Good start, focused start

Memory test for today. Let's see if I remember the shapes by the time I'm done writing.
Memory test for today. Let’s see if I remember the shapes by the time I’m done writing.

I’m off to a pretty good start, this morning. I’ve been grappling with some serious clutter in my study, which is making it hard to focus and keep my attention on the Main Things I should be doing. I’ve been pinballing back and forth from different ideas and different projects for some time. I’ve also been bouncing around between different directions I want my life to take.

Not being happy in my job, not being connected with my work… that’s a complicating factor, and the anxiety that comes with it is compelling me to flit-flit-flit from one idea to the next. I just need some relief from the anxiety, and that means I spent a lot of time clicking around to different websites online, I get all swept up in Twitter, and I have — yet again — an even more brilliant idea than yesterday, about what I should be doing with my life.

cluttered office
My office isn’t quite this bad – but it’s been close…

It gets to be way too much, after a while. And my study has shown the effects of it. I’ve had piles upon piles of papers that I didn’t quite know what to do with at that instant. Also, bags of stuff I brought home when I changed jobs… and never put them away… books I’ve picked up and meant to read, but never got to.

It’s been quite the challenge, keeping things in order, but I’ve been working at it gradually, moving away the things I never use or look at, to make room for the things I DO use and look at.

I do it when I can, and I did some last night, just getting piles of papers off my desk and onto a nearby chair. This morning, I spent the first 30 minutes of my day sorting through the stuff on my chair, throwing away things, organizing others, and putting stacks of papers that aren’t immediately pressing, but need to be sorted, onto another pile that’s not in the middle of everything.

I have some serious prioritizing to do — and that includes my entire life, not just my to-do items for the day, week, or month. I need to make some choices about what direction I am going, and how much energy I’m going to spend in the process. I need to make some choices about what I’m NOT going to do, so I can free up energy for what I AM going to do. In some cases, it means leaving behind dreams and goals I always had, and was particularly fond of, as a kid. It’s hard. But I have to do it.

I’ve already started that process, making some decisions and taking some plans off my plate. There’s more to come… and it’s quite a challenging process. I hate having to let go of long-loved dreams. But I’ve got to do a reality check — and also realize that some of my dreams are blocking my reality.

So, that’s the excitement for this morning. I’ve got a full day ahead of me, planning for my business trip next week. I’ve got my list of things to handle, and I’m taking them one at a time.

So far, so good. And with the right mindset and a good pace today (as well as a nap this evening), things should sort themselves out just fine.

Onward.

Now, let’s see how I did with my memory test:

memory-test-4-30-16

Now, that’s interesting… I had it flipped the wrong way. Got the elements right, but the orientation is wrong. The single line is a little short, too. And the hatch marks. But the circles at least are the same size and pretty much similar in dimension, along with the connecting lines.

Memory test for today. Let's see if I remember the shapes by the time I'm done writing.This is what I did at the start. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could build on the designs from prior days — if I could “trick” myself. And yes, in fact, I did. Ha ha.

A clean(er) start

The sound of one broom sweeping

Been cleaning my basement and garage since the holidays. Got a good start, a few days before New Years, and now the work continues. It’s hard to believe how much stuff has accumulated — some of it for no apparent reason. It’s also hard to believe how easy it is to make a little bit of stuff look like a lot – just because it’s not organized very well.

I’ve been working my way through the basement, most of all. The garage has a bunch of stuff that needs to go away, and I don’t have money for a junk person right now – that will have to wait for Spring. For the basement, there’s a lot I can do – I just need to be smarter about it, and see where everything fits. It’s dirty and dusty and needs to be cleaned out – dirty work, for sure. But the end result is space to work and move and repair and invent (I’m back at working on some shop projects again, which is really great – very therapeutic).

And who knows – by the time the month is up, I might even have those shelves up — I bought the brackets and wood about 10 years ago, and I was meaning to put up the shelves. But a couple of years went by… and then I fell… and everything fell apart. Now I’m back in the swing of things, collecting my tools and organizing everything and discovering stuff I bought back when, but completely forgot about. Now I can do something with them.

This feels really good. I’m getting parts of my life back, bit by bit. Getting organized. Getting collected. Making more room.

Room to breathe.

