Jun. 6th, 2017 09:27 am
labelleizzy: (dealing with demons)
My sister in law suffers from something I still fight against, which is hoarding.

She said, "I sort and organize but the actual removal of stuff... is so hard to get my mind around why I have such attachments."

I said, "I can only speak of myself but I had attachments because I had fear. Fear of forgetting, so I kept all the papers commemorating things I went to, movies and shows and concerts I saw. I kept all the birthday cards, even from my childhood, and people I didn't remember anymore, because at one point, someone made the effort to give me a card, and that was meaningful to me then."

I didn't feel loved. I didn't feel safe or secure. I came to an early conclusion (younger than 10) that "stuff was supposed to make you happy" because that's what they said all the time on TV? And back then I thought they weren't allowed to lie to us on TV.

It took me a long time to realize that what I was and what I wanted, was different than what the TV or my family or stories or magazines wanted me to be and want. And to put aside those messages that weren't ME.

I was well past 30, not gonna lie.

I started by reading more about how other people had gotten organized, had purged their clutter.
Clutter's Last Stand.
The Flylady's mailing list and website.
SARK'S concept of "micromovements" to get started.
Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.

And I realized that thoughts and feelings and attitudes were clutter too, frequently. (*)

Is it useful? Do I love it?

William Morris, the English designer, said, "have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

I try to live by that one.

I don't yell at myself or best myself up anymore. My self chastisement is gentle, infrequent, and frequently full of humor. Blaming myself for the past, or for my mistakes, was a toxic cycle that helped NOTHING. Just bogged me down in misery.

I didn't want to be miserable. I started making different choices.

What I wanted was for things to be simpler, and to be happier. So I worked on those things, like I work on a rosebush. If something's dead, you cut it off. If the branches are too crowded, or the flowers are, you make choices to maximize beauty, health, and growth, and you cut away the rest and discard it.

But sometimes the rosebush isn't flourishing, and it doesn't need to be cut back, cut down. Parts of our life can be like that too. There's a lot of times where there's not ENOUGH to bloom. Not enough water, or sunlight, or fertilizer.

Sometimes you can nurse a rosebush back to health, if you can figure out what is wrong.

Sometimes you can't figure it out, and the bush dies. And then you have to discard it and start over.

But honestly? Sometimes you don't even WANT a 🌹 (rose). Sometimes you don't even know that you didn't want a rose, maybe you wanted a 🌷(tulip) or a daisy. Or an oak tree! Or a tomato bush!

But if you started with a rosebush, or your whole family takes care of roses, maybe you didn't know you could choose something different.

I'm just saying. It's YOUR garden. Nobody else's. You spend all your time in it. You spend your LIFE in it.

It should be, it IS, your choice what you cultivate, what you grow, what you discard or compost.

I know nobody gets to choose how they spend 100% of their time. But that doesn't mean you don't have choices.

You do.

Now I'm going to go do some household chores.
Gonna go weed my "garden". :)

(*) Slightly different techniques are required to ditch/purge/prune ugly, dead, or impedimentary thoughts and feelings.
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Just now in my garden (that isn't a garden -
It's more like a dead patch of dirt than a garden!)
There's men cutting trees, stripping sod from my garden
There's men moving rocks, digging holes in my garden.

My backyard was green and quiet,
Full of light and birds and green things,
Overgrown and sweet and shady,
Blessed refuge for my spirit.

Knowing what is yet to come
Still my feelings drag and droop
Missing what had been before
nothing yet has been replaced...

But then in my garden (so soon in my garden!)
New pond and stone birdbath enlivens my garden,
Bright birds and orange koi making homes in my garden,
My sweet spouse and me drinking tea in our garden.


This was my garden last week,
And this is my garden right now.

please find my colleagues' work on this theme HERE and when a link to voting has been created in the evening of Sept. 30, it will be HERE. =)
labelleizzy: (make things!)
wow. a solid night's sleep and two solid meals (well, and menstrual cramps becoming manageable) make a lot of difference in my mood!

I know what I want to do:

I want to MAKE STUFF.

I am happy when I Make Stuff, when I manifest new things in the world that have never been there before.
I don't want to read someone else's script, I want to write my own.
I finished a piece of art last night; it was so joyful to bring it to completion!

I wrote music to set a nonsense poem to; it will be wonderful fun to teach to the girls!

I made a garden! I planted rosebushes where they weren't before!

I want to make stuff. Moreover, I want to make stuff be BETTER, also.

It's a good wide umbrella. I can teach, I can priest, I can be an activist, I can build community, I can make more art. I can do a lot of the things I love doing and need to do, and I don't need to hang a job-description around my neck for other people.

I am a Maker.


