Blah-blah-blah, hai!

Well, I made it through today. And I even got in a quick walk outside in the direct sunlight. That part was especially awesome (and beneficial). I’ll need to be sure I do the same tomorrow. Our lunch break is even longer tomorrow, though, so I likely can get a much longer walk in there.

It has been interesting doing this all today. I’m working with Japanese folks, talking about Japan. I do this every so often, yet it still surprises me each time how much I find that I want more of it in my life. I have no official reason, yet I want to pursue a certification in Japanese. I want to be at a higher level of conversing. Half the time, I don’t even necessarily want to say anything myself, but it would be nice to have a fuller understanding of all of the conversations and chit-chat and everything. I usually get the general gist of it all, and often understand almost every word. However, there are definitely times when I have understood only a word or few, and have no real idea of what is being said. I know I can survive in Japanese, but I keep finding more and more so that I want to thrive in it.

Man…

Post-a-day 2021

^Only took minor consideration this time

February 28

Today has been my birthday. It was lovely.

We spent it at the beach, amidst the sand and water and birds and fish and boatloads and boatloads of fog. We made sand mandalas and a labyrinth (and walked it), threw a boomerang-y frisbee, – no, it wasn’t designed to work that way, but it did today! – walked a ton on the beach, ate a lovely Paleo brunch and lovely Paleo cupcakes, opened pen presents, drank yummy teas, played some French Monopoly and some Bop-It Extreme, made sand candles, and had a generally lovely, joyful time just being together. I also played with my jump rope (still haven’t found the right length) and practiced double-unders for a bit, and talked on the phone to a few select people.

And I am extremely grateful for my life, and I am especially grateful for what I have been able to do in it lately. It had been a lot these past few years, and even these past several months – stress after stress after stress – and yet I have made it through all of them, better than ever I was before them.

Gratitude, World, Universe, God.

Happy love unto all of us, as we travel this next journey around the sun.

Post-a-day 2021

^Man! Almost missed it!

Birthdays

What is the difference between one’s birthday and the other 365 days of the year?

I think it is the fact that we intentionally celebrate it. Otherwise, it would be just like all the other days in a year.

I, therefore, recommended celebrating oneself intentionally, lovingly, and fully for one’s birthday each year. Take the time to express gratitude for this life, and to celebrate all that one has done within and with it.

Happy birthday eve to me… 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Minimal thought

Accountability, even when freezing

Today took a lot in the tidying work. For one thing, it was ridiculously cold out – seriously, it was -2°C most of the day today, and we even had snow on the ground, and some of it never melted!!! – and that meant it was also cold in the house. So, my body was struggling to find balance in warmth almost all day. That took effort. For another, a creature broke into the walls somehow last night, and CHOMPed away from around 2:00am to just after 7:00am. Vibrating wood reverberations and teeth scratching on wood and all that jazz. And yes, it was right near my bed (a wall or two away, of course, but close enough). It woke me up at about 2:00; kept me up as I looked for a solution for maybe twenty minutes; kept me up another half hour because it was so loud and stress-inducing (because imagine having a wild, potentially-rabid animal break through a wall in the inside of your house – do you really want to wake up to that in the morning?); and then left me in a stress-y half-sleep for the same reasons. I woke up just after 6:00am, totally not rested. But I went outside and played for a bit, and that was fun.

Photos here:

I particularly enjoyed the idea of wearing the unicorn onesie while playing out on the snow. Because that is pure magic right there: a rainbow unicorn playing in the snow in Houston. Nothing about that idea is less than spectacularly magical. And no, I think nobody even saw me, because the world was closed up for the day, and so no one was up yet, let alone going outside yet.

After that, I ate some yummy food – leftovers from my valentine onigiri that I turned into a warm, absurdly satisfying salad – and then went upstairs to get to work. Just after seven, the chomping finally stopped, and I could focus. I got a bit done, but was so sleepy, I ended up getting on my bed for a nap around nine, and slept for just over two hours. Hard. And gratefully so.

Then I tutored and ate, and then got back to work with tidying.

