I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gentle Nudge

Today is the first day of DD's winter vacation. Ok, it's not really. Yesterday was. But hubby was home, so it felt like a weekend day. It wasn't until last night that I started to feel the dread that comes with the knowledge that I will be the sole child care provider from early in the morning until late in the afternoon. Why that makes me feel so burdened, I don't know. It's been my truth for over five years. Day after day after day. I guess just having another adult around means that I get five seconds of breathing room every now and then. On my own, I face a day of doing it all: taking care of their needs and entertaining, while trying to fit in my needs, and frankly, trying desperately to find ways to entertain myself.

There are things I really enjoy about the unstructured days that we have. The kids can be so creative. This morning, my daughter was playing computer games, and found a paper lantern that she could design online, then print out and shape into a lantern. This lead to her wanting to make blank paper lanterns that people could design on their own. She made one, and spent the better part of an hour drawing and pasting stuff on to it. I love to watch her doing this stuff. Darling son got into the act, and enjoyed playing with the craft items and glue.

The downside of these types of independent projects is that stuff gets everywhere. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, it's fun to play with stuff, and it's fun to get it everywhere. On the other hand, my daughter has inherited my lack of neatness, and doesn't think twice about leaving stuff all over the place and moving on to something else. Ugh. So of course that means that most likely I will be picking it up, and I don't enjoy the task any more than she does. And it becomes my job to try to teach her how to be more organized and to clean up after herself, NOT my forte!! So ugh. Blek. Yuck.

So....while I feel great about her craftiness, I get really bummed out by her messiness, and so.

Basically it brings me right back to my plan for this year, which is to PURGE about half, if not more, of our STUFF. By doing so I am making much needed space in our house, and I feel it will be much easier for the kids to see what they need to do to pick up after themselves. (And me, too) And there will actually be places to put things away, rather than moving things from one surface to another. (Which is really discouraging.) And it's a huge thing for me, as I don't throw away anything. I'm not good at it! I attach sentimental feelings to anything. ANYTHING. So this is huge for me. But I'm working on it. I feel that I cannot expect DD to be neat and organized while living in a house that is anything but. And I have simply run out of places to put things. As I write this, my computer teeters on the pile of booklets and papers that it sits on. Pathetic. So every time I get angry or discouraged at the mess around the kids, I ultimately get upset with myself, and restart my efforts to get rid of stuff. And so.

Once again I am moving my way around the kitchen, trying to find things to get out of the house. (It's kitchen items month in my year of purge) I run into snags all the time, because many of the things I want to get rid of have plenty of life left in them, so I don't feel right throwing them away. But I don't know where to take them. For kitchen purge month I have contacted DD's school, and they will take some stuff, and a community center, which will take small items that I can drop off once a week at certain hours. (It's work...will I do it? I hope so.)

So....it's a gentle nudge, a reminder, a restart. It keeps a person on task who is as scattered and as distractable as they come. I, like my DD, spin in circles and never know where to start or how to stay on task. But for her sake, and for my own sake, I will keep trying.


  1. Some of my favorite places to get rid of stuff that still has value = it works but I don't need it, are the loacl shelters and adovacy centers. I have dropped off good working clothes of mine and my mother's to a women's opportunity center and small kitchen items to the advocay center as the use them to help familites get back on their feet and away from an abusier. You would be surprised too about local SPCAs and Hospice centers. Lots of these places have rumage sales to raise funds and will accpet donations to sell. Again anything you drop off should still be in good shape, they don't need the hassel of throwing away someone's junk but they do need help raising funds. These types of donations make me feel good - I got rid of soemthing I was only dusting, someone else can use it to start themselves going in the right direction, it avoids the landfill and helps raise much needed money. Anyway, just a thought for other dropoff sites.

  2. How do you spell check a post?

  3. Great suggestions, Debbie. I will look into those. Thanks! As for spell check, I haven't got a clue, but my CA friend Kristi is very blog savvy, so maybe she'll jump in here.....

  4. Dais,

    Are your kids (mostly DD since DS is young) involved in the purge plan? That might help motivate you and get DD to help you run the errunds to get the items out of your house. I ask because it may help motivate DD to do some cleaning/organizing WITH you as a project together. I have tried to get my daughters to help me purge baby toys, but that usually DOESN'T help- they want to keep everything even when I explain that the toys will go to kids who don't have much for themselves.

    Once a year, my temple has a day when they collect items people wish to purge, and my girls are involved as they help me load and unload the car and bring bags into the building. They enjoy it, and they feel good about doing good for others. Just a thought...