Day 71 – Another book for my side table

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I got my confirmation email today for the Mindfulness course. I am to buy a book for writing in specifically for the course and the directive was to find something I love because it will be used to hold my inner thoughts blah blah. Ok – I LOVE buying stationary! As a young girl my pocket-money was spent in an even split on stationary and aniseed wheels. These days I’d say shoes win out mostly but I do love an excuse to go buy a beautiful blank book, positively vibrating with potential.

Of course that thing will probably happen where I open the first page ready to be profound and super articulate and my mind will go blank.

Also, I bought a book online called ‘The life-changing magic of Cleaning Up. The Japanese art of decluttering and Organising.’ by Marie Kondo. I keep buying books that I then don’t have time to read. I have quite a large pile next to the bed now. I am reminded of my students who when I ask if they have done their homework they’ll say ‘I’ve got the book!’ all indignantly but then admit that no, they haven’t actually read it. It’s like buying the book and keeping it by the bed shows willing, and actually that’s all I have the energy for right now.

But doesn’t that sound nice? ‘The life-changing magic of Cleaning up’. I wonder if I can get the children to read it.

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Day 41 – Decluttering and prioritising time.

Two things that stress me out;

  1. Stuff where there shouldn’t be stuff. I know those of you who have graced our humble little abode with your glorious presence will find this hard to believe (spoiler alert – we have a lot of stuff) BUT I hate it when the stuff isn’t in its place. For example the only things that should be on top of the shiny cabinet are the ornaments. ONLY the ornaments. Not bills, or pieces of Lego or fucking any bloody thing you can’t be bothered putting away. No, the mantlepiece is not a good place to keep the bicycle repair kit – it doesn’t quite fit the ‘look’ we are going for babe. Don’t get me started on Master 4’s idea of ‘putting something away’.
  2. And having too much stuff – again, I know we have a lot of stuff – but we have the perfect amount of stuff. It’s just right. Being the collectors of beautiful and wonderful things that me AND the grumpy Dutchman are (yes babe you have how many records? and boring non-fiction books about old stuff?) we do need to do a really good cull every 3-6 months. Usually different stuff each time, (always clothes though; the boys just keep growing no matter how hard we try to stunt their growth with junk food and TV) and always other stuff.

Tonight we did two things to help reduce the stress around these things; We got a cleaner in to do a quote for us AND a friend of mine who has a cool cause called ‘A Book in the hand‘ came and collected some baby stuff to give to people who don’t have a lot of stuff for whatever reason.

I am not telling you this to be all oooooh they so fancy they getting a cleaner! Nope, although we can’t yet afford to buy our own house I’ll tell you why we consider this a good use of a small part of our weekly budget. We are paying for Time. Time to spend with our lads. Time to spend with each-other. Time to read a book if that’s what we want to do. Valuable, rare time. Like most folks we both work full-time, our lads are in care until one of us collects them and we keep working day hours – 8am – 5pm – most days. Like everybody else we get two days on the weekend. And we sure as shit don’t enjoy spending one whole day cleaning the house from top to bottom while the lads follow us round being bored and miserable. (One whole day you say? you’re doing it wrong! Well, we haven’t yet figured out how to clean and entertain the children adequately so they pretty much do all they can to sabotage our efforts to get attention – it’s not an efficient process). We have had a cleaner before and it really frees us up so much. She used to come on a friday and we’d get home and walk in to a beautifully clean house and it was… just…. bliss. The best. (also the morning she came we would run around throwing things in their rightful places so she could better clean the surfaces left behind – voila less stress because everything is in its place! Perfect!).

So we’ve gone back. It means less beer for the GD and less cruising Trademe for me but it’s totes worth it.

The other thing we do, or at least try to do is re-home stuff we can’t/don’t use anymore. Trying not to  landfill can be hard – it’s amazing how many places you can ring to donate to and they don’t want your stuff (a lot of people must try to get rid of dodgy stuff I reckon) and I can’t be bothered with Trademe most of the time. But I would rather give our stroller to a family who can’t afford one than sell it for $20 on trademe and then have to figure out how to get it to Tauranga – you know what I mean? My favourite people to give (good quality clean and safe) stuff to are; the Women’s Refuge, the SPCA, the local school if it’s potential art materials etc, and if I can’t find anywhere I ask around. A book in the Hand is a great concept – Sarah collects books for school children who don’t have them – check out her page, tonight we didn’t have many books to give her but she is involved with another group called ‘Share the Love’ who operate out west and collected a heap of kids/baby stuff to take to them.

It feels good because our loved things go to be loved by someone else, I hate waste and I like to think that the boys toys get to be played with by new kids and don’t grow all lonely and sad in a cupboard somewhere wishing for the good old days… Toy Story really did a number on me huh.

Anyway, in other news I only did HALF my daily goal of steps today. wtf lazy ass.