Tag Archives: resolutions

somebody check my math

It’s the end of the first full week of doing this – here’s my count to date:

Lessons so far: I’m slacking much more during the week than I thought I would. When I get stuck into a project I just keep going and going and going. My house actually looks even messier now that I’ve started this project – though I do have five empty boxes sitting in my living room that I’m hoping Big D will pack some of *his* excess stuff in.

Highlights of the last few days – shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Random crap in my office from my mother’s house that I don’t need. IKEA purchases with good intentions that have moved from house to house to house unused.

Even though my house is still a disaster, the fact that I’m working and processing and getting somewhere is doing wonders for my mental state. I’ll call this a success if I can downsize from the clutter that’s eating my sanity to the clutter I can live with.

actually sticking with a resolution for once

I’ve complained mightily about the state of my house for ages. Sometimes I feel like we should be on Hoarders (though I doubt it’s really that bad). I do envy those people with houses that are clean enough so people can just ‘drop by’ without notice – usually I’m scurrying around cleaning horizontal surfaces and apologizing profusely for the state of the place. Two busy adults, two young kids, and no easily remembered systems for automatically keeping up with clutter just doesn’t equate to a clean dining room table. And the paper…oh, the PAPER. Junk mail should be outlawed. As should multiple art projects or homework sheets per day.

So when my good friend Leah mentioned she was purging five things a day for thirty days for the second January in a row, I figured I should get off the pot and get my butt moving. Complaining isn’t making my house cleaner, but getting rid of crap could very well be. To be accountable, I told some more friends, who demanded photographic proof. I did actually start with January 1, but haven’t yet taken my first load of crap to Goodwill, so here you go (I’m not counting things I throw away, but that may change as the month goes on). If anyone sees anything they want, speak now or forever hold your peace – I’m planning on loading the car as I go and unloading whenever I can’t see out of the rear window.

The official nerdy accounting calendar. Total items to be tossed are calculated on the left. Actual totals are inserted by day into the calendar squares. I get special dispensation for Mondays since I work in the office and then go to Cub Scouts with little d on Monday nights. As you can see I made up for it yesterday.

Big Box O’Crap – anyone who knows me knows that pink shimmery vases are not my thing.

Yet more stuff. Obviously, my kitchen was the first room to be tackled.

Will keep updating as the month progresses!

I’m just a little bit stubborn

about New Year’s resolutions. They’ve never worked in the past – instead, they’re just good ideas that I’ve either forgotten about a week later or felt guilt over for screwing up. Life is messy, as we all know, and mine seems to be a messier one than most. 2009 was mostly reactive, putting out fires that I didn’t start, playing catch-up, and adjusting to yet another new paradigm. A month without an oven between Thanksgiving and Christmas certainly didn’t help.

But, 2009 was also a year where I learned more than I thought I would. And I think these little lessons, tapping me on the shoulder or clunking me on the head, are doing more to inform my goals (NOT resolutions, on purpose) for 2010. So maybe you (especially the lurkers, Leah – I know you’re there!) can help to hold me accountable in 2010. I apparently learn about everything the hard way.

Here goes:

  • Be more mindful of where the money goes. I saved $2,509.67 over the course of 2009 by setting aside the cost of a salted caramel signature hot chocolate – plus tax! – each day. I still struggled with another $4 drink that shall remain nameless, but I’m getting there. The goal was to set that money aside and not touch it, which of course didn’t actually happen. But the little emergency fund that could saved my financial ass more than once this year, got me back into the habit of saving, made me realize I didn’t really miss that small amount of cash that I otherwise frittered away, and reminded me that I need to pay more attention to my family’s financial situation. I, who was once incredibly anal about balancing my checkbook, haven’t wanted to look at it since May of 2008. That act of sticking my head in the sand has kept me from realizing that being detail-oriented is actually a good thing. This overwhelming part of my personality is an asset, both when we have a bit of a cushion, and especially when we don’t. Big D and I have started having real, substantive discussions about our family budget, and are making changes that should help keep us in line and not so willing to spend cash at the drop of a hat.
  • You can’t forget yourself in the process of getting through the day. Because of Big D’s school schedule, it makes the most sense to have me manage miss poopypants at daycare. So that means running to get her there, running to work, running through the day, running to collect her, running to get home and feed her before she turns into Jack-Jack from The Incredibles, running to put her to bed, running to organize the house, etc. Weekends are catchup and prep time for the week, not much of a break. With this as my standard schedule, and the running back and forth to deal with my mother’s house for the first half of the year, no wonder I survived on caffeine and sugar. My yearly grope and feel was a wake up call that my frayed emotions weren’t able to ignore: 22 pounds and 14 points on my blood pressure in one year meant I was going to kill myself at this pace. As much as my brain told me to keep going to get everything done, I’ve had to retrain myself to recognize that it’s not possible, my kids aren’t going to be young forever, and if I don’t relax I *will* pop a gasket.
  • The internet is a blessing and a curse. Both Big D and I are guilty of burying our heads in our data plans, surfing facebook and ignoring each other and the kids. I’ve had some so-called friendships blow up in my face because of social networking. But we’ve also gotten to know wonderful people, renewed old friendships, and learned more about our world, our environment, and our interests. Moderation needs to be the key – both in what we say or don’t say, and in how much time we spend. Our interpersonal relationships are enhanced by the internet, but honest to goodness, flesh and blood people are at the core.
  • I am more than what I do for a living or whom I parent. As much as I love and need my job, and dote on my kids, I can’t forget who I am. Most of the time, that person is dormant – caring for young kids pretty much demands it – but glimpses of what I enjoy need to surface on occasion so I don’t lose my me-ness. If anyone has any ideas on how to actually make this happen, I am taking suggestions!

And one hard and fast goal – miss poopypants WILL be in her own room by the end of the month, come hell or high water. We’re both getting sick of being beaned with binks at 6:30 am.