I temporarily put away the DVDs I am keeping, which was super satisfying, and then I made it through all my hair accessories, all my money- and identification-related documents/cards, all my electronics (and cables and all that even-remotely-electrical stuff), and all my cameras and camera-related stuff. I was rather surprised at how much foreign currency I had sitting with my money-related stuff. I kept the individual ones I wanted to keep – because I’ve always loved having actual currency from other nations on hand – and added the rest of the excess to the pile of US money that was ridiculous for me to be keeping sitting around, and the cottage cheese container (previously cleaned out, obviously) filled with about $50 or so of coins, in preparation of a trip to the bank (when the world opens up here again) and a direct deposit into my savings account that I’m not allowed to touch.

I was surprised at how long the first parts of those took me today. I got really weighed down after the important money stuff one. I was standing with my head against the angled ceiling, warming my hands over the oil heater, having an imaginary conversation with… actually, no… I was having a real conversation with an imaginary person, about how I didn’t want to do it anymore – I wanted to curl up with a movie, and maybe even fall asleep for a while and have to watch it again, whenever I woke up. That’s what I felt like doing. That and crying. But I wanted to keep myself accountable to my higher goals and wishes – and so I made myself reach out to my accountability partner.

‘I just want to call someone, and say how much I want to watch a movie and sleep; take a rest from all of this, instead of trekking through any more today,’ I thought to myself, imagining how easy it would be to have the other person agree with me that I deserved a break.

Pause.

‘Well, you do have an accountability partner. Tell her that, and see what she says,’ I thought.

“Ha!”

And so, I had the conversation with myself, taking turns being the one working and the accountability partner, as I had to do so much at the start of all of this. And it was spectacular. She – meaning I – reminded me of why I care about all of this in the first place; of how it’s okay to be scared and terrified; and of how I want to keep my word to myself, especially on this birthday gift to myself. And I still felt heard. She agreed with everything I presented, and understood them and got them completely – like, seriously more than anyone has ever gotten me on something, right? It was very cool. And she also was present to my true intentions, and helped me stick with them. And it took only a few minutes for the whole thing… we just are that much in sync with one another! 😂

Anyway, that bit was the whole point of this today. I went really tangential today. Oh, well… that’s kind of how this whole weekend has felt. Even Monday has been a tangent of the weekend, instead of the start of its own week. 😛

P.S. Did I share this lovely photo of my valentine onigiri skills? They are even pink from beet powder, and 100% Paleo.

Post-a-day 2021

^Only slightly had to think about it

Whew

Well, today definitely had a lot of stress in it for me. I had a wonderful morning that included a workout, an awesome coffee smoothie, great breakfast and a wonderful walk with my dad, and misty weather. But a lot of my tidying work today weighed on me. I kept having to re-center myself and have myself stay present to the task at hand, and not get overwhelmed by how much more there still is to do. I had to do that over and over and over again today, I was getting so nervous and stressed. I think it was a bit of a shock, when I realized that today is already the ninth of the month. I want to have all of this done by my birthday at the end of the month. However, I intend to stay at a beach house not here beginning on the Tuesday before my birthday, the 23rd. So, that means that today’s having been the ninth of the month is significantly more significant than it would have been if I were going to be home that whole week. So, that kept getting to me today.

However, I got everything folded and put in temporary location storage, except for my few jackets that need to be folded. I put my shoes away, and they look amazing. I have some reading from the secondary book to do tomorrow morning, as I move into the book category of tidying. (I know, that seems an odd sentence, but it is accurate! Haha)

I am a little nervous about the book category, because of my Japanese books… I haven’t gone through them since moving back from Japan, and I’m nervous to let any of them go…, But, after having read from the main book for the tidying tonight, I feel much more confident about it, and I believe I will be comfortable letting some of them go.

Only tomorrow shall tell, though! Fingers crossed!

Post-a-day 2021

^Phew! Just barely!

Sunday, Fun?day

Today was very long. I tutored twice, which was great, but, other than that, all I did was work on the tidying. I put a few things online for sale, and gave myself a time limit for when they needed to be sold (otherwise I will be giving them away). Beyond that, it was just the tidying. I have another three or four or five bags that were added to the donation gathering on the second floor landing. And those are standard kitchen trash bags, filled with folded clothing and shoes.

The categories today were harder for me Dash I couldn’t just look at them and be clear on what spark joy and what didn’t. But, by following the initial guidelines she gave, and picking my top three within three minutes first, figuring out what sparks joy within the category suddenly became very easy. I got rid of a lot of stuff I didn’t expect I would get rid of. I also kept more than I expected to keep, especially in shoes and scarves. When I think about it, it seems that I actually do wear a lot of different shoes. I know I wear a lot of different scarves. So, those two categories makes sense that I would have kept a lot. I have already put a lot of love and effort into them, if I am using them so often.

