Thursday, March 26, 2009

one day down, 89 to go

Today is actually day one of my 90-day simplification project. It was 2 weeks ago that I wrote my initial post promising myself to finish to up all in-progress projects and meet some outstanding obligations. Well, I have done that. I’ve have gotten everything that needed immediate attention off my plate and lived up to all of my outstanding promises. See, no procrastination! Wow, this getting things done stuff really works(:

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been reading two wonderful books that I think will help me simplify my daily life and manage my time better. 30 Days to a Simpler Life is such fun because it essentially gives you a homework assignment to complete each day. It doesn’t make the whole organization thing seem overwhelming.

In deference to the authors, I don’t want to give too much away here about their specific suggestions; after all, these ladies came up with this stuff, not me. But I would like to share with you from time to time the things I try from these books and other resources that work for me. And maybe I will even gain a little wisdom myself and come up with my own strategies that I can share. I can’t promise they will be earth-shattering breakthroughs, probably more like “duh!” moments, but I promise to share nonetheless.

Ooo…I have one! I tried this a couple of months ago and it’s really working: get rid of your big-ass purse and all of the crap in it.

I was carrying a purse and a tote bag full of crap back and forth to work every day. Some days—no, make that most days—I didn’t even access, let alone use anything, in the tote bag. It was like some weird kind of security bag that I schlepped around.

So, I got rid of the tote all together and treated myself to a nice handbag with just a few pockets and dividers to keep things organized and handy. Then I went through my existing purse and purged it of everything only adding back the essentials:

*wallet (which I pared down, too—more on that in a bit);
*keys (bought a cute new keychain and got rid of all the extra keys, keeping only one’s I need to get in and out of the house and turn the car on);
*a small, but cute notepad to write things down on that I can transfer to my planner later (so I don’t have to carry that everywhere);
* a pen;
*my sunglasses in their case;
*a tampon; and
*ONE tube of lipstick and liner (these thin babies need liner).

That’s it! And truly, that is all I really need when I am out.

Okay, about that wallet. My mother-in-law gave me this cute thing for Christmas and it has replaced my regular wallet. LOVE IT!

All I have in it is my drivers’ license, my ATM card and the card-key I need to get in and out of my garage at work. I don’t carry any of that other crap anymore—no credit card (shouldn’t be using it anyway), no medical cards (they can look it up using my ID), and all of those membership cards (Ulta, FamousFootwear, supermarket)? Trashed. They can look you up, too.

For my change, I use a cute little handmade coin purse like this one I found on Etsy.

Try it. It is so freeing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the first step is admitting it

One of the things that drives my husband nuts about me is that I am a procrastinator. And it is true. I try really hard to pretend that I am not, but I am. Some of my procrastination is the classic kind—not doing something because I just don’t want to do it. But I also procrastinate doing things that I want to do, that I look forward to doing. I know this sounds completely nuts, but here is the rationale that gets me there: I really should do the things I NEED to do first, the things that are “important,” the things that are no fun and that I don’t want to do. Then, as a reward, I get to do the fun stuff. So it turns out that I am punishing myself for not doing the things that I think I should be doing by restricting myself from getting pleasure from doing the things I want to do.

Confused yet?

I know! Welcome to my bat-shit-crazy world of over-analyzing and justifying. It’s exhausting!

And here’s the rub—when you procrastinate doing the “have-tos” they breed like horny little rabbits and you get buried under them and, if you are playing with my jacked-up scenario, you NEVER GET TO THE FUN STUFF! I like to call it delayed gratification because it makes me feel better but what it’s really called deprivation. And that, my friends, is no way to live. It’s stressful. It makes you cranky and whiney. It makes you say things like, “I never get to do anything I want to do because I am constantly taking care of you people so you can do what you want to do.” It makes you feel tired, resentful and worthless. You get no sense of accomplishment. And worst of all, it makes you mad at yourself because, after all, it is your own damn fault.


So I had a little chat with myself that went something like this: Look here, Missy. There is a new sheriff in town. It is time to take responsibility for your choices and commit to yourself and your well-being. If you don’t, dear, they will soon be wheeling you away in an unflattering white jacket to a padded room where you won’t be any good to anybody, including yourself. Got me? Good.

That is how my simplification project was born. I realized I needed to get control of my life. No one was planning on doing it for me.

If you break life down into it’s simplest components you have two things: time and stuff. There is no end to the stuff, but the time ticks away and you can’t get it back. So it made sense to me to start my simplification project by getting my stuff in check so I could make room for time—time to be with my husband, time to be with my kids, time to be creative, time to just sit and relax and not worry about those “have-tos”.

