Posts filed under ‘disorganisation’
It’s still the first week of the New Year, that will just have to be good enough. And if we start the year as we intend to continue then that will have to suffice. Better to do something a bit late than not at all, right?
And on the bright side, it can’t be a much worse year for the blog than last year. I was a bit shocked to discover how few posts I did last year, except that month I did the Jackie Gauntlet challenge. Shameful. I apologise. And I intend to do better this year. Honest 🙂
Of course we all know where good intentions lead…
But they have to be better than bad intentions?
Anyway, enough of that. Last year was a bit up and down. The worst bit was at the beginning, when I had to give up my PhD. I’d love to be able to say I’m completely over that, but it still irks me. I am moving on though, and the best thing about last year was achieving a Big Goal which I have been trying on and off to do almost all my life, writing a novel! At least the first draft, which is a long way from finishing one, but it is a huge step which I had not managed before.
Other good things about last year were learning bobbin lace and learning to knit. And felting, as well as the machine, I also learned wet felting and nuno felting, though I haven’t blogged about them yet. And I wrote a few poems.
As for the year of finishing things, well, the less said the better. I finished the first draft, OK? And a few other things. But not noticeably more than other years. I prefer starting things anyway 🙂
So much for last year, this year is a new start. It has not felt like much of a new start yet. My energy levels have been the worst ever, which is depressing, which I need to resist as depression saps energy. Nasty vicious cycle and very hard to break with chronic arthritis. And when I say poor energy levels, I really mean unutterably shockingly appalling. Like not having the energy to anything for a whole day, and not the next day either. Not getting up, not knitting, not blogging or writing, just reading, watching telly or wasting time online. Today has been a bit better, obviously, as I am writing this 🙂 and I also managed to tidy my bathroom a bit.
I don’t like blogging about stuff like that. It is the reality of my life, but not very cheerful or interesting. I prefer to write positive blog posts, which is partly why I have done so few last year. Not that it is the only reason, it maybe accounts for somewhat over half the time, the rest is because I was too busy doing interesting things which I could have blogged about, except for being too busy actually doing them. And then too tired recovering from them. And then on to the next new thing.
So, what about this year?
Jackie is doing a series of 30 day challenges, one a month, which is a nice idea and I have tried it before, or at least having a primary focus to each month. That was two years ago and the January went great, I worked really hard on the HBP (House Beautification Project) and achieved a lot (and it’s kind of depressing to compare how much energy I was able to dredge up even then in the throes of my stress condition to how little I have right now, but I won’t go there). It slackened off the next month though, which surprised me, as I was supposed to be focusing on creativity, which I enjoy, while I don’t enjoy tidying up. And then it fell apart when my Mum’s cancer came back. But she’s soldiering on and the treatment is still working so far, I pray it keeps working, she has more this month and it gets harder each time, but further apart at least.
I might join in some months, but this month I have just not started well, so that’s not going to be my plan this time.
I’m not really sure I have a plan. No, let’s be quite brutally honest: this year, I have no plan. Which doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad year or one where I don’t get anything done (I hope!) because I am going to hold on to the hope that I will improve, at least when the weather does in spring. OK so that’s a while off yet and the weather is set to get worse first, but what can I do? Move to Spain? Nope. So all I can do is hunker down and try to get through the bad weather and hope I will improve, and try to improve.
Do I win the prize for most optimistic New Year post yet? 😀 Maybe the booby prize for most pathetic…
I do have Big Scary Goals though. I might not be feeling positive about them right now, but I did manage to write that first draft and I loved it. Of course, now I have a Crappy First Draft TM to edit and it seems like a big pile of horse turds, but it will be good practice to try and turn that big pile of horse turds into
useful manure a really great final draft. Also it would be so exciting and fun and a big learning curve to self publish it, so that is an adventure I’m terrified of looking forward to.
