(And LIFE, Generally)
Greetings, reader (intentionally singular because haha)…
Let’s do a little life update, shall we? And copious photo dump…(some of which predate the last blog post)
WILLIAM MORRIS MONDAYS
First, as soon as the Big Kids started Kindergarten, I scratched a decorating itch and painted our white mantel a high-gloss version of the dark green in our dining room (which is two shades darker than the living room walls). I am obsessed with the results and planning to paint the back of our door the same green…someday (I sanded and wiped it down, and then started working during my only free time, so that’s been paused until I wrap up my temp work).
Second, in the second half of September, I did a major declutter (500 items in four days followed by an All-Day Declutter) and man, it was awesome. I am continually shocked by how much lower my stuff-management threshold is then I think it is.
Third, yesterday, faced with some stress from a full activities and holiday schedule after a year and a half of doing nothing outside my home, I channeled my anxiety into organizing, which, as you know if you’ve been here before, is my happy place.
Fourth and finally, I used a big personal challenge (NaNoWriMo) as a reason to rearrange said living room to create a dedicated and clear writing space in a quiet and cozy part of the house (namely, near the fireplace and where our puppy-dog can’t eat my notes).
So anyway, this is where I’ll be writing. Also/and, I realized this week when telling someone about my blog (hi, if you’re here), that my blog had CRASHED, but figured out that it was due to a faulty plugin. So I reset them all and am back up and running. Hallelujah, gloria. Which is why I’m indulging myself in a full-length blog post because:
1/ You don’t know what you got til its gone (sayeth 80s hairband Cinderella)
2/ Procrastination puts the fun in dysfunctional executive function!
My reading goal in 2020 was twelve books. I managed twenty! So I decided to go for 21 in 2021. I made goal this month. Read:
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White
- Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicker (Book 2/14)
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket (Book 3/14)
- Educated by Tara Westover
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket (Book 4/14)
- Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- It’s Just My Nature by Carol Tuttle
- Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
- The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle
- Project 333 by Courtney Carver
- Your Money or Your Life (Revise) by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
- Hello, Habits, by Fumio Sasaki
- There Are No Grown-Ups by Pamela Druckerman
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket (Book 5/14)
- This Naked Mind by Annie Grace
- Bunnicula by James Howe
- French Twist by Catherine Crawford
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket (Book 6/14)
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket (Book 7/14)
- Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
- Simple Abundance: A Daybook by Sarah Ban Breathnach
- The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah
- Raising Human Beings by Dr. Ross Greene
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
- The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Mary Ann Wood
- No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
Lessons – I love children’s literature (the kids’ books are all being read aloud to my kids save for The Incorrigible Children, which I’m reading for my own pleasure based solely on the Jon Klassen illustrations and a review that compared it to “Jane Austen meets Lemony Snicket”. I need to read more fiction for ME. All of my fiction books in 2021 are in my “currently reading” stack, or were read aloud to my children. I need more of the sort that can be devoured in a weekend and tossed aside. So much nonfiction, which I clearly ADORE, but which isn’t really an escape. I need a little more escape in my life.
The news here is that I have temporarily…or maybe permanently…abandoned my capsule. The long and short of is is that I have decluttered so much that I’m approaching my 100-item goal (don’t worry; I’m not there yet). But I have enough that the things that are left out don’t actually serve me more because they are above some magical count number, and then a style group I’m in is doing a “No Repeat November”, where no outfits are repeated, and I thought this was a great way to wear a variety of items, see what I reach for and what I don’t, and use what I learn to push myself to declutter further. I like variety, but until I’m wearing most of what I have most of the time, there’s room to pare down. I still am solidly in a spot where I can avoid things that don’t serve me, and if they don’t serve me, I should release them, right? Right
You can see how items carry over a bit, which has the nice touch of lending a bit of consistency to my outfits day-to-day, but also forces me to try to wear things differently when I’m repeating. Easy when it’s earrings or shoes. Harder when it’s a sweater! But I appreciate a good challenge.
First and foremost, while I was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 last spring, the shot I got (I didn’t get to chose at the mass vaccination event we attended, which was FINE with me), J+J, apparently isn’t as effective long-term as they hoped. So they bumped J+J recipients to eligible 2+ months post vaccine, and the research I did favored the mRNA options as a booster, so I got Moderna on October 29th. I had a sore arm, some fatigue, and a few days with a swollen lymph node, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad. Two weeks later, I feel fine, and plan to get my annual flu shot soon.
As I mentioned way up in Monday, I am working on writing a novel. It’s currently 2:00pm on the 13th day of November. I have 12,339 words. Do you now what that means?
It means I’m woefully behind (should be at 21,671 today, so planning a write-a-thon of sorts today since our plans got canceled and it’s cold and yuck which is perfect stay inside and be creative weather — cue all the coffee and wearing my pajamas all day). I won’t catch up today, but I should be able to make a dent. If I can average 750 words per hour (which should be conservative, but as I blog today, my 4- and 6-year-old daughters are in here writing with me), that deficit of 9,332 words will take me around twelve hours to write. If I can eke out four hours throughout the day today and tomorrow, that’s that’s 6000 of the words, and then I only need 4.5 hours after the kids are in bed to knock out the remaining 3332 words by Sunday at my bedtime. If I get on a good writing jag, I might be able to do this in less time OR rack up more words, which would put me in good shape. I need to be at 25,000 by bedtime Monday (the halfway point) to be “caught up” and we’re running headlong into Thanksgiving, so I’m going to have to devote some real time to this novel to actually cross the finish line on or before November 30th. My first NaNoWriMo in 2009, (which I won!)
3/ I have stuff to share, dammit.
That said, I need to get my butt in gear ASAP. A little pressure helps. Overwhelm shuts me down.
We are all doing well. My brother-in-law got married last month, and my little pumpkins were in the wedding. Hubby and I were able to get cleaned up with good reason for the first time in way too long. And then of course, pumpkins and Halloween! We had a great time. In other news, our cats developed a crazy rash and I took them in for evaluation, sure it was the prescription food they were on for one of the cats’ health issues. Alas, alack – fleas. They are indoor only; our dog is on preventative medication; we have fleas. The vet was stumped and so are we. I have no idea where they came from, but a solid month later, I think we’re on the other side of it. Our cats have normal skin and coats, there’s a lot less scratching on the part of four-legged friends, and our vacuum is our true VIP.
More later, loves!