***Note: I might be somewhat babbling right now… I am very tired mentally, and also somewhat sleepy, so my thinking is coming slowly right now… i’m not even typing this… I’m using the dictation feature on my phone, I’m so tired, and, also, my eyes are not focusing well enough.***

I’m so tired, I’m not even able to keep myself sitting fully upright, and even the idea of going to the gym at all tomorrow sounds exhausting. And I’m not even thinking about the fact that I’m very likely to go to the early workout… Yikes. Haha

Anyway, I had an idea earlier in the evening that I wanted to play my drum tonight, so I’m going to go do that. Sweet dreams, everyone.

Post-a-day 2021

^!!!

Clothes tidying

Wow! So much happened today with tidying up. I’ve finished going through all of my tops – shirts, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, etc. – and bottoms – pants, shorts, leggings, skirts; and all of my dresses and skirts. It turns out that I really like wearing light blue… and I mean really like wearing it. Probably because of my eyes, I feel amazing every time I see myself in a mirror with medium and light blue clothing. It also turns out that a massive portion of my clothing is athleticwear… maybe about a quarter of it. And that is in terms of physical space. If we counted actual items, I probably have almost as many pieces in athleticwear as I have in shirts, bottoms, sweaters, and jackets combined.

To be fair, though, I do exercise a lot, and go do athletic-y things a lot.

Anyway, there are a handful of trash bags with clothes to be donated downstairs now. Perhaps there were five of them? And that’s folded clothing, not just heaped in in a messy pile…

I still have my Indian outfits and all the small things – belts, scarves, socks, etc. – to do tomorrow. If I can get through all of them, though, I’ll be finished with sorting the clothing category. And that would be super exciting. 😀

I would like to make hat happen tomorrow. However, I also have two tutoring sessions, maybe three, and one needs a bit of extra prep before I go into it. I also want to make a quick trip to Ikea to check out a particular bedspread. I have my regular and my warm sheets now, so I want to be ready with the comforter/bedspread as soon as I get rid of the old sheets and move to the new ones I love. (Not sure yet where linens lie on the list of tidying.)

Anyway, I’m wiped – if that all weren’t already enough, my body is also menstruating, which always seems to take so much effort, even an easy day seems like I worked hard the whole time. I’ve a touch of a headache, so Imma drink some more water and get to sleep ASAP.

Goodnight, folks. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^I didn’t mess it up this time 🙂

Another one checked

I am adjusting better each day to scheduling out and committing myself to getting this work done. I even was able to go spend half the day with my mom today, then tutor over two and a half hours, and am still completing my tasks for the day before bed tonight. I brought my reading with me, and I sat down while at my mom’s and worked on that for a while, when she got busy with other things. Then, I did some extra cleaning up at home, even vacuuming part of my room (despite the fact that most of it has piles of clothes now, I vacuumed the most-used part of the floor), which made a beautiful difference. And getting myself to vacuum is usually rough. This was easy, somehow…. this method is rubbing off in more ways than one already.

I know it sounds so simple, why think anything of it? But this is big for me, and in a very good way. So, I am delighted and excited for my accomplishments there. 🙂

Anyway, got to finish that reading and do my joy check practice and order round! (Getting that stretch in, too!!)

Post-a-day 2021

^Totally got it wrong at first…

Wow

Today went much more efficiently than yesterday on the tidying process front. I actually accomplished everything I’d planned for the day. I didn’t do the stretch, and that’s okay. I did accomplish some other tasks that have been avoided for a long time, though. That was awesome. Part of those was going to Target to get a few specific things. In doing my vision board the other day, I discovered that I truly do not want to keep my bed comforters. They are lovely and they have been sources of support and comfort for me for many years. And they do not fill me with joy. Not at all, actually. They make me feel safe like a child. But they make me feel like a child, and not like myself.

So, I looked around intentionally and carefully at some comforters and bedspreads today while at Target, and I got a very good feel for what I am wanting for my own bed now. While looking, I discovered a set of sheets that were just a Wow. moment for me. I thought about it, and I realized that I actually don’t want to keep most of my current sheets (also childhood ones).

