Micro Snowball

I have “The List.” People laugh at it, accidentally. I never show it to anyone, on purpose.

When you’re me, or anyone else who has to do it all by themselves, you’ve had plenty of experience wondering where the time goes. You also know exactly how long each chore should take. “Should” is one of those operative words; an ugly estimate based on past experience or those methodological time-saving articles in magazines that scream at you from every newsstand or browser launching pad insisting whatever-it-is really shouldn’t take that long.

So, on Friday afternoons the listing starts. Actually, it’s perpetual, but I get down to the real nitty-gritty when the weekend looms. Dedicated intervals for rising, grooming, eating, cleaning, showering, chore-ing, bringing down laundry, bringing up the paper towels, kitty maintenance, cooking, walking, mail clutter, advert clutter, email clutter, garbaging, bill paying, budget monitoring, gassing up, shopping, volunteering, all seem doable. Weekdays, I’m a Generalist. Generally, I should empty the dishwasher that cycled on Sunday.

I would, but Monday nights are reserved for creating and accidentally deleting the weekly One Brick Detroit Newsletter. In my opinion, it’s quite a bad design to have the Preview button located three hairs away from the Start Over button. It’s also a bit of a flaw having the Get HTML button located in the near same spot on a different tab.

Tuesdays are devoted to Knabble. It’s rare that I haven’t already formulated an idea, jotted notes or pre-written a rant that needs a kindness modification. It can be crazily comforting to bang out epitaphs, outright curses and words that my feminist, religious, karma-enlightened or easily offended acquaintances would balk at for lesser language. The most time-consuming part of Tuesday nights is the creation of those art slides. The art isn’t that hard; finding something intelligent to say, quoting myself without pretentiousness is a labor. That and making sure the words are in the most appropriate font, on the most appealing angle, and the most firm color.

I took up Chiropractic Wednesdays in July 2013. Nothing feels better after an adjustment than an additional pamper. To me, taking time to read three email accounts, click-through the My Points links, opening every inspiring forward and “just checking” to see if what’s is on sale is on sale enough for me to consider considering its value. I am learning to question everything and calculate if it will or will not add deep lasting value to my place in this world. I can easily pass up flannel nightgowns, mail-order chocolates and trendy clothing. I’m still working on the chicken thing.

Thursday is “Gee its Thursday Already?” day. I walk on Thursdays; and Saturdays and Sundays, sometimes twice. Occasionally, Wednesdays, but there’s no guarantee. Maybe on a Friday; maybe.

Fridays are a true 50/50. Mostly because I am already conjuring up my micro list and knowing there’s only a snowball’s chance in hell that I will accomplish 10 fifteen-minute tasks that evening. The goal is to get through the little stuff. The little stuff always snowballs. Sweep the kitchen floor leads to mop the kitchen floor, but only after clear and wipe down all the counters and the stove and the microwave for any stray stuff my weekday wipes may have missed, and only after dinner because I’m going to make more mess. Dinner has to wait until the ceremonial purge of overripe produce, limpy vegetables and whatever I made a lot of and am now tired of eating. The vacuum sealer sucks because it no longer sucks. It does seal, but that defeats the purpose, which is to remove the air and avoid freezer burn crystals.

In all likelihood, the sweep and mop will roll over into Saturday, after Dance Walk, after the Post Office, after the market, after restocking and after lunch. Vacuuming and laundry are 80/20’s. There isn’t much that keeps me from those, unless a card needs to be made or a volunteer event calls or it’s the one Saturday a month when my body demands a catch-up for late or sleepless nights.

Saturday’s leftover list slides into Sunday. Sunday always includes prepping produce and baking proteins to last the week; running the dishwasher post. It’s also the day I look at The List and realize I have not managed to do those things that I wanted to do after my self-obligations have been met. My grand visions for fun future become dreamy-futuristic next-weekend hopes.

Responsibility is a good thing. I need to hold myself accountable. I need to make a better effort to tackle 1 or 2 little things each evening. “Start somewhere,” isn’t as easy as it sounds. I dislike half-finished anything – chores or crafts or commitments are full-on experiences for me. Ordering – a back-track to a logical start – squeezes me out of time every time. The reality is there are no little things, just a back-log continuum that thrives on relation .

I recognize it’s self-sabotaging to refuse to begin because there’s no predictable conclusion. I also know a snowball when I see one.

Quote for the Week:

planning is easy 10 14 2014

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

A List I Could Live With: http://www.home-ec101.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Home-Ec-101-Chore-Chart-Take-3.pdf

Tip Abundance: http://www.pinterest.com/jeepmaiden/cleaning-tips-tricks/

At Least Cut the Clutter: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/the-simple-guide-to-a-clutter-free-home/

 

Less, More or Less

I’ve been flirting with Zen, exploring peace and super stunned by mini-homes. Last near-end of winter sparked an interest in an intriguing early July Event-brite posting. A click and another lead me to a place I had been before. About a year ago, I stumbled upon Leo Babauta and shared his ZenHabits.net site in one of my weekly Midweek Encouragement Newsletters.

