15th January already and this is my first post of the year…I’m such a slacker these days.
2012 has got off to a very slow start on the blogging front, but I don’t seem to have had many moments to sit and think about what to write (Yes! I do think about what I write, although it may not see like it sometimes). There have been quite a few half-written posts in my head, but by the time I actually sit at the computer, they’ve fallen from my brain like leaves in Autumn and turned into soggy mush. Ho hum.
I’m not going to go back to the last post and write about everything that’s happened since then, as that would bore me to tears, never mind those of you that are kind enough to cast your eyes over my little corner of blogland occasionally, and anyway, I can’t remember most of it (or indeed, any of it if Bethany is to be believed).
Obviously, Christmas has happened since I last wrote. It was lovely, fairly quiet and shared with family and friends, with far too much to eat and drink and absolutely no religious content whatsoever, (unless you count me slaughtering “Once in Royal David’s City” on the piano – I wouldn’t, it was truly horrible) which is exactly as I like it. If all my friends and relatives like their presents even half as much as I like mine, then we can claim Christmas 2011 to be a resounding success.
I only made couple of pressies this year – I was full of good intentions back in the summer but inspiration didn’t strike at the right time. The ideas eventually arrived, but deciding that hand-spun, hand-woven bags would make perfect gifts for your friends a week before Christmas !!! is surely the way to madness; some may question my sanity at times, but I know my limits. Maybe next year…
I don’t really go in for New Year’s Resolutions as I never stick to them anyway, no matter how strong my resolve on January 1st. This year, although not strictly a resolution, I have decided that “rationalisation” is going to be my watchword for the year; it’s going to apply to as many areas of my life as possible, from household organisation to diet/fitness (and maybe even my not inconsiderable stash. Wibble).
There are many reasons for this and many areas I need to take stock of and I don’t imagine for one moment that it’s going to be a quick fix, but I’ve finally admitted that it’s necessary.
You may remember that 18 months or so ago, I had quite a bad bout of depression and although it has passed (thankfully) there have been a few times recently when it felt like things were getting on top of me again. I really don’t want to go back to that place so tried to analyse why I was feeling that way; it soon became clear that there were two things I could do that would make a real difference, one fairly simple and the other which will require a bit more effort.
The Simple Thing: exercise.
Going to Zumba classes last year benefitted more than just my physical fitness but it took me a while to realise this after I let it slide in the run up to Christmas – no wonder I was so stressy and irritable, I needed all that bum-wiggling and loud latin music to set free all those lovely endorphins! Classes start again next Saturday, and I’ll definitely be there (or be square).
The Thing That Will Require More Effort: taking control, rather than just letting life happen to me.
This is where rationalisation really will help, one little bit at a time. There is not, as yet, a grand plan, and I’m not really sure that there should be, but small steps have already been taken e.g. The Great Bedroom Tidy Up:
I admit it, I’m untidy; messy, even (stop laughing, Mum), but even as a teenager I would suddenly get to a point where the mess was too great even for me to justify, so I would spend a whole weekend tidying and sorting until my bedroom was not only habitable again, but also clean. And tidy (seriously, Mum, stop now!)
I’m still messy, but the motivation to do anything about the mess had declined to nothing, tidying seemed a pointless exercise as we all knew it would be a mess again in a week or two, and I resented the fact that no-one else seemed to be a) bothered by the mess or b) willing to help (though really, why should they? My mess, my problem). Before Christmas, all the downstairs rooms were subject to a thorough cleaning and tidying as my parents were coming to stay (yes, Mum, that’s the tidy version that you saw!), which just served to emphasise the disgusting state of my bedroom and I knew that action was needed. The task ahead seemed almost overwhelming and was really getting me down, so I made a plan: over the last four days of my holiday from work, I decided that I would spend one hour each day, no more, no less, tidying my room. Whatever wasn’t done at the end of the hour was left till the next session, regardless.
It was a complete revelation to me. Those last four days of the holiday were some of the most productive I’ve had for a long time. My room was transformed from a dark, gloomy pit of despair to a pleasant, ordered place; I found clothes that I’d thought were lost long ago and found that a huge weight had gone from my shoulders. I also didn’t feel the normal, nagging guilt whilst knitting or weaving that I should be doing something “more important” because I’d already done it.
It may have been obvious to other people that breaking up one large task into several smaller ones was a good idea, but to me it seemed counter-intuitive. This seemingly trivial experience has had a much larger-than-expected impact on me (as you can probably guess, given that I’ve waffled on about it for ages) and I’ve now got ideas about other areas of the house – the attic, the shed, the cupboard under the stairs etc etc as well as trying to use the same principle at work and in relation to my hobbies. Yep, no more buying yarns/fabric/fibre/bag hardware on a whim because “they’re pretty” or “it’d make a lovely quilt” or ” that alpaca would be lovely blended with the silk and mohair I’ve already got” or ” I wonder how those bag clasps work? Better buy some”. No, no, no, no, no. I will only buy yarn/fabric/fibre/bag hardware if it is specifically intended for a specific project. Specifically.
Here’s to 2012, the Year of Rationalisation!