Cleaning the Closet

It has taken me a few weeks, but I have finally finished the project of cleaning and organizing our closet.  The way the house is set up, we only have one closet, but it is a rather large walk-in closet.  While walk-in closets are wonderful, there is a temptation to start just throwing things in the closet, and a temptation that we have and do succumb to.  When this happens, a walk-in closet can be a frightening place that harbors closet monsters.  Closet monsters hold one’s clothes hostage out of fear of opening the closet door and letting the monster out.  Or if one braves the closet, one must run the risk of injury when walking in as the monster grabs one’s feet and ankles!

Anyways, I finally summoned up the courage to take on the closet monster.  Rather than trying to tackle it all at once, I tried to do a least a little each day, and I did manage to do some on most days.  I am finding this an effective way to manage larger projects.  While I might get overwhelmed when I think of doing the entire closet, I find I can manage to muster the courage for small tasks.  Eventually, the small tasks come together, and one can see the end in sight.  At this point, I find that I start to have renewed energy, and then one day, I decide to just finish the task!

As a part of this project, I had to sort through my clothing.  Over the past couple of years, I have begun the process of changing how I dressed.  I am now to the point where I only wear dresses and skirts, and I no longer wear pants.  It took me a while, because I had to acquire enough dresses and skirts to manage.  We do not have much in the way of money right now, so I had to acquire these things slowly.  Happily, we have a plus size resale/consignment shop near our house, so this has made things a little more affordable.  Actually, aside from the affordability, I am finding it easier to find clothing in the style I am working towards at resale stores than I can at other stores.  The newer clothing often seems rather poorly made, in addition to the styles being rather unpleasant.  Some day, I hope to lose enough weight to fit into clothing at regular resale or antique stores, but for today, this store has been quite a blessing.

While I have been slowly acquiring skirts and dresses, I still had kept my pants.  I wondered if I might want to go back to them, so I did not want to cross the Rubicon just yet.  With the closet project underway, it was now time.  So, I took the plunge, and I removed the clothing I no longer wore from my closet!  In the midst of this, I also went through my dresser drawers and culled them in a similar fashion.  I took several bags to the Salvation Army dropbox, and I took the nicer clothing to the resale/consignment shop I talked about above to sell.  There are a few stray items that need to be ironed before they can go, but that is in process as well.

So, now I have a nice clean and organized closet, which I am rather excited about.  I can now retrieve my clothing without having to risk injury or invasion from the closet monster, and I have a place for my winter boots.  

Maybe this will give me the courage for one of my next projects…tackling the much bigger and nastier back porch monster! 


Developing a Routine

As I am settling into being primarily responsible for taking care of the house, and all of the tasks and chores that go with it, I am finding time management a bit of an issue.  I am also working on developing an astrology practice, continuing my astrological and metaphysical studies, learning Japanese, and writing for three blogs.  I am considering working on a fourth blog, which would be devoted to an astrology practice.  Additionally, I want to be available to visit and spend time with my grandmother, who lives upstairs from me and to maintain social relationships.  There are also several projects I would like to complete, such as cleaning out the closet and the back porch and writing an astrology book.  Oh yes, I am also working on handmade gifts, and I would eventually like to learn how to sew.  Whew!  Strangely enough, I am finding I have less time now that I have closed my previous business, not more!

To Do ListI wrote a previous article about my time management woes, and I think that part of the difficulty is developing a new routine.  Routines are quite helpful, at least for me.  The reason for this is that it cuts down on the amount of decisions one needs to make.  I know that there have been times that I have wandered about the house from room to room just trying to decide what to do next!

When I was working outside the home, I used time management software to keep me on track.  It finally dawned on me that I can use that same time management software with all of my current chores, tasks, projects, and plans.  I have always liked Microsoft Outlook.  I have tried other programs, but that is really the one that works best for me.  One of the reasons I like it is that I can set up the visual interface Outlook Today to only show me the tasks for each day at a time!  I can also set up tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and it will pop up on that schedule.  This means that when I open up Outlook each day, my tasklist is all ready for me, without me having to think about it each day.  I also feel a sense of accomplishment every time I check off a task on the list!

I am also learning to feel comfortable with doing a little at a time.  There are some really big tasks like the project of cleaning out the closet and the back porch which seem daunting and overwhelming.  I am trying to work on them a little at a time each day.

I do not know that I am actually accomplishing more, but I may be.  Developing a routine is helping me feel a bit less overwhelmed and minimizing the amount of time I spend wandering through the house trying to figure out what I am doing!


