Wednesday, October 23, 2013
When one makes a proclamation that one is going to revamp one’s whole life and make it pretty, it feels good. Because it is what you want to do. And you make plans before suddenly realizing that lofty hand waving grandiose manifesto you promised others and yourself might be a little bit harder than you thought.
I have been looking around and taking steps but have not done an actual full project until today. I have called people and made appointments and bought materials for projects and slept. A lot. My agreement with Sean was to do four things a day 1) do something to take care of my body 2) do something to improve my house 3) work in my garden, and 4) write, everyday.
Three days last week I did all four. I was exhausted from feeling like I had to to do all four. For two days I did three, and for two I did two. I started to feel guilty about this until I realized that I was looking for the dancing monkey treats that Seth Godin talks about. The familiar Atta Girls that I am used to getting; The ones that I as an overacheiver have been conditioned to look for, and feel cheated when I don't get them.
I gave all that up. I am now doing what I feel like doing to move forward. It is okay to do nothing but make phone calls and schedule appointment and count that towards what you need to do.
As part of the appointment making and and resource gathering, I have been sucked into . . . er, doing research on Pintrest in terms of how to do some of my projects. One of them (from Food 52) I have had in my head for quite some time. Today I decided to do it.
The counters in my kitchen are butchers block cutting boards. I have been careful to not cut on them instead using a mobile boos block, and still had managed to spill a couple of things and once, tragically, left a basket of strawberries out on a hot summers day. Remember: I have lived here for five years, so it isn"t THAT bad. I had gotten kosher salt, lemons and white vinegar at the grocery store. I took pics. Here is the before:
You can see the brown water and coffee stains as well as the bright pink fruit stain. I first spread salt and lemon juice on the board and let sit for a bit. I then cut another lemon in half and began to scrub the salt into the stains. I then wiped off all the salty lemon with a tea towel.
Here is the final pic. No berry stains, and all rings are much much lighter. I wiped in mineral oil three times to allow for the wood to moisten after all the drying bleaches. It shines and is beautiful.
One project down.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I used to think I was a winner. I worked hard and achieved things and was well liked. I didn’t take into account the things that are out of my control.
In the past eighteen months I have lost, and lost badly. I have lost a career that I worked towards for ten years before working in it for thirteen due to the vindictiveness of one woman in power. I lost a young woman who became a dear friend, and who would have become a lifelong friend to uterine cancer. Finally, and finally, the biggest blow of all, my sweet little twinkly girl, my mother.
I have not properly grieved for any of them. I was in school, I had things to do, I was busy, my portfolio needed to get done etc. All the things we tell ourselves in this go go go work ethic world. We are allowed three days for mourning. That is all. Three days. I bought in. This was pointed out to me by a man I call “fucking Sean,” because he is always right and I find myself kicking the wall and uttering those words when I realize it. I pay him to be my spiritual advisor.
Nine days is not enough for me to heal from these three major losses. I look around my house and realize that the detritus of failing to heal, failing to move on, failing, is all around me. My mother’s death, while expected, natural and part of the way of things, is also heartbreaking, devastating, and new chapter in my life. I know I need to make some decisions. There are projects half done, undone, not ever started, and it is overwhelming. My excuse before was that I did not have the money. I do not have that excuse anymore. The money I inherited is a gift that will allow me to get healthy. I have to see it this way and not as something that I don’t deserve because I didn’t work hard enough, and am choosing not to work super hard right now. Because the truth is, I am not sure what to work super hard for.
So. I have decided that my focus is on finishing these projects. It is time for me to live the life of a grown up and that means throwing out the habits and objects of my childhood that no longer aid me in my life. It will be small steps and small changes. I know that this is the only way I can move right now. I will be taking before and after photos of my garden, my home, my patio, my storage and my body. This journey will be intense and real and as a writer I will have to write about it in addition to getting the novel done. I hope you join me on this trip.