Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Clean Up - Without Being Overwhelmed

Don't worry, I'm not getting all outright AMBITIOUS or anything. Not like LauraS who has been in the process (for what seems like weeks) of thoroughly spring cleaning out her entire house. No, no. I'm not doing that.

As you can see, I am sitting out on my deck this weekend, enjoying the spring weather.

But it occurs to me, mainly from glancing through the "Does this Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat" book as well as just some mental stuff that I've been going through, that I need to pair-down, stop buying so much without a purpose, and to get rid of stuff I'm not really using.

Now this revelation hits, mind you, just a couple of weeks before I'm getting ready to go see Dave Ramsey live and in person, the "get out of debt" guy. It also comes on the weekend when we just went out and bought a new-ish SUV for family trips and such. (That's a whole NOTHER digression). Though I used to be a car salesman 25 years ago, I nevertheless HATE car shopping of any kind. The whole dickering process you have to go through is ridiculous and we finally purchased a Ford Escape from a dealership that was very decent, treated us right and didn't play games.

Anyhow . . . . car shopping aside, back to the main discussion here, SPRING CLEANING. It just occurs to me that now it seems spring has finally arrived - (it took the slow bus and detoured at least 5 times on the way in to visit Kansas City), I am finally feeling like purging, getting rid of stuff and actually organizing what I do have and making it more usable.

Healthy Diet report. When I was on that heathy diet this week, I learned several things: 1) I really don't want to give up coffee. The benefits and pleasure I get out of it far exceed whatever downside there might be. While it was interesting to go without it, I'm back drinking it again this morning quite happily and though I may be drinking reduced amounts in the future, I'll be fully appreciating every delicious drop. 2) I didn't miss the dairy as much as I thought I would. Replacing it with soy milk, margarine and mayo wasn't that bad. Really! I ate a cheese sandwich one night before fully thinking about it - but I did pretty good overall and will probably keep that change. It felt good and made my sinus problems better. Makes sense - milk creates more mucus. But won't go down that gross track too far. 3) I get a LOT of stress relief from exercising 30 minutes every day and it's really NOT that hard. Not when you do it every single day. I made myself do it BEFORE I went and did anything else. 32 minutes on the treadmill every day felt great!! I would have walked outside, but the weather was rainly and cold all week. I am so proud I did that. I will continue that this week and hopefuly going forward. 4) Eating a meatless diet, or at least red meat-less doesn't work for me right now. It caused me to eat more carbs, albeit whole grain. On my body, carbs are carbs, and I kept craving MORE. Carbs really do fuel my appetite. 5) I can survive quite nicely, thank you, without artificial sweeteners to sweeten up my tea. Tea is good plain, especially jasmine. 6) Getting more healthy is a long and never-ending process, like everything else in life. It's about exercising some control - it's about planning - it's simple but NOT EASY. As Peter Walsh says on p. 41 in the declutter book, "You need to actively make positive choices about what you're going to eat every day until you die. It's about making the choices that are best for you." 6) I lost 2 lbs - not bad. I lose slowly.

Looking Ahead: My goal this week is to clean out the kitchen cabinets/pantry to create a more usable space for eating healthier by being able to see and store what I should be eating. It also saves money so I can avoid buying another can of black beans when I already have 10 cans that are just hidden somewhere in the back of my cabinet.

One last insight: cleaning up isn't all about the clutter in the house - one thing that's been bothering me for MONTHS is how overwhelmed I feel from too much email. It's volume bothers me and makes me feel flustered, crazy as that sounds. And I sometimes actually miss a good email from friends, etc, because of all the lists I'm subscribed to sometimes bury the good stuff. So I put myself on web-only access to several of my Yahoo lists I subscribe too. I also have been cleaning out my email all week. Deleted a lot and reclassified the stuff I want to keep into folders in my Outlook box. That feels MUCH better. Whew.

Have a good clean week everyone, and I'm gonna clean up my life in whatever ways I can.


Elysbeth said...

Sometimes it's a delicate balance - give this up/gain this; wait a it really that good of a deal?

Does the SUVish include a trip to the wilds of Wisconsin?

ChelleC said...

Ahhhhhh . . . . maybe this summer? Wouldn't that be fun? I love Wisconsin. We used to go there quite a bit when we lived in Iowa. We'd camp out on the banks of the river at Prairie de Chien was it called?

PBW said...

Congrats on the new ride! Ford Escapes are so cute!

I adore Dave Ramsey! Following his plan has made a huge difference in our lives. I pulled out my credit card a few months ago to rent a car, and I haven't used it in so long it had been expired over two years before.

If I see that GORGEOUS lime bag of yours again, I'm changing the color on my order!

ColorJoy LynnH said...

You sound great. Only you know what works for you... but trying new things does make it more clear, I think.

My fave salad dressing is a little drizzle of olive oil and some lime juice. Sometimes I use Eden Gomasio (crushed sesame seeds and sea salt, sometimes flavored with garlic or other flavors) which is really tasty if you can have a little salt. It has no fake ingredients, fillers, starches, bad oils, but is really satisfying on a salad.

I gave up credit cards in 1991, it changed my life and I'm really grateful. I highly recommend Jerrold Mundis' book "How to Get out of debt, stay out of debt and live prosperously" (although I think the "moratorium" concept is only good for some situations). I've met Mr. Mundis and I think his book is sound and well-thought.

Your haircut is adorable, the purse is *very* you, and you sound great. I think I'm doing better, too. Spring is so good for me. I just plain feel better and that makes it easier to do what needs to be done without getting all upset about it.