And I want to write at least one more first draft – of course I have the ideas for about 3 or 4 jostling for attention and I did begin one over Christmas 🙂 but I need to properly outline it and not jump the gun and ruin it. It is very tempting to switch focus to another first draft (they are safer and less scary than editing something into a shape where someone else might actually be allowed to read it!) so I shall need to find some discipline from somewhere. Maybe I can borrow it from the part of me which can sit there with a big box of chocolates and not eat them which bemuses my husband and sister so much. Then of course I might get fat again from eating all the chocolates…
I also want to learn knitted cables and finish more things. And I want to participate in this excellent challenge to make historical clothing which will be a useful motivator to get my kit in order for re-enacting, which I’d love to do more of as I haven’t managed much these last few years. I would love to get an old caravan to do up so I can get to more shows, but that is a bit of a pipe dream. The challenge will also be fun for making some stuff to go with my collection of antique clothes which I have not mentioned much here, except the parasols I think.
And of course I need to blog more! I have lots of stuff to blog about.
I could try to blog once a week. I’m not very good at weekly goals (I tend to forget which day it is and think it’s still the same week when it’s actually three months later) but that is no reason for not trying. I know one way is to try and do it on a set day of the week, but again, that is not so easy when you have fluctuating energy levels. I can try though. Let’s see how it goes.
What do you think then? And what about your goals or resolutions or whatever?
Well, keeping up the blog slipped a little 😦
Still, I’m writing it now!
Other progress has been good though so I’m not going to feel guilty 😀 I can tick off one of the things from my list as completely finished, which is the needle felted penguins, which I promptly handed over without managing to take a photo of them finished – typical. I shall try and remember to get one and share it at some point.
The Victorian crochet is stuck, which is the point at which I usually give up and start something else. If I continue and finish the pattern they will be too long, so I need to try fixing it together and trying it on my foot properly, not just pulling it into shape, which I haven’t got round to. Not a hard job, but requires more thought than simply following the pattern. I will get to it though!
But the best progress, though not yet finished, is to the HBP, which I have decided is to be the primary focus of this month. (For my new followers this was begun last January and stands for Home Beautification Project, a more creative and fun sounding name for tidying, cleaning and sorting out the house!) I took advantage of the husband being away for the weekend visiting his mother to completely empty my bathroom and clean it thoroughly.
I had to do it while he was away as you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs and he can’t stand walking on the eggshells! By which I mean he hates the mess and I clogged up most of his upstairs space with my crap, which I had to try and clear before his return.
So as soon as he was off I began the work. It was hard because I was feeling a bit tired, having been woken by next-door sawing at 8am when I’d not fallen asleep until around one (I like my 8 hours!) but I pressed on. Over the course of two days I cleared the floor, swept it, washed it (using my feet to push the cloth around which I can’t say was easy but I doubt I could have finished the job any other way with my arthritis, and Dvorak helped with his Slavonic dances!) vacuumed cobwebs off the ceiling, dusted the windowsill and all the glass bits which were on there, cleared the stuff out of the bath and around it, cleaned the stupid cat litter thing for training cats to use the toilet instead of normal cat litter (Pebble never got on with it, though I did try!) so I can give it away (if anyone local wants it drop me a line and it’s yours, otherwise it’s going to a charity shop!)
Of course I was utterly knackered by all that and had to have frequent rests. I was fortunate to have a couple of days where my joints were not too bad. I had been concerned that working so hard on the Friday would mean I might swell up and be in too much pain to continue but God answered my prayers and I was able to carry on! My muscles ached but that was a nice change 🙂 However, I can’t say the same about Sunday as it did catch up tome then, especially washing the floor I think. I was not only very tired but quite painful so I was not able to finish putting everything back. Still, he was so pleased with what I had done that he is graciously putting up with the mess until I feel better enough to finish, which I have sadly not managed yet. That is the price I pay, it often takes longer to recover than to do the tiring thing, even when I can manage it at all.
But the bathroom is so much nicer now. I have been making grand plans to change the storage in there so it works better and never gets so out of control. I have a bad tendency to pile up my clothes in there and it makes a huge awful mess. I shall post again on the changes once they are made, as my plans are not likely to be of interest.
But until I sort that out, I can’t sort the rest, so poor old husband has to put up with half the mess (I did put half of it back).