It’s funny, how clutter just sucks the life out of me. It’s not like I’m a neat freak or anything, but having to figure out where things are and where I put things and what goes where… it’s a real time sink. It’s a drain. It’s hard enough, sometimes, just dealing with things in an ideal situation, but when I add the work of looking through stuff, trying to find things I’ve misplaced, trying to remember where such-and-such is… it just takes a lot of energy and attention that I could be using for other things.

But this is how it’s become for me. Something happened to me after my fall in 2004, where all of a sudden, nothing really made much sense to me. And I couldn’t figure out how to organize stuff. I would just put things down and walk away… hope for the best…. or just forget about it. Literally. I have found Christmas presents from prior years that I completely forgot I’d received. And some of them would have come in handy, during that window in time when I’d forgotten about them.  Other things, I have — somewhere — and I know they’re there… but I have no idea where they are… which is a bummer, because I could really use them.

Oh, well… I will get there. I don’t know what it is about this year — maybe the whole “world is gonna end” business gave me the sense that I/we got a second chance, and now I want to make the most of it — but I really want to put things in order this year. I’m starting off strong, too — getting things together that have been languishing in disarray for far too long. And making space for myself to move and work and think.

Eventually I will have to work on the rest of the house, as well. It’s not awful, but it’s not the way I want it to be. My study is in disarray. My downstairs living space is full of piles of paper and various items that have nowhere official to “live”. It’s not dirty, but it’s cluttered in places, and I want to do something about that. There is a lot to be done, and what I wouldn’t give for a month (or two) off to just clean and organize. But for now, I’ll make do with what I have.

Speaking of which, it’s time to finish my coffee and head downstairs – to get my life back.

New theme for a new day

Time for a change. I’ve been at this blog, now, since November, 2008, and I haven’t had a different theme since I started (I think). I’ve put in links and what-not, added stuff on the sidebar, etc. But I haven’t really done much with the look of it.

I’m not sure how I’m going to like this new theme. It’s different, obviously. And when I switched from my other theme, apparently the bridge burned behind me, and I can’t get the old one back. The design is gone. The widgets I created are gone. A lesson in impermanence.

Oh, well. Nothing like total commitment to get me back on point.

Speaking of being back on point, I need to get myself back in the game, here. I had pulled out all the stops to get this project done, and pushed a lot of other projects to the side. Now it’s time to bring those other projects back, front and center. And it’s time to dig in and make some more progress.

It does get a little tiring, being constantly over-committed. But it keeps me on my toes. And it’s how everyone at work does things. Doesn’t leave much time for digesting what’s going on, unfortunately. But maybe that’s a good thing.

All I know is that I can easily get caught in a kind of vortex of analysis. Analysis paralysis. I get caught in a loop — fueled in part by anxiety about doing the wrong thing — and I can’t seem to make progress.

This is something I am actively working to change. I have way too much going on in my life to dally. Though sometimes it is nice to take some time away and just BE.

Being can come after doing, however. What I need most, is to get things off my plate and keep moving forward. Finish the things that matter. Table the things that don’t. And keep moving… giving myself time to rest and recuperate on a regular basis.

See, that’s the thing – rest and recuperation needs to be a regular part of my life, so I have the chance to build myself back up after I tear myself down. I can do a real job on myself at times, pushing as hard as I do. And I can do a job on everyone around me, as well. I need to step back on a regular basis, take a break, get some rest, and allow myself to catch up. Most of all, I need to fully appreciate just how much I’ve done and accomplished, from time to time, so I can sit back, relax, and take it all in.

Speaking of sitting back and relaxing, I need to make some significant changes in my living space. My home has gotten pretty cluttered with a lot of stuff, and we need to do some serious prioritizing and cleaning out. The basement long ago became a catch-all for things we didn’t want to deal with. And my home office is a hodge-podge collection of papers and books and ideas and projects from days gone by — things that are long gone and are no longer a regular part of my life, but for some reason I am hanging onto them.

No need for that. I can safely let those things go. All the old books about subjects that no longer interest me… why do I keep them? Because they remind me of a time when I was immersed in those topics and they meant a lot to me. It’s more for the memories… but those memories are taking up space and time and attention that I need to free up for new things.

A new life. A new day. A new theme.

This blog isn’t the only thing that’s changing. Other things need to change for me, as well. And so they shall.

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