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When I woke up this morning, I almost despaired. My apartment had not one square inch of cleared space to spare. My junk was everywhere. I was planning to have some larger furniture pieces taken out to the storage unit today to wait until this spring when they will either be hauled off by family members or sold in “The Greatest Yard Sale of Time and All Eternity.” (Yes, that is the official name of the yard sale I’m hosting this spring.) Alas, these prodigious pieces persist this evening, but I have high hopes they will find their new home in the storage unit by Monday night.
I decided I would focus on taming the mayhem in the house. Because I thought removal of some big furniture was imminent, I had emptied them out, and their contents were strewn about. AND I had had the kids bring in some stuff OUT of storage so I could sort it. Suffice it to say, the place was trashed. It’s still dirty, but I called roll and took some names today!
I feel like I can’t really start shedding more stuff until I know what I currently have. To that end, I labeled a bunch of empty bins with household categories like, “makeup”, “painting and sanding”, “office supplies” and so on. Then I went through all the crap all over the house and sorted it all into those categories. Guess how many scissors I discovered I had… 15! Fifteen scissors! I can safely sell thirteen of them. Guess how many nail clippers I found… 13! I bet I have over a hundred pens. I know I have 12 different types of hair gel. Honestly, it’s a miracle this house has EVER been clean.
As I was throwing everything into its categories with its friends, I did a quick sort. I have about 3 new bins of stuff to price for the yard sale as a result. And now the fun part starts! Now that I have all household items in categories I can leisurely pick a category a day (or every other day) and mercilessly cull. I feel so encouraged by today’s progress.
Thanks to my friend, Manu, who sat and visited with me for 7 straight hours while I worked.
Folks, this is really happening. I really am going to be set free. I can’t wait!
After almost four years of never working out, I went “running” this morning. “Running” is in quotes because, at best, I jogged for 4 minutes. Things started out just fine. I was feeling pretty good about myself, headed up the avenues with Christina Aguilera singing in my ears, when I was struck by the headache. I know you know what I’m talking about. The headache that makes you wonder if God is punishing you. It is sudden. It makes you stop and take in more oxygen. It’s the warning you get that you’re just about to throw up from exertion. I dry heaved into the bushes, felt really dizzy, wheeled around and ambled my way up to a grassy spot on the hill overlooking city creek, the capitol and downtown SLC.
I took a moment to snap the photo shown here and headed back home. My head was pounding. It was really very cold and my face and ears were frozen. I must’ve been clenching my teeth, because my jaw was killing me. I was in a quite a bit of pain. And then I started coughing. You know the cough. The cough that comes from years of laziness and intermittent smoking. I welcomed the cough because I knew that even though I hadn’t gone very far, my lungs were already opening up. For that matter, I welcomed the pain. It was further proof I had done something worthwhile.
My “run” was very informative. I am obviously even more out of shape than I thought. I learned I should invest in softer ear buds for my iPod and that I gloves aren’t really optional. I found out that I really need to wear a hat and maybe even a turtleneck. I also made mental notes to wear sunscreen, even though it’s early and overcast, and to never, ever forget my sunglasses. I have sensitive eyes, yes, but mostly I wished I’d had sunglasses to hide my shame!
As part of my larger “Excess Emancipation” project I am committed to implementing a morning routine that allows me to get the most important things I need to do to maintain peace of mind finished up before heading out into the world. The first part of my new morning ritual has come surprisingly easily — I wake up at 5 AM and write for two hours. Sometimes I wake up a little later, but all in all, I’ve stuck to it pretty religiously.
The second part of this rising with the sun regimen has been a bitch. It is very important to me to be physically fit and I’ve really let things slide. So, in an effort to purge some pounds and fire up my fitness level, I decided to incorporate just 15 minutes of running and yoga, each, to my morning momentum. My plan was to be 20 days in to a 40 day yoga challenge by today (which I committed to with some other peeps from Avenues Yoga). And I figured I would also have added in the running portion of my mornings over 10 days ago. But, as it turns out, I am more resistant to exercise than I had realized.
My exercise “allergy” is proving to be one of my biggest obstacles. Regarding the yoga challenge, the rule is is that if you skip a day, you start over. Well I have started and stopped around 7 times already. I have lots of excuses. And regarding the plan to start running every day? I have not been able to force myself out the door until today.
