PopClogs is going away, and I've decided to just let the content go. I got the entries I wrote about my pregnancy with Kai; that was the most important part to me. The rest I'm going to release, much like I did my stagnant yarn stash and 3-inch heels. I've moved on.
Now a core group of 43ters and PCers are trying to start a semblance of the site on Facebook, and...I'm not there. I won't say that I won't ever want to be a part of a community like that again, but right now I'm happy doing my own thing. I always felt a certain amount of pressure on 43t and PC to keep up with everyone's entries and join every goal that struck my fancy; at one point I had three 43t accounts just to keep up with it all. And at times I'd retreat into one of them for a bit just so the mound of notifications wouldn't overwhelm me.
I came out of 2018 not having accomplished much, for various reasons. This year I want to do better, and that's going to require some (groan) leaning in on my part. I simply don't have room to read and acknowledge everyone's gratitude lists and join in the monthly bootcamps. I wish them luck with all that, but now it's time for me to take my own path for a bit.
I had no idea how much time I was wasting on email until I unsubbed from a bucketload of lists. If it's trying to sell me something? Gone. Begging for donations? Also gone. Bombarding me with petitions to sign, unless the petitions are ALL issues I believe passionately in, are out as well. A curated newsletter that I don't immediately want to read in its entirety? No thank you. Notifications from social media (except for Messenger, which I rarely use and never check) have been gone for a while. Next up: Notifications from job sites; unless it pays more for fewer hours AND lets me work from my house 100% of the time, it's not going to top what I have now, and I'm really doubtful I'm going to find a job like that on Indeed or Glassdoor.
I'm working up (just in my head right now) a loose daily schedule. Work from this time to this time, exercise from this time to this time, eat at this time, etc. I'm considering inserting social media in the schedule. Because I can't not check it -- it's my only form of contact with some people -- but if I always check it during my down time, it eats away time for reading books, playing with my kids, and creating things.
I also want to add in time to learn. Because there are things I really want to learn. Right now I'm taking a WP course for work, and am just blown away by how much I'm enjoying it. I've been fumbling with the site for years now, trying to figure out how the advanced features work. Once someone gives you a road map, it's so much simpler. And it makes me want to learn more, do more. If I schedule the time to learn, make space in my life for it, it could happen
Closets hold lives in them. Worlds. At least mine do. Did. Whatever.
I've been purging and rearranging and tucking away for my dotage the detritus of the past 40-odd years this afternoon. Folding away for storage in a more sturdy container impossibly tiny clothes from the newborn days of the only two babies I'm ever going to have. Unboxing and more securely wrapping the toy cast iron stove I used to play with at my grandmother's, which somehow still smells like her house after all this time. Stumbling across a memory box I forgot I had, with graduation tassels and birthday cards and photos of people that aren't all living now. While listening to Fire and Rain.
I'm emotionally exhausted now. So the rest of the room will have to wait.
But I also freed myself from some suits (dry clean only) that I'm never going to wear again. Allowed myself to get rid of yarn stashes that smell like cigarette smoke, and some t-shirt yarn that is too hard for me to crochet with. I freed up some storage boxes, so we have a proper Halloween costume box now. And I discovered that I really am not as enormous as I feel; with only a couple of exceptions, all the suits I'd set in storage still fit. If I could just fix these issues with my digestive system, I'd be the exact same size I was when I got pregnant with Anya.
Everything else has changed, of course. So having that one constant sure would be nice.
As if I needed more of a reason to flee PopClogs: I just went over there to empty out a goal and I can't get in to any of my goals. At least I'd already pulled down the posts from when I was pregnant with Kai; everything else on there can burn, pretty much.
From here on out, if something's important enough that I will want to hang on to it in perpetuity, I'm not putting it on a goals site, or a site at all -- it's going in a file somewhere. I may cross post, but I'm keeping my own backups. Site admins move on. Sites go down. I'm not going to go through another 43t.
