Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lists, lists, lists....

A bit late, but back with my first list of "13 in '13". This one was really easy to compose, quick and painless. The only challenge was not having it turn into 20 or 30. As it happens, I had to omit some books I really would like to read this year in favour of a couple of book club picks.

Why then, is #13 empty? Well, I thought it might be fun to wait for someone to jump in and fill that one for me. I was tempted to add in Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, but I know I'd want to tackle the whole Century trilogy and book three isn't due out until next year. And I'd forget what the heck happened in the first two by then. So I'll wait on that one.

Now, you might be thinking "Thirteen books? Pffft. Big deal." You wouldn't really be wrong. Prior to having kids I could read that much in a good month. But something happened to my brain after having those lovely little people. I have a heck of time concentrating on books. They have to really pull me in and even when they do it can take me six weeks to muddle through a novel that I would have devoured in days, once upon a time.

So, here is my list. And I may or may not be cheating...some of these may be 2 or 3% read on my Kobo. But I still have to tackle the other 97%.

I finished the first book on the list just a few nights ago. A prime example of a book that took me forever to wade through. And then....it ended. Huh? I think I missed something with this one. It was good. It was certainly really well written. It just felt like it never fully got off the ground. And then...it ended. We discussed it at our January book club meeting and most everyone felt the same.

I started book number two last night and it hooked me right away. Funny, I find non-fiction easier to read these days. I wonder why? This one even reads like fiction, but with so much fact stirred in it moves quickly.

Before coming here to post my book list I was procrastinating reading some other blogs. First stop is always Ali's blog. I already knew I was going to be posting again about lists so I was really excited to see she had posted about lists today too! Such a neat sounding project. So of course I clicked on over to that link as well. I'm definitely going to incorporate that into my "13 in '13". Likely under #12; Thirteen new projects. That list isn't complete yet.

Okay, back to tackling lists. Of course this afternoon is more of a to-do list sort of day.
  1. exchange socks
  2. cook dinner
  3. put away laundry (can we talk about laundry?)
  4. jailbreak an iPhone (what?)
Stay warm!! 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!!

Happy New Year!?! Errr, ummm. Right. Actually, I'm being serious. Sort of. Clearly it's the end of January and the bubbles have long gone out of the champagne. And likely by now you've totally forgotten your resolve to quit eating chocolate forever and ever. Am I wrong?

But here's the thing, we ALL had big ideas on December 31st. I think most people see the dawning of a new year as a chance to start new projects. To wipe clean the slate. To make sweeping changes. To improve. To do better. To be better. As if there is something wrong with who you are already. Pfffft.

Fast forward a few weeks (make that four) and maybe you've forgotten what you resolved to do this year. Or maybe you haven't forgotten at all but just haven't started. If you're like me, the fact that the starting line is far behind you can make you take off your running shoes, climb into pajamas and call it a year.

Don't do it. Not this time. I resolve to start at my start. To not pick some arbitrary date to begin doing the things I want to do. To start the projects I want to start. I had big plans for this year and just because it's not January 1st does not mean I have to put them off for another year. Or wait until Spring to start, or Summer, or back to school....or whatever "start" date seems logical.

I'm armed with lists galore and big plans for all the projects I want to do in 2013. Because I love numbers, I'm calling this overall project "13 in '13".  Deep and clever, I know.  The idea came to me around 12:05am on January 1st. Five minutes before I fell asleep.

I've come up with a list of 13 areas of focus. Some are big, some are small. Most of those are broken down further into a list of, wait for it, 13 things. I'm rounding out the lists tonight and will be back tomorrow to give some more detail on exactly what I'll be up to this year.

Start at your start. Really, the most logical start date is today. Today. It's my start point. Will you join me? What do you want to do this year?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Where did that year go?

Ug. Really? A year. And I know exactly where it went and what I was doing and what I wasn't doing. Today I sit here feeling....odd. For lack of a better word to put to my feelings.

That feeling you get in grade ten when your boyfriend broke up with you the night before. But you have to wake up and go to school anyway. And likely see him in math class. Or out in the smoking area holding someones hand.

Except, I'm not in grade ten. And my life is pretty damn good right now. And unless I'm forgetting something massive that I had to do this week, there is really no reason for the feeling. But I've had the feeling a few times recently. And so...here I am again. Because this feels like something I need to do, that I haven't been doing.

So many things I need to do, for my soul, that I haven't been doing. Because I've been busy putting out fires. Or thinking about doing what I need to do instead of doing it.

Action. I need action. Today.

There, that feels better. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Down the rabbit hole...

That's where I was...in case you were wondering.

I think I got sucked into a late, late winter funk of sorts. Not a true funk. More like a lazy, don't feel like doing much funk. Add in a little friend drama (cause really, I think we're all teenagers trapped in adult bodies). Dashes of mad organizing and spring cleaning. A birthday (mine). A major change in how I'm spending my leisure time (more on that later, maybe). All adds up to my not being here.

I'm back now. Things are going to get even busier for me in May. I'm still trying to catch up on my One Little Word assignments, as I started a few months late, and now I've signed up to do the May Layout a Day with Lain Ehmann

So exciting! So nerve wracking. I'm going to hold myself absolutely accountable for this. Hence the blinkie over there to the right. Flashy, huh? While I was at it I added one for One Little Word as well. It actually didn't take me long to figure out. But then I chewed up an hour of my life playing with the template settings. Gah. Still not loving them, but I'm calling it good for now.

