Friday, December 31, 2010

Purging for the New Year

The tree is down, lights are off the house, and the Santas are boxed away. However, I can’t seem to turn loose of the red and whites this year. I am leaving the red and white tablecloth on, am not tired of the white reindeer, and am not finished brewing and sipping with poinsettia tea pots and cups. I even left some lights on the sofa table and some more white deer in the bathroom. I am thinking I can live with all this red until deep into January.

DH got Shingles for Christmas. No, not ones for the roof, but itchy ones on his back! Being a stiff-necked man, he would not consider Express Care until December 26th when every coughing and puking person in the county also gave in and was seeking medical help after the holiday, and our home-owned pharmacy was closed for the weekend. He thought he was rallying yesterday, but today is back to feeling pretty miserable again. It looks to be a long winter.

I have spent the last few days trying to form a plan for the New Year. (I am big on plans. I was 16 years old when my best friend and I made our first SIP for summer: Self-Improvement Plan. We were going to tan, make money, loose weight, read so many books to expand our mind, etc. I am great at making plans, but I am less efficient at keeping them!) I decided a plan was better than a resolution, although I rarely keep them either. I decided to focus on words like minimal and accepting. I want to live minimally…less stuff, less frustration, less disappointment. I want to accept the things I can’t change instead of struggling against them, to accept where I am right now, to accept what IS instead of what I want To BE.

I could only start with my office. I decided to weed my books. I bagged up magazines for sharing, returned borrowed books, got rid of books I know I am not going to read—even though they were good and worthy books. Doing all this made about six inches of extra space on my shelves. Still, six inches is a lot if you are walking on stilettos!

I then went into my file cabinet, manila folders and writing basket. I had to face reality. I am NOT going to sell some of that stuff. I am NOT going to crack the Women’s World market. I am NOT interested in writing confessions and then begging for being paid for my sold work. I do not want to write articles on things that don’t interest me. I want to write fiction and poetry with creative lines and imagery. So what if they don’t sell. If I write what I enjoy and am pleased with the product then I have pleased at least one reader. That payment might have to be enough even though it won’t buy bread at Wal-mart. All those great snippets of writing ideas? The ones about to come to completion were kept, and the rest pitched.

I still need to weed CDs that are okay but not great, the ones I rarely choose to play. I still need to tidy a drawer of office supplies like clips, paper punches, and bookmarks I do not use anymore. While the manila folders are reduced in number, I still need to go through the remainder and weed story by story for duplicates and ones that have no future. I have cleaned out the Favorites on my computer, dumped old pieces that are dead end works, and deleted some stored pieces in the computer. I still need to weed pictures and maybe slash deeper in the Documents.

Dumping, pitching and purging are energizing. This morning at dawn I wrote for three hours which included drafts of a short article and a short story. I hope this level of production continues throughout the whole new year—well, at least during the month of January. Once DH’s feet hit the floor, I stopped writing and went back to more pitching. This time I attacked the tea cabinet. I looked at the teas that are good but are bypassed daily for our favorites. I tossed out the unused ones like Russian which seems wasteful, but I wanted to see that minimal look in the cupboard. Try as we might, that smoky taste just doesn’t work at this house. Every pot got dumped down the sink when I brewed it so this morning the tea leaves went to the trash. The healthy acia berry went because it was not our taste. I paused at the green, which is supposed to be healthy too, but I kept it through the round one of dumping. When I drink tea, I want a dark strong brew! I will continue to try to develop a taste for the greens that taste like grass clippings—but only for while.

I look forward to tomorrow’s dawn. I have a short list of submissions to ready and writings to finish. Some egg muffins are already baked for a 45 second warming in the microwave to go with a pot of brewed tea after the first hours writing. I hope my mind works well and produces skillfully. As for DH, he better be on the lookout for a wife chucking things out that don’t look functional!

                                          This poinsettia is about four years old and came from a
                                                      very small plant. I am excited to see it begin to go red.
                                                      To be minimal in this house, I should pitch it, but I hope
                                                      to save it one more year to be moved out to the deck for


Linda @ A La Carte said...

You have been a very busy lady! I am going to do some of this...edit, organize and regroup what is important to me. Happy New Year to you!

Rebecca said...

Love, love, love this post - partly because I, too, am a great planner but not-so-great at carry through...

And let me tell you about shingles! I came down with them a little before Thanksgiving. They started out extremely painful - at my waistline, left side front and back. They are still very itchy. I commiserate with any and all who get them. I had no idea of how painful they are. Even with the 7 day medicine within the first 72 hours of breaking out, I am still suffering!

I have some purging to do around here myself. I DID sell a few items on Craig's List before Christmas--enough to inspire me to round up some more items!

Write on! Happy New Year!

Susan said...

Hi Bookie...SOooo sorry to hear about your husband. I had Shingles last year and it felt like I was holding my arm over a fire. This, too, shall pass.

I definitely need to do a LOT of purging around here. Congratulations on getting started there!

As for the green tea, I hated it when I first tasted it. Now I mix four bags of Celetial Seasonings peach or raspberry zinger with six bags of green tea, in my tea pot. The combination makes is very palatable and I get the benefits of the anti-oxidants and anti-carcinogenic green tea.

So nice to have met you this year, Bookie. Thanks for all the visits to my blog and all your comments, too. Happy New Year! Susan

Ames said...

I feel the same way. Why wait till spring for purging and cleaning. I say start now. ~Ames

BECKY said...

Oh, have inspired me! I, too, like to make lists and plans, but am bad at carrying out the actual work! In fact, I had big plans to start the old bull dozer in my office today, but instead decided choosing a new blog template was more important to end 2010 and begin 2011! Ahhhh, but I know I will follow through, and as you said, it is very energizing. I also agree with your thoughts on the "less" things, too. You are a very wise woman! One more thing....I think I see a double meaning in your last sentence!! :D