Decluttering And Marching Forward

There have been some adjustments to life since my last post.

To begin with, I have opted not to return to work for now. Why?

Mostly because I had a medical calamity last year (which I’ve written about as The Event); while I’ve completed my rehab and been certified fit to resume normal activities, within reason, the thought of the usual busy-ness of work is now daunting. And since the local library has restricted its opening hours and limited the facilities available to users, there is no need for volunteers at the moment.

Staying at home and using the time to take stock of life After The Event seemed a timely thing to do.

So, here is a spread I made in my bullet journal that reflects my plan. My January theme was Alice In Wonderland.

This is my vision and my mission for 2021. I have the word ‘Declutter’ on every daily entry, and a space to fill in what I did.

Know what I found around the home? Expired food items, forgotten coupons, and 62 pens, of which 22 no longer worked!

Why did we keep these pens? Because they were gifts? Because they represented memorable hotel stays? Yes, some of the labels conjured up wonderful family holiday recollections but the point is, the memories have been there all along. We didn’t need to hold on to a stationery item.

Know what else I found? Decluttering takes time and more than a little courage. It isn’t easy to let go of some things: it feels like cutting loose a part of your past. But letting go can also be therapeutic precisely because it is cutting loose that which might have caused pain, damage or which simply no longer work. And that includes relationships.

Medication and rehab may have physically started the healing process. But emotionally healing a broken heart takes longer, and the process causes as much pain as it seeks to heal.

I have a long way to go in healing myself. But I am marching forward, one decluttering act at a time. And, yes, I am OK if there is a day where no decluttering took place.

BULLET JOURNALING ~ JANUARY 2021

Hello, everyone.

The words “Happy New Year” are quite, quite poignant for 2021, aren’t they? 2021 has so much on its shoulders because the world, and humanity, has placed such  expectations on it, like employment, joy, peace, safety and happiness.

2020 was a challenging year for me. And I’m not sure if I should regard 2021 with suspicion or hope; hence, my coverpages for my journal this year:


To make this year a meaningful one, I’m committing to some mindful changes. I’ll write about them soon.

Meanwhile, have a safe, peaceful and happy 2021, everyone.


——————RDP ~ GOODBYE/HELLO

BULLET JOURNALING ~ DECEMBER 2020

Here are some pages from my December bullet journal.

I cannot overstate how helpful bullet journaling has been in the daily business of living.

Yes, I could attain the same kind of management benefits from store bought diaries and journals; but creating my own pages allows me to include the sort of content I want (tracking pages, calendar, gratitude pages, etc) without the need for others (addresses, world map, world time).

It also allows me to adjust how much space I might need for my calendar or scheduler on a monthly or even weekly basis. I’ve always ended up with loads of wasted pages during holiday periods and not enough when it’s work plan or meeting seasons!

Having said that, I used to fuss over how hideous my bullet journal spreads were. And stress over the theme, the colours … and this was before I even dared to share my spreads online.

Pinterest, Instagram, WordPress and YouTube host so many gorgeous spreads that the intimidation is real. But these sources have also taught me that it really doesn’t matter if my spreads look good or not.

Nobody has any business judging anyone else’s spreads because the point of bullet journaling is creating something for yourself.

Bullet journaling has been therapeutic and eye opening. Planning for and using the journal pages have helped to anchor the chaos of daily living, and instilled discipline and focus. Sharing my spreads online is a step up confidence building.

I’m glad I … ahem! … bit the bullet.

Frustrated

AAARGH!

Right. With that out of the way … deep breath … write.

January started well enough. The world and its politics continued spinning along. Then came February. With Valentine’s Day and all its accoutrements, life still seemed normal. Shops, physical and virtual, had morphed from Christmas themes to embrace hearts, bears and cupids.

Then came March, and bam! Gone was the cherubic cupid, here was contagious Covid, and the start of a period of frustration that continues to this day.

I had to work from home during the lockdown. The biggest frustration was coping with a new regimen that had been thrust upon me with little preparation or training. Where there used be the banter and bustle of a normal workplace, now there was just the restricted rectangle of a computer screen for all manner of communication whether it was verbal, written or everything in between.

My days were spent flitting between Zoom or Google Meet instead of a Conference Room or break room, clearing documents on PDFs and softcopies that refused to be edited, cursing the devices when the screen froze or programs hung or inexplicably shut down, wasting time searching for files that never arrived or ended up in strange shared folders. Technology will never replace human contact and spirit.

I also volunteer at a library which, obviously, had to shut its doors and my heart cried for the regulars I knew would be adrift because there was no access to reading materials, companionship and a quiet refuge. I think about these regulars constantly, wondering if they are safe, if they have food and care, if they are mentally up to the conditions imposed upon them.

Each day, I watch as the news reported the ever increasing toll on human life and on humanity. Each day, I cheer and salute every single one of the frontline workers, praying for their safety and continued good health. Each day, I pray for a cure, a solution to the shortages of supplies and aid, and for the horrible numbers to stabilise.

I’m not going to ask why this virus descended upon us. Ebola, H1N1, SARS … these should have taught us that viral pandemics are inevitable. But I am going to ask why things became such a disaster. Those earlier viral spreads should have taught us that by being vigilant, by being prepared, by being well stocked in supplies and medicines, and by taking charge and having a robust plan, we should know what to do, how to do it, and do it for the sake of our citizens. Yet there are leaders that cannot lead and citizens who care little about each other.

This virus is novel. How we should deal with it is not. Yet, here we are.

To be honest, things are not the worst where I am currently. Despite the quarantines, masks, swabs and restrictions to our movements each day, I am grateful there is adequate healthcare, enough facilities, and a low death toll. I am grateful I still have my job and I look forward to resuming in my library. But I know not every country is in a good place at this moment and it frustrates me.

To every single person who has been affected by this virus, or lost someone, I am deeply sorry. I have no words that can take away your pain. To every one who has had to make sacrifices in one form of another, I thank you. To every one, be safe.


___________________

RDP ~ FRUSTRATION


The Weight Of Waiting

Waiting for the microwave to ding, for the delivery guy, for the bus, for something to go on sale, for your turn at the doctor’s …

These are easy ‘waits’. We know that, eventually, that which we are waiting for will happen. The microwave will ding, the bus will come, and two hours or more later it will be our turn to enter the doctor’s office. The parcel? Well, there could be an inexplicable delay or, like mine did, it could go on an extended holiday in Paris (yep, the one in France) before it found its battered way back and I’d forgotten what was in it.


So then what’s a difficult ‘wait’? It’s waiting for signs that a relationship can be saved if you were more forgiving and tolerant.

It’s waiting for acknowledgement that you have done well.

It’s waiting for others to realise they’d been fed a load of lies and been taken in by someone with a glibber tongue, a wittier story telling style or a more convincing persona.

It’s waiting for the life you were meant to have if you were filial, loyal, kind, honest and hardworking.

It’s waiting for someone to change for the better.

Guess what? I’m done waiting. I will change. I will make my life better because I deserve it. And those people? They can wait in vain for me.”



RDP ~ WAITING