It's raining here AGAIN today. What is it doing in your corner of the world? I am craving flip flops, t-shirts and flowers. Sigh. I'll leave you with this, my garden....last summer. It was a HOT night and we were enjoying a bonfire. Again, sigh.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's so quiet.

It's early. I love the quiet in the pre-dawn hours at my house. All that I can hear right now is the humming of the furnace, the clicking of the keys on the keyboard and the soft snoring of the puppy who is never far from my side.

Chloe and Terry are at hockey. The game today was at 6:30am. Which means I have just a little over an hour before this quiet is shattered. When they come home and the day really begins; loud requests for help getting dressed, Hannah waking up and needing me NOW, my Dad and Vanna coming over to take the girls to Tim Hortons, Terry wondering when I'm going grocery shopping. I love them all so very much, but man are they loud. But they are mine. And, I am theirs. And I'm so very lucky.

I have high hopes for this weekend. Hopes that I get into that craft room and continue plugging away at it. I should have a new picture for you by mid-week. Shall I promise?

I struggle with staying on task, as I'm sure every person does from time to time. It's only gotten worse since having children. It's far harder to immerse yourself in a job when you know you're going to have to meet a need at any given moment. And just when you forget the world around you and dive into things, you remember that it's 4pm and you haven't even thought about dinner yet.

I have a secret weapon that helps me stay on task. That keeps me from ending up in the bedroom folding laundry and wondering how I got there when I'd started out sorting spices in the kitchen, or scrubbing a toilet, or doing dishes, or...you get the picture. I wander. And some days it means I get a lot done, but most days it leaves me feeling scattered and unaccomplished. So yes, back to the weapon. It's not unique. I think I first heard of it on Flylady. Actually, just yesterday I stumbled upon an article discussing it and I think it says it so well. Check it out

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chugging along

I stayed up far too late last night and feel a bit like I'm swimming in sand this morning.

But my coffee is starting to do its work. And I'm listening to my beautiful, though sick with some gastro-bug, daughter talk to the television beside me and it's making me smile.

Since I'm going to be housebound for a good part of the day I'm going to buckle down and work on this;

Yep. This is the picture sorting I mentioned in my last post. I have been memorizing Stacey Julians book Photo Freedom for a couple of years now and slowing working on setting up my own Library of Memories. It's a long process and along the way I get lost. Last summer I sorted a mountain of pictures into bankers boxes, by decade.

I then began putting them into albums, where they will sit until I can either scrapbook them or slip them into normal 4x6 sleeves to put into my scrapbook albums along with layouts. Then.....six months passed and very little was done.

I'm back at it now.

I also have one follower here (yes, you!) and I've promised her I will give her something to read when she stops by. Which is keeping me motivated right now. If you can't commit to yourself, can you commit to someone else? Find that someone. And go for it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh my! Oh yes!

I am fully in love with Liz Lamoreux right now.

Every morning I get up early to help Terry out the door. I've been doing it for years now. Some people think I'm nuts for doing this, but the truth is, I'm a really light sleeper so if I didn't help him I'd just be laying awake in bed watching him. So I get up. I make his coffee and bagel, pack his lunch into his cooler and kiss him goodbye.

Sometimes, if I'm ferociously tired, I go back to bed. Though that never seems like a good idea when it's time to get up with the girls. So I try not to do that. I stay up and have some time to myself. Mostly I watch PVR'd shows or surf. But that isn't very productive or fulfilling. It feels like I've wasted precious alone time.

I've been reading a lot of posts on Leo Babautas site lately. One post talked about creativity and how to make it a habit. I have clicked through so many posts, reading and nodding, that I can't pinpoint which one said to do something creative first thing in the morning. Before you do anything else.

I figured I'm already up, why not try this. So instead of vegging yesterday morning while I waited for the kids to get up I worked on sorting photos (more on this later).

Now, an odd part of my personality is that I crave solitude and silence but often find being alone a tad eerie. Hence spending so much of my alone time surfing or watching telly. Or, yeah, eating.

But I wanted to do this. Which brings us back to Liz. I remembered that I'd been wanting to listen to some of her recorded messages on her site. But good lord does my attention wander at warp speed in front of the computer. This girl can barely sit through a YouTube video.

Solution? I turned on a video and worked while I listened. Brilliant. I got so much done with a soothing voice in the background. More than I've done in months.

Then it happened. Liz said something so brilliant, so true, that it literally made me yell YES! As she was talking about "your corner" and making it beautiful she was talking about bits and pieces of stuff. It could be anything. Doesn't matter. What she said was "Those stories can't sing if they're in Tupperware boxes".

Isn't this so true? So true. The fact that I have my grandmothers camping journals doesn't matter if I don't know what bin to find them in. The fact that I have pictures of my beloved childhood toys doesn't help me if they're in a jumbled mess and there is no journaling beside them to say that I actually loved those toys and wish they were still around. And all the pretty paper in the world is only clutter if I'm afraid to cut into it and it's just sitting there.

I am resolving to finally let go of my fears, and more importantly my inertia, and empty those bins. Clear my corner and make it sing.

Perhaps if I show you an embarrassing picture it will help to motivate me to clear it up so I can show you a pretty picture.

Here you go, the ugly truth. It's kind of colourful and treasure-seeking-ish but the truth is, it's dysfunctional. To even find something I know I have takes so long I give up, turn off the light and go away.