Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Anti-Resolution

Happy Freaking New Year! Let's try that again ... Happy New Year everyone!

I’m not much for resolutions. In fact, I’m not sure I have ever made a New Years Resolution. I don’t understand the benefit of setting myself up for complete and utter failure that way.

This year I’ve approached 2009 a little differently. I still resolve to absolve myself of resolutions (did you follow that?). However, lately I’ve found myself focusing on taking a different path in many facets of my life. I just haven't been able to wrap my mind around exactly where this path is going. As long as the path heads south, far away from the snow and cold, I’m pretty much game for taking it.

The other morning when I was getting ready, I looked at this picture in our house, much like I was noticing it for the first time. Immediately, I realized that all of these plans, organization, purging, and goal making I’ve been focused on suddenly made sense. I’m on a path of simplifying.

So, instead of making a New Years Resolution, I’m making a New Years Word. Let me introduce you to my friend Simplify. I’m getting warm and fuzzy feelings thinking about her, so I hope she sticks around and keeps me company for awhile.

I’m not exactly sure what direction simplification will take me and I am okay with that. Maybe it will be my first attempt at wetting my toes in the spontaneity pool again. It’s even more attractive because it is a start to 2009 that I think I can keep on track with for more than a measly week.

If I knew what my journey towards simplifying meant, I would share it with you. But, like any un-well laid plan, errr, I don’t know. Now, THAT is profound! However, I do know what simplifying does not mean:

… a closet haphazardly strewn with clothes, yet nothing to wear. Something tells me in might be time to part with some of my clothing from 2005, even though it will feel like chopping off my appendages with a butter knife. They will never fit right again. Repeat it again slowlllly and mean it this time … they will never fit right again.

… a basement full of boxes that haven’t been unpacked since we moved in here four years ago. If we haven’t missed it in four years, it likely needs to find a better home. Yes, even those gifts of events-past that I’ve felt too guilty to part with.

… an email inbox with 19 pages of unsorted, unread, and unanswered emails. If one of them is yours, I’m sorry. Chances are I lost it around page 17.

… reorganization of my home office area. There is NO excuse for incurring a late-fee charge on my credit card this month. Did I have the money? Of course I had the money. Did I realize the bill was due? Nope, it somehow got loss in the abyss of paperwork on my desk. I kid you not. In fact, I’m embarrassed to even write this, but you know things are bad when you are so busy, disorganized, and exhausted that you just don’t pay a bill.

… a 3,000 square foot house that is bursting at the seams, yet only occupied by 3 people and one cat who is the spawn of satan. Ever since we lost the ability to pay for a housekeeper, I hate about 1,800 square feet of our house.

…waking up in the middle of a dream that I showed up to the first day of class without any of my material to teach. Highly likely fear if I don’t get my act together since it starts in 11 days and I haven’t pulled out the stuff from last year, let alone done anything with it.

I am assuming that you are catching my drift. I could provide you with examples all day, but I would humiliate myself with each additional revelation. So, with that, I’ve provided my obligatory New Year’s post. If you’ve read this far, I applaud you. This post was more for me than for your reading enjoyment.

We will return with the chaos, hopefully sprinkled with some simplification tomorrow.


Call Me Cate said...

Yay for simplified chaos! I was telling Joe about your "Simplify" word choice over breakfast and he was a big fan. I'm still thinking my word will be "Focus". That said, a lot of the practical things I need to do are similar to yours. I should do something about that.

dizzblnd said...

Ahhhh yes... all of those things sound sooooooo familiar.. except the basement.. we don't have them down here in the southern warm climate of Florida.

Good luck to you.

angi_b72 said...

Mine is ocus...and I think simplify needs to be thrown in there as well! Happy new Year!

The Rambler said...

A friend of mine told me a phrase I've come to call my own now.

Keep it Simple Stupid

With no punctuation I'm sure this could be taken many different ways but it's helped me at work when feeling my heads getting buried in the weeds.

Jodi said...

I don't tend to do resolutions either. More like goals. Simplify is a great one that I need to apply too!
Happy New Year!

Rebecca Jo said...

Good word!!!!

dddiva said...

Simplify is a great word. I might even adopt it.
I don't do resolutions either, why plan to fail?
Happy New Year, hope 2009 is your best yet.

Christy said...

Yes! Good word. I'm linking to your blog. Hope that's okay!

Ashley said...

I could have written this! I am the same way and all of the "plans" in the world don't seem to help. I like the simplify thing. It will be hard work though, and I hate that.

Hari Raman said...

I like the word "simplify". My way of doing it is never to plan. Plans seem to complicate things. Possibly it is over-simplifing it but then .... Good luck.

Creative Mish said...

What a perfect idea! I've got to simplify my life too! I'm pretty organized and don't have alot of STUFF... I need to simplify other areas and need to shorten the projects list ! Happy 2009!

littlesack said...

what a great idea! Isn't it odd the way something you see everyday can have such a random impact on your life

Jenners said...

You figured it out! Simple = better life. If you are interested, there is a great book on simplifying your life that I've had for years and still use:

Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Things that Really Matter by Elaine St. James. She has some others too. I've had them for years and not all her advice is doable but much of it is and you can kind of pick and choose what matters to you. I try to follow the whole process of simplifying things as I truly believe that it makes life so much easier. I wish you luck on your path!

Lyndsay said...

Cate - I think FOCUS is a great word too. I'm taking babysteps though and FOCUS is just too big of a committment for 2009 :)

dizzblnd - Ah, yes, move to a house without a basement! I finally found a way I'll actually be able to keep a junk-free basement; don't have one.

Angi - I think you could totally do focus and simplify together.

Rambler - Ah, yes, the KISS principle!

Jodi - I can't do goals either ... they are pretty much as fail-assured as resolutions :)

dddiva - Excactly! Why waste time planning something I won't do?

Christy - No problem at all, I love links!

Ashley - Shhhh! I'm ignoring the work part and hoping that means it'll go away. Right?

Hari - I don't plan either, which unfortunately is how I got into this mess in the first place ...

Creative Mish - Good! I hope you got some inspiration to simplify!

littlesack - Exactly! It suddenly smacked me in the face and it had been there all along.

Jenners - I'll have to look into that book. Unfortunately, I know many of the things I have to do (or should do) and the benefit to doing them, I just haven't done much about it, LOL!

Wilwarin said...

i love the idea of the word resolution. i would like to do 'simplify' but i already spend to much time lying on my floor watching my fan go round and round lol. i could do a sentence like: stop stuffing around and do something, idiot'
yea, i like that, lol

Kelly said...

I just posted my sort of resolutions. Organization (or simplifying) was way up there for me too. After all, we lost 2 phones in indoor water accidents last year - a house phone to the toilet and a cell to the dog bowl. I think we can do better at keeping things in their place....

WPMomOf2 (jen) said...

SIMPLIFY, sounds easy in concept but when it comes down to it, I try and can't ha. No resolutions fo rme this year.

Claire said...

This month was the first time I almost paid a bill late, and for the same reason as you: the bill was lost on the desk!! For someone like me who is anal about organization, that's shockingly embarrassing! I'm going through my desk stuff right now so I can simplfy. Thanks for the push in the right direction.