Thursday, March 21, 2013

Memories, Letting Things Go

I finally got rid of this little flower thing my ex had made for me. After our first "fight." The following morning, he showed up with the homemade flower from his 3D printer, a very sweet gesture, of course, but didn't change the fact that he hadn't lived up to what he'd told me on three different occasions that he would do. Eventually we dealt with that particular situation, but the pattern that had caused that first conflict was a thread carried through the whole relationship. Despite many good and fun and tender moments as well.

A few months after I broke up with him, he contacted me by email. We wrote about a few different things, growth, life changes, etc. until it got to the point where I realized he was trying to get back together. I concluded that I must make it clear that this would not be happening. I told him so, as gently as possible while still being absolutely clear in my intentions.

The letter he wrote back was written in a way that would make me feel awful. Sly, subtle attacks on my character, attributing motivations to me. It caused me real pain to read those words. He concluded with a request for me not to contact him. As I have only ever contacted him in response to his emails or texts, and as this is not the first time he has lashed out at me in a hurtful manner like this, I have absolutely no problem respecting that request.

It is sad to me that things had to conclude on such bitter terms, as I have some very fond memories of our time together as well, in addition to the negative.

I don't know, I guess I just kept the little flower around because in a way it reminded me of our good times, and of his sort of well-intentioned sweetness. But this most recent lashing out at me makes me realize that it is probably time to just LET. IT. GO.

A quote from Annie (yes I am her newest, most enthusiastic fangirl) that sort of helps to put things into perspective, although the link to the post appears to be broken:
It’s okay to break-up. It’s just fine to admit that in the end it’s you walking that path, just you. You can still relish in the company you had for a time by way of a relationship. Two paths joined and merged, and the proximity to another’s brought about illimitable lessons. And then the paths diverged again and both parties walked on their separate ways with, we hope, more wisdom and insight into themselves than they had before.

Anyhow, throughout it all, there will be some paths joined to yours perpetually. And those will be simply marvelous.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Live Simply" Blog: Check it Out

Seems like the prevailing (instinctual?) way to approach organizing a cluttered or non-functional area is "how can I fit what I own into this space?" The tangible results of organizing with this type of mindset is often oppressive, counterproductive, and short-lived.

Key to a functional, long-term, simple/attractive organizational solution is actually evaluating what you own and comparing it to what you need or want to own. Making detached judgments about your possessions. In doing so, you come to see that, more often than not, the solution to a messy area is not "more storage" but "less stuff" (or at least a combination of "less stuff" and "more storage").

Anyway, on that note, I'd love to introduce a lovely, light-hearted blog with some very practical and beautiful tips and advice on organizing and storage and simplifying:

Live Simply By Annie

I came across it the other day looking for ideas for my future (hopefully!) new own apartment. Annie's mission is to help "people everywhere expel the extraneous and instill their lives with a sense of ease, laughter and light through introspection, clutter obliteration, organization, and a steadfast intolerance for complication."

What I appreciate about her advice and solutions is that she clearly understands the importance of the evaluative part of process. And you can see it at every level of the advice she gives from kitchen drawer to bedroom to daily routines.

Moving Forward (an update)

Hello blog! It has been so long.

Lots has been happening for me. I've been accepted to grad school (with scholarship WOOH), and I'll be moving across the country at the end of the summer.

Just like this:

No, but really, I'm so excited about the program and my future home/scenery next to very very beautiful mountains, but will miss all my loved ones here so much.

I've come to peace with a lot of the family stuff. I feel really happy about my relationship with my parents, like we are in a good place in relation to each other. I no longer feel so much pressure from myself to do/be everything for them. Ok that's a lie. I do feel a lot of pressure (loyalty?), and like I said, the decision to move to another state for three years was really difficult for me. But I do feel it will be good for me to make this leap and do something totally new and different.

Anyway, along those lines, I'm thinking it's time for me to get a place of my own (if I'm able to swing it financially - which seems possible in a city where property values are not quite so high as here). I'm at the point in my life where I feel I'm ready for going solo, living-wise.

  • Socially I will be spending probably ten to twelve hours a day in classes, lab, clinicals, study groups, etc. so it will be really good for me to have a place all my own to unwind and relax on my own terms. Plus I just calculated, I've been living with roommates for TEN YEARS. Sheesh.
  • Practically (or organizationally?) another self-reflection, realizing I have put so much work and effort and self-training into my home maintenance and organization skills over the past several years. I know now how to create a space that "works" for a particular purpose, how to effectively store items where I'd use them, how to evaluate what I need/want vs what I don't need/want (and to periodically go through my possessions and do so)... and I've gotten to the point where I actually take pride in keeping areas tidy and clean: doing dishes right after I use them, wiping down the counters before bed, having the bathroom sink empty of clutter, making my bed in the morning, and so forth. 

I really have come a long way, which is a source of pride for me. And I imagine that having an apartment of my very own, that sense of ownership of place will be a reward for all that I've become, but it will also present an exciting challenge for me. Will I be able to maintain these new habits with busy time constraints, with no pressure (even self-inflicted) of roommates "judging" me?

