Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Looking for Santa (and Some Smarter Ways)

How sweet is Stuffed, staring at the empty Christmas stocking!    Or maybe he's looking at his own.  :)  This feels like the latest I've ever put up the tree, but it likely just seems that way because so much feels so out of control lately.  Tonight, right after I hit "Publish" on this and pour myself another iced tea, will be a feverish night of Decorate-the-Tree-and-Get-All-the-Holiday-Cards Ready-to-Mail-in-the-Morning.  Because of my wacky work schedule, I usually go to bed around 2 am, but I'm determined to get all this done tonight even if it means I climb into bed later than that.  I just can't handle having More!  Big!  Things!  hanging over my head another day.  I am still (forever and always) behind on laundry.  I have to finish Christmas shopping:  My big family Christmas is next weekend, the 15th/16th, since that's when I can get home for it, so I have to get it all done this next week.  Shoot, I still have to wash tonight's supper dishes.  Double-shoot, for that matter, I still have to put away the leaf and snowflake cookie cutters and frosting bags I used making my desserts on Thanksgiving.  (Containers of sprinkles, cookie cutters, food coloring tubes, sugars, etc. all need to be rearranged and re-fit into little tins and jars for these to be put away properly, but in the time it's taken to write this sentence, I could have gotten it at least half-done.)  And make that a triple-shoot:  I still have to put together the two bookshelves I mentioned in OctoberThere are just So!  Many!  little tasks like that to be done, is the issue, and I'm always exhausted, and in order to accomplish anything besides all the usual everyday chores, I either have to go to bed too late or force myself to start my day too early, and that's not  sustainable for long.  (That my writing and walking--and of course, running--have fallen by the wayside lately is almost more distressing than all the rest of this combined.)  And there are bigger to-do items too, which take more energy and/or a real chunk of time carved-out, and so it all falls further apart.  There are in-person bank errands to run, and student loan nonsense to sort-out and deal with, a new photo to be taken for my driver's license. . . .The lists are all long ones.  This is the first Christmas that I think I would have happily skipped both putting up a tree and sending cards--it's all just so much extra work and feels like a hassle this year--but I don't want to ruin Christmas for Mike, and I know myself well enough to know that maybe I would feel even worse, and life would feel even more out of control, if I had to look back on December knowing I didn't manage the tree or cards.  Everything that had been stored in the corner where the newly-put-up tree is, is now scattered throughout our tiny one-bedroom apartment, and the clutter--or THE CLUTTER (CLUTTER CLUTTER CLUTTER), since I say that word in a booming echo like enraged Saruman bellowing into the snowstorm--

--is driving me crazy/even more crazy, especially since everything-that-had-been-in-the-current-tree-corner-and-that-is-now-scattered-all-over was only in the current tree-corner because I had to move it from the hall closet to the corner in May when I turned the hall closet into the spot for my work-wardrobe.  I still haven't found a new spot for any of these things--but doing so was/is ON MY LIST!  Bwah ha ha!--so the fact that everything's now been shuffled around AGAIN just makes me want to give up and live in a hotel awhile.  This one, please!  
Add a pitcher of flowers, my journal, pens, and a stack of books, and fill the mini-fridge with iced tea for me, and I'M THERE, I tell you.  I'M THERE.  I hate clutter.  I hate clutter.  I am here surrounded by it tonight, though, and I am signing off to attempt the nightly slaying of a little more of it.  I am off both Friday and Saturday, is what I am holding onto in this regard tonight, and I can spend them reading in my chair with Stuffed, content knowing my cards are already are their way to everyone while the tree lights and decorations charm me from across the (I swear, I swear, if I have to stay up ALL NIGHT TONIGHT) organized and tidy apartment.  That will make me feel better for December, but I need to figure out some new and better ways moving forward because the schedules and routines that worked for me the seven years I had my now-old job are clearly just not the right ones anymore.  Alas. 
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Oh, to have this cozy and tidy little home again!  Well, I had four days off every week with my old job, since all my hours were squashed into three loooong shifts before, so that made a huge difference.  And the hours themselves were quite different and allowed me to be home at times I could do noisy things like vacuuming, moving boxes and furniture around to reorganize things, clanking dishes together while washing them and putting them away, running up and down the three flights of stairs from our apartment to the basement to do laundry, etc. all without fear of waking Mike or any neighbors.  That made a difference too.  And I used to leave for work and return home from work at the same time every shift I worked, and I can no longer say that either.  Sometimes I get home from work at 6 pm now, but usually, it's 12:30 in the morning.  Other times, 11 pm.  Today's shift was supposed to have ended at 5:15 but saw me leaving at 6:05.  This is the job I had wanted for so long, though, and I am determined to make it work without letting everything else suffer.  I want some peace and organization and routine back.  I will get there again, I think, but it's going to take some real doing.  And realizing--really understanding now--that all the new jobs in my future will require that I figure out all new ways and routines to make them work too--has been eye-opening, indeed.  Ah, the constant adjustments and readjustments needed to make life run smoothly.  Onward and upward, and all that jazz, then, because I'm not climbing into bed every night of 2018 feeling like I just slid into home plate in a kick-up of dust (and to-do lists). 

6 comments:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Dear, dear Val ~ It was so good to read a post from you. I can relate to clutter getting to you. A blogging friend just reminded me of the 'FlyLady' system of keeping on top of cleaning, etc. and I'm ready to try that again.

Your work schedule sounds rough and I do hope and pray it will somehow get easier for you.

Your home looks like a happy, colorful storybook cottage. It makes me smile.

Have good Christmas holidays, enjoy time with your family.

Merry Christmas to you, Mike and Stuffed ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

La Table De Nana said...

OMGEE sit down and breathe..
If I lived next door we could do it together..your work hours are hard to work around;)
But listen..it will all fall into place..

RElax..don't make yourself dizzy with all these tidy thoughts..interesting people have things..and you ARE interesting:)

Anonymous said...

It will work out...enjoy and stay in the moment...like the flower lady says, you have a colorful storybook cottage...I live in a tiny place also and it gets to me, but then I look around and see "me" and then it's OK, until next time!!!I would love to spend time in your precious little home with Stuffed and all the little things that say, Val!!! Just do what you can and enjoy as much as you can!!!!Diane. Is this going to be important in a few years? Don't stress, precious Val...

a simple life said...

Hi Val - this post is pure truth. When my house is out of control with clutter, my life feels out of control. I can't find anything and everything seems to snowball and get more and more cluttered. Ack! It's when I feel I just can't do this mess ONE MORE DAY that I pull it together, go on a massive cleaning jag, and then sanity returns. Hope you find sanity soon and your schedule settles down a bit. xx Cheryl

Jenny Pesavento said...

Oh Val, I wish I could pop over and give you a hand! I know exactly what you mean. There are moments when it all is just too much. I remember an act on TV shows "back in the day" (lol) where a guy would spin plates on poles. It was nerve wracking to just watch it! I always know when I have "too many plates spinning" :/ It makes everything feel overwhelming. My inner "GPS" says "re-calculating"-"re-calculating"! I hope things are better by the time you read these comments, I hope it helps a little to know all of us tackle too many things, run out of time, want to pull our hair out because there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day... You deserve a treat! and a nap! :)

Val said...

Thank you, Lorraine, Monique, Diane, Cheryl, and Jenny. The women get it. :) I love all your comments. Thank you.