I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and have finished the first few chapters. Gretchen decided to have 12 resolutions, working on one per month. The first month, her goal is to Boost Energy. She aims to attain this by going to bed earlier, clearing clutter, organizing, exercising more and acting more energetic.
These align with some of my goals. It’s always interesting when you pick up a book, and one of the suggestions is something that you’ve been doing for a while. I have been exercising more since we bought an elliptical machine about a year ago. Am I exercising enough? No, but I’m exercising more, and that’s at least a move in the right direction.
Clearing clutter and becoming more organized is something I’ve been working on for years. My family spent a week in a rented beach house on the Outer Banks, and the house was so… open. It wasn’t filled with piles of stuff, bursting at it’s seams like my house. I came home and started digging through the massive mess I’d accumulated throughout the years. Buddy was 3 and it certainly didn’t help that we had moved into our home when I was 6 months pregnant. With a new house and a new baby, I never developed good habits. Years of shoving stuff into boxes and planning to sort through them later had caught up to me.
I found myself standing at a cross roads. I needed to either let go of a lot, or become a hoarder. I was tired of having so much stuff everywhere. I hated it. Looking at piles upon piles simply drained me. I lost stuff all the time. Well, I still lose stuff, but the frequency has been reduced at least.
I admit that I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m certainly much closer than I ever was. I love being able to have someone stop by and not being mortified by the state of my home. Not that it’s perfect by any standard, but I can spend a half an hour and it’s decent. There’s no more piles and boxes everywhere.
I found it interesting in Gretchen’s experience that this was something that she also found to be important for happiness, because I have certainly found it to be true for me. Along with decluttering, I have been getting more organized. Google calendars have really made a huge difference for me. I access it from my desktop or phone. I use it as a to do list for home and work. It’s really become my portable planner.
One of the areas that I struggle with the most is the incoming papers. The school work, kids’ art and mail are overwhelming. I’m still working to find the right system for us.
Gretchen’s goal of more sleep seems impossible to me. My husband is always after me to go to bed earlier, but it’s so hard. I only have a few hours after the kids go to bed. I find myself caught up in a TV show and the next thing I know I’m super tired and still have to make lunches, get stuff ready for the next day, and get ready for bed.
My new goal is to shut it all off and go to bed by 10. As you may note, this is published after 10. I’m starting tomorrow. But I want to take some time in the evening to get into bed earlier and read. It’s something that I miss from the days when I took the bus into town and I’ve struggled to find that time again.
So, since it’s now past my bedtime, I better get going!