I hope so, I believe so!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Staying on Task

Why does it seem so hard to stay on task for long tracts of unstructured time? This is not rhetorical. This is a legit question I'm wondering. Seriously, if you have anything that helps you, please, do share!

Things I did today which are productive:

  • Went on a short training hike for an upcoming backpacking trip I'm going on. 
  • Posted three things on craigslist. 
  • Moved two more items into my new room.
  • Had a nap. 

The training hike was maybe four hours, the nap was an hour and a half. The rest of the day... I cannot account for it. I read some articles online. Sent some emails. Ate some baby carrots. I don't even know what else. The main things I have on my to-do this weekend are two very large and unpleasant tasks:

  • Prepare for an exam on Tuesday
  • Finish going through my old room (it is really just those horrible dregs left now UGH)
I guess I need to break things up into more manageable chunks, huh? It is so easy to be focused on small/short tasks, or larger pleasant tasks, or tasks that have discrete sub-tasks. But these large awful ones. You gotta make it as fun and possible and break it down into smaller steps. Okay.

I still have some time until the evening. Give myself one hour. Put on some fun music. There isn't a huuuge ton left. I should be able to get through the rest of it by then, or almost then. I guess I just need to make a pile of things that I definitely need to keep and then stack up everything else along the edge to be donated. I then have to find homes for those few key items in the new room, but I won't include that in the hour. The little hoardy beast inside of me is resisting this batch of sorting so much, I can feel it. Anyway, after one hour I will re-group, see how far I've gotten. Not be too hard on myself. 

I think I need to have one or two small 'fun' things planned for tomorrow to help break up my time. Then I can give myself one hour chunks (which usually turn into larger chunks once you get going on something), and maybe throw in some random tasks too, laundry and what not. 

Okay this plan is not a super duper plan, but it's at least enough framework to start from. And now I have a little bit of accountability, because I'm writing this out and posting it in a semi-public place. 


Friday, June 1, 2012


I'm moving into a smaller room within my apartment to save a little bit on my monthly rent. That $60 each month adds up! We're fortunately between roommates for one of the rooms so that gives everybody a chance to play musical rooms without too much frenzy. Anyway, I have moved approximately half of my stuff into the new room. I love it with this amount of stuff in it (okay even a little more stuff would be okay, like on the shelves above the desk, for example). But I still feel like I want to seriously pare down on my possessions.

Here is the new room:

I don't have my shoes, some of my clothes, any of my sports or camping equipment, my books, or hobby supplies. Yet, somehow there is a lot more stuff in my old room beside those things I just mentioned. I've decided, if there's not a good, reasonable place for it in the new room, I think I am going to need to get rid of it. Even if it is cute/pretty, or from a friend or family member, or reminds me of something nice.

The plus side is that I can be a lot more ruthless with myself/my own stuff. I might regret it later, but probably I won't.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Ha. I had totally forgotten about this blog (if anyone is still reading).

Lots of other changes going on in my life. At a certain point I realized I was putting my own decisions on hold because I was worried what would happen to my parents. Those feelings are coming from a good place. Maybe. In some ways. But such a mindset is not too healthy in other ways.

They are adults, they can face things.

I'm not their parent. I need to make decisions* based on my own future.

And I realized I wasn't doing that. I was staying in a situation that was making me pretty unhappy at least in part because I was worried about finances and what would happen if my family needed the money and I was not able to help them out. That is just plain messed up. So I have decided to quit my job and go back to school and prepare for a total career change. I have money saved up. I will be able to take care of myself financially, pay my rent and my tuition, have some wiggle room in case something bad or unexpected happens.

It makes me feel excited, hopefully, eager about the future and about right now too. And I love feeling that way.  So, it has been a good choice so far, even though it is a little scary not to have an income.

And I think it will work out for them too. They have a "gentleman's agreement" on the house, they will sign the papers at the end of this month.

I will maybe talk about that more later and what my role will be in the process of them moving.

*To be fair, I think I put most of the pressure on myself, to be there for everyone, to help everyone out. I just want to fill the needs that exist for the people I care about. I don't even think people are demanding it of me, I think I am demanding it of myself. Everyone (at work, my family, my friends) has been surprisingly understanding when I have drawn boundaries for myself and said "no I need to do this, for me, instead"

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good News!

They are putting the house on the market. They've met with a realtor, pictures happening today I believe, house on market next Tuesday. This is the aggressive plan, maybe not even wholly unrealistic.

I went over a couple evenings last week, helped move boxes down to a 'staging' area in the garage. Sunday was yard work, mulching, painting the fence. Tonight probably more boxes. My mom had been using the professional organizers too, an extra set of hands, so that's great. I guess it's at a point where the remaining stuff can be stowed out of sight (i.e. in garage) while the dwelling area is showcased. Hurrah!!!

Also no need to sign the home equity note.

I'm unfortunately starting to get sick I think. I'm so so so tired. But it's really going somewhere. I think it really might just happen... don't want to get my hopes up tooooo much, but it's looking good, realtor says it's actually not too bad a time to sell even.

Haha... the gif looks slightly ridiculous with that border around it. Ah well.