Saturday, January 30, 2010

Inch by Inch by Inch

I gotta be honest: for me somedays it takes a LOT of courage and heart to keep going. Progress seems so tiny. One of the physical projects I'm working on is the Purge of the whole house. Even though I keep inching forward in this work, and tell myself that the task truly is finite and limited, still the mountain of Undone towers over the anthills of Done.

[ARGH!!!!! And then I think of the people in Haiti . . . loved ones lost. Homes crumbled to the ground. Days filled with a struggle to literally survive. I feel so ashamed for uttering even a syllable of complaint. I have a roof over my head, a safe and warm and comfortable place to sleep. I don't worry about my next meal. I am swamped with gratitude for the blessings in my life. And I feel like a rat for whining about ANYthing . . . ]

But I guess that is a balancing act many of us work on. Our spirits can almost always be lifted by being sincerely and specifically grateful for what we DO have. But it also seems like we need to allow ourselves room for the sorrow in our lives. Sadly, we can always find someone worse off than we are. And yes, we need to STOP thinking about ourselves for at least part of the time--turn our gaze and our focus outward. But then again, it seems healthy to me to take at least some time and acknowledge when the load we are carrying has gotten particularly heavy.

Gee, can you tell this has been One of Those Days????

I could have easily stayed under the warm and comfortable covers this morning. But I didn't. I got up and got cleaned up. Prayed. Took time with my Bible study. Then I tackled one more small area in one room.

The picture at the beginning of this post is at the top of this one area. The sun is my first (and so far, only) attempt at stained glass. The poster shows what I feel like when my spirit is light and lovely. The little circle is a poem someone framed for my mom, with a butterfly escaping its cocoon.

Here's what was under the artistic beauty:

First step was to strip off everything. (Off the shelves, that is :) )

Hmmmmm . . . . there's enough dust there to build something, isn't there????

Started sorting stuff and then it was time to go get my daughter and take my aunt up Spearfish Canyon to her favorite restaurant. We had a sweet time making plans for her 89th birthday party next week.

Came home ready to flop, but sweet daughter encouraged us both to work for an hour before flopping.

So I plowed ahead with the sorting, dusting, and vacuuming and ended up with this:

What are you all working on? Is there anything I can encourage you with?


A.Marie said...

I understand the balancing act; compared to those in Haiti, I live like a Queen. I have a nice warm bed, a nice home (albeit an old one!), but it's got a sturdy foundation and roof!!

I am also on a Purge and am really trying hard to keep going. Winter isn't my finest season...I like to hibernate! Lucky Bears!! :)

My challenge is getting all of the tax paperwork done to take to the accountant. I worked really hard today and accomplished alot, but there is still more to work on. I need encouragement to just "keep on keeping on!!"

I Love that stained glass; it is so pretty! Your shelf looks so nice! You did an awesome job! I can't wait to see what you tackle next!!

My twin sis lives in FL so I can't physically give her a hug from you, but I gave her an over-the-phone hug...she said to tell you Thank You!! :)

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Wow, what a gorgeous shelf! Who knew that was hiding under all the stuff?? This is so make me want to go work on my house more. :)

I'm working on an endless list of projects...but chipping away at them, one by one.

aquamaureen said...

A.Marie and Amanda--we are all moving forward, aren't we? even if it IS inch-by-inch! I'm proud of all of us for understanding how much we need to get out from under STUFF that would smother us. We are working to let the beauty in our lives and in our homes come to the surface. I so appreciate that we can encourage each other.

Jeanne said...

Inch by inch by inch works. Good for all of us who are trying.

Someone told me once that a home with clutter cluttered the spirit, the mind, the heart. She may have been right. We are trying to simplify around our house, make a place for everything, and get everything in its place. Much easier said than done, so kudos for the inches you've gained.

Thanks so much for your honesty and perseverence.

Sharon said...

Amazing difference in the shelves!! Of course, you know what my question is...where is what you removed????? :)

You know I liked the stained glass---my colors!

Love you bunches

aquamaureen said...

Jeanne, thanks for mentioning perserverance. I never knew it would be so hard to keep going. But I also never knew how good that would feel.

Sharon, each time I work on an area, I've committed to not just move something somewhere else, unless that is where it belongs. I sort bags, boxes, and make decisions. A LOT has gone in the trash. Love you, sis.

Sharon said...

You deserve even more kudos now, Maureen. I think the hardest part is not clearing a surface and redoing it but doing exactly what you said you are doing in your reply--actually disposing of the excess. WOW!!!

Jenny said...

OK, that is a seriously amazing makeover. I can never work when my stuff is too organized. I'm always worried about messing it up!

aquamaureen said...

Jenny--nice to have you visit!!! I know what you mean about being TOO organized. When I create, I seem to need a flurry of Stuff around me. But the decluttering is needed in order for me to get The Other part of my life in order ... so that I have more time to create!!!

lisianblue said...

Maureen, I've only read this post and the previous one - wow - wonderful transformations - Maureen, be patient and kind with yourself.......
I do understand about the thing with the people in Haiti and what they are going through - amazing they pulled a guy out of the rubble the other day after 27 days and he was still alive! But, we all have our things we have to deal with.
I'm also about to start cleaning out - again - but not purging - it's sort of been done in layers - this will be one more layer. Every layer seems to go a bit deeper, things that I couldn't let go of several years ago, are now ok to let go of.
Sometimes we need to take little bites at a time.
I love what you did with that skirt - making it into a dress! I have several skirts I don't wear anymore - but still really like the material, but just don't feel comfortable in - but a dress would be perfect. What a fantastic idea.