February 2012 Archives

if If you've been anywhere near Chicago this winter, you've seen Midwesterners looking up cautiously into the sky and being very suspicious of both the lack of snow and high amount of sunshine descending from it.   I was born in Buffalo (NY) and have spent the better part of 4 decades worth of winters in and around the Great Lakes.  February means cold, snowy and grey -- the hardest month before March starts to show the promise of spring coming soon.

Not so this year.  My birthday month has been mostly devoid of snow, surprisingly sunny and with reasonably moderate temperatures (for February in Chicago).  As a result, my overall optimism levels have been better and apparently that fuels my motivation levels as well.  And my motivation for 2012 seems to be "It's. Time. To. Change!"

The need to change this year is focused on several places, but our house has been the most major place for me.   We've been here for 10 years and both of us agree that there's very little tat would tell you that it was our home.  Not only that, it's time to simplify.  Reclaim rooms for the things that they were meant for.  I started with my bedroom.  The goal is to remove anything that is not strictly part of what a bedroom is used for by two married adults.  Out went the big TV.  Out went the old clothes.  Out went all my crafting tools.  Out went the miscellaneous kid things.  The only thing that now remains is a book case full of craft books that will have a new home as soon as activities in our office begin. 

It was surprising how satisfying this purging was, to both me and my husband.  We walk into the room and it feels more spacious.  It's easier to keep things tidy because the things that don't belong there aren't getting in the way.  And when a room is clean and open, I'm more motivated to keep it that way.  And the room is inspiring.  Now I can imagine the special chair that would make it perfect or the kind of curtains that belong around the balcony door.  And it makes me happy just to be there.  I can't wait to continue the process in our office.

The other change area has been personal. The red hair was just the start of it. I'd like to be more fit, eat better, have better rituals around taking care of our house.  For a variety of reasons we're exploring a more gluten-free diet.  Which is surprisingly fun because it gives us an opportunity to try new things.  I've made a commitment to making sure that my elliptical machine is not lonely and that I'm doing something about the abdominal muscles I keep complaining about to myself.  The side benefit (besides a more positive attitude when I look in the mirror) is that it gives me guaranteed reading time.   So I've been happily working my way through the Southern Vampire series and Sherlock Holmes.  My final commitment has been to doing a better job of taking care of things.  It is just as easy to hang up clothes as it is to pile them on something.  Regular kitchen maintenance is easier than more significant effort every couple of days.  And so on.   (I can happily recommend a little iPhone App called "Commit" if you, too are looking for help with keeping on track with this sort of thing).  Developing these better habits has made me happy about my personal commitment as well as my house.  What could be nicer than starting a morning with a clean kitchen when I come down to make coffee.

This monologue is pretty much my long winded way of saying: not so much crafting going on right now.  Or maybe that my inspiration is being directed towards decoration.   But I've also discovered that I've been missing my blog.  So I hope you'll forgive me if my posts drift away from strictly the crafty into the personal restructuring  for a bit.

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