I quickly scrolled through the posts I could see and realized I've not really missed PC. I miss having a group of people I felt were working on goals with me, yes. I miss having people to bounce ideas off of. But I've moved beyond the minutiae goals. I do still need to work on the gratitude, the to-dos, etc, but doing so publicly (and reading others' lists) does nothing but add to my load. I'm trying to eliminate excess activities -- emails and posts to read and respond to -- and the guilt I always seem to feel when I don't keep up with them. I want to read books and thought-provoking articles, not social media posts and people's to-do lists and clickbait.
In order to make room for the life I want, I have to shed the stuff that's getting in the way.
Part of this year's overarching plan is to make this house work for us for the long term. That means ruthlessly weeding our possessions, as we really need a bigger house. So, a piece at a time, I've been tackling our storage areas.
1. Clothes I'm not wearing now. These encompass several sub-categories: a) Clothes that are out of season (a very small subset, one which is easily tucked into a spare drawer; b) Business clothes; c) Dressy clothes (dates, weddings and other social events, etc); d) Clothes that are just a little too tight on me right now, kept because I'm steadily dropping pounds; e) Clothes I can't breastfeed in. I pulled out everything I don't love, work clothes that are likely out of style (most are 10+ years old), everything I'd feel weird wearing now (buttcrack-revealing jeans, skater-style mock layered shirts, miniskirts), and everything I'd be uncomfortable wearing (3-inch heels, I loved you, but my bad ankle protests too much).
2. The coat closet and Anya's closet shelf. Out went all too-small clothes, the exercise bike I've never used, all of the old Halloween/Easter baskets, the toys they've outgrown, the crib bumper pads. I've organized what's left, so we can actually get to things when we need them.
3. Under the bed. I still need to straighten up the wrapping paper boxes, as both kids have been in them. (Anya was supposed to be, as she was wrapping her Christmas gifts. Kai wasn't -- yet I found chocolate-covered prunes in one box, and he's the only one who eats them.) I did pull out the baby memento bag, though, and transfer the contents to one of the tubs I emptied up there in step 1. And tossed a 10-year-old body pillow that reeks of dust, because ick.
My ultimate goal with all of this is to have a place for everything and everything in its place. And to have those places roomy and organized so that removing something from its place doesn't cause an avalanche to rain down upon my head. It's a peeve of mine.
Next up: the spice rack. Later, the books.
This is not a goal -- it's more of a reminder.
I tend to tie myself in knots, trying to do more, be more, learn more. I'm looking at my list this morning and feeling like a failure: I didn't do most of what I set out to do this year. Scratch that -- I hardly did ANYTHING I set out to do this year. Not even the easy stuff.
I look at my 44 goals list and wonder what the hell I was thinking. I would have struggled with that when I was single. As a wife and a mother of two and a business owner? Ha!
We've taken a hit. It's going to take a lot of time and effort on my part to right our boat again. And there's a lot going on along the sidelines that I'm having to deal with -- my health issues and Mom and Dad's health issues and menopause and a whole truckload of feelings I'm having a really hard time processing all by myself. The time for stunt goals has passed.
What really serves me -- right now, where I am? What is really important to me in this stage in my life? Yes, there are many (MANY) things I want to learn and be and do, and there's time for all that. But right now there is not, and I am going to stop beating myself up over that. That's what I'm focusing on right now.
I've started by stripping out a lot of the noise. Follows and emails that serve only to sell me stuff, or make me want to buy stuff, are gone. I pared down my inbox to only those emails I actually need in there, and have become ruthless once more about cleaning it out. WOW, did that streamline my time. No longer do I have a Pavlovian binging distracting me from every bloody moment.
I've asked for help. My daughter and I had a heart-to-heart yesterday, in which I laid everything out for her and admitted where I was struggling. I told her I need a workout buddy and a meditation buddy, because I need those things to keep me centered and without her holding me accountable, it's far too easy to let them fall by the wayside. She's agreed to help me out. (And she will, believe me.) In the coming days, she and I will sit down and figure out a good schedule we both can stick to.
This year we also need to weed down our physical stuff a bit more. We will eventually require storage, so the less stuff we have to put in there, the better off we're going to be. Time to get really ruthless with it. It's hard to overcome my Midwestern upbringing -- so hard to let go of something that is still perfectly useful. But I'm tired of providing room and board to items we do not use.
Time to clean house. On several levels.