— You see, I had a full-sized bed that I had purchased, and lovely sheets and a mattress and all several years ago, when I had been teaching in Houston. But, when I moved to work in Japan, I gave that all up. Because I had bought a set of sheets for winter in Japan, on my visit back to Houston for my step-brother’s wedding, those sheets still belong to me. However, when I returned from Japan to Houston, I was living at my mom’s house for the first while, in a tiny room, surrounded by the boxes of everything that belonged to me (with a handful of exceptions due to my boxes being in the attic or garage). My mom had kept the two twin mattresses when she had gotten rid of the bunk beds a long time ago. So, she had stacked these two mattresses on top of one another, and that was my bed for months. Fun fact: They were about as old as I was. (And so were some of the sheets. The ones I used most, though, were one that I had gotten only fourteen years beforehand.) So, that wasn’t super comfy. I came across this twin bed set at Ikea with a friend one day that could be placed side-by-side as a queen(?) or stacked as a single twin bed with a hidden extra mattress underneath (not bunk beds, but one normal twin bed height). My mom was going to get that set, but then told me to go ahead and pick out a mattress that I wanted to use, too. So, she donated the two old mattresses, and I upgraded to an awesome twin mattress with a bed frame. When I moved out, my mom told me to take the bed with me. Thus the reason I have a twin bed with sheets from my childhood.—

So, I went ahead and purchased the sheets. They met all of my criteria, and they absolutely delighted me. I even did a little jiggle about them. When I got home, I went and washed and dried them almost right away. That’s huge for me, by the way.

Now, they are folded lovingly, awaiting my future bedspread/comforter. Hopefully that all will happen in the next week or so!

For tomorrow, though, I must do some more reading, and then, hopefully, go through the thigh-high mound of stacked shirts and tops. It was difficult today not to go ahead and pull out so many things that I know I don’t want to keep. But I will follow this process properly now, and all the way through.

At that, I bid you a lovely night! 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Only slightly had to think about it this time 😉

And so, it begins

So, today started it all for real! I did my first day of work on tidying up my physical space life, and thereby my entire life, today. I read the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo a few years ago, and it did me so well, I cannot properly describe it all. However, I did not do her program – the one presented in the book – fully at the time. I was not ready for that. But I was ready to begin working with her method.

I grew up, as my dad mentioned yesterday, in a very different world at home than a tidy and concise and non-excess and non-cluttered home. On both sides of my family, my parents had grown up in a world where one may waste nothing. By default, that turned into the idea that getting rid of something, if it is even able to be repaired and possibly be used again, is wasteful. And so, even when things were no longer being used or of use to us in any way, those things would get stuck somewhere in the sidelines of our homes, taking up space without benefit. We rarely even donated things. I was the youngest girl cousin, so I got all the hand-me-downs from everyone. And, whether I liked them or not, and whether they ever fit me or not, I was them stuck with them. I had no sister or cousin to whom I could hand down anything, so I had to keep everything.

Waste not. Right?

But through reading and working with Marie Kondo’s book, I discovered an entirely new and empowered outlook on items. It aligned beautifully with how I had often felt, especially in recent years, and it expanded even further than I ever had delved or dared to consider. And it gave empirical data on many of those ideas and practices. And so, my life began to alter as I did the work with her book.

But I did not complete the work, and I knew that I was not completing it at the time. And I was okay with that. I just wasn’t ready yet. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, I tell you: there is a lot of emotion and psychological dénouement that happens through following her method. And it is in an amazing and transformational way.

Now, as I have been working so much on my participation in life (mind), as well as my physical presence in life (body) and my self-expression, I realized that it would be not only unfair but untrue of me to leave out my living space from this work. Especially considering my efforts to be somewhere specific with my physical fitness by my birthday this year, it only made sense that I put a completion date on cleaning up fully my living space, such that it, too, will reflect who I truly am and want to be in this life right now.

So, I reached out for an accountability partner. No one replied. I took that as a sign that I was meant to be my own accountability partner. I created a Google Doc that I shared with myself. I have homework each night for the following day’s tasks. I share at the end of each day how it went, what I did and didn’t do, and what my plans and intentions are for the following day. I, as the partner, give feedback and congratulations as I see fit and/or necessary. So far, through all 24 hours of it, it has been awesome. I now have four weeks to go, max.

I am quite excited about tomorrow, and I am still entirely nervous and terrified. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

^Phew! Almost missed it again…