When I grow up…

I wanna be happy. That’s it. I don’t care whatever else life has in store for me. I just want to be happy.

The hard thing about happy is that happiness is work. Happiness requires forgiving yourself for the constant mistakes and stupid things that you do on a daily basis. Happiness means pouring everything that you have into maintaining or fixing the relationships that you have with family, friends, and the people you see every day.

Happiness means making the hard choice at the right time. Happiness means allowing yourself to feel grief, despair, remorse, and pain. Happiness is having the courage to kneel and ask for forgiveness. Happiness is faith.

Happiness is NOT EASY. It is a choice. One that I will continue to try to make. One day I won’t have to try anymore. I look forward to that day.

Junk and Clutter

My Thanksgiving was (mostly) uneventful in all the right ways. Went to the family’s house, helped fix food, friends and family showed up, ate the food, sang a few songs, played a few games, and I ended the night by watching ‘So I Married an Axe Murderer’ and staying away from a kamikaze bat.

Holidays with my family are ALWAYS insane, and I love it. While yesterday was about par for the course, today we are moving.  Yup. The day after Thanksgiving, and we get to pack everything up, clean it all out, get rid of ALL THE JUNK, and move only what is absolutely necessary into the new house.

I have a feeling that this is going to be an AMAZING day. To have the chance to finally be rid of all the piles and stacks and cluttered corners and to only bring to the new house what will be kept clean… I need this. I need to know that I can do this and that my family can do this. We are not dirty people, we just have the wrong attitude about what we own.

We don’t think we have anything nice, so we don’t treat it with respect, so it doesn’t stay nice or clean or organized.  The truth is, we have LOTS of nice things because we have a Heavenly Father who loves and blesses us with more earthly possessions than we know what to do with.  Granted, they’re not usually new from the store, but they are new to us and they are passed along in great condition!  Just because it’s not new doesn’t mean it’s not something of value.

On that same note, just because it’s given to us does NOT mean that we need to keep it!

I hope that my siblings don’t hate me at the end of this weekend.  I am DETERMINED that this new house not follow our current trend.

I have…

My family hoards things. Don’t worry, we’re not going to be featured on the next episode of ‘Hoarders’, but we do hang onto TONS of unnecessary crap. We hoard because we don’t think we have. What we need to realize is that we do have, and what we have is enough. All the extra stuff just makes it harder to keep things clean. We don’t need more  for a ‘just in case’.

I have realized 2 things in the last few weeks. First, that living for that hypothetical moment or event is not worth the time, energy, and stress that it causes.  Spending too much time preparing for some unknown/unseen future leaves you very little time to enjoy what is happening right NOW.

Second,  A friend of mine recently helped me master the mound of laundry and other crap in my room.  Since then, and for the first time in my life, I have been able to KEEP THE MESS AWAY.  This has taught me that ‘clean’ is not something I want to do. Ever… maybe twice a year.  ‘Maintain’ is sooo much easier.

There are 4 key things to MAINTAINING a clean and organized home.

1.) EVERYTHING has a place, and everything IN it’s place. No “I’ll find a place for this later” piles, or “I’ll put this away before bed” stacks. If it doesn’t have a place or you can’t think of where it could go right away, it goes to goodwill, the garage sale, or the trash. If you use it, put it back as soon as you’re done!

2.) Make your bed every morning. A tidy bed makes the room look cleaner and makes it a lot easier for you to want to keep it that way.

3.) Run your laundry every night or as often as you have 1 load of laundry. Even if  you have 15 people in your house, if you gather all the laundry and throw it in the wash every night just before dinner, and into the dryer before bed, you’ll wake up and be 80% done with your laundry when you wake up every morning.

4.) Horizontal surfaces are not labeled ‘Miscellaneous Storage’ and should not be used as such. Just because there’s a nice, clean, flat surface there, doesn’t mean you need to put something on it. Keep it clean. Clutter is a pain. No one wants to see it, no one likes it, and it makes everyone in the house more prone to depression.

Hoarding is an illness, this I realize.  It is not an incurable disease.  Work to maintain, not clean up. And remember, even if we loose what we own we still have all we need.

The Prodigal Blogger

Among other things, the parable of the prodigal son is a study in humility and pride.

I worry so much about what I say here, and if it sounds good, or if other people want to read it. The fear, doubt, and a lack of confidence resulted in what has now been a 5 month hiatus.

Yesterday I read my sister’s blog, The (Occasionally) Grand Adventures of BriannEm.  I realized that she has posted almost every day this month. It then occurred to me that I have been too wrapped up in the quality of my content here.  I do know that there is a balance, but I have also realized that I will never find that balance and my writing won’t improve if I don’t write!

I hear you, I hear you, “Hellooo Dr. Obvious.”   It did take me a little while to get here.  While ‘here’ isn’t as great as it could be, it’s something.

So, the prodigal is returned, humbled, and ready to go to work.