Archive for the ‘Simplify’ Category

My original schedule for Getting It Together had this week being Adorn – the week I clean out the closet.  I decided, however, to switch it with Rest because:

  1. It’s our week of silence in Story 101.  We are to have a daily practice of silence – whatever that looks like for us.  Traditionally, I would use the week to be off Facebook and Twitter, but that’s not feasible for my work week (both at the workplaces I get paid a salary and my writing/other pursuits). My week of silence will be spent devoting at least 15 minutes every day to each of these restful practices – being quiet and still, reading (this one’s so going longer than 15 minutes), stretching or doing Pilates, writing poetry, and dancing. I’ve put aside specific times every day for these practices. If we’re being totally honest here – this is my favorite week in Story 101.
  2. Life has been stressful lately, and freakishly so, given how easy my summer was meant to have been. Life is really barreling over me. I need relief now.
  3. My bedroom is so full that I can’t really clear out a space around the closet to clean it anyway. It will all be easier and will require less cursing if I just do the bedroom first.
  4. I’ve stopped going to church.  Well, not officially.  I still mean to go.  I really do mean to go, sometime right up to the moment that it’s time to walk out the door.  Then I stop. This doesn’t have anything to do with them.  They’re wonderful. But my hiatus from church has taught me Sabbath. It has taught me what a day of rest really looks like, and now I require it.  I need a day of rest.  Before summer started and I began to move things around (read: into the bedroom), I could go to church in the morning and still come home and rejuvenate. My room is in chaos, though, so being home isn’t so restful. I end up stacking or moving or feverishly cleaning. Or I avoid stacking and moving and cleaning but spend the day with the knowledge – that all those things I need to do are lurking right behind that closed bedroom door – hovering over me like a cloud. This, too, is exhausting. I don’t have time for my weekly rest to require more time than it already does. I need to nest.

So this week is Rest.  The plan for the bedroom is twofold, because honestly – if I can just get the room clean and organized this week, it will be a miracle. So some of the fancier things I want to do will have to wait their turn.

Short-term goals:

  • Clear out. Go through all the boxes (some still packed from the last time I moved…two years ago) and get rid of everything that I don’t need or can’t realistically expect to use within the next year.
  • Organize.  Put whatever is left after I have cleared everything out to place.  If it doesn’t seem to have a place, reconsider if it’s really something I need to keep.
  • Clean. Dust and vacuum. Control the allergens that make me wake up stuffy every morning.

Long-term goals:

  • Make curtains out of the blue sheet set. 
  • Make a headboard, covered with the material from the fitted sheet of that set. I thought about making it to fit in the holes that my dad left in the platform frame, but after searching for DIY instructions on the subject, I ran across this gem.  I like the way it looks, and it seems to be a lot simpler to make than one that actually fits the bed frame.  So for my first foray into headboard-making, this is the one I’m going to go with. I also like that it includes instructions on how to make your own piping, because I’m totally doing that with an old, holey blanket that I was just going to throw out.
  • Rearrange so that there is room for my little blue chair somewhere in the room.  
  • Possibly get a chest (more drawers?) to hold linens to put at the end of the bed.
  • Put up coat rack behind door.

Whew.  I could have spent the whole summer just on my room, it seems. We’ll see how this goes.


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(Photo Credit – Jennifer Upton – A Shared Lens)

Every morning, at precisely 5:03 a.m., my internal clock wakes me up.  This has been happening sporadically for about a year, but it has happened EVERY DAY for the last two weeks. It doesn’t seem to matter what time I go to bed.  I could crash at 10:30, or I can stay up reading until 2:00.  Still – 5:03.  On the dot.

I don’t know why my body has decided to betray me in such a way.  I don’t know why it’s angry with me or what I could have possibly done for it to think I deserve this treatment.  Et tu, body?

I have been ignoring it.  I have woken up, looked at my phone, seen the odious numbers 5:03, cursed vehemently, rolled over in a huff, and fallen right back to sleep.

Yet it keeps happening.

So I’m going to give in. You want to wake me up at 5:03 a.m., body?  FINE. We’ll see how you actually like getting up at that time.

My fear, of course, is that my body will like it.  I do not look forward to the few weeks it takes to adjust my falling-asleep time to the new, ungodly getting-up time. The next few weeks might be rough.

But once I do adjust (and please let it happen quickly), I foresee the following benefits:

  1. I can have breakfast and wake up (read: start caffeinating) at home, where I can do so in private, instead of at work, where I must do so around other humans. People I work with – don’t worry – there will still be coffee at the desk in the morning.  In fact, this way, you might get more than one cup before I drain the pot.
  2. I can do morning free writes leisurely, at my desk, instead of tapping away on Margeaux the iPhone, one eye still closed, in between alarm snoozes.
  3. Morning reading time?  Yes, please.
  4. Once I get used to it, I could start going to the gym again.  I am generally not a fan of the gym, but I am a fan of running.  Do you know what a good time of day to run outside in July in Texas is?  NEVER.  There’s not a good time.  It’s so hot.  You could die. So I can get up and go use the track (and maybe the weights, on days when I just flat out lose my mind and forget my personality, which is actually quite likely at 6:00 in the morning) at the gym.  Yes, I realize that the gym is open at other times of the day. But will I ever, ever go when I know that it’s full of 18-year-olds?  No.  No, I will not.  So 6:00 a.m. is my gym time, if I am to have a gym time at all.
  5. I will be able to do all of these things and still get to work on time.

So I’m skeptical, but I’m willing to try, if for no other reason than it means I’ll only have to wake up once.

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The novel is started.  My characters are self-absorbed jerks, so I might have to give them a nice social cause  or a back story that justifies their jerkiness, just to keep from killing one of them off soon.

Their misbehavior, of course, played right into the Seventh Annual National Novel Procrastination Weekend.  I’m not avoiding writing!  May it never be!  I’m merely avoiding murdering one of the little bastards in my story.

And that closet wasn’t going to organize itself.

In doing so, I have stumbled upon an epiphany:  I have a whole lot of stuff that I never use.

No one needs this many t-shirts.  If I wore a different shirt every day, without any repeats, I probably wouldn’t have to do laundry until mid-January.  I wish I were exaggerating.

I have two more loads of laundry that I’m not going to do today, because if I did, I wouldn’t have any place to put the clean clothes.  My closet and drawers are overflowing.

On the one hand – oh, what magnificent abundance!

On the other, freakishly larger hand – oh, what frightening excess!

One might say, “Why don’t you just go in there now and get rid of half of it?  What’s the big deal?”  Clearly one has never met me, or if one has, one is quite mean-spirited and is trying to bait me.

I have control issues with getting rid of things when I don’t know that those things will be used and not just tossed in the trash. Sure, I made this pile:


But I am already second-guessing my choices, wondering if they’re good enough that someone will actually want them and get some use out of them, or if they will end up being tossed in the garbage after a year because the good people at the thrift store need to make room for other items.  It helps that two of the shirts are going to the desk, where I know the part-timers will fight over who gets to take them, because they have to wear a UNT shirt at the desk, and none of them have been working in Housing as long as I have, so they’ll welcome the extra shirt.

I know this is good.  This is something I need to do.  Still, it gives me anxiety.

Anxiety is no excuse for impeding progress, though.  So every month, I am going to get rid of at least ten items of clothing.  I’m going to continue this monthly practice until my closet and dresser can actually hold everything.  And if I buy something new, I have to get rid of a comparable item before I can welcome the new one to the fold.

Okay.  Now back to those pesky teenagers.

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