America.  These are issues that continuously harm our society as a whole.  And if we want it to change, each one of us has to personally stand up and say enough is enough.

Regardless of differences each child deserves an education in an environment that is safe physically and emotionally no matter what it takes.  And they are not going to get it unless we demand it.  They need us now, not later.

Start a conversation, let your voices be heard.

Why do we Hang on?

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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.

Garage Abyss and other Lovely Thoughts

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Well, a few weeks ago, we placed a bid on a house.  And that stopped me dead in my tracks on my journey to living better with less.  I thought I better not get rid of anything until we find out if we got the house.   Well we didn’t get the house.  I wont go into how perfect is was for us, because then I start to cry.   I am not depressed, I swear.  But I get really sad when I think about that house, because I knew we should have offered more.  I didn’t follow my instinct.

Trust your gut feelings always; no exceptions

So like a wounded wild animal I am ready to lash out at all this crap in my life.  Look at the mess inside this garage.  It’s embarrassing.  I didn’t even take photo of all my lawn furniture that’s in the driveway and patio.  Winter’s coming.  Snow flakes fell today.  I am going to be ruthless.  I swear. Watch out sh*t, you are going to hit the fan.

nightmare

Bird feed, I am giving you all to the birds on the same day, today.  Eat like kings little birdies.  A bunch of old liquor, I think I will dump it down the drain.  Garden hand tools: keep the best sell the rest.  I have to sort my framed photos one more time and move the “keepers” inside, because they will just get ruined in this damp garage.

I am never going to get over losing the house.

It’s funny what a “house” does to you.  It changes everything.  I am not sure that is a good thing.  Because I stopped.  I stopped doing what I really wanted to do.  I stop dreaming of new places.   I put my goals on hold.   I think I even stopped breathing.  I was holding my breath waiting to hear.  I fell back into old habits of  placing importance on “things.”

I need something peaceful to look at.

I am so torn between what I know, what I’ve learned and an unknown future.  I really thought we were close to a solution which in turn would become our decision.  Now we’ve returned to the unknown.

To top off my disaster-week, I had to tell my husband I agreed to go out to Thanksgiving dinner with my mother and my three brothers who don’t even acknowledge our family exists.   Why would I would I agree to  such a dumb-ass thing?  Well because until we find/buy a house, we are living in my 84 year old mother’s house. (I like to think of it as my Dad’s house, but he’s no longer living. )  She asked and she let me know that the “boys” were coming over here for cocktails before dinner regardless of whether we joined them or not.   How lovely.  So I said yes.

Post Script: I will make sure Thanksgiving a nice day for my husband and my children and our dogs.  That will be easy.  I like the idea of no dishes, and no cooking, so this will be okay.  And two or three hours of dysfunctional-family-torture won’t kill us.  We will be counting our blessings, that’s  for sure!  Because no matter what,through thick and thin, I have my Husband, my children and our animals.  That’s all I need.

Cheers.

Tip: Never search for “tummy” or “gut” on Google.

Inspiration: “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” ~ Oscar Wilde

One-day one-thing: Make plans for Thanksgiving weekend, it’s a fun weekend don’t let it slip away.


Nanowrimo

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I have sign up for Nanowrimo.   National Novel Writing Month.

Why did I do this?  Well, I thought, why not?  I mean in all reality, TV is really crappy and it’s a waste of my time.  And what else do I have to do, besides get rid of all my stuff, work, and take care of our family and our dogs and cats, paint and exercise?

Why not write a novel?  I have never really ever even considered writing a book.  Why not try?  What else is there to do in November other than write about 1667 words per day?  In the end,  I will have something I didn’t have before.  I’ll meet some “writer” people and learn something along the way.  Plus it doesn’t cost a penny.  Sounds like a good thing to me.

I’m kind of excited.  I bought a WordPress theme called “Chapters” and I am almost ready to go.  Oh wait, I need a plot and a story to tell.  Hopefully within the next 22 days I can think of something.

Peace.

It’s Sunday, I shouldn’t even be writing this.

Tip: Write even if you only have 15 minutes.

Inspiration:  “And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”  ~Sylvia Plath

One-thing one-thing: Un-clutter your day: Make a schedule for tomorrow and see if you can stick to it.

Baggage: packed and ready to lose.

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Baggage is a drag. It is clutter of the soul.  One of the most difficult challenges I face is clearing the clutter out of my head and heart.  It’s hard work, and I don’t always do a very good job of it.

the past is gone

I keep a running mental list of  the way I would like my world to be;  my “when” list, my “if” list, and my “dream” list.  I could spit it out rapid fire without even taking a breath.   I bet you have a list you could rattle off in a minute as well.

But those lists rarely resembles reality.  And worse than that, it marginalizes what you have in your  life right now.  By always thinking the grass is greener, the future is better, we fail to see the greatness of right here and now.  I know it all makes sense in words.  It’s easy to say and words are cheap.  The true challenge, and the most important challenge, is applying what we learn to how we live.

For me it all comes down to clutter, at least that’s my analogy.  My initial intention of this “journey to living better with less” was to tackle stuff, less stuff.  But now I believe I’ve learned clutter is systemic.  It goes hand in hand with the rest of my life.  I can close the closet door and I can’t see the clutter, but all the clutter stuffed inside is still there.

Just like our cluttered emotions, beliefs and overall well being.  It’s always there, right inside you, where ever you are.   Clutter goes deep into your psyche, at least for me it does.  This realization is making my simple journey to minimalism a totally different trip.  Who knew?

( someone knew, but not me )

I boiled it down, into four segments.  This is where I have to really seriously declutter and maintain clarity.

Physical stuff: Garage, storage unit, office, boxes, etcetera.  This is the easiest one to identify and I believe it leads to clearing out the more difficult areas of your life.

Emotional stuff: Stress, relationships, sorrow, guilt, regrets, fear – we all have some degree of this in our lives –  find a method to manage this emotional clutter so that it doesn’t ruin your time here on earth. Very difficult.

Spiritual stuff: Belief system – define your personal beliefs and match your daily actions to that belief – create harmony for yourself.

Mental stuff: Identify what is holding you back from your own life- what do you hear in your head that tells you -” I can’t.” Identify that voice and delete it.  This takes constant effort for me.

This is tough and I don’t pretend to know anything about how to accomplish this.  What I do know is, I have been to hell and back a few times, and I am not interested in any revisits.  No matter what, I have made my choice.  I don’t want any clutter of any sort.   So I am willing do the work.  I am willing to let go and move on.

Tip: Try saying an  affirmation: I let go of my past hurt feelings.  Life is good and so am I.  ( I picked something simple, so I could remember it. )

Inspiration: ” It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. ”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

One-day one-thing: Let go of one or more expectations….forever.