Oh bum! I am such an idiot 😦 I should know better than to write while I try to keep an eye on an ebay auction. I was going to put a bid on something and totally forgot until five minutes after it ended. That’s not even the first one I missed today! It went for £1.04 – how frustrating! Well, I’m not going to miss the next one – it’s a parasol and I already put a bid on. I have moved my windows around so I can see the little red timer counting down! In 23m 23s I shall know if I got it 🙂 but I might have to increase my bid at snipe time so I must not forget it. It’s a red stripy one.
My writing is also making good progress. I have been reading loads about the craft of novel writing and I suddenly came to a realisation a few days ago about one of my half begun novels that I had the wrong main character. This other character had a much more interesting story, but for the way I wanted it to work out I knew she would not co-operate as easily as the one I made up just to do what I wanted. Of course that was not going to work! So that story has been brewing away in my head ever since and today I sat down and wrote the first scene, 1700 words in an hour and twenty minutes. It felt marvellous!
An hour or so before I wrote it I was sitting in bed stroking the cat and visualising the scene all through, seeing it through her eyes (the character’s, not the cat’s!) which really helped getting written so fast and fluidly.
Well, that’s more than long enough for a post I think. Pebble is now sitting on my lap, which makes it a tad awkward to type 🙂 and I just won the parasol for rock bottom! Yay 😀
I am not good at finishing things. I am great at starting things, but very few of them ever get finished.
Ending and finishing are not the same thing. I had to end my PhD unfinished. This has been very hard to deal with and does not help my view of myself as a person who is bad at finishing. This is an unhelpful way to see myself. So in order to change that, I need to declare this year one in which I finish more than I start!
You may wonder how that is possible. Please see the second sentence of the first paragraph 🙂 Obviously I need to finish some things I started some other year!
Fortunately I have not started heaps of things yet this year. I have started a few though. I need to make a list:
1) A Victorian crochet pattern for carriage boots – this is going quite well so far and is my current crochet project, I think it might be possible to finish this one. Here is the link to download the 1851 booklet for anyone interested!
2) Needle felted penguins for my Mum – I need to finish these this week as she wants them asap! (The link is to my pin on Pinterest, it does not go to the right page though. I intend to make a blog post about these soon.)
3) Renovating the purple parasol – I stripped it as the fabric is rotten and took photos to make a blog post, but I haven’t written the blog or finished the project.
4) Another Victorian pattern for a cushion, I got confused and moved on to the other pattern.
5) I started to try and blog more often, but it has been a bit patchy, I could commit to once a week, at the risk of having to resort to an emergency post of a picture of my cat. But she is cute, so that might be a risk worth taking 🙂
6) I have resolved to finish a novel this year, but I always intended that to be one of the ones I have already started. I don’t even care which one and I do have time left, so I am not worried by a slow start to this one – after all, if I have made no progress by November I can use Nano and finish one there.
7) I also started some crochet fingerless mitts, but I need to use a bigger hook so I’d have to undo it all and start again, which is why it has been sitting there for weeks.
I could go on, but a list which is too long can be disheartening.
Once I have managed to finish something I hope I can then begin to see myself as someone who finishes some of the things. The more I finish the more my view of myself will change. Does this mean I will not start anything new this year? I can try, but we shall see. Just so long as I finish more than I start I will be happy! Sometimes a project will have to be ended rather than finished – some of my crochet projects stopped because they hit a problem and I just left them and went on to the next, so I can call one finished with if I decide to abort it, unpick it and rewind the yarn to be reused. But that is not really what this is about – I want to finish things I start!
This resolution has been inspired today by reading this blog post from one of my favourite writing blogs. If you are an aspiring writer like me, she is well worth checking out.
I could put off posting this to add some photos, but maybe it better to just finish it here and have photos in the next one! Start as I mean to go on. Perfectionism is the enemy of getting things done.
The focus of the third week was moving the chest of drawers (hereafter referred to as the chod) from my den where it is not working (I tend to put stuff in front of it and thus hinder the openability of the drawers) to the lounge, an eccentric move, but it should be more useful in its new location.
