Check-In: Feb. 18

What I’m working on – Well, between the ground hog and the 70 degree days we’ve had, it’s obvious Spring is coming. I have mixed feelings. I like Spring. It’s invigorating. I’m excited that we’re in a house now and not an apartment, so I can have a garden. But Spring doesn’t last long before turning into Summer and I just sit around being hot and miserable.

Oh well, I’ll worry about Summer in a couple months. This week, I was moved to make some Easter designs. Easter follows the first day of Spring pretty closely this year. Better get a jump on those eggs.

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What I’m playing – I’ve been playing a LOT of Banished. It’s a city-building strategy game and the “plot” (really just a premise, there’s no story at all) is that you’ve got a small group of people banished to the wilderness and you’ve got to help them survive. This kind of game is pretty great if you’re a control freak like me.  Ever feel like things are getting out of hand in real life? Start ordering a bunch of little digital people to gather wood and build houses. Manage their resources through the winter. Make them build little farms and raise little chickens. It’s extremely satisfying. It’s a good way to kill a couple hours but walk away feeling like you accomplished something.

What I’m reading – After two months on the hold list at the library, I finally have this bad boy in my possession:

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Oh yes. I am so ready to throw all of my stuff away.

I’ve seen a whole lot of people jumping on that KonMari train and I’ve decided I need it in my life. The husband and I moved out of our apartment and into a (rental) house this past July. I thought I was purging SO much stuff. Yet… as I unpacked, it started to feel like we had even less room. (And in some cases that was very much true. Our kitchen is surprisingly tiny.) I’ve started to feel a lot of anxiety about how much stuff we have. I kind of feel like I can’t really enjoy the things I have that I love because there’s so much other stuff choking it out. And you know, we’re grown ups now. I’d like to investing in NICE things. Real furniture. Window treatments. Art for the walls. But I have to clear the junk first.

I’m already halfway through the book, and yeah… a lot of it is a little kooky woo-woo. Thanking your stuff before tossing it out, holding things and waiting for the joy… and there’s that whole bit about how hard your socks work. But I think that might be the best method for me. I hang on to so much stuff because I get so weirdly sentimental about things. Maybe if I just took the time to kind of ceremoniously “let go” rather than just tossing it out, I can clear up those weird emotional attachments. We’ll see. I’ve still got to finish reading (I’m taking lots of notes) and then I’ll clear some time in my schedule to get to work.

Coming This March: The obligatory KonMari Step One “pile of clothes” blog post!

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Putting it all together

Productivity update! So, as I said before, my goal this year is to be more productive. Part of that is getting organized. I’m one of those people whose mind reflects their environment. I find clutter and disarray so distracting I can’t get anything done. But, rather than dig in and get things organized, I sometimes get paralyzed and don’t know where to start. So, I’m taking things in bite-sized chunks this time.

First up, this pile of stuff:

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This is actually only half of the mess. That’s about five years worth of recipes clipped from magazines. Five years ago, I started putting them in binders so I could actually use them. Then I got distracted. And the pile grew. For five. years. 

So, when I took stock of all of our clutter, I zeroed in on that pile that’s been sitting next to my desk, my main work space, for (again) five years. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve spread my pile out on the living room floor, turned on the X-Files on Netflix, arranged all of my bits of paper by category and started gluing them to copy paper and stuffing them in sheet protectors. So many sheet protectors.

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This is Sid, my personal assistant, holding down the “dessert bars” section until I get to it. He’s been a real help.

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I’m currently about 80% done. It’s taken a surprising amount of time. But, the pile is growing smaller and smaller, and that’s encouraging.

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I’ve also discovered washi tape. Can you tell?

Next up: Finding a place for my two giant binders, followed by actually cooking some of this stuff.

 

New Year, New something something something…

The fact that I’m making my “New Year, New You” post on January 11th should tell you everything you need to know about me. The Fresh Start Effect tends to kick in a little too early with me. I spend most of December making grand plans and by New Year’s Day I’ve lost momentum and postponed my resolutions.

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I’m working on it, though. This blog is proof.

My overarching goal this year is to Just Be More Productive.  I took the biggest step this past September when I opened my Etsy shop. It’s given me something to focus my productivity and creativity on and something I can build goals around. This year’s main goals aren’t necessarily about building revenue, but more about building inventory and a brand.

So, here I am, building a brand by shamelessly self promoting. But, it’s also about blogging as a motivator for self-improvement (I learned it by watching Lazy Lady, alright!). I can’t build an audience without content and I can’t provide worthwhile content without getting off my butt and doing something. So please, stick around while I try and entertain you… or just come back in December and see how I did. At this point, it could go either way.