Sunday, December 01, 2013
Thanksgiving weekend has been terrific. Full of family, food, fun - and unpacking. Unpacking sounds terrible - but it's actually been really nice.
There's something gratifying about choosing the arrangement of furniture, putting things on shelves, and breaking down empty boxes.
So that's what we've spent a great deal doing. Unpacking things, putting up things, putting away things, moving those things to do new projects. It's all a little crazy. Fun crazy but crazy.
And we're loving every minute.
at 2:55 PM
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Sure, everything is still covered in a fine layer of dust (this is what happens when you're sanding the floors) and there are fragments of tile, calk, screws scattered here and there. But for the most part we're in detail teritory.
This means things like picking out vanities, faucets, and mirrors for the new water closet. It means all of the outlets get grounded. It means reminding the contractor that we still have to put smoke detectors in every bedroom.
It means my brain has moved on from what needs to be done, to what I want to do (like strip some of the hardware that they just finished painting or stripping the fireplace mantle or changing the built-ins in the guestroom). I'm trying to be patient, to not take on too much - but my imagination is 50 steps ahead of me.
And details also mean the details of packing. I hate packing. Hate it. It makes me resentful to stuff (which I already have an issue with, but which my partner in crime has not yet given into the minimalistic lifestyle I would love us to have. So we have stuff.)
We still don't have everything completed, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A light that ends in a new stove and refrigerator (a prize for patience) and the holiday season. It's kind of like getting a house for Christmas this year. Now if everyone wants to pool together to get us a chimney sweep for Christmas so that our gas fireplace gets up and running - you would be our heroes.
at 1:20 PM
Saturday, November 02, 2013
- Lee DeWyze and his new-ish album Frames. Get the deluxe version - it has most of the songs in acoustic as well as produced. Sampling of the latest that is stuck in my head is above.
- Trader Joes Quinoa & Black Bean Infused Corn Tortilla Chips. Thank you Gracie for getting me hooked. Happily GF indulgence.
- My new office arrangement. Flipped my desk to face the door. More comfortable for me, more welcoming for others.
- Soups. We've eaten three this week alone. Cold wet windy weather calls for homemade soups.
- My plastic tote collection. It's time to start packing, people!
- These bow tie studs earrings. Thank you Forever 21.
- The new iOS 7. So it's taken some getting used to and I did fight it all the way. But now I really like it.
- Peppermint tea. It's all I want once I get home and out of the cold. I prefer Stash.
- Getting back together with the V-Day team. It's time to plan 2014!!!
- John Stewart and The Daily Show. I used to watch it but when we unplugged I lost it. Hulu brought is back together.
at 5:00 PM
Friday, November 01, 2013
I don't know if it was all of the moving I did in college, working for New Energy Works where I learned about The Not So Big House/quality over quantity living spaces, or my need to find money in my sad post-graduation budget to buy really good cheese - but somewhere in that period of time I began living by the concept of enough. (It was probably a combination of all three.)
The concept of enough was certainly not conceived by me and even though the definition of enough tends to differ the basic concept is the same. Here's my definition:
Having enough wealth/material things to achieve stability and then sustainable happiness. Then give the rest away to others who can benefit from my excess.
The first part (Having enough wealth/material things to achieve stability) is easy. I grew up with enough, had access to education/family support, and learned early about Maslow's Hierarchy. (Which I revisit, probably every three months, when I need a reality check.) It's important to realize not everyone has enough to achieve stability. This realization plays a big part in my life mantra and is the reason I believe in helping others to the extent that I do.
The second part (then sustainable happiness) is a little harder. It's really easy to get immediate and fleeting gratification - especially from material things. What I've found, even as an introvert, is that it tends to be relationships (people and my community) and experiences (travel, food, music, painting) that lead me to consistent happiness*. Oddly enough, these things tend to cost a whole lot less than a new car, a coach purse, or a massive blue-ray collection. Consistent happiness is a personal thing though and it's possible that any of the three things I mentioned could bring you consistent happiness. How do you know what makes you consistently happy? Here's a great resource for sorting that out.
That last part (Then give the rest away to others who can benefit from my excess) is the hardest...for other people. I don't find it terribly difficult to give away my time, talent, or treasure - but some people really have a problem with it. For reasons I can't quite explain I get such push-back from so many people about how much work I'm doing for free, how much money or material items I'm constantly donating, or how much time I spend giving back to my community.
I like to think about it like a physical enough bucket. When I look the incredible impact I can have on my community just by giving back everything that overflows my enough bucket - how can I not give back? Maybe not everyone sees the world this way - but think about how much stronger our communities would be, how much more successful our youth would be, and how lighter we all would feel if we all were happy with enough.
*Note - no one is every always happy - it's a moving goal. (If you read this blog, you'll know I come from the "glass is not the right size" clan.) This is the life balance part, and we'll always be working to get the mix just right.
at 10:57 AM