Friday, February 22, 2019

GTD - Getting Things Done

Hi there,

My pal Christine lent me a book on the weekend called 'Getting things done'. It is the newer edition, and she has been a big fan for years, and implemented the system in her own life for quite some time. I'm looking forward to reading and digesting it, because it comes with such a glowing recommendation. And, in addition to decluttering, and not shopping, I'd like to feel a small sense of control in my life!

These days it feels like there is too much to keep on top of at work and at home. The sheer volume is dizzying, and if it slides to the next day, that one is front loaded already and it can vanish. I really do need a system to keep on top of stuff.

This GTD book, that I have barely begun, speaks to the need to have a system so we can stay on top of what we're committed to doing, and thereby frees us up to be present and undistracted as we do what ever it is we are doing. Sounds ideal. Now I just need to find the time to read it and implement it, haha :)

Anyway, I'm gradually chipping away at the decluttering, and tidying. And with no new things coming in, it is starting to show a bit. My goal is to have the 'wind whistle through my closet', it is so bare and perfect. So, I'm been working away at wearing items on my clothing rack from left to right to see what the keepers are, and donate the ones that aren't really cutting it.

Since my Valentine's Day post, I've cleared out a ton of clutter under the master bathroom sink, and I tackled my 3 drawer dresser, and turned it into 1 full drawer and 2 empty ones. I feel like my willingness-to-let-go muscle is getting stronger and more discerning. 'Do I really need that?' Is rolling off my mind's tongue with more ease.

So, I have lots to do still. On the home front, my list includes going through books, papers, under the kitchen sink, my craft supplies, miscellaneous items, storage, decor, etc.

At work, in addition to being desperately in need of a system for handling my workflow, I need to purge and declutter also. I spend hours looking for a speech I wrote a few years ago this week, and it gave me a clear message, I need less stuff (and a system) at work to so I can more easily get my hands on things. Anyway, I'm a work in progress.

Fun wise, I've been very on the ball with lots of friend outreach, dinners, dates, euchre tourneys, reunions, and casual hangs. And, a big source of fun, is that my twin and I booked a venue for our big milestone birthday coming up in just 77 days. We went with Stones Place. What it lacks in amazing bathrooms, it makes up for in fun retro ambiance, and a house DJ, who can curate the perfect 80's and 90's dance mix for our cohort. Planning and looking forward to it, will be a lot of fun, and I'm already feeling happiness and pleasure when I think about it.

Anyway, here's wishing y'all a happy weekend.

xo
Tara

Friday, February 15, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day

Hi there,

I had a lovely, love-filled day and I hope you did too. I gave my wife delivered flowers. For an extra thrill of surprise, I had them come yesterday. :) She took me to a movie tonight, made me a beautiful card, and gave me some prezzies like consumable self-care items, plus a few cute notebooks.

I'm finishing up that all-consuming course this week, and looking forward to devoting myself more full time to arranging details for fun, and partying for my birthday which is fast advancing. I'm also going to soak up some culture with a play date to see 'No Exit' by Sartre, as well as hook up with my buddy Christine to talk about goals and girl stuff. I'm also splashing out on some long awaited self-care and pampering activities this weekend. And I hope to do more decluttering and purging. Lucky thing it's a long weekend!

I have NOT been shopping, and in fact one of the things I've been doing clothing wise, is trying to systematically wear everything I own, to see clearly whether it 'sparks joy'. If not, off  with its head! It's going to donation. I've found it does make a difference to make myself wear something for a day. I've discarded one top that was newish because it was not quite right. It didn't make me feel like myself. I've kept the last three I tried out.

My system for going through my clothing now - to test drive it - is that I reversed all my hangers, so they sit backwards on the rack. When I do wear an item and decide to keep it with a glad heart, I turn the hanger around to normal position. Also, I'm trying to work my way from left to right on the rack to force me to go through things rather than endlessly avoid them. If I keep avoiding them, it means I really don't love them enough for it to make sense to keep them. It feels kind of fun to make it into a project.

I'm also trying to figure out when the next upcoming Marie Kondo consultant training is. I'd love to treat myself as a birthday gift, to a workshop for my own benefit. Never mind that it might one day become a cool side hustle. Anyway, I'm not having any luck, so I think they must be few and far between. I had heard a rumour of one in NYC in late March, but there do not seem to be any links or info on her site about it, so perhaps it is sold out or pulled. I'll keep looking.

In the meantime, Happy Valentine's Day, lovers.

xo
Tara

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Time Flies

Hi guys,

It turns out time flies, even when I'm not shopping :)

I've actually been burning the candle at both ends since last Friday, when I started a mandatory course that runs for two weeks, on top of my full time job. It is taking several hours a day, and is very interesting stuff, but the workload feels rather whelming. Fortunately, my coworkers are all in the same boat, so I'm digging the camaraderie of going through this kind of hazing ritual together - feels like we're bonding. At the end of the two weeks, in addition to having flashbacks to grad school (oh the horror!), I will be getting an accreditation that will be valuable to me, so it is worthwhile. But in the short term, I've had to do silly stuff like stay up until 4:30am, or 2am on weeknights to stay caught up.