I have been excited about this ever since Tim agreed to it, as it is good advice to tailor storage to your needs. I tend to favour open storage, being able to see and access stuff easily. Also if I can get it out easily I can put it away easily… that’s the theory anyway 🙂
Note the goal board hanging on the wardrobe door – almost full now!
Before it could move, it had to be emptied and the top cleared, the path cleared and the space for it to go into cleared. That’s a lot of moving stuff around, but it will be worth it. It WILL be worth it!
I bought that gym ball because I heard you can exercise just by sitting on it to watch telly. I tend to forget and just relax on the comfy sofa… It should maybe be deflated and passed on, but the lure of the concept of easy exercise is strong…
The day of the chod move dawned and I awoke with eager anticipation!
Imagine if furniture really could walk… moving stuff around might be easier. Or maybe the chod might object to being moved? Maybe it’s best buddies with my wardrobe and really quite miffed at the idea…
Anyway, it can’t, so Tim and Dad did a sterling job moving it down and placing it
It seems quite happy here, although I need to consider how the rest of the furniture will move around it. Obviously I gave this some thought, but sometimes things look different when they are real. Better to be sure now than forge ahead with old plans which may or may not be the best ones.
I have begun to put stuff into it, but everything is so all over the place and half of it will go upstairs onto the new storage solution for where the chod was, so I am trying to get that in place asap so I can fill the both concurrently.
The back sticks up a lot and is not pretty, but I have this poster which matches our curtains, as well as some postcards round the edges. It should look fine. Or I could drape fabric. Either way, I’m not concerned.
So the next step involves this space:
Well, technically at the moment it has a pile of stuff in bags in it, but hopefully tomorrow it will have my new storage beginning to be filled with the stuff I want there, the way I want it! 😀 Pebble of course is intrigued by new spaces and all the change.
Today we went to Ikea and bought the storage, a Gorm like the one in the CUS, but with the 50cm deep shelves rather than the 35cm ones. The only problem is that I shall have to decide before it is put together what distance I want all the shelves. I have pretty much decided, but will double check how I feel about it tomorrow. It’s important to get it right, but it’s also important to get it done…
Also this evening, I painted the front posts because they will be on show, unlike the one hidden in the CUS. I used Dulux colourmix Pamplona Purple 1 in a thin coat so the wood grain shows through. No pix yet, you’ll have to wait 🙂
I’ve been a bit tired after all that excitement, which is why this post is late. I did make it to church on Sunday, which was great as we had 2 baptisms, a young woman who started coming to our church last year and a young man I hadn’t met before.
Anyway, I’m tired again now, it’s nearly bedtime, so I’ll leave it there for today. Thanks for reading 🙂
The focus this week was on the entrance to my room of many functions (in trying to designate it in a meaningful way I realised it is hard to name as I use this room for many things, for the last year none of which involve its previous primary purpose of Study, thus that name is no longer suitable at the moment).
This is why this area was in urgent need of attention:
Because of the bookcase behind the door, it only opens about 45 degrees, and there is storage next to it as well, so it is annoying to use. I would often catch myself or my clothing on the door handle and it irritated Tim bringing me coffee. So it had to go.
The door that is!
Well, I can’t do without my bookcase, where would all my books go? I’ve only got 4 more tall wide, a tall narrow and 2 short wide ones… And they’re all full!
Plus I never shut the door anyway, for the cat.
So stage one was to clear a bit of room on the table to stack books:
Then the books were removed from the bookcase. As were the shelf and a half of files which went down into the CUS. And some miscellaneous stuff which tends to build up like barnacles on the front part of shelves. I dislike that tendency, yet it seems as hard to control as the barnacles, and is usually dealt with by a similar method of hull scraping every other year or so… I’d pull the books to the front edge, but that would shift the centre of balance too far forward and risk destabilising the balance. I’d hate for one to fall on me, those books are heavy!
