I always say that I’m unstructured. But over the last week I’ve realized this isn’t an entirely true statement. I don’t do well creating structure, but I like to have routine. Last Thursday, my older daughter finished school for the summer and with the lack of an imposed schedule I’ve been drifting.
So, today I got up at 6:15 like I do during the school year. I accomplished so much by 8:00 that I was amazed. I need to become more disciplined about structuring my day because it makes a huge difference. I guess I should say that I’m not internally structured but I thrive with structure around me.
Today’s post is super short. But I’m encouraged that I’m writing anything at all. I’m also encouraged by the things I seem to have mastered – my table stays cleared off, my dishes stay done, and I’m getting exercise several times a week. I also got my garden planted – something that’s been on my wish list for well over a year. My tomatoes and red peppers are blooming, everything else has new growth, and my herbs are thriving outside. It’s a small garden, but it’s a start and it’s given me a true sense of accomplishment to scratch “plant a garden” off my list. Unfortunately, I’m also discouraged by the huge projects still looming before me which will require lots of sorting (my least favorite thing) ~ this is mostly closets and toys. I don’t feel up to the task which is a mental hurdle I need to get over. So I’ll keep writing and rewriting my action items. Maybe the 800th time I write “sort through toys,” I’ll actually do it. The key with this, as with everything in life, is to keep going. Quitting can’t be an option.
Well, I’ve been gone a long time (almost two weeks). To be honest, I haven’t been feeling well, which hits me periodically since I had cancer. I’ve never come back to 100%, which I don’t quite understand. I wish I could find the solution. Ah, well…
Part of the journey I’m taking involves working out what it means to live missionally. We all should be the author of our own story, creating as we go. We are, after all, created in the image of God who created all things. I think the bug to be creative exists in most of us, but sometimes it gets squashed. For me, especially when I’m not feeling superb, the simple struggle of everyday existence can leave me with no energy left to create. But existing is depressing. Living is what we are meant to do. So today, I’m putting everything aside and trying something new.
Today, I’m spending time in my garden. My husband and father-in-law built me a raised bed garden for Mother’s Day. I’m slightly terrified because I’ve never grown anything but flowers, and I’ve managed to kill a fair number of them. And some, like these roses, bloom in spite of my best efforts.
But I love other people’s gardens. And I love food. So I’m trying something new and praying it all survives till the harvest. I’m planting a few seeds that a friend brought back for me from Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson (and hoping I’m not too late). Then I’m also planting tomatoes, basil and oregano, because I have this vision of myself making my own pasta sauce. I’m starting small – this is my trial run. We’ll see where it takes me.
I’ve made some measurable progress this week. For one, I finally – with my husband’s help – got several bags ready for charity. We’re keeping the cat.
I’ve also been practicing Redeeming the Time – you know, grabbing ten free minutes here and there to do little tasks. By using this approach I’ve reclaimed a small counter in my kitchen. Now, I must explain, there is a deep-seated problem that resides within my very soul that leads to a counter that looks like this. It’s hard to see, but under the clean food containers and the bread items, in the back, is the epicenter of this mess. It’s a wire basket full of junk. Well, not junk really, but stuff. I toss things in there, like coupons, business cards, things I want to look at later. (You can see how accessible it is. And please understand, my whole kitchen does not look like this). But the problem (the one in my soul) is this – pretty soon the basket is overflowing, I never pull anything out to look at it again because it’s disorganized, and soon it becomes a permanent fixture in my decorating scheme. I walk by it 18 times a day, and never, ever look at it. The result? I’ve lost the counter.
So I finally did something about it. I got a three-ring-binder, I put tabs in it, and I now have a place for – – > current coupons, reference information, take-out menus, and contact information. And it fits next to my cookbooks on the bookcase. Now the basket has oranges in it and is sitting on my dining room table. I don’t know why it took me – you know – YEARS to take care of this. But now it’s done. My counter is new. And I am happy.