Archive for September 2008
Two events conspired to make me think about some of the stuff I’m holding on to; the first is that my daughter is losing her baby teeth, and the second was a post by Rachel over at smallnotebook.org about Holding on to Sentimental Things.
So here are some things I’ve been holding on to and some thoughts about why I’ve been holding on to them:
- My wisdom teeth – extracted many years ago. Yes, they’re kind of creepy but they still hold a certain fascination and I think they’ll come in handy if I ever need to keep evil spirits away.
- A little wooden box in the shape of a heart given to me by my high school boyfriend. I haven’t seen him since 1980, BUT we became “sweethearts” in 6th grade; it was an on again/off again thing all through junior high and high school, and when he gave me that little box I thought it was the sweetest, most romantic thing EVER, and I guess I still do!
- The “Italian Mood Cube” my Mom gave me hundreds of years ago. I can’t come up with a good reason for this one, but it doesn’t take up all that much space . . .
- My mother’s wedding dress, not a traditional gown, but a totally chic 50′s cocktail dress. Given the state of my mom’s basement, the dress is much better off sitting in mine . . .
- The tassle from my college graduation mortarboard. I was the shortest one in my dorm so I was at the beginning of the line – that’s all the tassle meant!! I guess it conjures up lots of happy memories – not of being short, but of college days.
- My Cambridge Italian Dictionary, held together with masking tape and rarely used anymore. I keep this to remind me of another time in my life when everything was still ahead of me and I dreamed of an exciting and glamorous international career.
- My Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School cookbook, given to me by my Mom in 1985 and held together by even more masking tape. I still cook from it regularly and see no need to replace it until it becomes unreadable. I was green when green was just a color.
- My husband’s first pair of baby shoes. This is a complicated one; I think that the fact that his parents saved this stuff (we have baby clothes too) tells me how much they loved him, and how much they longed for a baby, just as we did.
So what about you? What’s in your closet, cupboard, basement or under your bed that you hang onto for sentimental reasons?
I recently posted about SimpleMom’s Daily Docket. I love the hour-by-hour feature and the box for writing daily MIT’s (most important things), but I decided to try and design my own version more suited to my particular needs.
I wanted the following features, all in one place:
- MITs for three categories: my job, household/personal and blogging
- my To Do list for the week (I think/plan that way and need to see my weekly list in one place)
- hour-by-hour plan (I sometimes go back and compare what I actually did – very interesting!)
- daily To Do list, which includes the tasks in my daily routines
Using SimpleMom’s Daily Docket as my inspiration, I sketched for a while and finally came up with a layout that works for me and fits on an 8-1/2″x11″ sheet of paper. Then I somehow figured out how to upload it so you could take a look . . . every day is a technological adventure for me so this is a great accomplishment!
The only potential drawback to my version is that you have to rewrite your weekly To Do list every day, but I actually see this as a benefit. I can cross off anything I did (great satisfaction!), be reminded of stuff I still need to do, and have room to add tasks as they come up during the week.
I’ve been using SimpleMom’s Daily Docket for a couple of weeks, but I’ve only used my customized version for one day so far – today! I have a nice fresh sheet printed out and ready for tomorrow and I’ll keep you posted about how it’s going.
A clean, organized habitable basement would give us some much-needed breathing room in our home. My daughter – who may well be a creative genius as Vered suggested – needs a LOT of space for her many horribly messy clever projects; I would like some space for scrapbooking and other crafty pursuits; and my poor husband just wants to claim some small corner of the house as his own.
We have plenty of room for all this and more. We don’t have extra money to spend on home improvement projects right now, but cleaning up the basement is free – and we might even make a little cash from selling things on craigslist. In the spring I made quite a bit of progress with cleaning and organizing down there, but mostly just in my infamous “holiday room” – and I swear that WILL BE FINISHED before Halloween!