I’ve never been one to fix them to the wall. For a start, what about moving them about? Mainly because I’ve mostly lived in rented and have to move and don’t want to make holes in walls. Also skirting boards. What is the deal with them? Do they serve any useful purpose any more? Or are they only there to annoy me and make my room space smaller because my furniture cannot be pushed right against the walls? Please comment if you have an opinion or factoid about skirting boards.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the books were removed, the bookcase moved aside, the door removed and stowed and the bookcase replaced, all by my lovely useful husband 🙂
I decided it would be a good idea to take advantage of this opportunity for a spot of book rearranging and sorting. So rather than simply putting this lot:
all back onto the shelves, I put some books from the landing shelves on. And some from this pile and the rest of the piles around the room, but then some of those went on the space on the landing shelves… etc etc. And I haven’t quite finished and there is the downstairs case to consider…
Anyway, there is some work still to do, but this is how it looks now!
And this is how a freshly cleared shelf from the landing now looks with some of those books on it:
And perhaps even more excitingly, the entrance now looks like this!
Just have to see now how difficult it will be to remove the big chest of drawers which is the next big goal… I measured and it should fit through, but not with a lot to spare, so watch this space!
This week we managed two walks as we had nice weather. I guess 3 a week is a goal to be built towards. And moving books definitely counts as exercise!!
In other news, we had some pretty frost, Pebble cat is very cuddly and I want to start art journalling. I am still very addicted to Pinterest and keep finding fun ideas I can’t do yet because my space is not yet ready. I need to clear that table! I think I like blogging once a week, it is so much easier than every day.
So, still mostly on track with my goals and we’re two weeks into the year! I’m cautiously optimistic 🙂 My goals have been realistic and I am not phased by not managing the 3 walks a week. I am actually ahead on the HBP! This bookcase and door thing was originally next week’s goal!! Hope I can continue at this good rate. I built plenty of give into my goals for it because I know that some weeks I just can’t manage anything much at all. This week began like that.
It’s easy to forget such setbacks when looking back like this, but I was ill on Monday and still had very low energy on Tuesday. I did make church last Sunday and it was good. I hope to go this evening too. Not sure if the resting set me back or if I just misjudged that one day is enough. Actually probably the latter. I have to cut myself some slack. But it’s all good stuff, learning and progressing 🙂
How was your week? And I meant it about the skirting boards – do you like them, loathe them, see the point of them or not?
I have done very well on week 1, my goal board has now 8 goals ticked off. I awarded myself 2 tidying stars on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 4 on Thursday and a whole galaxy on Friday! And yesterday. I have only managed one walk of the hoped for 3, but I surely burnt at least as many calories as if I had walked that and more, so it’s just the soul replenishing part of that goal I missed out on, not the exercise.
The main project for this week has been to optimise the storage in the cupboard under the stairs (hereafter referred to as CUS). Here is a shocking before picture:
So I decided we need a shelf unit to hold plastic boxes. I selected the Ikea Gorm with two extra shelves. I measured carefully and guessed it should work, even if we had to trim a bit off the top left hand corner, it’s made of soft pine and easy for Tim to cut. We bought it and brought it home, and I took some bits and went to check my measuring, after clearing half the stuff out of the CUS.
I was hopeful that it would fit exactly, possibly without even a trim! But the uprights are wide so it can be used to join more units together; to fit without cutting would have meant two boxes would not fit side to side. So it would indeed have to be cut.
After cutting just the right amount from the corners, we began the assembly. Tim had to do most of the hard work 😦 I used to enjoy DIY projects and once could have whipped this up single handed, but alas no longer. Also I realised that I had erred in my assumption that a unit of 4 shelves had equal gaps between those shelves. Therefore I should have bought one more extra shelf and there was no wiggle room on box height clearance. I was perturbed, nay irritated, but at least they do still fit. Just. But as a bonus, they will hold 2 more boxes than I expected 🙂
He did a good job, and it was soon built. Putting it in place however, was quite an operation. For a start, a lot more had to be removed to get it in. It was a pretty exact fit, but there was no room in the CUS to turn it round into position, so another little bit had to be cut off the top right back post. Then it was in, ahhh, big sigh of relief 🙂 a perfect fit.