Now to find a gig where I can DO that...
labelleizzy: (just do it)
I was having dreams early last night and early this morning, all having to do with solving the situation I'm in, to wit: feeling like I lack mission and drive, that I'm "stuck" in my job search, unsure whether to continue in education (the structure of which frustrates me with an in-grown unfairness of funding and opportunity) and unsure of what else I might do (that wouldn't suck the life and soul right out of me).

During dinner with [livejournal.com profile] princeofwands last night, I came to remember a story about Steve Jobs and his perspective on success. The story goes that Steve was looking at different divisions' reports of success and failure rates, and notices one division has a notably smaller failure rate than other similar divisions.

Steve goes to visit.
At first the department chief is proud and thinks Steve's there to praise them, but instead, Steve says, Fail more. Fail bigger, and more interestingly. Learn from the failures, and use them to try to take even bigger risks afterward. A low failure rate won't lead to innovation or new sales.

Fail More. Fail Bigger. Fail flamboyantly.

In my case the worst thing that could happen is being embarrassed or ashamed, since for example, I've no job to LOSE and I'm pretty sure my spouse will stick by me even if I do something really flamboyantly failtastic.

Planning to fail means planning to risk. Risk is scary, but it's better than stagnating, which is what I fear I'm doing right now. Change is scary but it's better than stagnating.

I've prided myself on my ability and willingness to go after things which were scary, but up till now my practice with scary things has primarily been internal.

I dug up a bunch of giant old rocks out of my garden and have used them as material for fences or conversation-starting ornamental rocks. I pulled out old weeds and old stumps, and got rid of colonies of yucky stuff, earwigs and slugs and fungus, that had lived in my garden. And this endeavor, took years and years of hard work, intermittently and steadily, as I had the energy and resources to tackle the challenges.

Basically it feels like I tilled the land, reclaimed it from the wilderness, and then went to the market to get seeds to plant... only when I got there nobody had the seeds I thought I wanted to plant and grow.

So I have been sitting with my tilled field, watching the weeds start to reclaim the land.

I don't want to just grab ANY seeds and stick them into the dirt; I want to be pleased, literally and figuratively, with the fruits of my labors.

I want strawberries and roses, lavender and bay leaves. I want grapevines and wisteria and hops on trellises. I want shady bowers with koi ponds full of sweet water. I want I want flowers and fruit, I want plain vegetables and fancy decorative flavorful frilly herbs: boxes and boxes of fragrant herbs for cooking and making. I want fruit trees, where we can just walk out and take deliciousness from the branches.

And I want people in my garden. I want my garden to be restful and nourishing, and I want people to feel they have a welcome there, welcome to work and to rest and to play and to sing or play music. I want there to be cycles of productivity and rest, and for one feature to fade away for a season while other features come into their glory.

and now I'm crying again, because the metaphor is beautiful but I still don't know where and how to find the "seeds" yet.

So today it is time to return to the basics. Pull up the weeds and restore order to the grounds so that the earth will be ready for the seeds. And then I have to get working with the seed and seedling catalogs, to decide what needs to come FIRST.

I don't have to decide *everything* right now.
But I do REALLY need to get back on the work I've been neglecting.
Strengthen and reinforce my house(my body). Build up, repair, and plan my garden walls(my boundaries). Weed my fields and garden(prepare for my life and my work).
and... craft a good, solid, beautiful garden gate(to invite in those I want, and shut out things I don't.)
labelleizzy: (Default)
Step One:
Make an post. It can be public or friends only, whatever you’re most comfortable with. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes, and these wishes can be anything - from simple (a fan fiction written about your favorite pairing), to medium (a DVD you want), to really extravagant (a brand new laptop or car).

Just make sure these are wishes for things you really truly want.

Step Two:
Skim through your friends list and see who has posted their own wish lists. Then - and this is the most important part - if you find a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make sure that person’s wish comes true.

Sometimes a person’s trash is another person’s treasure. If you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you’re never going to use, give it to someone who wants it.

Step Three:
Post this wish list any time after November 1st. Then repost it two weeks before Christmas.
You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday fairy - to spread the joy.
Gifts can be made anonymously or not, it's your call.
There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just...wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.

(cross posted to Livejournal)

My list: (prefer upcycled/recycled/regifted if possible)

1) small, perhaps collapsible hair dryer (for drying intermediate stages of watercolor paintings)

2) Invitation for social outings or meals with you

3) Shopping trips with you (thrift/antique/secondhand shops a plus)

4) Storytelling swaps. (improv story creation)

5) Stuff-organizing swaps (you sit with me while I organize/clean out stuff and I'll return the favor)

6) Hand spun yarn in jewel tones and natural fibers.

7) Beginning Knitting lessons. Crochet lessons to ramp up my skills and tidy my techniques.

8) Stoneware bowls and mugs.