This week’s class at Outlook Development was on listening to our inner gurus. I participated in an exercise to find a solution to whatever our biggest obstacle was to accomplishing our goals. It was easy for me to identify mine. I want to silence the “Itty bitty shitty committee” in my head that tells me I don’t like physical exertion. It’s simply NOT TRUE. I can come up with tons of examples where I have volunteered for physically exhausting enterprises. But, when it comes to consistent exercise, I balk. After having a guided convo with my inner guru, I decided I would call the person who is most like me, who has overcome this same obstacle in her life. I decided to call Nan.
My sister, Nanette, is number 4 of us 10 kids. I am number 7. We have shared a lifetime of obsessions with gymnastics, songwriting, performing, bleaching our hair, being hilarious, loving our kids, making awesome rally posters, participating in off-beat arts and crafts (She: tole [tolle?] painting, knitting and rug-making. Me: decoupage, furniture refinishing and collage making), writing and maybelline mascara.
I called her to ask what she does to stay motivated to workout. She told me that having a running buddy helped. That’s just not right for me, right now. WAY too much pressure. She said that sometimes she would sleep in her workout clothes. Brilliant! We talked for awhile until we both got really excited about making silly charts to track our progress and agreed we’d both set goals and a timeline that, when achieved, would earn us a prize. We are going to make prizes for each other to send upon completion. I am laughing out loud as I type this. It seems ridiculous, but it’s just what the doctor ordered.
I promised to call every morning as I was lacing up my shoes so I could be accountable to someone. We haven’t worked out all the details, yet, but I’m encouraged. Last night I laid out my clothes and this morning when it came time to get outside and run, I actually got dressed, laced up my shoes, left her a message, and ran!
Who cares that I overdid it in just 4 minutes and almost passed out? I don’t. I’m just stoked I actually did it. I pretty much rule. Thanks, Nan!
I am tired.
I let myself get so tired, in fact, that my brain stopped functioning today. I know that in order to have energy, I should eat. But when I’m tired, I often miss the obvious. It has been over a week since I’ve had a decent night’s sleep and until about an hour ago, I’d probably only eaten 300 calories in 48 hours.
I am NOT into torturing myself by starving. I am also not into going without sleep. But I AM determined to become a morning person. For realsies. So I have been greeting each day at dawn in hopes my body will believe me that I’m serious about falling asleep earlier.
But today was a straight-up nightmare. I woke up at 5 AM per usual and meditated for a half an hour before waking up to write for a couple of hours. I was anxious because I knew that at 9 AM I had to be at the school to confront a professor about a grade. I have never had to do that before and was really nervous. I was also angry. Outraged, actually. By my estimation, there is no possible way I deserved a ‘B’ in that class.
So I forgot to make a smoothie before school. I also forgot to throw a macadamia/cacoa energy ball in my bag. I also neglected to consider that I had only had about 24 ounces of raw juices and soup the day before. I figured I’d pick up an apple and a banana at the school cafeteria, along with some green tea and all would be well. But the “conversation” I had with my professor was very upsetting and before I knew it, I was still choking back tears halfway through my critical theory class (which I love).
I hid my droopy, tired red eyes with my Ray-Bans and somehow made it through music theory and a history lecture. Next, I drove my daughter down to Draper (It may as well have been Mexico) and took a nap in the parking lot of Outlook Development. My back was not pleased with the arrangement (My sister, Nan, jokes that we have “ancient gymnast syndrome!”). So I took some big, deep breaths and drove back toward downtown.
I took the 1300 South exit so I could stop by the health food store to pick up some more Flackers. I was wicked hungry and too tired to make dinner, so I figured I’d polish off the avocado and pine nut hummus I’d made two days prior with
an entire box of a few Flackers. I walked in the door and was immediately heart sick. “This is not a health food store,” I grumbled to myself, “this is just a stupid restaurant.”
I turned around to leave, my head hung low, believing I was probably just going to starve to death, when the woman behind the register asked me if I was looking for the market. I said I was, and expressed my confusion. And then she said some glorious words. They were a little jumbled up, but I caught fragments of “All” and “Raw” and I swear I heard the angels singing when I looked back over my shoulder at what I had assumed was a salad bar. But this was no salad bar. This was a buffet of gorgeous, thoughtfully prepared, all raw food dishes.
