Jenny Brown (skywind8) wrote,
Jenny Brown

Finding peace

Things on my mind... no particular order.

Kitty is doing well. High energy, happy, rolling and playing, trotting around the house with enthusiasm. Eating well, and seems to be drinking. I never would have expected this fast or deep of a recovery. If cats have nine lives, he's used up a few already, but this one sure seems like it's working. He's still a pain to pill, but oh well. I'm just happy that my kitty is home and happy and healing. And since he's eating on his own (and a good amount) I don't have to worry about him too much throughout the day, which leaves me free to think about other things.

Work has mellowed briefly, before another upsurge of activity. I'm intentionally taking time to slow down and breathe, as I've been over committed recently, and need to recover to be sustainable. And I'm sure there's more coming to swamp me shortly.

I miss people. I notice that I have a lot of "simple fun" activities around for doing with friends, but seem to lack the local groups of friends to do them with. Painting, sketching, music and drums and piano, sewing, games, movies to watch. This disparity is causing more than a little cognitive dissonance. It's like I kept imagining, "I'll use this, someday in the future, when I have friends." Except I have friends - many of you - but you're mostly far away. And I'm mostly too busy to host or travel.

I'm thinking about a 'simple' life. Local produce, home cooking, simpler living... and it's contrasting with my cluttered house, the poor quality store veggies I find, and a schedule wherein all my time is consumed with the basics of life already. I don't know if it gets any simpler - work, cooking, caretaking, a little social time, and sleep. The articles I've been reading on "simplifying your life" seem to have suggestions that are already so alien to me... reduce travel? Cut back on after-school commitments for the kids? Go out to dinner and movies less? Do they have any idea what I actually spend my time on? [Clearly not.] And the tips for saving money are just laughable. The articles paint a romantic picture of "the simple life" but forget to say how many hours it adds to do everything yourself, to cook, etc.

I want better (quality) food at a good price. To get that I'll have to locate and start getting to the early morning farmers markets around here. That'll probably happen sometime this summer. Since I have to cook at home anyway due to special diet needs, this is a bit of a no-brainer. Having a bokashi compost bucket has simplified my kitchen garbage a bit (no more stink!). Recycling is a no-brainer with single stream curbside pickup. We usually haul out more recycling than we do garbage.

But beyond that? Simple mainly means that we're not engaging with the mass advertising engine; no broadcast or cable tv, no magazine or newspaper subscriptions, no shopping mall expeditions just to "see what's out there"... We rent movies to watch at home, that come without ads, and otherwise avoid mass media. And yet I've been living that way so long that it doesn't seem unusual. And my life certainly doesn't seem "simplified." I'm still overbooked and worn out. I just don't care whether I have the latest cell phone model or know the names of every pet of today's most popular singer.

Simple would be having my house in efficient operating order, so that getting in and out of the various practical items could happen without moving other stuff aside. Simple would be getting up in the morning knowing that breakfast was available and having time to eat it before starting work. Simple would be coming home at night tired and being able to find something for dinner without an hour of scraping around for ideas and ingredients and another hour of cooking. Simple would be being able to leave the house for a day without worrying whether the cat will be fed or even alive when I got home. Simple would be having the freedom of choice to spend half a day hiking or half a day working on a garden. Simple would be having a predictable schedule and a clean space to host in, to visit with friends in person for a couple hours. And then having something worth talking about or sharing in.

That train of thought took me earlier to a place that made me laugh.

Things you'll never see in an article suggesting a simpler life:

* Give your pets back to a shelter, they're too much work.
* Tell your kids that if they keep asking for the latest popular brand clothes you'll put them up for adoption. Make them use their allowance to buy their clothes at the thrift store.
* Tell your older relatives that you'll no longer be supporting freeloaders, and encourage them to die sooner.
* Sell all your stuff and find a small one bedroom apartment instead. You'll save lots of money this way and get out into the world more often.
* Take an undemanding job with no growth potential so you won't ever have to work overtime.
* Sell off and get rid of all your books. They're heavy to move and most of them are out of date anyway.
* You don't need a college education and student loan debt. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.
* Simplify your kitchen; use one cooking pot, one plate, one bowl, and one set of silverware.
* Give up all your hobbies and crafts. You can't make things cheaper than China can anyway, and it just accumulates more clutter you'll never use.
* Toss out all your sentimental junk, including those boxes of photos and the empty scrapbooks you intend them to go into someday. If an event wasn't worth remembering, photos aren't going to help. Get rid of your camera while you're at it.
* You don't need any cleaning products except water and one rag. A dirty house is good for your immune system. Okay, you can keep one bottle of shampoo, since it also works as body soap, hand soap, shaving cream, and takes the grease off of dishes.
* Give up all your charity and volunteer organization commitments and stop paying any attention to local politics.
* Self improvement is just a path to disappointment and ever out of reach goals that will make you Buy More Stuff. Quit trying to be anything more than you already are.
* If pretty clothes are too expensive, go naked. If everyone did it, we could turn down the air conditioning.

Ok that was fun.

And for today's depressing quote that's supposed to be inspirational, but SO isn't,
"If you depend on someone for your happiness, you are becoming a slave; you are becoming dependent, you are creating a bondage. And you depend on so many people; they all become subtle masters, they all exploit you in return."

Despite the overall tone of my post, I'm actually in a fairly good mood, and feeling mostly satisfied with my life. I'm a bit worn down from responsibilities, but there's nothing to do about that except keep going. (My favorite quote heard during the last time I was at the grove: "If you're going through hell, KEEP GOING.")

I would like to be less alone with the work that is in front of me, especially housework. I can't really afford to bring in a professional organizer as I would like. But I'm short on other ideas, and often, short on time. So I live with it, and wait, and eventually someday maybe I'll have some time to do something about it.
Tags: declutter, simplelife
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