Friday, June 17, 2011
Yesterday I mentioned the "down" side of cleaning up my act, home organization version. I am far from done with this effort, but as with the losing weight and taking better care of my physical health, it's going to take time to get to the balance I desire in terms of shall I call it "environmental health".
It occurs to me that I have in some ways used my "messy" home in the same way I used to use the layers of fat on my body: to push people away! As well as to procrastinate making decisions or admitting to myself how I felt about certain things (can't toss a charity flyer... that would make me a "bad" person, don't you know?)
Here's something that my current efforts are making possible that before would have had me cringing: hosting my brother should he come to town next month! With a few little efforts over the course of even five days, it starts to look do-able, possible, and I hope it works out.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
So, the viewpoint of living with dignity (not new, long desired, just prioritized recently) is still a bit like "wet paint", not yet established habit. I have to be learning something, right?
On the good front: the work I've been doing with cleaning and de-cluttering has brought me up short against something we all face when trying to change habits. "What's that?" you might well ask. It is, says the sage, finding out that the previous "bad" behavior had some positive use to you!
What possible use could there be in having a messy home? In being ashamed of it? Here's your punch line: it made it easier to brush people off AT THE DOOR, say "No" more firmly, and not waste my time being more polite.
Last night as I was finishing my workout, the doorbell rang. Had it been the telephone, I would have read the caller ID, and if it was someone I didn't recognize, let the machine pick up. I suppose one could do the same with the doorbell... peek out the window or peephole, and if it's not someone you want to see...
But, I was vulnerable, the house was in better shape than it's been for a while, and I was breathlessly full of endorphins and pride (26 sit-ups, people, count 'em!). I opened the door to a fresh faced young man with a very persistent and pushy sales pitch. But he made several errors in his people reading. I must look like a total patsy or something!
I told him 1) I'd never heard of his company (don't panic, I looked it up on the internet, it's a reputable and legitimate one, I just wasn't in the market for this kind of product), 2) I had not seen his signs in the neighborhood, and 3) I was not considering the product for purchase. This should have been a good sign to him that I was not a "real" prospect.
Still he wanted to show me what he'd install "for free" if I'd be his show home... and then spent nearly an hour of my time pulling out slick brochures and describing technology that I have no intention of purchasing! I was curious enough and I like techno-toys as well as the next guy, so I listened to the sales pitch, but when he got around to the attached subscription price I said "It's not in my budget, sorry." Yeah, the initial installation would be "free", the equipment "free", but it would cost $$$ every month for the support services (which are NOT optional).
TANSTAAFL: there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. I had been waiting to hear how much this free lunch would cost. But when I said "no" after he finally disclosed the cost to me, he comes up with "Then why were we sitting here talking about this?" OMG. The young man practically put his foot in my door and forced his way in! I was being polite. I listened to what he had to say. He clearly was ignoring my earlier messages that I wasn't interested. After he came out with that statement, I changed my mind.
His attitude at that point was clearly that I had wasted his time. Well, no. I was a wimp. I allowed him to waste MY time! Why did I do that?
The kicker is, his sales pitch included a lot of scare stories of bad things that can happen, and I ended up with a touch of insomnia afterward. Grrrr! So he wasted more of my time than that single hour.
To pull the balance back the other way... in the face of tossing and turning, I got up early enough to do a treadmill jog before breakfast.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Having a new "purpose/project", one that has "come" to me by a soak in solitude and rest and evaluation is very energizing, I find. I have to give myself the grace of time, and work through the "should" and the "wish-I-was-normal" to acceptance and a goal. As with weight loss, changing any life-long habit is a "lather - rinse - repeat" process that is a failure only if one gives up!
So... on Tuesday morning, I vacuumed my bedroom. Before work. And gazed on the result and felt good. I know, there are Sparkers out there who do NOT struggle with this aspect of their lives, but I do. So I'm feeling good about this small act of self-nurturing and more important than the act: VIEWING it as self-nurturing!
My rebellion against chores around the house and yard is centered over other people saying I SHOULD or HAVE to do X, Y, or Z. So, the key to this, as it is to weight / activity management, is in changing the way I think about it: turning it from a should into a want to and further into an "I'm worth it."
This inner mental / emotional work is vital to success in changing long-entrenched habits.
On the exercise front: I'm back in training, having committed to a 5K on July 22nd. I went outside after work (and after handling the mail ) to assess my starting point. I walked a brisk 5 minutes, then jogged two, did a recovery walk for 3, then started jogging 3, walking 3 for the rest of my 2.6 mile dog-walk route. What I discovered is that I'm in better shape than I was last Fall when I started training for a November 5K. We'll see how this goes!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Yesterday was a work day, and I did end up staying an extra half hour at the end of the day, because it happens. So I didn't have a whole lot of "let's organize the house" kind of energy left.
I have determined one of my "fast start" goals for this effort. Don't laugh. It's kind of like the "drink 8 glasses of water" basic. That makes it a good goal. No, it's not "shine your sink".
It is "handle ALL of today's mail today"... no leaving bits of it on the kitchen counter to pile up. If I can manage to start doing this consistently, it should help a lot with the accumulation of clutter, as most of my visible clutter is paper! Onward to a more orderly, functional home!
On the fitness front: my son has challenged me to join him in a 5K on a Friday evening in July. It involves a finish line at a local minor league baseball stadium and free tickets to the ball game. A mom-son bonding opportunity. If you wanted to design the perfect bait, that would be it, for me. He's trying to motivate himself, and in the "helper" personality brain, I can say I'm doing this "for" him, but really, I need it just as much as he does.
So... I get to train for a running event. Time to start up the jogging again!
Monday, June 13, 2011
I've learned the lesson about taking it slowly with exercising, but I haven't necessarily "got it" when it comes to house / yard work. I need to transfer some of the consistency to "living life with dignity"... without killing myself or my motivation by overdoing.
Yesterday I started in with the living room carpet, shifting furniture out of the room so I could shampoo it. In the middle of this, I noticed the jugs of "gray water" that I save from my shower. They needed to be taken out and used to water some "patches" in the lawn I've been giving special attention to. While doing that, I pulled some weeds. While doing that I noticed the cussed volunteer trees springing back to life after I'd taken them down last Autumn. And I went to get the snippers and the lawn bag to give that a little attention.
You get the idea: distraction from one purpose to pursue something that looks more urgent, scattering purposes all over. I got some of the yard things done. I did finish the living room carpet job (and rearranged the furniture while I was at it). But... it's hard to stop, and I took on yet another chore that I have NOT completed before I ran out of gas. I face a work week with a half-finished home project cluttering up my living space.
This is not a new scenario! Sometimes I start small, do just one thing, stop, and tell myself if I just do one small thing a day, I'll make better progress on this purpose. And then the work week takes my energy... I end up at work an extra half hour and my energy is gone... at least for the purpose of house / yard.
Still, this is Day 1 of "Life with dignity"... my creating a harmonious functioning haven out of my home. I've dropped the weight. I AM taking care of my health. That's still primary, can't drop that. But I deserve more: I deserve to live in a dignified and orderly environment.
I can do this: one day at a time. It just has to be a priority.
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