January 3, 2012

The Dawning of the New Year

It's that time again. Expectations abound. How will we improve ourselves and our lives in the coming year? Are you finding it as difficult as I am to make new resolutions this year? It seems so futile, when I know life develops its own pace and often carries me right along with it. My best laid plans are left on the shoreline as I get swept away by the current of the moment. And then before I know it, we’re celebrating another new year. 

One thing is for certain. It does us no good to berate ourselves for any so-called “failures” carried over from last year's unmet expectations. We cannot change what is past. We can only move forward.

Okay, so at least it's not this bad!
If I could come up with one word for what I hope to accomplish this year, it would be to simplify. For me, this specifically means to de-clutter. This task will take me the whole year and truthfully, it feels quite overwhelming. My chest is tightening just thinking of all that needs to be done.

So I will start with one project. My desk. That place where everything is set down to be looked at 'later on', until the pile grows so high that it slides onto the floor. The place where piles start out innocently enough and quite organized, thank you very much. But they grow in the dark and become monstrous, hiding important documents underneath the trivial papers waiting to be filed.

I just found the renewal for my driver’s license. Whoops! My birthday was over a week ago, so I am driving with an expired license. Well, hey, it’s only renewed every 8 years! Not something I keep on my calendar, y’know! So there is my first goal to accomplish.

I am easily overwhelmed with the abundance of tasks I try to complete in a day. Oftentimes my reaction is simply to give up and not even try. My friend Carol Anne Swett has some great ideas today in her blog that I think will help me to start slowly and to be gentle and kind to myself in the process of trying to redesign my world into a more organized state.

See, I always use the excuse that I am a creative individual and not a linear thinker.  And this is true! My thoughts are all over the place, which I think allows me to be who I am and to share the beautiful way I see life. But it can be a hindrance when I am trying to get organized. I get sidetracked with craft ideas or go into another room to put something away and somehow never come back to the original task. Tell me this never happens to you!

I like a clean home, and keep it clean the best I can. But the clutter that piles up from our supposedly ‘going paperless’ culture can be too much to deal with. And I am a saver. I have treasured notes from my children and handprint turkeys and crayon drawings I could never part with. So I just keep everything organized.

To some it is organized chaos. But I know where everything is. It’s when it gets to the point that I can’t find something that I get frustrated. And truly, the clutter is emotionally draining. Working at home as I do, I never leave my job or the housework, so it is all bearing down on me all the time. So I shut it all out and write or sing, or go for a walk. Then I am ready to come back to the puzzle and sort out the pieces, finding places for everything, and putting everything in its place.

I wish you all the best in 2012. Let's set simple goals, and find ways to attain them by taking baby steps, a little at a time. In this way we can all achieve successes and find our way to our bright futures. 

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