This year kicked off with a big fat thud. Right into a wall.
Let me back up.
2014, my grand “year of gratitude”, came in for a landing with about 4 months of pretty heavy turbulence that culminated into a “don’t be like that horribly impossible-to-please ungrateful guy” situation … which then turned into a “you can’t have a heart filled with gratitude without loving yourself first” situation … which then concluded as a “have compassion for even the most impossible-to-please and ludicrous of people” situation.
And THEN there was the big fat thud right into the wall.
The new year came and nothing changed.
And now we’re just treading water. Treading along as if our lives depend on it because, well… because it does.
Somethin’s gotta give, Man…
I keep saying it, & things seem to keep getting worse.
Now, things between us — as a couple — have literally never been better. But we are constantly on guard for these things that are getting harder or worse or just not getting better and are aware of the potential ways they can harm our love and commitment to each other. We can’t possibly be so brazen to think it couldn’t happen to us, so we take precautions to ensure it won’t.
In the meantime, I think I have learned what I’m supposed to have learned here and I am SO ready for any number of things to finally go better, if not go right … simultaneously wouldn’t be unwelcome, to be sure. Last year’s lessons in gratitude were clearly preparation & I’m grateful (no pun intended). But I mean, Jimminy Christmas, Lord. Can we please get on with the getting better part already?? (This paragraph is pretty much my daily prayer life right now.)
Our stressers are these issues that are happening to us from outside our home. Some of these things, we can and will be physically addressing in the coming days and months; some of it, we can only prayerfully watch to see what happens. Some of it is financial, is crazy scary, and seriously affects the wellbeing of our little foursome. Some of it is emotional and could hurt or better our hearts. They all definitely add stress!
Through it all, we get these small glimpses of ways things could possibly improve into our “next phase”. And we look at it and wonder, “Could this be our breakthrough?” It might be. One day. But it isn’t right now, and so we remain tired and marginally hopeful, but not really hopeful.
And so we grasp at straws. This year, the straw (or should I say goal) is to complete the decor in every room in our home. This isn’t that huge of a task. It’s just a massive undertaking for a couple of idea people who don’t finish things (our poor creative children of creatives!) … and who have a re-he-heeeeally hard time agreeing on design choices (the agreeing thing is probably our biggest hurdle). Of course, I’m making it bigger than decor. I’m making it about decluttering first. Because I “love to complicate things” (according to Mr. Old School). 🙂
I’m starting off 2015 by adding a few small things into my habit repertoire that will help us achieve our goals.
First, I read that it really lightens your straightening load if, every time you get up from your workspace or TV viewing, you purpose to gather up to five items and put them away. I started doing this last week and our home has felt so much neater! I’m even getting everyone in on this habit. Effective! (CHECK!)
Second, I’m instituting a weekly and monthly cleaning schedule and including the children so it just becomes a part of our daily routine instead of just mine. Is it weird that the kids are excited about learning how to clean the toilet?? Now, I just have to actually do this one…
Third, we’ve narrowed the crux of our clutter to our garage. It was a really bad move, but necessary, since The StinkerRelly needed his own room. Our office had been the catch-all room and we could still park our vehicles in our garage. Now, the garage is our dumping ground. This year, I’m determined to not put anything else in there unless I throw at least two things away. And I’m determined to park our vehicles in there again. Determined! (Get ready for the heavy revy I already downloaded from God related to this one. Oh boy and a double OUCH!)
And Fourth, we have a laundry list of home maintenance projects. Some of them have been started and never finished and some of them have never been started. My goal for this list is to COMPLETE one of these projects PER MONTH this year. Some of these are as simple as cleaning all the windows in the house and planting something cute in the flower pots. Others aren’t as simple, like sanding and refreshing the polyurethane on the floors. Still others are cost prohibitive (thus, may not get accomplished this year), like replacing all these inferior contractor-grade windows with windows that actually hold in the heat during the winter and keep out the heat in the summer (savings *after* we plunk down a couple grand doesn’t help us pay for them initially, so keep your savings talk to yourself, please). We won’t be able to tick every item off our list, but we will definitely be “giving it the ol’ college try”.
This is the year we get rid of the clutter!
This is the year we keep the place neat (if not clean) most of the time!
This is the year we finish what we start around here.
Welcome to 2015: THE YEAR OF COMPLETION!
(Literally by day 7, Mr. Old School had grown tired of my exuberant, finger-raised rallying cry that’s almost “Great Scott”-esque. I’m not going to quit exclaiming and proclaiming it, though.)