Where Did the Time Go?

Where did the time go?  I think I say that every day.  I usually say that about 3 or 4 in the afternoon, when I have not gotten to even half of what I had planned for the day.

Grandmother ClockOne may think that one of the authors of a weblog of this nature would have a perfectly clean home, with dinner on the table right on time, and with all my tasks completed at the end of the day.  The expectation may be even greater in that I do not have children, but only three cats.  Surely, I could keep up with everything.

Sadly, that is not the case.  Right now, I am contending with a dish monster because I did not do them last night.  I had to quickly iron a shirt for my spouse, because she needs at least one to wear for work tomorrow.  I had to leave the rest of the shirts for tomorrow.  I did the laundry last Saturday, and it is almost Wednesday, and I am just now getting to the ironing.  Oh yes, some of the shirts are left from last week.  I still have a closet and a back porch filled with boxes of stuff that has not been unpacked since about 2 years ago, when we moved into this house.

Aside from that, I am struggling to make myself finish with the business I am trying to close.  At some point, I do think I need to get serious about getting my astrology practice off of the ground.  Oh dear, I should probably do the charts that I have promised friends and family first.

Oh yes, I did want to learn Japanese.  I started a while back, and I have a book to learn hiragana, but I have not touched it in a couple of months.  I also have Dr. Lee Lehman’s Medical Astrology book I have been working my way though, but I have been working through it for months.  I also want to read Ptolemy and Aristotle.  I am also trying to work my way through Little Women.  Oh yes, as I mentioned in my last post, I want to get started on my holiday gift making.  I have gotten one and a half fingers done since my last post.

There is a quote from the Christian written tradition, “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Sadly, that applies to me right now.

If I were a more practical person, I would probably read books about time management.  I have read those books in the past.  I have also received some wise guidance from a wonderful mentor.  The reality is that I am not a very practical person.  I would love to be, but I really am not.

I might not be all that practical, but I do have some knowledge that can help me.  Given that my trouble seems to be time, I know that time is governed by the Janya (or Filianic Angel), Sai Rhavë.  Sai Rhavë’s planet is Saturn.  It just so happened that I just went through a Saturn opposition and Saturn has just crossed my Ascendant, moving from my 12th House to my 1st House.

What all of this means, for those who do not know astrology, who are probably most of the readers of this blog, is that I have been and am still facing the lessons of Sai Rhavë right now.  Astrologers generally consider Saturn a malefic, and so she is, at least on the physical level.   Despite this, I have learned over the years, that while Sai Rhavë can be a rather harsh and severe taskmistress, she can also reward those who learn and practice her lessons.

One of these lessons is that of humility.  I need to accept I can only do so much, and that it may take me time to learn to manage the new routine.  The routine of a housewife is much different than the routine of the workplace.  One generally does not have specific deadlines or anyone giving any guidance as to what should be done when.  Sometimes just making a decision where to start can be a challenge.  I am physically out of shape, and I am not one with a lot of physical energy in general.   My knees can often only handle so much.  I am also not a very organized person in general.  I don’t know how many times I have come up with systems like task lists, only to spend more time on the system than I do on doing the tasks.

Rhavic MaidAnother lesson is that of patience.  Things are going to take as long as they take.  When I started this, I had illusions that in the first month I would have the house completely organized, have my old business finished, and have my new business at least off of the ground.  I guess that was a bit unrealistic.  Sometimes, I feel like I am not making any progress at all.  I think one of the tricks to patience is to be happy with small victories.  One of the small victories I am having is learning to cook.  I am slowly adding new things to my repertoire.  My latest is meatloaf.  I was rather proud of myself yesterday when I managed to have the meatloaf and all of the sides ready at about the same time, and I managed to get everything on the table without a major panic.  It is a small victory, but one must take the victories she can get.  I have also managed to write fairly regularly for this blog and the others I write for.  I think I can take that as another victory.

One of the most important lesson of Sai Rhavë, though, is the lesson of persistence.  I need to just keep going, a little at a time, without giving up or getting discouraged.  That can be the hardest lesson of all.  I am fortunate in that my spouse has been mostly patient with me as I am fumbling through the changes.  She tells me dinner is good, and she is generally supportive of my efforts.  Money is a bit of a worry, but I think that money is always a worry.   I just need to keep plugging away a little at a time and trust and have faith.  I have to do my best, and hope that my best is enough.

Thank you for reading through my worries and woes.   I hope you are all not completely disillusioned by these confessions.