Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Digging Through Debris: a new year's resolution of sorts

I'm seeing scores of Facebook posts and Tweets proclaiming to the world shiny and hopeful New Year's resolutions. Decrees of "I will lose 30 pounds!" or "I will write a blog post every day!" or "I will clear out all my K-cups of coffee I don't drink and keep only those that I do!" (not kidding, I saw this last one posted on Facebook, though it may have been a bit more tongue-in-cheek.)

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions. Mostly because those that I have made in the past I failed miserably to follow through on. However, I also think there's something to be said for having a definitive starting point and a clean slate before you. A corner to turn and thus obscure from view all previous resolutionary short-comings.

Yes, there's a chair underneath all that.
However, I'm also struggling to make any goal beyond clearing away the pile of laundry that's been stacked in my bedroom for the past month. Which, in an effort at only momentary procrastination (instead of sustained procrastination that could last for yet another month), I'm going to go On-Record with a resolution.

My 2014 New Year's resolution: Clear The Excess

I'm finding that clutter is my #1 frustration in my life. And, by clutter, I mean the superfluous. Pens that don't work next to the phone, so when racing to write something down it takes 4 tries to find one that will cooperate. Shoes I no longer wear. Toys the kids no longer play with. Clothes that no longer fit and I haven't worn since bearing my first child. Lit mags I say I'll read but know I never will. I find myself, like with the laundry pile, living by digging through debris. And that's too exhausting a practice to sustain. It's gotta end.

This also extends to my daily schedule. Cutting out the running around and schedule bogger-downers that I don't need. I'm finding too many piles of excess that I don't need, or that I need to stream-line, in order to regain some sanity. My "Need To Get To" pile needs to be gotten too. Grading the papers that are stacked at my elbow on my desk. Pulling up my manuscript of my novel-in-progress instead of posting another clever meme on Facebook. Stopping whatever "pressing pile" it is I'm working on so I can read a book with my kids at bedtime. Putting my phone down and engaging with the people around me. The excess needs siphoned out so I can get at the things that are truly important.

The excess must go. And I'm gonna start with this pile of laundry. So wish me luck. I'm going in.


  1. Happy New Year, Anna. My worst untamed area is my "writing room." It doubles as a dressing room so there are always clothes everywhere. I managed to get rid of four bags of clothes but it still needs some real tlc. I find that my mind is clearer when my surroundings are. In theory. I will finish cleaning my room. Soon. I hope. :-)

    1. Oh, the writing room. Yes, I share my writing room with my children's playroom. Not ideal, but in a small house we made do. (And notice I didn't include a picture of my writing space....) Best of luck with cleaning your room--I know it's no small undertaking. But what a great feeling once it's done! Happy New Year, Drema!

  2. Oh, goodness. I have a chair that looks just like that. I definitely wish you luck as you wade into that. If you figure out how to do everything you need to do with your family, writing, and teaching plus de-cluttering, PLEASE let me know how you did it. And write a self-help book about it ;)
    Good to "see" you again.

    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one with a chair that looks like that. I'm in no position to write a self-help book, but if I trip across any nuggets of balancing wisdom, I'll be sure to pass them along. And I'm sorry my presence in the blogosphere has been scarce lately. Something had to give over the holidays and unfortunately my writing seems to be what takes the hit every time. *sigh* But I'm back and hoping to blog about once a week. New year's resolution? Not sure I want to go that far. :) Happy New Year, Danni!

  3. good luck on your quest...I have a basket full of ironing that has been calling my name for a month, lol. sometimes it's hard to separate the "urgent" from the important....but I'm going to follow your lead and let go, of things and time suckers and useless lists.
    Happy New Year!

    1. indeed, separating the urgent from the important is difficult on a good day, impossible on a . . . not-so-good day. Best of luck with your de-cluttering, Debbi! Happy New Year!


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