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Monday, June 13, 2011


I'm not as introspective as I once was, which is perhaps why I like blogging so much. I no longer keep a paper journal, but I often find that I can articulate ideas or feelings by writing that I was only vaguely aware of holding. I know that I am fine with this extended period of peace and quiet, but I realized today after overindulgence in wheat crackers and Terminator stout (while flipping through hastily selected library books) that there is also an aimlessness (with an undercurrent of loneliness) setting in. After only 5 days on my own. Seeking satiety through carbohydrate consumption is not the answer.

I need a plan for what to do with myself!
Anytime I'm at a loss (or lapse...of memory), my inclination is to make a list.
So here goes.

It seems an ideal time to do some of the things that I know I ought to do and yet never normally have (or make) time for. Such as:
  1. Reviewing the pathophysiology and pharmacology that I learned in nursing school (every time I mentioned this noble goal, Minou shuddered)
  2. Cleaning the house thoroughly
OK, neither of these sound exactly fun, but they are certainly useful...

Here are a few more:
  1. Organizing and minimalizing. Ah, now we're talking! As unenthusiastic as I am about scrubbing toilets and showers, I am proportionally tickled by the thought of organizing closets and neatly packing up bags to donate. Weird, I know, but so satisfying to know where everything is. Also, in a small household, fewer possessions means a lot more space and less work. I respect the rights of other family members to decide for their own belongings. However, I've been given carte blance to go forward with general household objects. Minou even mentioned that he wouldn't mind if I passed on a very large and bright yellow raincoat that he's had forever and never once worn in the 17 years I've known him.
  2. Garden projects. Besides planting the veggie garden and general weeding and maintenence, there are a few more intensive projects in the works I've had in mind that involve moving lots of stuff, such as making steps down a slope from our front door to the lower yard. I have all the materials (fill dirt, concrete pavers) but have not yet worked up the oomph to begin. It would make us much safer while sleepily taking Sawyer out to pee. It also would be great to re-cover the blueberry beds and paths with bark and gravel to keep down weeds, making less future work. And maybe, if I can save enough in the garden fund, even re-do the patio area with gravel rather than the uneven pavers.
  3. Possibly repainting the downstairs rooms
  4. Really focus on living while using fewer resources, a whole blog post for another day. The odometer of the car is at 62,726 miles today.
With all of these projects, as with just about anything, It will work best if I break down the big goals into smaller baby steps. Our house really is small enough to thoroughly clean in just a day, but whenever I try to do this, the very idea makes me so exhausted that I have to drink several cups of coffee to work up the courage and then usually go take a nap. The garden is a little different--it's hard for me to get started on a project, but once I'm out there with my hands dirty I generally don't want to stop until it gets dark or starts pouring rain.

I love this blog and it's focus on small, manageable goals, one step at a time. In fact, I often think it is better to try and point my intentions and actions in a certain direction and focus on the process rather than the end point, a perspective this author agrees with. At any rate, I want to take inspiration from her blog and try to declutter one small area (a shelf, a drawer) of the house per day. Minou has more than hinted that he wants to look for work opportunities in France this summer, since both of us would like the boys to have the opportunity to go to school there and become truly bilingual. I'm not committed to it one way or another. We are in a good place here now and I love my current job. However, I want to be open to possibilities. And no matter what the future brings, whether we contemplate a move in a cople of years or just want to live more comfortably here on our little Urban Farmette, the organizing/minimalizing process can only make things flow more smoothly. (From my perspective. Not sure my boys agree.).

Also, I do want to do a few fun things this summer too. A weekend visitng with this gorgeous woman, another weekend hiking trip with a good friend in a neighboring city, and I'd like to do my first solo camping trip. Plus maybe, not-so-secret desire for too many years, take a few ballroom dancing classes.

So there we have it...a plan!

Step one, tonight: Surface clean the downstairs, then start on the hall closet tomorrow.

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