Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Mama Bean is going to do one thing at a time

I have had the most fantastic New Year! And it's for the nerdiest reason: I've been cleaning. Well, reorganizing. purging. fixing my Space. It is so amazing! There are boxes and boxes of crap leaving my house to the garbage bin and the recycling bin and the giveaway bin. We have RUN OUT of boxes, people.

What prompted this? Well, Bean has been alone on the upper floor, but Sprout's grandparents bought her a bed that's been waiting in the second bedroom up there, along with boxes and dressers and a wardrobe full of clothes and toys and crap. We decided Sprout's ready for her big girl bed, which means turning the All Purpose Dumping Ground into a Real Bedroom. Ha! So where did we start? Oh, the basement. Of course. 

Stuff Management, at least in my house, is like one of those grid puzzles where you slide the squares around until they line up into a big picture - you can't move one thing into the place it belongs until you move that thing over there which means moving that thing down here which means... you get the idea.

Some stuff from Sprout's new-room went to Bean's room, and then his stuff came into our closet and basement. The other stuff from her new-room went into the closet of her old-room. The stuff from that closet came downstairs to the cold room. The stuff in the cold room was given away or redistributed in other parts of the basement. Those parts were likewise cleared out. My desk was cleaned off, and the filing cabinet was reorganized. Sprout's old-room is going to become the Guest Room, so we shuffled bookshelves and hutches, and tomorrow we'll take the bed up from the basement. Every day, I'm piling up more stuff to get out of my house and it feels so freaking cathartic, I want to dance with glee every time I walk by it - or put more stuff on it!!

Anyway, you're on the internet so you don't care what my house looks like, and if you know me in real life, you'll see it (in person or pictures on facebook) soon enough.

This post, surprisingly, is about Resolutions. I'm not making any this year, in the formal sense. I spent 8 (or more) months of 2012 in a deep fucking pit of depression - all I want for this year is to not do that again. I've taken some of the right steps, and continuing on those paths have nothing to do with January 1st, y'know? But I like the idea of giving the year a theme or OneWord (as is the bloggosphere trend) and I need a better Theme than Not-Depressed :P 

So my theme or focus is going to be One Thing At A Time (what's OneWord that will sum that up? Any ideas?) By which I mean, I can't Fix My Life all at the same time. It's like this whole Sprout's Room Project - we had to do each step one at a time, in the right order, while still feeding and clothing ourselves and our children. If we'd done too many steps all at once or not in the right order, it would have been total chaos. As it was, things definitely got Worse around here before they got Better, and there's still a pile of fifty or so books sitting in my living room for donation.

I read something last Fall that K directed me to, can't remember the link of course, but it essentially said, in a very encouraging and affirming way, that ya can't have it all. I can't have it all - at least not right away. I can't have the clean house and the organized meal plans and the orderly laundry and the well-adjusted well-behaved children and the happy spouse and the close walk with Jesus and the sassy girlfriends and the smoking sexy body and the happy peaceful spirit all at once. Not all right away.

But that doesn't mean I can't have any of it. It means I can only work on one thing, for a bit, until I get the hang of it, while still feeding and clothing ourselves and our children, so that it's not total chaos, even if some things get worse before they get better. And when (When!) they get better, I move on to the next thing. 

This dovetails nicely with a book/method I've been trying (inconsistently) to help normalize my emotional control; it's called Calming the Emotional Storm for anyone curious. The central tool is Mindfulness, as in keeping your mind in the moment, with the task, on the one thing you are doing right now and enjoying it for whatever it is. Turns out, I pretty much blow goats at mindfulness. And to be honest, with young kids around, complete mindfulness is almost impossible, but I keep trying. And it is helping. I can feel my emotional resources draining from my body when my brain is getting to far ahead (or in the past) of itself, and I feel myself get calm when I bring my head back into the present. Just this one thing, MB, cook the dinner. Just this one thing, read Bean a book. Just this one thing, fold this one load of clothes. Just this one thing, let your husband hold you. Just this one thing...

And then on a bigger scale. Reorganize the house. Not done yet. So. I don't know what the next thing is and I'm not thinking about it. Because I can only do One Thing At A Time.

So it's not like I'm going to do some kind of regular update thingy here about how my One Thing Project is going, but I hope it will be apparent that things are getting better and that 2013 isn't sucking as hard as 2012 if only by the fact that my posts won't be so sad sack all the time ;) Let me know if you have a resolution or OneWord or even a One Thing that I can support you with this year.


  1. Unitasking?

    I think this is a lovely and inspiring idea. I experience mental fragmentation too, and my consequence is massive, irrational anxiety. I have a similar resolution this year: I will not be Mr. Rush. (Mr. Rush was so busy rushing around that he never finished anything, and I suspect, never enjoyed anything either.)

    Keep us updated :)

  2. I totally forgot about the one word thing... heck, I fortget what my one word for last year was. Maybe my should be 'remembering' HA! One day at a time, one thing at a time... you go girl.