Now I just need to fill the shelves 😀
The primary goal for next week is to get those shelves filled with all the extraneous stuff from the lounge and other rooms, then the door can be shut on it all and I can focus on the next step, making the home beautiful 🙂
In other news, I just had a really nice bowl of mashed banana for my lunch. Two small manky bananas which would otherwise have been thrown out (that’s just the right time to mash them as they are soft and easy), cut out any bruises, mashed up with a little milk and sugar, some cinnamon and chocolate sprinkles – delicious!
And I even managed to blog again, so I’m managing once a week so far. Plus I finished a warm crocheted hat for myself, I made one for my Dad and one for Tim as Christmas presents, but they were so warm and comfy that I wanted one too 🙂 Here’s a pic of Tim in his:
I am happy to begin a fresh year. Last year was not an easy one. My hope for this year is that it will be one of growth.
I like to set goals, rather than make resolutions as such, but this time we choose to reset the calendar seems a good one to reset goals. My goals have changed so much from last year. This time last year I was all about finishing my PhD upgrade, working maniacally on my thesis. I thought I was getting there, until the ‘blah virus’ which I now know to have been a stress burnout hit me.
What felt at the time like a brief pause, a small setback, has turned into a whole year off. And it looks set to continue for a while at least. So my primary goal this year is to find a way out of it.
2011 will be known as the year of crochet, rather than the year of burnout, stress, anxiety and meltdown. I have enjoyed learning this new skill, which I am confident will be with me now as long as my hands can loop yarn round a hook. It has proved an excellent antidote to my anxiety for the most part. I have travelled from total noob to rookie designer and have made loads of stuff.
In 2012 I plan to continue nurturing my creativity in crochet, writing and other crafts. I want to begin a Holy Art Journal (for want of a better term) in which I can meditate creatively on Bible verses. And my Grand Plan (*insert sound of trumpet fanfare here*) is the Home Beautification Project.
As my loyal readers and anyone who knows me personally will know, I struggle with tidiness and organisation. One thing I learned about this year which helped me is Myers-Briggs types, which helped me understand that those negative traits tend to go hand in glove with my type of creativity. I’m INTP if that means anything to you. I keep meaning to write a post about it and hopefully will one day soon, so I shall say no more on that right now.
Anyway, the point is that I am great at starting fun creative projects and poor at maintaining tasks. So if I can turn a dull, tedious, tiring and unpleasant task, tidying up, into a fun, creative project then it might just work! Hence the renaming of tidying up to home beautifying 🙂
This came about at least in part due to my recent Pinterest addiction. There are so many great ideas there, so easy to collect together in one attractive place. Some are craft projects, some are pretty pictures. It can also be a great way to plan a holiday or a project. My board ‘For the Home’ contains not just random stuff I like, but also ideas for how to make things look nicer or be more efficient, hopefully both.
But I can’t even start some of my ideas until I have cleared a bit of space…
I have completed one easy project today though! Eventually I want to make a much prettier one, but better to make a start and improve than try for perfection and thus never start. So here is my first contribution to the HBP – a goals board:
I chose a cheery orange frame and simply removed the clear plastic front, reversed the bit of paper saying it’s a Nyttja frame from Ikea, put it back together and wrote the title and my first goal. As the goal was to make the board, I gave myself a big tick and a smiley face and hung it on my study/studio door on a wreath hanger I picked up in the post-Christmas sell off of decorations for 50p.
The 5 in the bottom left hand corner is where I shall give myself a star for every five minutes I spend tidying up or cleaning. Baby steps. 🙂
I shall add to the list and it will grow and develop as the project does. Hopefully my next one will be prettier and by the end of the year this board will be an artistic, motivational, organisational masterpiece! From tiny acorns do mighty oaks grow…
Hey, at least I did something. Which is not bad given that I had a few glasses of wine last night and didn’t get to bed until 2AM 🙂 I feel better than I deserve, thanks to drinking lots of water. I recommend water. It’s good stuff 😀
Do you have goals or resolutions? Or a hangover? 😉 Or a Pinterest addiction? Or a random comment, an animal noise, a silly joke (clean only please, this is a PG blog)? Happy New Year anyway!