It was glorious! They had Raw Pizza, Zucchini Noodles, Vegan Sushi, Raw Lasagna, Curried Kale, Smashed Cauliflower, home made Flackers and more! I was like a wild animal. I am laughing out loud, by myself, in my living room right now at how crazy I must have seemed to the nice organic hippy ladies.
After wolfing down the comfort food, I came up for air long enough to appreciate the cute, quaint diner space. I especially liked that they had books laying out on every table ranging from the sensible to the “far out.” The address is 329 W. 1700 S. I think it was called “Manic Organic” or some such thing. I’ll definitely go back again.
After letting my stomach settle, I had a surge of… energy! I was still tired, but now fully functioning again. I realized I could’ve saved myself a lot of misery today by being just a little more prepared.
Next time I feel like I may actually be starting to die in the middle of a class, I will use my head and go buy a banana (or seven). Divorcing the drama, to me, means more than just staying out of negative conversations and relationships, it means planning ahead so days like today don’t happen.
I can hear Doug’s voice, “Everything happens for you, not to you, Rebecca.”
and mine replying, “Can it, Byron.”
I have always wanted to live on a boat.
As I move further into simplification mode, the more my desire to live on a boat, or in an RV grows. Really, apart from money, my biggest obstacle to mobile living quarters is the lack of enough room for my Great Aunt Anna’s piano.
My simplicity has its boundaries. I love my piano. It’s the piano I learned to play on. The action on the keys is very light — too light, actually — but I LOVE it. It’s small and cute and a dark yellow color.
I have a short list of must-haves. They include my piano; my guitar; an ipad and iphone; a super-soft feather pillow; my Aunt Zelma’s quilts; my Dad’s original company jacket; my Mother’s poetry; and my daughter’s photography.
I suppose my interest in aquatic accommodations has been growing in parallel to the likelihood of pulling it off. I wonder if Hannah will be opposed to trading in a two-bedroom apartment for a two-bunk bed boat?
Cool blogs and stuff on the subject:
I worked most of the day today on pricing stuff for the yard sale. I now have a total of 9 bins full of stuff ready to go. I can see that this is quickly going to get harder and harder. Or easier and easier. I’m really not sure, yet. I was shocked at how willing I was to let go of almost 20% of my books right off the bat.
I have let go of about 20% of my clothes as well. And probably 40% of my shoes. I need to do laundry so I can sort through all of that “situation.” I bet I have 20 or more loads to do. There’s no washer or dryer in my apartment, so I’ve been doing it just about once every two months. It feels like I’m doing it all the time. Thank GOD for CRH! She’s so nice to go with me. She’s much more organized than I am and doesn’t really need to use the laundromat. We laugh and vent and solve the world’s problems. It still sucks, though.
My hope is to get rid of so much stuff that I CAN’T wait that long between trips to the laundromat. It’s such a pain in the neck and expensive! I think it usually ends up costing me about $60 a trip. This time, I plan to bring my supplies for pricing and tagging with me to the laundromat along with a couple or three bins. That way, the stuff I decide to sell won’t have to be drug all the way back up to the apartment. I can just drop the bins off at the storage unit. That’s incentive enough to get rid of as much as possible!
As I look around my living room I realize that I have about 2 bins worth of miscellaneous stuff to sort through still this week. I’m also suddenly really anxious to get rid of some big items. I love my Dad’s desk, but it is enormous and heavy. It always weighs on my mind. It’s just such a monster to move and soooo BIG. I’m trimming back the number of electronics I have and I really don’t need it. But because it’s so huge, it is going to be difficult to get someone in my family to take it off my hands. Maybe my relatives in Menan (Idaho) would like it… I’ll ask.
I have two medium sized bookcases I don’t need; a huge, four-drawer metal lateral file cabinet; and a giant rolling cabinet-thingy from Ikea I could let go. I just sold my little living room set to my sister, Jenny, and I want to get that up to her (in Pocatello) ASAP. I’d like my living room to be open, sunny and easy to clean. I can’t wait! Maybe a next step would be to clean the storage unit and put some of this furniture in there to get it out of here sooner.
Or maybe one of my siblings will suddenly have need of this giant desk and will want to help me get it and Jenny’s furniture to their new homes… Are you listening, Universe? It’s me, Rebecca.
All-in-all, I’d say things are moving along swimmingly. I’m so excited to finally be shucking all this superfluous shit! If anyone has any great tips, I’d love to hear (read) them.