Conquering the “Stuff”

junk pile

I know.  I’m ashamed of it.  But it’s mostly gone now.  This was on my dresser.  Then it became “on my bed,” which was fortuitous because it forced me to go through it, lest I relegate myself (and the husband.  and the cat) onto the couch for the night.  This huge pile birthed two trash bags full of Goodwill donations, one of actual trash, and one of clothes to keep.  I may have also located three grocery bags worth of yarn (with many half-completed projects).  I wish I could show you a clean dresser, but we’re not quite there yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  We’ll see.

I had two things that I wanted to accomplish yesterday, and I managed both of them.  The first, pictured above, and the second was to make soup.  Joey ended up taking my instruction and making the soup himself while I sat on my bed and alternated between crying and tearing my hair out by the roots.  The soup, alas, was a fail; it’s a passable broccoli cheese soup, but desperately needs some meat and something else that I haven’t figured out yet.  It also looks a little like baby vomit, so I’ll spare you a photo.

Tonight, however, was an incredible dinner win!  I found this recipe for Carne Asada on Pinterest a few days ago, and skirt steak was on sale at Aldi Sunday, so we went ahead and grabbed the rest of the ingredients and set up the crock pot this morning.

flank steak

It’s beautiful, right?  The paste on top is a mix of garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro.  In retrospect, I would’ve added the juice and zest of one lime; it needed a little tang.  Either way, it will definitely be joining the Weaver dinner rotation.  The finished product:

cooked asada

We added some steamed broccoli and ate it off my super-fancy Corelle dishes which made me feel a tiny bit like I may be succeeding at being a functional adult.

I get overwhelmed easily these days, so I’m trying to break this de-cluttering process into very small, manageable chunks. And to be entirely honest, I thought the dresser would only take one night, so I was disappointed in myself when I came to the realization after three hours that, even though the big items were handled, I’ve got tons of “little things” to still go through: cds, ear buds, lip gloss, jewelry, a thousand hair clips, pens, buttons; you know, the usual little things that most people eventually throw away.  Except I didn’t.  For, like, three years.  I used to see a therapist, and I told her many times that I just wanted to conquer the dresser.

I’m not done yet, but yesterday, I conquered the dresser.

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Winter Break Reading List and Thoughts on Establishing Routines

Holy Cow….what a day.  It wasn’t a bad day at all…just long, I think.  It was warm enough for a car nap, so I was pretty psyched about that, and I made A’s in both classes, so that was a relief.  We’re gearing up for year-end at work, so things are a little hectic in Insurance-Land.  But, I did have some time to make plans for a few books that I want to read when I have free time between semesters!

I checked out The Blogging Bookworm since they’ve always got good suggestions for books about sustainable living and voluntary simplicity.  Even though it’s a site primarily for eco-literature, the aforementioned two concepts go hand-in-hand with green living, so I knew I’d find something great.  Be prepared, this list is a bear:

  • Food Matters, Mark Bittman
  • Appetite for Profit, Michelle Simon
  • Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
  • Small is Possible:  Life in a Local Economy, Lyle Estill
  • Made From Scratch:  Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life, Jenna Woginrich
  • Whatever Happened to Thrift:  Why Americans Don’t Save and What to Do About It, Ronald Wilcox
  • Twinkie, Deconstructed, Steve Ettinger
  • Serve God, Save the Planet, A Christian Call to Action, J. Matthew Sleeth.
  • The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It, John Seymour
  • Voluntary Simplicity, Duane Elgin

I’m definitely not going to get to many of these over Christmas break…I just started French Women Don’t Get Fat, which I hope I’ll finish this week or so.  It’s a good read; I thought it was going to be a bunch of silly fad-diet advice, but so far, I’ve read pretty sound eating philosophy.  More to come once I’m done!

So, after spending significant amounts of time on Zen Habits and Overcoming Busy, I’ve come to the realization that I need to establish better morning and evening routines.  Here’s my typical morning routine:

  • 5:20 wake up, shower
  • 5:40-6, sit in the living room floor and pet the Kins
  • 6:  make lunch, eat breakfast, pile up in the chair with Vellux
  • 6:20:  try to figure out what I’m going to wear, usually getting upset in the process.
  • 6:35: leave for work.

And Evening;

  • 5:15, home from work.  Either gym or piling up in the chair under Vellux
  • 5:30 decide that whatever I’d planned to cook is too much work and either get takeout or make noodles and cheese
  • 6:  Becker
  • 7:  Jeopardy, internet
  • 8:  House, NCIS, whatever’s on…internet
  • 9:  Criminal Minds, Smoking Gun whatever’s on…internet
  • 10:  bed or The Mentalist, or whatever.

Ok…the evening routine is pretty embarrassing, seriously.  I have three shows that are nonnegotiable, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and the Mentalist.  But I watch this other crap and then don’t get anything done.

Routines set the tone for the morning; they help you wind down at night.  They keep you from being rushed and ill-prepared, and they comfort you with a sense of consistency and stability.  While there is stability in the above, if nothing else than that it doesn’t change, it’s not satisfying.  I never have lunch already ready in the morning, and I usually don’t even know what I’m going to take.  I’m usually smelling the pits of a shirt at 6:25, trying to figure out if it’s clean enough for another wear….a better nighttime routine would surely prevent this (and probably make everyone who reads this blog much happier).  Honestly, if my night routine was more productive, I could probably sleep later in the morning.

Do you find yourself dissatisfied with your current routine?  Or are you just now realizing that you don’t really even have routines in place in your home?  Either way, you could benefit greatly from setting up some simple things to do in the morning or evening to keep your life in order.  Make a list of the things that you do every morning and evening…then figure out how to streamline those things or rearrange them so that they’re more effective.  Implement and enjoy your newfound sanity!!

Easier said than done, yeah?  Well, I’m right there with you, struggling too…let’s keep with it, eh?

Here’s a Deadly-Panther-Kins pic for you: