Prompted by Laura at HowtoGYST.com, I’ve been doing journaling in the form of “morning pages” on a fairly consistent (for me… which means 5 out of 7 days, which is pretty darn awesome!) For those not in the know (I was one), morning pages are a concept that was put forth in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (just so ya know, this is an affiliate link… I may earn a few pennies from purchases made from this link) (and before you ask, I haven’t read the book, but it’s on my list). It’s essentially a brain dump first thing in the morning where you just write whatever pops in your head for 3 pages.
It’s been a boring, wonderful, awful process… basically, it’s my therapy in the form of writing. And this morning, some deep stuff came up today, part of it mirrored the conversation the hubby and I had this morning.
But I’m going to digress for a moment (Best grab a cuppa… this is gonna be long)
This whole Great House Pack Up and Purge has brought to light lessons that I apparently need to keep learning over and over… and over again. So let me share it with you so you (hopefully) don’t have to keep learning, and it can actually stick long enough for you to make it part of your life.
1) If I feel called to do something. DO IT. And FINISH IT! Don’t start the project and then put off the rest of it till ‘later’ and then get annoyed at myself for letting it sit and sit. Eventually I’m going to have to finish it, but it won’t be on my terms, it will most likely be because of some crisis/rage purge and I won’t be allowed the luxury of being able to make decisions based on joy. It will be a harsh yes or no (usually no) and the emotional upheaval down the road will be greater.
2) Decluttering and discarding is only part of the equation for having a home that hugs you back. It’s a HUGE part of it, to be sure. FlyLady says right out of the gate: You can’t organize clutter. [ETA: I’m re-reading Marie Kondo’s book, and she says basically the same thing] It just keeps getting in the way till you finally deal with it (aka evict it from your life.) And clutter is just delaying the decision. We’ve discarded a lot up to this point, but holy cats we have a lot of things that we’ve put off making decisions on till “later” (there’s that word again!) Guess what… later will decide when it’s time, not you.
3) Habits are the crucial other part of the home hugging equation. You can have a messy home no matter how much stuff you do or don’t have if you don’t have a process/system/habit in place to keep things from getting messy again. Repeat after me: Don’t leave it till … when? Later?! Exactly!! Do. It. NOW.
The hubby and I talked briefly about it this morning, how there needs to be things that are non-negotiable have to’s each day to force those habits to establish themselves to keep our living space tidy and have easy access to clean nooks and crannies where creepy crawlies will take up residence. Laundry needs to be folded and put away right away, dishes need to be either washed or put in the machine and then it needs to be emptied to be refilled and start the process all over. Dusting, vacuuming and (bleh) mopping needs to be done very regularly. Yes these things take time and precious spoons, but my writing therapy epiphany from this morning reminded me: there’s a price to be paid for what I spend my time on.
What do I mean?
Option: I can spend time coming home and parking on the couch binge watching Netflix for the evening, because I’m tired and worked hard so I deserve to, instead of spending 15-30 minutes doing some ‘chore’ such as dishes, laundry, cleaning the toilet, etc. I’ve conserved some energy, and I’ll do those things “later”.
Result: After a few days of that, I have to spend 2 hours catching up because I can’t get to the sink, or a spare bit of counter, and there’s no undies and all my work clothes are laying rumpled in the laundry basket. And then end up crashed on the couch because I did too much.
Option: I can spend 15-30 minutes of time when I get home doing something that is part of a habit or routine that blesses my home, keeps things from slipping into chaos, etc.
Result: Doing stuff now on my terms and not having to worry about when the shoe will drop “later.”
So, dear Unicorns, the moral of the story is this: Please learn from what The Universe has deemed AFOG* – _find_ the time to declutter/discard what is clogging up your home (don’t worry about getting it right on the first round… you’ll have other opportunities down the road to keep clearing away the excess), and also develop the habits you need to keep your home running smoothly.
*AFOG: Another F*cking Opportunity for Growth. It’s what happens when you know there’s a lesson to learn and you have a choice: stay the same, or accept you need to learn something and allow it to change you so you can grow into who you need to be.
Getting a lot of those lately and it’s a little tiring. 😁