Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Time Is NOW.

Excuse me while I give myself a little pep talk, here....... 

I think I am a natural procrastinator. Or, maybe that's just a cute way to say I am naturally lazy. I like a relaxed lifestyle, with no drama, no pressure, just kind of spontaneously going about my days doing whatever comes to mind, free of expectations and rules.

I've been pretty blessed in this,  because hubbs and I are childless for the foreseeable future; and even though we both have full time jobs, we pretty much do live spontaneously, free of the constraints and restrictions that come with having offspring. This has enabled me in my *ahem* laziness.

I like to put things off, stop in the middle of things, talk about doing stuff and never get it done, or make an excuse like "I am too busy right now to do so and so" or "I am so stressed out with work right now to finish so and so" or "I just don't have the energy to do so and so", and on and on.

Not that I never get anything done; because I do - I mean, just look at the projects I've posted on this blog.

But as I've gotten older, I've gotten more set in my ways, and I find myself putting off things or making excuses for not doing them more and more. A year ago, everything about my life was messy and unorganized. My work schedule, my family activities, my home; even the tack room in the horse barn. I felt like my life was a swirling vortex of disorganized, chaotic messyness.
No, I'm not a hoarder. Yes, I did clean my home. All the time. But I would clean and tidy things, or get a grip on my schedule, and then I'd sit back and let it all go back to the way it was. So my home would be clean and organized one day, and a week later, falling apart around my ears in a swirl of pet hair, dirty clothes, and piles of "stuff" needing to be put away. That couldn't be attended to in a timely manner, because of work. 

Sometime last year I started noticing the cycle and I didn't like it. I decided the only way to change it was to change me, and the only person who can change me is me. Or God; and while He could just change me in a sweeping, life changing miracle, I think in this case, He'd want me to make the changes myself, and be a better person because of it.

So, sometime around the beginning of the year, I resolved to do things - and live life - a little differently.

And I started with my kitchen. Dish towels, my plastic storage containers, and cleaning supplies were jumbled up in the cabinets below my salvaged, vintage, white enamel, double drainboard farmhouse kitchen sink - the kitchen sink we designed out kitchen remodel around. (Our half-completed kitchen remodel, I should confess.)

I sorted, cleaned, and organized everything under the sink, and made a personal vow to keep it that way all year. And I have.

My pretty vintage silverware was in a complete jumble in the drawer. My kitchen gadgets were equally as messy in another drawer. I sorted, cleaned and divided all the items into neat little trays that I thriftily picked up at a Goodwill store. And I vowed to keep it that way all year. And I have.

It seems like such a little thing - and maybe it is to someone who is "OCD" about organization, or someone who stays at home all the time and has endless amounts of time on hand to organize dish towels; but for a woman like me who has a full time job, a small business to run, a farm to do chores on, and 11 horses to train/ride/manage/care for, plus likes to find time to spend with family and friends, not to mention maintain a relationship with My Man, keeping the towels organized is a huge step.

I still have the same amount of time I had before. There are still the same amount of hours in the day. But the difference was in how I personally chose to allot those hours I have at home.
When I folded the dish towels, sitting on the couch in front of the TV watching Gabby Douglas do back flips on a balance beam during the London Olympics, I made the effort to get up in the next commercial break and place the towels in the basket under the sink - instead of my old cop-out: leaving them in a stack on the dining room table for days and days, then getting mad because my cat Brutus took a nap on them and shed out half of his fur on my clean towels.

This may seem like second nature to the "OCD"  housewife, (and I say that lovingly, because I have a sister who is OCD about housekeeping - ) it is a big deal for me, when what I really want to do is leave them on the table for the cat to nap on because I've worked 12 or so hours at a draining job all day, or dealt with nasty customers in my online shop, or handled some kind of family crisis, plus mucked out six horse stalls and schooled two naughty horses, and I just want to vegetate and do nothing for a minute and watch Gabby Douglas fly around the uneven bars like a squirrel. I don't want to be bothered with putting the towels away under the sink, I can just get them halfway there (to the dining table) and get them the rest of the way (to the basket under the sink) tomorrow. Because, after all, tomorrow is another day (said in my best Scarlett O'Hara southern accent).

Yes, it's just towels. or silverware. But it signifies something else entirely; something life-wide. 

That first step in the kitchen really motivated me in other areas of my home and life. I started stripping off the floor paint in the front hall of our old house, like we've talked about for - well - ever since I moved in here with My Man. I stripped off the paint from the staircase and re-did that. Okay, so it's taken me all summer, and I still have just a smidge left to do before it's all the way done; but hey. Self-done home remodels don't happen overnight.

I decided to quit complaining about my naughty, beautiful mare, "Nell"-  and do something about her behavior, including get help from a trainer, and take the time to work her myself in my expensive round pen My Man bought me for Christmas. Okay, so it's taken most of the summer, and she's not 100% fully "broke in" yet, but horse training doesn't happen overnight, either. And, I'll be in the saddle by week's end.

I started getting serious about saving money out of each and every pay check, and really blew myself away with what I saved in two months by cutting spending and really evaluating wants vs. needs. By budgeting only on  less than half of what we collectively earned.  I saved over $3000, in a separate account from our checking. And now we can pay our hefty tax bill, without help from the bank. And still have cash left over. (Ok, a little brag, there. LOL)

I want to nurture the entrepreneur in me, and start another business (besides my Etsy business). I've been taking steps in this direction. The other day I got in my truck to go on a little "business trip" having to do with my  new business idea, and was compelled to say these words aloud as I drove off: "Today, I am taking steps to change the rest of my life." I can't tell you how empowering saying those words aloud to myself was!

 The time to do it - whatever  "it" is -  is now. The time for saving money is now; even if it's just $20 a month. The time to ride horses is now, even if I want to watch the Olympics on TV instead. The time to change the way you eat is now; don't buy those doughnuts (Ahem.... My Man)! The time to organize my time and my home is now. The time to take that college course is now. The time to change my bad habits is now, so I can enjoy the rest of my life and not reach my senior years  regretting the time I spent running around in a frenzy mopping up the results of my laziness and procrastination, weary from a life of disorganization and chaos.

My life goal is to reach the end of my life and be satisfied. Satisfied with the life I lived, the things I was able to accomplish, the relationships I built and maintained. I want to be able to come to the end of my life and be able to say without a doubt that I did everything I ever wanted to do - and then some. That life was full, fun, and without regret. 

The time is now. 

1 comment:

Denise said...

You have inspired me to do as you do because I am just the same way. I do things half way and yes the cats lay on the clean clothes and bed sheets and then their hair is all over everything. I have been doing better about putting away the clothes if not the day I bring them in off the line then the next day at the latest but boy I sure do need to organize and put things away in other areas of the house. I blame it on being creative LOL.