Sunday, January 11, 2015

A New Year

I was talking to the Fashionista early last week and we agreed that 2014 was a strange year. I don’t know if anybody but we two shared this experience, but I can definitely say that for myself everything seemed discombobulated. Comparatively speaking, I did very little writing, and when I could bring myself to edit, it was mostly due to imposing a strict schedule on myself.

It’s strange, because in college, I wrote almost every day – at least every other day, for sure. Besides, I had a part-time job, a 15 credit course load every semester, plus cooking and other household chores. I had a reasonably active social life, since I had weekly girls’ nights with friends, occasional outings with classmates, and (for the last 3 semesters) a boyfriend. I was very busy, but everything seemed to work out smoothly.

In some ways, I think I’ve been looking to rediscover the personal balance I felt in college ever since.

As you know from a recent post, I spent about a week at the beginning of December using the KonMari method on my personal belongings. In her book, the author of the method said that almost everyone she’s coached through the process has moved on from cleaning out their personal belongings to reordering their lives. Perhaps because the method requires a very clear picture of the self you want to express through the belongings you choose to keep, you end up motivated to work harder on realizing that picture of yourself.

Strangely enough, when I was formulating the reason behind my overhaul of my possession, the reason that emerged was, ‘I want to be an adult.’ For example, I have a predilection for interesting knickknacks, but my room was overwhelmed with them. I cleared out a plethora of little figurines and decorations because I had no particular attachment to them any longer, plus I felt like the crowded surfaces said ‘teenager’ to visitors. This was misleading, as I’ve not been a teenager in close to a decade! I’ve also cleared out everything from my wardrobe which didn’t fit with my current style vision, because I want to look like a pulled-together and chic person – an adult.

Of course, externals aren’t the only things which make maturity. It is true, though, that the home and wardrobe which reflect the self I want to be are encouraging me to come out of my 2014 slump with a better attitude and a clearer sense of what I want to achieve.

I have spent the last week and a half since New Year’s Day thinking about changes I need. I have a calendar with notes written all over, because I’m the (nerdy) sort of person who is more likely to complete something if I get to check it off on paper. However, my plan is working. I’ve started going to bed a bit earlier so I can get up at 7 AM every morning and take care of small tasks that were often relegated to the bottom of my to-do list last year. I’ve also written two poems, done some editing, started a new story, and composed a blog post in the past eight days.

My younger brother works in construction and he’s visiting home now, since his next round of jobs won’t start until February. One of my stipulations for leading a more grown-up life was that I didn’t want to sacrifice time with him while he’s around, or with other family members and friends. There are also obligations like walking my dog and contributing to housekeeping. My goal was to achieve the sort of balance I had in college, where I was busy, but also happy because everything fit into its place in my life.

The KonMari method, in fact, encourages you to choose a place for everything you own. What I’m finding is that it has also prompted me to choose a time for everything I do.

Last year I only managed to post to my blog an average of 1.5 times a month. Considering that the previous two years featured at least 2.5, and sometimes as many as 4.5 posts a month, that was pretty pitiful. It indicates something about my general attitude toward life, in fact. When I can’t find anything to write about, it means that my mind is not in a good place.

I have made some big personal changes in my life lately, though, and I think they are leading to a new peace. My brain and body feel awake again. Granted, it will take me a little time to shake off the bad habits of last year, but my calendar will help with that. And as part of my attempt to set a new pace for myself, I hope to return to a once a week posting schedule for the blog (yes – I’m penciling it in on my calendar!). My overarching topic will be a return to balance on the tightrope of life.

I hope everyone else is enjoying a good start to 2015 also. I’m looking forward to spending time with you in the blog-world this year!

1 comment:

  1. Pacing oneself is a good goal. I have some family members who have oodles of time now. And others who are in young family mode but don't want to give up on their previous independence. Which really does need to change just a tad when you have dependents.

    I'm in that in-between time. Since I am a care giver during the week I don't have as much free time, but I also do have my evenings and weekends. And sometimes more or less depending on if my spouse is traveling.

    My own writing has shifted just a tad. I am no longer worried about posting in every prompt that I enjoy. Which frees up that implied obligation to read everything everyone else has written on the same prompt. I've also taken to combining prompts. I come up with some interesting things that way. For example:

    https://julesgemstonepages.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/embraced-by-reality-a-haibun-1-11/

    I'm still working on spending less, collecting less and giving up more, especially in the things department. While on a recent vacation (the end of last year) - I brought home mostly photographs. And didn't even buy any gifts for others. I am hoping someday my gifts will be in putting together booklets of my writing.

    Keep in your Zen Zone or rather your KonMari Method.
    All the best, Jules

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