Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2010! My family and I rang in the New Year with friends, and the next morning (ok, late the next afternoon) I was back on my anti clutter kick. I am not big on New Years Resolutions, but maybe having a goal to NOT collect so much random weird stuff this year might not be such a bad idea. I think at least one of my kids was hoping my Boxing Day (or Boxing Month as it has turned into) would somehow involve pummeling something with gloves, but we're just tearing the house up and boxing up a bunch of stuff to get rid of. Some areas look a bit like they have seem a hurricane at the moment, but it feels really great to see all the excess stuff that will be leaving my life soon. I still can't believe I have this much stuff. It's ridiculous. This accumulation of stuff has gotten way out of line, and come to think of it, so has my accumulation of winter weight gain. My lack of exercise lately is rather sad. With working extra hours, bad weather and very little daylight, my body is not moving nearly enough, and I can feel it- my body is definitely trying to tell me something- probably something like "put down the cookie, and get moving woman!" My butt is starting to feel like it is reshaping itself to my office chair, and I doubt it's a good look for me. So, since I'm at it, maybe an exercise goal would be a good idea for the New Year too.

Speaking of resolutions, or "vague goals" in my case, one of the final assignments in my college classes this past semester was to write about areas of our own lives that we would like to "revitalize." Words like "revitalize" feel a little dramatic for my reality, so instead, I came up with a few areas for "improvement." Even that sounds a bit cliche with New Years and all, but I did it anyway, and in the spirit of the season, I'm sharing.

It seems like there was this theme of "finding your purpose" in the assignment, but overall, I think I already have plenty of purpose in my life. I have a lot of good things going on right now, and don't feel in the least bit lost, or without meaning. What I do feel, is really stinking busy with all this good stuff I have going on. I could certainly use some improvement in my juggling skills during stressful and busy times. I could also use some household help.

Realistically, I'm probably not going to get a maid anytime soon, nor a personal assistant. I don't see myself suddenly having mountains of free time either. So, it would probably make sense for me to learn more about dealing with time management so I can play the hand I've been dealt. I actually saw a time management class offered online recently, but ironically, I haven't figured out how I could squeeze it into my life. Somehow though, I would really like to find a balance between being a procrastinating slacker, and being a micromanaging control freak. I think I'm swaying dramatically between the two these days.

My guess is that in a time management class, they teach you to use lists, prioritize, communicate and delegate things. I'm trying all of the above. The trouble is that lists get lost sometimes (ok, a lot of times), and when I delegate, other people don't always do things the way I think they should, which is really annoying.

I know a major problem is that distractions are so darn abundant. Kids play loudly and interrupt. For example, one child is playing a harmonica about 10 feet away from me right now. Husbands (who are normally silent) start up a conversation as though they don't notice you are trying to type. Telephones ring at the most inconvenient times. I have one infamous friend, who I won't name, but if my children see her name on the caller ID they cry out "NO! Don't answer the phone- you'll talk to her all day!!!" Another big distraction issue for me is when attempting to write or work on my classes on the computer, it's just so awfully easy to get sidetracked with Facebook and email right there. When I go to just check something "really quickly," I can easily lose a big honkin chunk of time. I'll be trying to work and be good, and a message from a friend pops up in one of those chat windows. I know I really need to focus on what is important to get things done.

Maybe in the New Year I'll get better a little better at managing time, and taking care of myself and my home. I hope I'm at least making progress towards improvement and growth in these areas that are recurring themes in my life. I'm not sure if I'll end up with baby steps or giant leaps in 2010, but it feels good to be moving in the right direction. Today, I took another load of toys, clothes and books to donate. I even walked away from buying another book I saw on sale, figuring I should at least finish my cleaning before I add any more to the mess. It wasn't easy either, as it was a beautiful illustrated history book for $4! Still, I resisted-but hopefully it'll still be there when I'm done. The trash and recycling are both full again this week with stuff that will no longer be cluttering up our lives. Just before dark, I took advantage of the break in the rain and walked the dogs too, which made us all very happy. I love simple pleasures like that.

I think 2009 was a hard year for a lot of people, and it's good to be looking ahead to better days. I hope the New Year brings blessings to everyone! Happy New Year!