Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | August 17, 2014

Still mucking out

The study to be

The study to be

The past half week has been one of discoveries.  Work continues apace with clearing clutter from the domicile.  Something about sending the last kid off to college incited a fierce need to rid myself of clutter.  I have been inching toward getting the study reclaimed, which involved moving furniture, clearing closets, and making choices about the importance of material things.  I’m finding myself taking lots of pictures of things, and jettisoning the things themselves.  I’ve also realized that keeping the-next-size-smaller clothing in hopeful optimism is selfish, when a) there are people out there who could use that clothing right now, and b) I can reward myself with smaller clothing when and if I get there. There have been many trips to charity shops to drop off useful clothing. It feels so freeing, even though late summer doesn’t evoke renewal for me.  That’s okay, I’ll take it! The picture above is the putative study the day we moved in, so it looks quite different now, but I will put up a new picture once it is set up.

I’ve also been reducing clutter at the day job. None of our databases will be available tomorrow.  Without any substantive work to do, we are cleaning our work areas.  I hate to file, so a good part of my day will be forcing myself to file.  If I see daylight after that, I will begin on my electronic files. Yippee?!?

I am continuing to do well on my ROW80 goals.  I am writing ideas down by the handfuls, knowing many of them will come to nothing, but enjoying the exercise anyway. I continue to work on the memoir, even though up until a few days ago, I was pantsing it completely, which is not my usual manner, just to have something in rough draft to put up for WIPpet Wednesday.  A comment by K.L. Schwengel (thank you!) set off a light bulb in my head, and showed me the scarlet thread that runs throughout the entire work so far.  I hope to do some serious plotting and development of it for the rest of the Round.

Meditation and yoga have become habits, and even more part of my writing rituals. Music has rejoined my rituals as well, thanks to Barry Koostachin, who helpfully posted a Celtic harp song on my timeline. I find myself playing music constantly now. It feels like renewing a friendship.

Have a lovely week, and please encourage the other ROW80 participants, listed here, if you have a chance.

smaller EM

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Responses

  1. Sounds like you are definitely making progress. Reducing clutter seems to be a never ending battle. I can clean my closet one month and a month later I can’t even tell I threw something out. I have resigned myself to the fact that i will always be my current size, which means I really struggle with getting rid of clothes which still fit but which I haven’t worn in three years!

    Good luck with your writing goals! Glad that a little light bulb went off in your head. I love it when that happens!

    • There are times I swear things in my closets reproduce at night, Chris. When we moved in 2012, I write the outline of a horror short story where animate moving boxes wreak havoc in the middle of the night–sounds plausible to me!

      I’m plugging away on things, and I am almost afraid to get too happy about it, and jinx it! I did so love that light bulb, though.

  2. I LOVE the sound of this post my friend! You are doing fantastic. It is so freeing to let go of “stuff.” All that positive energy thrusts us forward. Getting unstuck is a great relief. Look how much you’ve accomplished. You are inspiring! 🙂

    • Thank you, Karen. DH and I have decided to go as minimal as we can manage–not quite tiny house, but very small house. He described it perfectly as not wanting stuff to own us. Even the small steps we have taken feel so good!

      I can’t fully express how lovely it is to have the words coming back to me. It feels like being able to speak after years of being mute.

  3. Sounds like progress AND enjoyment. Good for you!

  4. I love purging! I’m a big fan. I go in spurts where I stack piles of stuff, but once I’m cleaning, I just toss and toss. It’s liberating.

    I’m on a similar journey with welcoming new things in (or back in) my life. I’m trying to get more sleep at night by going to bed earlier, eating healthier, working out, and journaling again. Like you, I’ve used music to help me write this week too.

    Keep it up, lady! You’re on a roll!

    • Ah, Jess, can I borrow your purge instincts? I love how it makes me feel, but I tend to procrastinate on it far too long. It is certainly liberating, though.

      I’m going to bed early, too, and have found I am such a lark. I love getting up early, when even the dogs only open one eye, sigh, then go back to sleep. Then meditation and yoga, and a healthy breakfast, change my attitude toward the day job stresses.

      I stopped listening to the music of my childhood when my brother passed away, and then my mother’s passing a few months later stopped my enjoyment of classical music. I still shed a tear or two at times, but they are clothed in good memories now.

  5. I could use a good dose of decluttering myself! (And I’m now thinking about my big box of one-size-smaller clothes. *sigh*)

    Keep going on the ROW80 goals! Here’s to another great week!

    • Oh, Julie, I can’t tell you how long I’ve been on the roller-coaster of hanging on to clothes that *oof, struggle, inhale, shimmy* almost fit. I finally thought, stop the madness!

      Thanks for the encouragement, and I hope you have a lovely week as well!

  6. That’s just fantastic! Letting go of things you no longer need is so liberating! And congratulations on rediscovering music for your writing. What’s your favorite kind of music for writing? I like instrumentals, and natural sounds with restful music. I can’t write to any song sung in a language I know; my brain tries to follow the lyrics, and then nothing original comes out.

    • I’m with you, Tammy, on the music. I can’t listen to vocals at all when I’m writing, but love instrumentals and nature sounds. I can listen to classical, if I know it well enough that it flows through me. I’ve also got a well of genes, I guess, that love to listen to Celtic instrumentals, even newer ones that I don’t know well.

      If I’m cleaning, or organizing clutter, I love to listen to the songs I grew up hearing. My siblings are older than I, so anything from the sixties gets me moving.

      • I can clean to vocals, and Mom raised us with Doo Wop, so I can really get going to classic Rock and Roll from the 50s and 60s … for about five minutes, then my kidney failure stops me, these days. But it used to be, I’d put on some old bobbysocks jukebox music and clean my whole house!

  7. They always say that the best way to come up with good ideas is to come up with lots of ideas. If you come up with a dozen of them, maybe one will be good right off the bat. Not a high percentage (8.3%), but more than if you hadn’t come up with rest. And then you get to have fun with the ones that aren’t good: use them as a springboard, combine them, break them down into their essential elements and combine those in new and interesting ways, etc.

    Cleaning the study (what I refer to as “decrapulation”) is a great source of new ideas. You’ll probably turn up stuff you forgot you had. And getting rid of stuff you don’t need s always a good thing.

    • A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that saying, John. I used to think that I could hone things to a good state by sheer will. What horse hockey! I am a total believer in the “throw all the pasta against the wall” school of ideation now.

      As for the decrapulation, considering it used to be my son’s room, that amount of orphan socks unearthed was staggering. I used the energy from that to fuel the decrapulation of my closet and dresser drawers, which should have been the subject of an archaeology grant. The things I found–ridiculous!!! And it was delicious to say goodbye to them!

  8. I’m glad you’re doing well on your ROW80 goals! I’m not doing so well right now. And YAY for getting rid of clutter.

    • Thanks, Lauralynn. I’m sad to hear you’re not doing so well, and send you good thoughts for better times. *hugs*


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