9) Breadbaking lessons.

10) Woodworking lessons (beginner).

11) Lessons in how to manipulate art and photos digitally.

12) Herb starts for savory, white woodruff, hyssop, and catnip, or Lily of the Valley bulbs.
labelleizzy: (Gaia)
I didn't mention I am queen of the lavender bushes!!!
I pruned the shaggy topiary that won't stand upright until it begged for mercy... (it had a lot of old wood)
I *also" pruned the bushes on our side-yard-not-our-side-yard because they just looked so pitiful... what kind of moron uses a hedge trimmer to chop off the heads of lavender and leaves the stalks to yellow and look like weeds? Answer: a lazy-ass landscaper who knows jack shit about taking care of herb bushes and decorative plants. I have a bowl of lavender heads on my desk and dumped 3 piles of branches and such into the green waste. I think all of these plants will be better for their haircuts, and have more chances to grow and flourish.

Some of you may remember me bitching about the box-crop that was done on the japanese maple in the front yard, after I complained to the landlord he told the gardeners to leave it alone and that I (or he) would be taking care of it in future. *beams* I'm planning its shape for next year, and am judiciously selecting interior branches to take out so it will spread its new growth more becomingly in the spring.

Gardening feels good and is productive. You have a visible end result, which is satisfying. I could definitely go to town some more on the side yard lavenders; I have some dead rosemary to crop out of the front-shrubbery, and I have a gift of lavender and one of mint from [livejournal.com profile] gypsyritsa to put into dirt... I just feel like I want to be outside, doing stuff in nature. Like it's healing, healthy stuff to be doing right now.


Mar. 25th, 2010 07:24 pm
labelleizzy: (quiet before the work)
my teaching day was good, then okay, then ARGH with unnecessary student craziness and outright cruelty.

*headdesk* I had to write a note to the vice principal as well as to the teacher.

Then I got home, and [livejournal.com profile] eeyore42 was there! I didn't have to manage my frustration alone! It made me feel so much better to talk about it, and to eat some food. Then I phoned [livejournal.com profile] chinders about delivering compost-food to her house, then I got to go visit her and check on the progress of her garden (yay), dog training (yay) and behbeh chickens! I got to hold baby chickens! (almost adolescent chickens!) One perched on me for awhile, it was awesome.

Came home a little while later, started layout work on my poster for class this weekend. It's challenging - I'm doing art that requires a certain amount of precision, and well. Precision has rarely been my strong suit, but it is coming along.

I think that this is going to be great. AND I can put off one of the assignments I thought I had to do, till next weekend: read three more Steiner lectures and make a poster for THOSE. well.

Back to it then!
labelleizzy: (green path)
Happy Earth Day, Livejournal!

*kermit happy dance*

labelleizzy: (gaia)
I wouldn't have thought (or realized) that a Stick of Whapping could be such a satisfying and reliable gardening tool.


I have an old chair leg (the rest of the chair went bye-bye but since the leg already fell off, I was like, why not?)... and I have had several bushes in the back yard that died (or mostly died) some months ago when the pump for the backyard well failed for several days last summer.

how satisfying to whack the hell out of old dead brush, have it break and splinter and fracture, to aim blows for the joints of the dead plant and see limbs go flying, stir up dust (ok not that so much) and make something that's literally only in the way of progress, get smaller and smaller.

I think when the shrubs are finally gone I'll dig a nice big hole and plant sets of bulbs, or bunches of herbs that grow well in damp soil and indirect light.
labelleizzy: (gaia)
mentioned bout my compost, the last post?

was thinking about gardening today, went to check the bin and see how much work it would be to shovel/rake the stuff out into the garden... saw a plastic ziploc in there.

I was thinking, well, that must have just been us being lazy, not emptying one of the bags of ...stuff we'd collected for compost...

so I reach in and fish it out...

and there's no rotting vegetable matter inside, instead, there's RINGS.

specifically, my high school class ring, and my wedding and anniversary rings from my first marriage.

WTF? I know I was intending to put those away somewhere safe (THOUGHT I'd put them in the safe deposit box), have been planning to do some kind of purification on them (and then return the wedding ring to either a cousin or a niece for future use, to keep it in the family...)

I have a slight idea of the mishap that might have landed that bag in the bin... but it's still weird.

Somewhat karmic, and the end result (energetically) is probably the same as what I MEANT to do with them...

I'm still sitting here with this odd look on my face. The rings are soaking and I'll take them to be cleaned, then figure out the final disposition. It's Errand Day today anyway.
labelleizzy: (gaia)
After weeks and weeks of waiting...

...my compost is now DIRT.

and now (*insert evil laugh here*), now, I PLANT VEGETABLES, my children!!!


labelleizzy: (Default)

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