Getting it back together

Let's find out what's inside
Let’s find out what’s inside

I lay down at 1:30 p.m. thinking I’d get a 2-hour nap.

I woke up at 5:00, having slept through my alarm.  3-1/2 hours is just about right for a Saturday afternoon nap after a week’s vacation that took it out of me.

Good thing. Very good.

I needed the rest, because in addition to having had a very active vacation, I worked out especially hard this morning, and that wiped me out, too. There’s nothing like exposing your body on the beach, to bring home just how out of shape you are.

Now I’m back into the swing of things, here at home, looking around and seeing what needs to be fixed.

I have a lot of organizing to do. It’s fall, after all, and the house needs some serious airing out. The heat kept things closed up, to conserve coolness, and now there’s a strong musty smell in the basement that’s coming up through the rest of the house.

In another 2 weeks, I will deal with this in detail. My spouse has a long weekend business trip coming up for the first weekend in October, and I’ll have the place to myself for 3 or 4 days. Then I can go wild with clearing everything out and making space for our life. We have boxes we have not opened in 20 years – moving around to different parts of the country, we’ve lived in places of various sizes. So, when we moved to the small places, we boxed things up and stored them. And when we moved to the larger places, we didn’t unpack those boxes right away.

We’ve been in this house for 12 years, and there are still things packed up downstairs.

I got hurt in 2004, right when I was getting to the “unpack all those boxes” item on my to-do list… and the to-do list went out the window.

So, it’ll be a little like Christmas in October. And for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be studying the jumble of stuff downstairs, planning my route of attack. I also need to clean out the garage and get rid of a bunch of junk I’ve been hanging onto for no good reason. Winter is coming. I need to clear the way.

And simplify.

I found some more boxes that will fit under my bed, so I can clean up my bedroom bureau. It’s covered with items that I haven’t touched or moved for years. This is my chance to clear the way, so I can create a bedroom that is restful and promotes good sleep hygiene.

Vacation won’t go wasted. Oh, no. I’ve got my inspiration back, so… onward!

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Up and at ’em

I’m not depressed anymore.

I was depressed for a number of weeks. Just feeling down.

But now …

Something has lifted off me. For the past several days, I’ve been very active – making out my lists of things I wanted to get handled, and handling them… all in good order.

I’ve taken care of some things around the house I’ve been wanting to do for years. Simple things, really, that I just couldn’t get started before. Covering up the air conditioners for winter. Cleaning out leftover pots and containers that were sitting in a corner of the back porch for some reason. Organizing things around the house

And exercising, first thing in the morning.

I guess I was pretty depressed for a while, feeling poorly and also feeling sorry for myself.

No more. Something has shifted with me — probably the prospect of a week and a half off work for the upcoming holidays. It’s got me moving again.

And it feels pretty good.

Well, anyway, off I go. The day is waiting.

Onward.

Down to the barest of bones

The fall cleaning has begun. I went through my study this morning and decimated the piles of papers on my side table. Just cleared them away. Much of what was cluttering the place was a bunch of unopened bank statements and duplicate bills from days gone by, along with a lot of “collectibles” from past experiences that I really don’t need to hang onto. Notes I took along the way for different projects I wanted to work on, but never did… etc.

I packed a paper grocery bag with scrap and unneeded papers, I put all the unopened bank statements and bills into a pile, and I had enough space to move some things off an extra table I had in the room to hold everything. Crazy, how much crap builds up, when you just don’t want to deal with it at the time.

But coming back from vacation, it’s time to get back in the swing of things, move all the old crap out of the way, to make room for the new. Make some hard choices about where I will put my attention and energy, and be willing to clear out the things that do not serve me in the least.

I had a job interview on Thursday morning, which was both useful and pointless. It’s for a position with some old friends of mine who know me and my past work. It’s not an exact fit for me, actually, and they are trying to “shoehorn” me into the position, with extra time for training and testing and getting me up to speed. If I go that route, it will probably take me about 6 months to get up to speed with what I need to know, and the more I think about it, the less I like that idea. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn some new things, but looking at the job market and pay rates, as well as everything else that I have on my plate, I’m not sure it’s even worth the effort. It would be starting from scratch again, and I don’t want to be in that position again.

Hell, I’ve been starting from scratch for the past 8-9 years, trying to get my life back on track – why would I do it all over again? Anxiety and stress and pressure… Nah, it doesn’t make sense for me to do it. So, I’m clearing the deck of that. I’ll give the folks a call on Monday and tell them I’ll pass. If it’s not an exact fit, then I’m not going to go for it.

This is my new approach, these days — to put up or shut up. To put my time and energy and attention into ONLY the things that put me in the direction I’m going. I have no interest in frittering away the hours on this, that, and the other thing. I don’t have the time or the money or the energy to do so. Unfortunately, I’m dealing with a world of scarcity, right now — money is extremely tight, as is time and energy — and I just don’t have the luxury of A) sitting around and shooting the shit about crap I’m unhappy with, or B) listening to other people do that.

One of the things that’s moved me in this direction is being away from about half my team at work for the past three weeks. We have been in different locations, here and there, since mid-September, so I haven’t had an earful of them bitching and complaining about everything for a number of weeks. It’s been a breath of fresh air, actually. None of the drama and upheaval and politicking. Plus, I was on vacation, the week that they were all embroiled in their political gamesmanship.

Divine intervention, as far as I’m concerned. And it’s been a real pleasure to just be able to focus on work without all their personal drama. They seem to have plenty of time and energy for bitching and complaining and finding fault about this, that, and the other thing. Meanwhile, I’m dealing with a constant sense of illness and vertigo, a spouse who is having increasing health issues, parents who are ageing and siblings who are making really bad decisions, and the challenges of vacating a job that is way past its “best if used-by” date. And I’m starting a business.

It’s a lot to handle, and it’s not going to get any easier, so obviously I don’t have a lot of time to sink into frittering away the hours bitching about how things don’t suit my liking.

Put up or shut up, is where I’m at, these days.

And it feels pretty good, my general sense of illness and fogginess and perpetual low-level frustration notwithstanding. Making hard choices, speaking plainly, and not getting dragged down into all manner of crap, is the way to go for me, these days. Seriously, I have way too much going on, to waste my precious hours on things that will not “bear fruit” as some say.

Welcome to the bare-bones life.

The great thing about having a bare-bones life, is that it has room for me to put anything on the bones that I want. I’m stripping away all manner of distraction and pointless “entertainment” — not watching television shows that don’t interest me… not indulging in conversations that don’t help me… not spending a lot of time surfing around the web, chatting about pointless things on Facebook… really investing time in things that matter most to me, and being present with people around me, not distracted by stupid shit that will pass in a matter of hours, anyway.

Looking at all my disparate interests, over the years, I can see clearly how distraction and disruption have really kept me from moving forward in my life. I haven’t made the progress I wanted to make — not because of lack of talent, but because of lack of focus, and too much clutter. All the distractions and interruptions — from within and without — have kept me in a self-perpetuating pattern of having lots of great ideas, but precious little to show for it. And I have dropped a lot of things that I meant to move forward with, but lost interest in  — or got discouraged about.

Well, no more. I am cutting back on massive amounts of distraction, throwing away things that no longer get me where I need to go, and making choices about what I will do with my time and energy and attention.

And it’s pretty incredible, how much more free I feel.

Speaking of making choices, I need to head out to an appointment I’ve got in another hour and a half. I need to shower, change, and get on the road. And take care of a number of things as I go.

Bare bones. Bare bones. Keeping it simple and just moving forward.

Onward.