Sunday, November 17, 2013

Simply Sunday #10

Hello!  Hope your Sunday is going well.

Because we've been traveling, I haven't posted for a while.  And we just got back home from our final trip, so I don't have a whole lot to offer for this week's installment of Simply Sunday, but here goes:

(1) Reorganized some kitchen cabinets and laundry room shelves.  For most of our kids' lives to-date, my husband was the stay-at-home parent and I was the sole breadwinner.  So he was in charge of the house.  He is very good at many domestic things, but he is organizationally challenged in a major way.  I'm not organized by my inherent nature, but I've seen what happens when there is not structure and organization.  Resources get wasted--be they time, money, appliances, etc.  You just get more out of life with less effort if you are organized.  So I always joke that if being disorganized were a disease, I'd be working my way through the 12 Steps, while my husband would still be in denial that he had a problem.  So with that back story, imagine the transition as we flip roles this fall such that he becomes the sole breadwinner and I take charge of the home!  Yikes.  Suffice it to say I've been incredibly frustrated at the amount of clutter and flat out mess as I open cabinets and doors I've ignored the past many years.  I've been trying to declutter my own excess, while encouraging him to clean out/up his many messes.  Having lukewarm success on these things.  Rome was not built in a day, and meanwhile life goes on, so we cannot focus 100% on construction.  (Or de-construction, in our case.)  So, this week, I've tried to begin focusing on reorganizing the kitchen and laundry room now that I'm using those parts of our home more.  I'm really excited!  Not nearly close to being done, mind you. But I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel.  I'm finding things I didn't know we had that frankly will come in handy.  Christmas has come early!  And I'm looking forward to taking care of business more now that at least some things will be easier to find.  Although please pray that the organization takes root.  Despite my pleading over the years, my husband has a not-so-endearing habit of stuffing junk places it doesn't belong.  In the immortal words of George Costanza: Serenity Now, Serenity Now!

(2) Used neglected appliances, got rid of broken one.  So one of the by-products of my reorganization of at least some kitchen cabinets is that I'm finding--or at least getting access to--appliances that had not been used in a while.  I don't want to keep things we won't get use out of.  That just clutters our home, complicates our lives, and they could be used and appreciated by other folks.  So, in light of this situation, as I write there is fresh bread baking in our bread machine.  Booya!  And paninis and/or waffles may be in the near future.  I'm also thinking of the many types of hummus I could make with the food processor.  Meanwhile, as I do this initial inventory, I have come to the realization that the tea kettle we got as a wedding present 17 years ago has bit the dust in multiple, unfixable ways.  It is in the recycle bin, not appropriate for donation to a thrift store or other charity.  And because I drink tea every morning to get my caffeine fix, my husband researched and bought me a handy-dandy new electric tea kettle that goes on the kitchen counter and will no longer take up space on my stove, which made cooking tricky.  Simple pleasures!

(3) Been more cognizant of the façades we build.  Another thing I've been doing lately is inspired by my recent traveling.  When we travel, we get out of our homes, our routines, our ways of doing things, and we're exposed to different people and different ways of living.  I find that fascinating!  In doing that, I've just become more and more cognizant that no one's life is perfect.  Every relationship, every house, every job has flaws.  When we only look at the surface, things seem glamorous and in place.  If we then compare that façade to our imperfect lives, it is depressing and demoralizing!  But I've been thinking more and more about how there is imperfection in everyone's lives, and as I'm traveling, I see evidence of that all around me.  It is a real comfort and encouraging.  It helps me feel less frustrated about the imperfections in my own life.

(4) Taking time for fun, people.  Traveling has also liberated me from routine to focus on having fun and making the people in my life a priority.  I'm always so task-oriented.  That has served me well in both my professional and personal life.  I've had a great career, and I have a blessed home life.  But being so task-oriented, that can get in the way of having fun and building memories.  As people I've known pass away--sometimes in old age, but sometimes prematurely at way too young an age--I have sometimes been struck by how I missed opportunities with them.  I don't believe in wallowing in guilt or regret.  That is not productive.  But I do believe in seeing where we went astray and trying our best to not make the same mistakes (or similar ones) in the future.  None of us knows how much time we have on this planet.  We're fools if we think we're guaranteed a certain number of decades.  So it is important to recognize this dynamic and take every day as a gift, get everything out of it we can.  I've made some great memories with my kids recently, from collecting shells to trying new kinds of olives to teaching them about the internet.  I'm so grateful for those opportunities.  Don't want to pass up others!

So in that spirit. . . go out and make it a great one!

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