At the time, I was focused on eliminating excess and clutter. It was, after all, the third time I’d be moving in six years. Each time – losing a little more. A little more of my belongings, and my memories; paring down for expense reasons. I also got tired of moving it all around and having to pay people to help me do so. Luckily, many of my movers were acquaintances content with a sandwich and a few bucks for gasoline.

On an only slightly warm July early evening, I coerced a companion into first discovering a school I never knew existed in my neighborhood, and then attending a free seminar by a duo known as “The Minimalists.” Traumatized by the death of an immediate family member and the demise of a relationship (sound familiar?) the search for something more began. Interestingly, Babauta discovery played a part in leading them on to greater things. Actually, it led them on to lesser things, which, in my opinion (and theirs) has led to greater things.

I see the draw. Lamentably, there isn’t much I am willing to minimalize. My things are functional, and my drawers and closets aren’t stuffed. If something breaks, I might not replace it. I don’t have much that will break, though. Going on five years without a television has been easy, except for those few times a year when I find myself wishing I could tune in to a special program.

To my credit, I have been saying, “No.” As much as I loved that imitation potted plant I was recently offered, my little fiends would be bent on destroying it, and truthfully, I had nowhere to put it, anyway. I also passed up an event t-shirt. I really liked it; thought it was nicely done, very artistic. I truly have enough event t-shirts. I’m getting another one Thursday night. It’s mandatory that I wear it, so it will come home with me. If I wore every “around the house” logo’d, promotion oriented, group identifying shirt, I wouldn’t run out for two weeks.  They double duty as pj tops, too. Just sayin’.

Then, there’s my love and bane. Art supplies. This move provided me with a long dreamt of studio. All of my craft paper is sorted, colorized, neatly tucked away in mobile drawers within a closet. Envelopes are in another drawer; card stock in another. Gems, brads, ribbon, glue, beads, punches, embossers, cutting machines, enamel embossing powders, brayers, brushes, fabric (lots of fabric), markers, canvases: for the first time stored neatly, within reach and find. There’s an end product to be had, and release of long pent creativity. Now, I just need to find the time. I know that’s no excuse. I have an abundance of time. Time that gets sucked up by… real life, I guess.

What’s left? Clothes will wear out. I am planning on wearing them out. For those about to balk, realistically, I’m also expecting another closet intervention in the vicinity of 6 years future. Not earlier than that.

Since I’m at a point where I feel that I can’t, won’t, and don’t think I really need to minimalize, I have decided to attack organized reduction in another way. My philosophic minimalism is less about elimination, and more about non-accumulation. In this spirit, I have created, The Minimal List.

Inventories are amazing tools. My detailed, Excel-blocked stock of pantry, paper goods, pet supplies, bake and cookware, sneakers and shoes, toiletries, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, towels, sheets; nope don’t need to buy any of these things. Some of that is due to the existence of Costco. Some of that is due to my ditzy tendency to forget my shopping list and regularly choosing to be on the safe side. I recently bought mega bathroom tissue, mega paper towel and mega napkins, only to discover I had already mega’d it all on an earlier run. I won’t run out for a while. I also have a little over another year of laundry soap. Pet supplies are always purchased on sale, usually with coupons. I buy in mock “bulk.” I cart up two or three bags at a time, and do the same with litter. It’s monetarily sound. I won’t deny the convenience factor, especially in winter.

The challenger for me is “need.” I evaluate everything on it now. Do I need new bras? No, I just bought some. However, I found one I liked and who knows how long that particular style will be available? So, while they are on-sale, and I have a $10.00 discount coupon and free shipping and get 9% cash back through DubLi, well, I heavily consider. I also reevaluate my budget, and decide what is going by the wayside, and immediately account for the reallocation of funds. Make no mistake, this constant consciousness is tiring and time-consuming. Someday, I hope, this will be rote.

When I moved into my current space a year ago, I sloughed off the suggestion that this place would be too big for me. I didn’t see it that way. I wanted the studio. I’m glad I have it. I also have to admit this place is too big for me. My smaller one was about $250.00 more a month, for one-third the space. Ridiculous, but true; it was also comfortable. I would have stayed if I could have afforded to.

Mini homes are on the upswing. I love the idea, the minimal cash layout, the reusable resources, and the limited space that demands minimal. To me, a mini home feels like a hug encouraging a conscious, embraceable lifestyle. The only drawback to mini homes is the probable lack of studio space. I’d need another mini home for that. It could double as a guest cottage, though.

So, yes, in a dreamland way, I’m onboard with this particularly appealing program. I’m keen on this mind-blowing sub-culture, hopefully headed more mainstream. Minimalism. I can do that.

Quote for the Week: jakorte 08/05/2014

Less More or Less Contentment Knabble Aug 05 2014

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

The Minimalists: http://www.theminimalists.com/

Leo Baubata: http://zenhabits.net/

I’m in love with this Tumbleweed: http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/blogs/tumbleweed/14061973-step-inside-a-tumbleweed-cottage

 (* If you are interested in signing up for DubLi, please, please, let me know and I will send you a referral link! I get credit, and you get cash back on purchases. Yes, it works! I have 7.56 cash back in my account after using a $10.00 off coupon for Kohl’s to buy bras on sale, earning $10.00 Kohl’s cash, plus I also got 9% back from DubLi)

http://us.mall.dubli.com/?BArefno=9321112