Monday, August 04, 2008

109 Days Ago

109 days ago, I would've said 'pshaw' to anyone who dared to tell me, 'I imagine it will take you over 3 months to make a post.' I had already taken some blog breaks in February and March during the transition of our company, so I was BACK and ENERGIZED and REFRESHED. 'No need for more breaks.' That's what I kept telling myself. 'I can see the light at the end of the tunnel at work.' That's what I kept repeating. 'I can finally get in the groove of things, be organized at work and at home, and really enjoy this summer. I am not going to let another summer pass me by without enjoying it.' That's how I tried to convince myself.

But, here I sit, 109 days later, with no blog post in all of that time... with piles of folders and papers sitting all around me while wondering when the the light will be seen at the end of the tunnel once again. (Ok, two of those towering piles of papers just slid into one giant pool of papers. This will be a fun afternoon of sorting.) And in a deju vu moment of deja vu, I find myself looking at a calendar page with AUGUST written in bold letters across the top and wondering why I've let another summer pass me by.

There have been many changes at work this year about which I've had no control. And, I'm waiting on word from the doctors to see if they have any new answers about how I can regain my energy. But, most of all, I know I've been affected by the rush rush rush rush rush of how I'm carrying out my life. Some of it is the circumstances. Most of it is still about me.

I've actually started reading books again in the last two weeks, so I know something is different. I like to think it is because life is slowing down a little. When I'm trying to be honest with myself, I think it is more like I'm just fed up with how things have been in the recent months. Mind you, the reading is usually happening during a 20 minute mid-day break that I call my "lunch hour" or when I am trying to fit in 15 minutes of skimming some pages at 1 a.m. before I try to go to sleep. But, I've been able to sink into a couple of books for a few "Calgon, take me away" moments and read about times past. Don't get me wrong. I know cooking over an open campfire doesn't mean life was simple for a woman in those days. Quite the contrary. But, something about having all of one's belongings in a covered wagon seems freeing to me right now. You know, the breeze, the necessities, the time outside, the time with others, the adventure... And, the dread about my un-simple reality is because it's still mostly about all of the "stuff" bogging me down. With my work commute, time and energy are precious. So many projects around the house are half finished. I can't do this or that because I need another person to lift the other end. I feel I have to move 5 things to move 5 more things to get to something I want to find. All of it is draining to think about let alone do something about it.

I've written about this before. Living simply. And, last year, with the help of some friends, I made big progress in my quest at my home. It was a HUGE DENT of progress in the mountain that began building soon after I went through the lay off back in September 2001. But, there's much more to do. And, even though the summer is still passing me by and I am going to spend a lot of indoor time continuing with my project of cleaning out and fixing up, I am ready. I realize the key is not to focus on the 10 pages of projects that need to be completed. I need to be realistic about my expectations. The key is focusing on the one task I'm completing at the time. (I need help in this area!)

Thankfully, my parents have agreed to assist me for about 5 days near the end of this month. And, some great folks at church have agreed to join in the weekend to do the same. So, I'm busy getting my thoughts and plans organized. I have a list of projects for cleaning and sorting. I have a list of projects to build and complete. I have a list of items I need to borrow for the project weekend. I have a list of items I need to buy for the project weekend. There is a list for items I want to sell on ebay...and one for items I want to paint. I have a list of items that I want to find. (Can you believe that?) I have lists of specific tasks for specific people. I have lists of specific tasks for specific days. Now, I just need a list to keep track of all of my lists.

This past weekend, in addition to attempting to finish a big project at work, I attempted to get a big head start on all of this "simplifying." Little did I know that we're all smack dab in the middle of "National Simplify Your Life Week."

After letting that sink in for one second, I say 'Forget the week! I'm declaring it for a whole MONTH!' ...If not longer. I publicly reserve the right to take much longer. Maybe a season? Can I declare it for autumn even though we're not yet into autumn? "National Simplify Your Half Summer/All of Autumn" just doesn't have the ring to it that I'd like. No matter that setback, I'll be taking as much time as I need, but I pray I stay focused and committed while I take care of some of these lingering items once and for all.


Dani said...

We pray that you will have great sucuss.

I know how you feel. Being pregnant has made me a crazy get clean, get organized, finished projects kind of person. I have a list of projects to finish before the baby gets here currently working on catching up on our scrap book.

Sure is glad to have you back we've missed you.

Kelly Spezzano said...

I din't think this day would ever come again, that you would be back online blogging! ;)

We sure did miss you!

I always feel so overwhelmed when things get beyond my control, so I can completely understand you're bringing in helpers! :)

Unlike Danielle, my nesting hasn't kicked in yet for some odd reason, but it's quickly becoming reality that there's only 3 more months left and LOTS of baby proofing and prep to do. So if your mom and dad are up for hire, just send them to FL! (ha ha just kidding)!

I do like your thought on extending the National Simplify week to National Simplify Your Half Summer/All of Autumn" however if you could add National Simplify Your Half Summer/All of Autumn and if necessary some of Winter" I think that would about cover it for me! :)

We are truely glad to hear from you again and do pray that the Lord will help you to bear some (or rather all) of this burden that you have on you right now!

Big Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Yea! Strem is bloggin' again!


Owl of the Desert said...

So glad to see you back blogging! We've missed you!

I agree...I think my "simplifying" will carry on over into the fall, too. I've sort of let everything slide since about May, so I've started over the last two weeks trying to catch back up. As Dani said, I hope you have great success in all you are trying to do. Will be continuing in prayer for you.

I would love to hear what books you are reading when you get a chance.

Much love to ya!

strem said...

Dani, thank you so much for your quick note in return... and for encouraging me to get back to the blog in the past few months. I have missed it and have missed you. I'm sure praying for you and the baby!

strem said...

Thank you, Kelly. I can't wait for the day to finally meet you in person and just hang out with Dani and you for a few days. Lord willing, I hope that will happen in 2009. And, I appreciate your kind words and support so very much.

strem said...

Laurie, you make me smile. If I ever become negligent in posting again, you have my permission to come into my office and give me a good "talkin' to." Thanks for continuing to read.

Owl, if you've been a little behind because of your tests, that is completely understandable. You have been in my thoughts so often even though I've failed to tell you. Next time you come to St. Louis, I hope you'll be able to come to my house and see all of the progress with my projects. I'll try to round up my books and write to you about them soon.