"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Gearing Up for Fall

How I wish fall was in the air--it's still 100 degrees outside and it is after 7 PM.  But I find myself gearing up for autumn--usually happens this way when the school supplies go on sale.  See, I'm an office supply junkie.  Nothing excites me quite like new #2 pencils, pristine notebook paper and a brand new box of Crayola crayons.

The office end of my new studio is pretty well finished--I've hung the curtains and put "bright light" bulbs in the lamps.  I've set up my bill-paying/household hub area and set up a filing system for current papers.  I finally purchased my autographed copy of "No Plot? No Problem!" by Chris Baty, the genius behind National Novel Writing Month (AKA NaNoWriMo, which is actually international in scope now).  My copy came yesterday, and I can hardly wait to hunker down and read it this week ;-)

The lamps over my sewing table and my crafting table both have daylight bulbs, so even without an overhead fixture, I have task lighting where needed.  My crafting supplies have been severely decluttered, especially any non-Stampin' Up! products, to the delight of my granddaughter, some crafty friends, and the Salvation Army.  I realized that I am a collector of "stuff"--five years from Katrina and my house was crammed to the rafters in crafting supplies and books, all of which I fully intended to get around to "someday". 

Well, there are only so many hours in the day for anyone, especially a working writer, so I am being ruthless this time in only keeping what I truly love and will use consistently.  In crafting, that's Stampin' Up!  In reading, I happen to have a wondrous library less than a mile up the street, so only my research materials and those books I re-read periodically need to grace my shelves on a permanent basis. 

My books are being sorted into piles--Paperback Swap, Friends of the Library/Salvation Army, and keep.  I've already lowered my TBR mountain by over 200 volumes and want to pare the remaining 500+ by another third or so before Labor Day.  I had to put my Paperback Swap account on hold because of the number of hoarded books other members are wishing for--I need to replenish my postage account there in a big way before I can accept requests LOL!

So, just a bit more to do before the big reveal here, and I hope to be finished by September--then even if it stays 100 degrees plus here, my house will be decluttered, clean, and ready for fall ;-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Blessings of Being "One"

This month is a reflection month for me since experiencing Hurricane Katrina five years ago (I have other reflection months for other reasons--November for instance because of my birthday).  When I returned to Dallas on the waves of Katrina, I knew the city well--it is, after all, my native locale.  But, I was raw inside:  vulnerable, in need of emotional shelter, wanting comfort, wanting someone else to be the strong one, wanting to follow rather than lead...

I had tried various forms of communal living from 2002-2005.  I had tried living with my daughter's family (that turned into a multi-generational mess).  I had been a live-in nanny for a dear friend (TMI on way too many levels and a great way to lose a best friend).  I had a roommate to share expenses (a necessity for living decently in New Orleans without being rich).  When Katrina struck, friends and family really pitched in to get me to Dallas and help me get back on my feet.  The independent, stubborn, Scorpio side of me wanted to ensure I was employed and housed and fed without charity as soon as possible.  That was the easy part--I had an apartment by September, a job in October, and life moved on.  The emotional, needy Scorpio side of me ran into an old acquaintance who on the surface was everything I always knew he could be and I chose to give him another chance.  Thankfully, I lost only possessions, time, and the respect of others who knew I had made a poor choice of partner.  The scars which could so easily have been physical were only emotional, and they have taught me many lessons. 

That's all background.  The here and now is a Blessed Singleness.  I cherish my friends and even most of my acquaintances.  I cherish more my ability to live life alone--picking and choosing my companion of the day based on the event; knowing that many times my most loving companion is myself.  My circle of friends narrows as I age simply because I choose to have only positive thinkers surround me.  We need not agree on politics or religion or any other topic, but we need to respect one another and support each other in our goals in this second third of our lives.

It's Sunday morning.  I'm not finished rearranging my apartment.  There are dishes and laundry to do, meals to cook, bills to pay.  I could get overwhelmed with general living yet I sit here basking in the knowledge that

Man can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as... from a lack of bread.  ~Richard Wright, Native Son, 1940

I found this video this morning on 52-Card Pickup, a card challenge blog I follow faithfully for her wonderful challenges to be more self aware.   I want to instill enough self-discipline to start participating in her challenge, but for now, I need to just publicly thank her for her inspiration on a weekly basis.  Thank you, Sue.