This is my longwinded way of explaining why my blog has been growing dust bunnies.

The good news is that I am still on track with the goal of not buying anything new, and if you need to refresh yourself on my ground rules for this challenge for the year, they are here. 

The course has made me a little 'all work and no play', though, so I have less to report on the fun front. I have been doing some planning for my birthday with my twin, though, which has been a kind of anticipatory fun. And my mom is in town so I will get to see her and other family this weekend, which will be lovely.

Anyway, keeping it brief so I can continue ploughing through the course content I must complete for my daily deadlines these two weeks.

xo
Tara

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January: Check!

Hi there,

I've got January in the bag as a shoppingless month. Thank goodness, as I'm noticing my biweekly budget is not quite cutting it. The bill stuff that comes out around the first of the month is about $400 more than my paycheque. Not much of a Payday! thrill with that scenario. I guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board. I may need to tinker with my allowance and savings. Blah blah blah.

But, regardless of this sobering situation, I have managed my first month without buying anything new, and that feels very nice. So I'll just focus on enjoying what's going well for a breath.

Nighty night,

xo
Tara

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

100 Days to 100

Hi there,

My twin pointed out it is 100 days until we turn 100. Wowie. She also talked about making them count rather than counting down. I like that idea, but I also want to embrace whatever is coming after. I'm trying to get more ease and pleasure and control and surrender and mastery and simplicity and personal growth and whatnot as I creep into my dotage. You know, the usual. What about you guys? Samesies? Right on.

It's a little surreal to realize my 40's are really in the home stretch and I have this whole new gig coming up. But I'm kind of digging it. Like others, I've got a bit of a job to fathom myself turning 50. I feel like I've cheated the aging system a little with a neat, unconventional wife and life that has let me keep playing. Perhaps this is how everyone at this juncture feels. Perhaps I'm just mid-century modern. :)

xo
Tara

P.S. I'm definitely planning to pack in some fun experiences, celebrations, and trips to mark this year, since I'm not buying any new stuff. Working on the details.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hand-Me-Downs

Hi there,

I'm just checking in to confirm no shopping has happened, and that I'm still working on my various goals of minimizing, decluttering, and making extra mortgage payments.

I brought up this topic at work with a coworker gal, who said, 'Oh cool, I can give you my hand-me-downs.' I love it! I love getting free used clothing from others.

When we were kids my single mom would periodically come home with a garbage bag of clothing for my twin and I from a friend's kid who was a couple of years older than us. Or so we thought. We found out later it was second hand clothing from a thrift shop but less stigmatizing to admit it than to say it came from a pal who's kid outgrew it and wanted it to get some use. Or maybe it was that mom thought we'd be more enthusiastic about it if we thought it came from a cool, slightly older girl. I must remember to re-ask for the details.

I have for many years liked second hand clothing just fine. But I think in small town Newfoundland in particular, where people might even recognize the donated clothing you were wearing, it was not cool when we were young. But buddy, when we moved up to the mainland, the sky was the limit. Used clothing is good for so many reasons including the environment and getting off the fashion treadmill. It also seems like the world is catching on to being more thrifty of necessity perhaps. It's easier to get separate checks, to find used items, to barter and trade items, and autoshare etc. These changes combined with me caring less what others think about my spending etc. are helpful. I had ingrained in me to be a big spender by my years of bartending I think, where the culture is to buy rounds and spend a lot when you go out etc.

Anyway, it's way past my bedtime,

xo
Tara

Monday, January 28, 2019

Snow Day Sort of

Hi there,

Toronto got hit by a ton of snow this afternoon and evening. While I had to work, I had the experience of things getting cancelled around me in a domino pattern, freeing up little moments of time so I could savour my lunch, could have a hot chocolate at my leisure, could visit with people, etc. Travel was slow and slogging, but strangely few people were on public transit, and a kind of snow-covered, becalmed state reigned over the world and the people in my path. I think this is the feeling before plows and traffic make it all mucky come morning.

My wife's comedy show ended up having a nice crowd, despite the weather and it was a feel good night of laughs and seeing some people we rarely see. I had it much better than my twin, who spent 3 hours on a fraction of her evening commute. Typically it might take her half hour to get home on the Dufferin bus. Tonight it took 3 hours then she had to get off and walk from Eglinton and Dufferin to St. Clair and Ossington in the snow - that's far! Her bus turned out to be backed up in a big line behind a sideways, skidded bus blocking all future buses in both directions.

I'm noticing I'm not spending on much besides food and cabs lately. I mean besides my long list of bills and preplanned expenses. Today I did not buy in either category while out, as I felt safer on transit with all the snow on the roads. And I was gifted with pizza at work, pop and hot chocolates by love, and I brought the rest of what I needed with me from my home food prep. Hopefully this will help me keep at my trend towards getting more money-wise.

Anyway, I'm hitting the wall, so I'll say nighty night,

xo
Tara