Tight Rope

I’ll never get my “handle” on life until I find some balance. My Better Half and I have been talking about balance a lot, how he feels so tied to everyone on the farm, and isn’t getting much time to himself. Some of this is a function of the season, early groundwork for planting during the unseasonable sunshine (I was chasing calves in my running shorts yesterday!) but most of this is his nature to keep working as long as there are things to do.

I’ve learned over the years that I can’t sustain focus on anything too long. I’m just not wired that way. So while I also tend to bring my work home with me, it also sits out of the way most of my weekend. I’ve learned I need other things in my life too, otherwise my work will consume it and what little I have left won’t be worth anything.

We’re still working out how he is going to get more balance in his life, and I need to figure out how I’m going to balance the rest of my life. I want a clean house and a healthy pantry and a vibrant social life… oh but I also want to read Narnia and the final Grey book (no judging) and watch 15 year old reruns of Walker, Texas Ranger. And Pin. And play games. And just hang out with my best friend (once he gets off work, or maybe while he’s still in the shop).

Something’s gotta give. But what? That’s the goal for this week… find those priorities so I can find my balance. And then I shall conquer that tight rope.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

Clean Sweep

I am in the midst of a cleanout.

It’s hard to put a date on it, to say I’m in Week 2, Day 6, because really, I’ve been in declutter mode since childhood. My mother was a hoarder, a messy hoarder, and it seemed like there was never time and/or money to organize properly. Thus, we had toys and books and clothes and movies EVERYWHERE. The idea was it was wasteful to throw away things that weren’t broken, or even things that were, because they still had a use somewhere and Daddy worked hard to pay for that, you know.

I went to college, and was in control of my own space… but then I moved to Brazil for the summer. And back to the dorms. And then I moved to Kansas for the summer. And then I had a whole apartment! (But then I lived more at my boyfriend’s house than mine.) And then I moved to Indianapolis for the summer. And then I officially lived with my boyfriend. And then we got engaged and graduated and moved in with his parents for a few weeks. And then we got our own place, and started over on building a home. Once they built theirs, we moved back into their old house, on top of everything they didn’t bother to move out.

All along the way, “stuff” is accumulated. I’ve been collecting my personal stuff, periodically leaving/retrieving stuff at my parents’, and then you wind up with all the stuff for grown up life… wedding stuff and remodeling stuff and career stuff and I’m still corraling farm stuff and mechanic stuff and gun stuff… On top of other people’s stuff. This stuff has got to go!

So while I’ve effectively been in declutter mode since age seven, bound by the “Is this REALLY broken? Could I donate it?” mindset, I’m approaching this final leg of my transcience (just over a month in this house now) with a new mantra. The wastefulness is not in disposing of fifteen year old hair dye or perm kits, it was fifteen years ago buying said things. It’s reckless and selfish to acquire excess “stuff”. It doesn’t serve you sitting in the back of the closet and it probably won’t serve you in 10 years when you finally unpack it.

This new mindset is freeing. While a deeply-habitual voice in the back of my mind is screaming in agony when I pitch an empty cottage cheese container, she’s soon smothered by the satisfaction of an empty cabinet shelf. The space, the flexibility, the opportunity to grow later – that’s what my husband and I are aspiring to.

Fear not, my fellow genetic “keepers,” “savers,” and “collectors” … there is hope. If I can turn 25 years of my stuff, of my husband’s stuff, and my inlaws’ stuff into a functional, peaceful home, you can too. Stay tuned for progress — I can’t promise it will be easy.