Don’t you hate it when you go to bed and your brain won’t shut off!?!?! Sometimes, hitting “publish” on my blog has the same effect. This post could probably be a result of both of those events.
While the title of this post is “Minutiae” the post is very long and tedious to probably everyone but me
I’ve been trying to figure out a “theme” for myself this year. For some reason in my mind I think if I have a theme it would be easier for me to stick to some goals I want to meet or improve on what I’m already doing. The word “control” keeps popping in my mind. I need to better control my weight-loss. I need to better control my finances. I need to better control my housekeeping. I need to better control my hobby stash. Okay, maybe my theme should be “better” since that keeps preceding “control.”
I never discuss my weight-loss efforts here. I don’t know why. I know there are other people out there trying to fight the battle of the bulge. I use the online Weight Watchers plan so I can use the eTools. I do not attend meetings since you have to pay for each one and there are no monthly passes here which automatically give you access to eTools.
My hobbies are very sedentary and I know they don’t help but I refuse to give them up. I’m going
to try to focus more on my weight-loss efforts in 2013. I weighed less for my first 2013 weigh-in than I did for my first 2012 weigh-in but I’m not happy with that. My 2 large hurdles are activity and Mister.
Right now it’s too cold to me to walk in the mornings and when the warmer afternoons get here I get too lazy because I’m enjoying snuggling with the puppies and a cup of tea while stitching. Then the evening arrives and the cold comes back. I do not have clothing (bottoms) to walk in cold. I’ve been searching for sweatpants but am surprised at how hard it is to find any right now!
Mister and I have one day over the weekend where we eat out. In the past it was usually Friday since her didn’t have class and we’d go to the movies and out to eat. Last year on that day I’d ask first thing in the morning where we would be eating so I could plan my points for the day. It became quite evident very early on that the answer from him would be very unreliable as he’d quite frequently change his mind and it would be somewhere that was very hard for me to track points on. I gave in and gave up too easily. I don’t think he’s doing it intentionally because I know he’s concerned about potential health problems from my weight so this year I plan on being more assertive and in control. Of course right now he has class 5 days a week
I know. It’s not polite to talk about money. Nothing too lower-class here, though.
Once I stopped working and started getting an “allowance” I quit balancing my checkbook. I am trying to get back into writing checks for two reasons. First, it helps retailers (who still accept them) save money since they don’t have to pay a fee if I write a check. I used to offer to use my debit card but these days so many banks charge fees for debit purchases too. Second, I balance my checkbook religiously when I write checks and I keep a better handle on how I’m spending my money.
I got into a really bad habit this past year of charging things on my credit card and then transferring to cover. There’s no need for me to be doing this when I don’t get any type of reward for charging on my CC. I’m also going to increase the amount I’m putting on that CC and get it gone!
I’m also going to start putting some of my “allowance” into savings for “stitchy travel.”
It’s been a bit of a blow to my psyche to become “dependent” on Mister’s retirement pay. I think doing the above things will help me feel a little more independent and in control.
I can remember in the not so distant past that every time someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up I would answer a stay-at-home-wife. I did get to be that for a very short time while we were stationed in Okinawa and I loved it. Such a shocker since I was raised to be an independent woman (by my father). This past year has been such a learning experience for me and I can’t wait to see what I learn in 2013.
One thing that I absolutely swear by is FlyLady. I don’t follow her routines or zones exactly the same as she publishes but I have taken what she’s given me and modified it to work in my home, which is what I believe she wants all of us to do.
Our new home – I guess I should stop calling it that now that I’ve lived here for a year — Our home is twice the size of any house I have ever lived in. I knew immediately that I would have to change my housekeeping ways if I was to stay on top of utter CHAOS (can’t have anyone over syndrome) in such a huge place. My home is not perfectly clean or perfectly decorated but I am not ashamed to invite anyone into it nor do I freak out if my doorbell rings.
