All I Did Was Blink

Being 39: Where I've been, Where I am, and Where I'm going…

The Seven Month Plan October 5, 2010

Boxes 1

Image by Skrewtape via Flickr

I feel a move coming on…

Since the age of twelve, I have lived a very transient lifestyle. Recently I calculated that I have moved 14 times in 24 years. That may not seem like a lot to some people, but I always envied the stories of families living in the same house on the same property for generations. “I was born in this house, married here, raised my children here, we have a family graveyard on the grounds…”

Most of the moves I have made as an adult have looked something like this:

  1. Time to move again
  2. OK, I have x months to get ready
  3. Plenty of time to slowly downsize my belongings so as not to move so many boxes and bins
  4. OK, I have a month before the move, time to pick up the pace since I have about 3 boxes actually packed in an organized fashion
  5. One week to go, better sort some stuff after the move, lets at least keep rooms separated so we don’t have trouble finding things later
  6. Tomorrow the truck will be here, start throwing things in boxes, doesn’t even matter if we sort, label, whatever…just get it done
  7. Aaahh, please save this room for last, I’ll keep packing while you guys load everything else up
  8. Good thing we planned to move three days before we need to hand over the keys…we will have to load up the car and make some final trips over the next couple of days and save the last day for cleaning
  9. that we are in our ‘new’ place…can we try to move everything still packed into one room so we can gradually go through the boxes and still have decent living space??
  10. Just shut the door when company comes over, I can’t even LOOK at that room…grrrr…I’ll NEVER be organized!!
  11. Time to move again
  12. OK, I have x months to get ready…

In many areas of my life I am a very detailed, organized, disciplined, rational, dependable person. When it comes to uprooting my living space it is a completely different story. I have the tendency to throw nothing away. Nothing. I have the ticket stub to every movie I have ever seen in a theater. I have the program for every graduation, the invitation to every wedding, the order of service for every funeral…let alone every book I have ever owned, every kitchen appliance that ever caught my eye, every holiday decoration, every photo…

Now, I have seen those television shows, like Hoarders, where people can not even walk in the front door of their 5 bedroom house without stepping over the mountains of hoarded junk (much still in the original packaging) and their lives are stuck. I recognize how easily I could be that person. If I had money, I may very well be facing an intervention of my own.

Let me be clear. I have a room in my apartment with no furniture in it. This is where my boxes live. The rest of our living space is ‘company ready’, as my mom would refer to it. Clean, organized, places to sit and interact. I go in ‘the room’ on occasion to find whatever it is I ‘think I still have’ to try to find it…mostly my husband gets this job. *sorry babe*

It IS out of control. It IS tiring, frustrating, debilitating. But this is the year of the change, right. Right.

So on to the Seven Month Plan. IF we move in the spring, I want to move lighter than I ever have. In the next seven months I want to eliminate the need for a ‘storage room’. A storage closet would not bother me in the least. I would like, however, to be able to use any extra room in our space for guests. Maybe there would be a place for something more permanent, we have talked about some day fostering or adopting…

Well then, I need a plan. Lets not spend most of the next seven months planning out the plan. Lets get it down ‘on paper’ right here, right now.

Each month I want to report back my ‘room cleanse’ progress. Each week I want to set a goal manageable with my schedule. Each day I want to DO something toward that goal. Is it going to good will? Put it in the car now. Is it getting sold? Is it recyclable?? Trash???

Sounds somewhat familiar to my starting list. The difference is the accountability I am trying to add by sharing it in my blog. Thanks in advance for cheering me on…tonight, box number 1!


Procrastination: Perfected! September 16, 2010

Filed under: Life — itsahappyblog @ 5:33 pm
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A basic digital clock radio with analog tuning

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My friend Andrea informed me today that if I don’t get this post out ASAP she plans to disown me as a BFF!! Not really, but what she did say was enough of a kick in the rear that I am now typing at a speed that  has deadline written all over it! Thank goodness for spell and grammar checks!! 

I have always referred to myself as a procrastinating perfectionist. Sometimes I have said so in jest, often with a hint of pride. Today I say it with head hanging low as I admit ‘out loud’ here for all to see what I have at least been honest with myself internally about: the label is all too true in the worst self sabotaging way. 

I have tell-tale signs of OCD when you open a cupboard or closet in my apartment. I used to get trapped on staircases because I was counting my steps and needing to be still while I would tap out my left foot until it felt even with my right. I turn oven/stove knobs 4 times to be sure they are off, twist door locks over and over, count while I brush my teeth or my hair and am constantly pressing the alarm clock button making sure I set it for AM instead of PM… 

Whenever my task is for a job or a commitment made to a group of people, my perfectionism will cause anxiety that I used to misinterpret as procrastination. I would wrongly yell at myself about having no discipline. I would accuse myself of not being dedicated or lacking professionalism. All this self demotion would finally lead to the ‘why bother’ statements. If it is not going to be perfect I may as well not do it at all!!! 

That, my friends, is NOT procrastination. That is defeat! 

That is self-sabotage. 

There have been plenty of successes in my life. I traveled for 14 years singing with several groups, writing and learning, teaching vocal care and developement. I worked with a fabulous group of people for 9 years at a job I loved. I have served in leadership roles. I married my best friend. I have people in my life whom I consider to be of the highest caliber of integrity and loyalty. 

But all along the way I have gotten scared of doing well in whatever situation I have found myself. I know many of the reasons for this ‘condition’ and will explore those in the posts to come. What I have yet to master is how to avoid the avoidance I have become such an expert at! How do I stop demanding from myself unattainable perfection that inevitably leads to anxiety and procrastination and ultimately ends in yet another non-success story?! 

My life is flying by! The events of the past have had a hold on my future for far too long! Time to allow myself to be flawed AND successful simultaneously. Wouldn’t you agree? 


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