I’ve been reading these two books to help me get there. They are great. Check them out here and here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

when i grow up...

i want this to set my cocktails on

and this for my patio, perhaps through the french doors from by bedroom?

and these to sit in while i sip said cocktails.

All from here.

Friday, March 20, 2009


This is how it started:

Dear Marcy,
Congratulations! You have been recommended by the Design Program for admission into our MFA program beginning Fall 2009.

I almost wet myself.

Moving the countdown clock to the top now.

happy spring

From his amazing photography site.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


One of the things that keeps going through my mind as I hear about the increasing number of homeless is the kids. I can't bear the thought that there are kids out there, in my home town even, that don't have a place to sleep. It sickens me to think of little children sleeping on the ground.

Owen outgrew his crib and mattress a couple of months ago and it has been sitting in our garage since. We made one tour of it on Craigslist but got no serious bites. I was glad because I didn't really want to sell it. The $50 it would have garnered me is nothing compared to what it will provide a little baby and his parents if I donated it. But I was at a loss of who to give it to. I really wanted the crib to go directly to a child who needed it, not to the local Goodwill where it would get sold. It is true that the proceeds from the sale would go towards someone in need, but I want a baby that doesn't have a safe, warm place to sleep in that crib.

I contacted my local emergency housing service and they were so excited to get it. They desperately need cribs and playpens in their shelters and they also use such donations to assist families as they transition from shelters to their own homes.

We are taking it on Saturday. I am so happy.

If you have something to donate, please consider contacting your local emergency housing service.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

favorite moment | salad

One thing I have been trying to do is involve my kids in the daily cooking and making salad is a great way to introduce them to the process. Owen really enjoyed tearing up lettuce—a great task for little hands—and, now that he is old and skilled enough, Jackson loves to use the knives.

Oh, cooperation. I love it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

the guidelines

So I have been giving this a lot of thought. As I mentioned, I don't want to constrain myself with too many rules, but I think I should create some kind of index against which I can test my decision-making over the next 90 days in order to ensure that I don't get caught up with all of the 'unneccessary' that will inevitable test me. Here's what I have come up with.

the index
1. Will doing it make me happy?
2. Is it something I can finish today?
3. Will it contribute to my sense 0f well-being, home, family or relationships?

If I can answer 'yes' to ALL 3 questions, I will give myself permission. If not, it will have to wait.

some things I have promised myself
1. No volunteering for anything at Jackson's school through the end of the year. I will meet the obligations that I have currently committed to and that will have to be enough.

2. No starting ANY business related projects.

3. Allow myself 2 hours per week of creative time, but make sure the activity can be completed within those 2 hours.

4. The ONLY on-going project will be to practice my knitting.

Like I mentioned, I am making this up as I go along. I am willing to be flexible, but I am committed to keeping these promises to myself and disciplining myself to utilize the index.

Okay, life, throw something at me. I'm ready.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

it's go time

Actually, it's 'letting go' time. I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and, most certainly, creatively. It's time for a change—a big change. Hopefully soon things will be changing in a very specific way. Until then, I need to work on simplifying my life. It's something I have yearned for for a very long time and I have decided it is time to take charge and put my simplifcation plan into action. Problem is my life has gotten so chaotic and unorganized that I can't seem to find the time to devise a 'plan' (this is part of the larger problem!!)—so I have decided to set some goals and make up the plan as I go.

I have given myself two weeks to finish up all in-progress projects and meet some ouststanding obligations. After that I am taking 3 months—90 days—off from anything and everything that is unnecessary in my life—no new projects, no new obligations. I am going to concentrate on living every day and enjoying the simpleness of life. I even considered taking a hiatus from this blog but decided that it would be a great place to chronicle this journey. So consider yourself warned. If you are a regular reader (you know who you are and THANK YOU!) this might get really boring. But, maybe if I share what works and doesn't work for me you can apply it to your journey. But I don't blame you if you abandon ship.

So let's get started.

Initial Goals
Embrace the calm.
Gain a new perspective.
Develop appreciation.
Express gratitude.
Learn to care for myself.

I know these sound very abstract but I think they need to be. I am going to let the journey guide me towards the way to reach these goals.

I don't want to create too many rules for the journey, but I think I need some guidelines to keep me in check. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

i knitted

It wasn't pretty, but I did it. I love it. Next I 'purl'. Can't wait.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009