When I lived in California my house was small enough that I could follow FlyLady’s zones fairly closely as to how they’re published. This gave me the anchor I needed and the time I needed to learn the mindset. In this house I’ve changed it. I have a different “zone” every day, instead of changing zones each week. Every Monday – Friday I do my daily routines and I ”do” one room of my house. Saturday and Sunday I do my daily routines but I don’t “do” a zone, and I rarely do laundry on Sunday.
For example: Monday – Friday I do my daily routines (make my bed; shower and dress; swish and swipe master bath; take dirty clothes downstairs; start laundry; swish and swipe downstairs powder room (next to laundry room); eat breakfast while watching the news). It takes me less than 20 minutes to make my bed, swish and swipe both bathrooms, carry the laundry down and start it, and make my breakfast and start unloading the dishwasher – I usually have oatmeal for breakfast so while that’s nuking I’m unloading the dishwasher. It all sounds and looks like a lot when I write it and read it back but I’ve been doing it so long now that I don’t even think about it anymore. If I’m going out of the house it’ll take me longer since I’ll be doing more than slapping on some moisturizer.
Then I spend approximately 30-60 minutes each morning on my zone; rebooting the laundry; plan/start prep for our evening meal; and, spend 2 15-minute sessions decluttering. These days the decluttering is strictly in my stitching room. The length of time in a room depends on that room. If it’s my living room then I dust my furniture and shutters and vacuum. This might take me 30 minutes if the dogs are in there helping by bringing me toys. Same goes for my dining room. If it’s my kitchen it can take me an hour since I have to also damp mop the floor, wipe out some of the shelves in the refrigerator, etc. while I’m purging leftovers. Plus, it’s a much larger room than my dining room or my living room. It only takes me more than an hour if I don’t stick to my routines. This is how I get so much stitching done. I feel guilty if I sit down to stitch and I haven’t done anything in my house.
Where I can improve is starting myself a control journal as suggested on FlyLady’s site. She publishes missions (chores) to do in each zone and I think I’m going to start printing them out and putting them in a control journal so when I get to that room in my house I can do them. There are some things she talks about doing that slips my mind (like dusting the ceiling fans and baseboards). The nice thing about these missions is they never take very long to do and make a huge difference.
By this time are you (if anyone is reading this) thinking I’m anal or OCD? I’m not, but I do have ADD and this helps me from being overwhelmed. If you’re not familiar with ADD, sometimes tasks get so overwhelming that we don’t know where to start, so we don’t start, then the task gets even more overwhelming and it’s a vicious circle that will cause a melt-down. When I start on a room I start at the left and work clockwise around a room. Every single time!
We sold a commercial grade ladder on a local Facebook group on Saturday. It was like winning the lottery! Our first piece of “clutter” gone in 2013. Mister has started gathering the bike parts he no longer needs/wants to sell on eBay. I have been decluttering my own hobby stash for over a year, but haven’t put any of it up for sale. That’s about to change.
I have been stitching for 35 years and rarely got rid of any of the designs that I’ve already stitched. I currently have 3 copy-paper boxes full of patterns, kits, etc., stuff to sell. I’ll be listing it on my blog first, then on a couple of Facebook groups (and my own page), then I’ll go the eBay route. I did think of opening an Etsy shop so I’ll have to look into fees, etc., for that. I have blogged this before, but I also have very few of my stitched pieces hanging on my walls. I’m going to first use whatever funds we generate to finish buying the framing supplies I need and get a lot of those pieces framed.
Getting rid of excess stash and having my beautiful crafts on display will help me control the clutter in my stitching room and not be so overwhelmed by how much stuff I have that I don’t use.
This last bit is hard. I want to blog more and share more photos of what I’ve been doing. My computer is upstairs in my stitching room. My stitching is done downstairs, but all my other “crafting” is done upstairs in my stitching room. I’m trying to figure out a way to get myself in front of the computer more. I actually miss blogging!