I seem to have lost my stride over the summer, but I really have to find the motivation to push through my resistance, get back at it, and keep at it, until the job is done.
How about you? Do you have a project you need to tackle that would make a significant difference in your quality of life? If so, maybe we can inspire one another!
You probably thought I was going to go all political on you . . . but no, it’s just time for a theme change here at One Bag Nation.
No particular reason, I was just in the mood for something new. As I’ve gone through older posts, I’ve noticed that the photos aren’t always formatted as well as they were with my old Rounder theme; my apologies to those who are seeing those posts for the first time.
I also wanted to announce that I plan to post at One Bag Nation just twice a week for a while, probably on Tuesdays and Thursdays-with an occasional Wordless Wednesday when I get inspired. My new job and my new blog (Vintage Mommy), along with school and other family commitments are keeping me very busy, and the first step on the journey to order, serenity and peace of mind is knowing when to say enough!
I posted this yesterday on my other blog, Vintage Mommy.
I imagine that most of us can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the terrible news.
It’s all still so vivid to me; my husband and I were visiting the east coast for a 10th wedding anniversary party at my Mom’s house, and we were anticipating the birth of our daughter, who was due at the end of September. We were sitting in a little cafe on a beautiful sunny morning having breakfast when we began to hear reports of what was happening.
I must have already been feeling very vulnerable (an impending adoption will do that to you) because I immediately burst into tears – and at that point we had no idea how terrible it really was.
The next few days were tough, as we waited to hear when and if we could fly home, keeping in touch with our birthparents and trying to reassure them that we would indeed get there in time for the birth – and listening in horror as the whole story unfolded.
We finally went to the airport, hoping to get a flight out on Friday, September 14. The night before the flight was so scary; I stood in the shower and sobbed – fear, sadness, anger, grief, shock, more sadness and more fear . . . it was all coming at me.
My husband and I had to separate at the airport. He had been traveling on business so we were on different airlines and we had to figure out how to get home separately. I’ll never forget saying goodbye to him; I’m still queasy and tearful at the memory.
By incredible luck (and the magic of cell phones) he was able to get on my flight at the very last moment. When I spotted him coming down the aisle of the plane, I was completely overwhelmed. A very, very kind woman sitting next to me listened to my whole story – which of course paled in comparison to the pain and unbearable grief others were experiencing that day and for many days to come.
Tonight I’ll light some candles in the windows – as I did seven years ago – to remind me of all I have to be grateful for (starting with that little girl) and in solidarity with those who are still grieving.
Yesterday, while I was at the drugstore considering my various options for improving my aging skin, I found this bag. It was so inexpensive, very attractive, and it looked like it needed a good home. I love my original One Bag, but it’s not perfect. So, despite my feelings of guilt about an impulse buy (and my recent smugness about people who have too many bags) I thought I’d give this bag a try.
What I like about the bag is the light-colored lining, which makes seeing what’s in it easier. I also liked the horizontal shape and the shorter handles – or so I thought.
I carried it for a bit yesterday and then took it to the gym today, but it didn’t pass the One Bag test. The handles turned out to be just a bit too short, and the lining is flimsy (you get what you pay for). But the real kiss of death is that the bag won’t stand up on its own – which is my A #1 Pet Peeve with tote bags. I can’t stand floppy!
So I have repacked my trusty Dickies tote, and it’s back to One Bag Business as usual. The other bag will move on now – I guess it was just a meaningless fling.
Last spring I learned about onebag.com, a website devoted to “The Art and Science of Travelling Light”. Jennifer Hofmann at Inspired Home Office told me about it because the name was so close to the name of my then brand-new blog. Jennifer had heard about it on NPR, then the site was featured on unclutterer.
By coincidence, I was leaving for a five-day trip across the country, and decided I had to try out onebag’s bundling method of packing.
It’s a funny thing about me, given that I struggle with clutter and such, but I am an awesome packer. I can pack a car, a bag of groceries, a picnic basket, and – I thought – a suitcase, like nobody’s business. But I have been humbled by this brilliant packing method: it rocks!
When it came time for our vacation this year, we were determined to pack light, which meant my daughter (MG) and I would be sharing one bag. Below are photos of the bundles as I was putting them together, and of the finished bundles. Once you have the clothes assembled and have chosen your “core object”, the actual bundling takes no time at all.
Packing your clothing this way leaves lots of room for the other miscellaneous stuff we all need, especially when travelling with children. And it makes unpacking unbelievably easy; you just lift the bundles out of your bag.
If you visit the site, be sure to scroll down the “How to Pack It” page for a very nice diagram of how to bundle properly . . . your bags will be the envy of x-ray luggage screeners around the globe and you might even look forward to packing for your next trip!
Hello! I took a little detour the other day with my “first” 100th post, but now I’d like to share the post I had originally planned to officially commemorate the 100th post of One Bag Nation.
First, my heartfelt thanks to my small but loyal band of readers and commenters; you keep me going! Some of you have visited consistently, right from the start, and I’d like to mention a few by name:
- The amazing Vered at MomGrind, who is everywhere in the blogosphere, commenting, guest posting and lending her generous support to so many fellow bloggers!
- Barbara at Blogging Without a Blog , who has created such a nice community of bloggers, and is a faithful reader, commenter and cheerleader.
- Kelly at Almost Frugal, who has listened to my trials and tribulations (aka whining) as I worked to get Vintage Mommy going, and who does an amazing job of balancing mommy-ing, blogging and entrepreneur-ing (I suspect she never sleeps) and continually inspires me.
- The quirky and kind Camilla, who may not comment often, but when she does I always wish I could meet her in person.
- And not to leave out Urban Panther and Marelisa who come by to comment regularly.
I also want to share some of the resources that have helped me the most in my quest for order, serenity and peace of mind. Although I still have a long way to go, I would be at Square One (surrounded by clutter and piles of laundry!) without their wisdom and inspiration.
Flylady saved me from going completely crazy when I became a stay-at-home mom. Her insistence on establishing routines, and her Five-minute Room Rescues, 27-Fling Boogies and words of wisdom like “You Can do ANYTHING for 15 Minutes” literally changed my life. Among other things, I learned that moving around the house picking up and straightening not only makes my house look better, the act of moving around eases my anxiety – perhaps a very small dose of endorphines at work? For those of you who are truly stuck and struggling, and don’t know where to begin, go to her site!
My Tickler File is a time and paper management technique first taught to me almost 20 years ago, which still helps me manage my paper and my obligations. The Tickler was recently re-popularized by David Allen, and you can read more about it here, at the 43folders Wiki.
Laura Leist, whose book Eliminate Chaos suggested using turntables in kitchen cupboards, and EUREKA! for $20 I eliminated a major source of stress and inefficiency! I literally got chills of delight (for days!!) when I looked at my newly-organized shelf. You’ll get chills too when you look at the BEFORE and AFTER photos.
The Daily Docket from simplemom (a beautiful and useful blog) is a wonderful tool that I just began to use and has already made a difference. It’s amazing what you learn about how long projects and tasks actually take when you plan and track your time hour by hour.
Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell MD & John J. Ratey which encouraged me to “do something [I] love” so that focus would come more easily. They were right!
Steven Covey, who taught me years ago about putting First Things First, and about putting the Important ahead of the Urgent, and although I have a hard time actually doing this, I never lose sight of the goal!
Leo at zenhabits whom I discovered a couple of years ago while searching for ways to get my life in order, and whose simplification of David Allen’s Getting Things Done helped me strive to focus on my three Most Important Things (MITs).
And finally, speaking of Most Important Things, these words, from the lovely and talented Marelisa at her Abundance Blog, are most important to me:
Treat Yourself Like Someone You Love
Cheers! and thanks again.