Spring!

Spring! Spring! Spring! Spring!

SPRIIIIIIING!

Can you tell I’m excited?

And so is everyone else in the neighbourhood! I walked past a couple the other day playfully throwing snowballs at one another, laughing away. People were extra chatty and smiley. It just feel GOOD to have crossed this threshold into better weather.

Something I always do is paint my toes and fingers in celebration. The colour I chose this year : Cherry Blossom.

Apropos, non? It’s very soft and pretty but I chose it for another reason.

Impermanence! Cherry trees blossom in Spring and delight us with their fluffy brilliance and then…they’re gone! Pink piles of softness in the dirt become mere scummy brown bits that just get ground into the soil. They only last a little while.

Such is the way with everything else, including my beloved Spring. I thought it’d be a pretty yet valuable way to keep that knowledge right there in my mind. I’m curious to see if it makes a difference in the amount of whining I do come Autumn. Ha ha.

Soooo, RECAP time! How as your Winter? Mine was long, cold and lonely. But a lot of that was my own fault as I was in full hermit mode. I read a lot of books, looked for some jobs, went for a few interviews, enjoyed my family and friends, ate a lot of things-SUGAR- and really just settled into the warmth of my self made cocoon.

Plans for Spring- More walks. More friends. More fruits and veg. How about you! What are your plans for Spring?

Death Cleaning The Closet.

Part two in my series on Death Cleaning and Minimalism. Part one is here!

Originally I assumed this was going to be a giant task but the whole thing only took me around thirty minutes. Mind you I only did MY side and I only focused on clothing and accessories but still: Thirty Minutes! Colour me surprised. I had it in my mind that it would take forever.

I wonder if that’s why I kept putting it off? There is a lesson here!

ANYhoo, here we go!

Gigantic Pile Of Nonsense
Manageable Rack Of Nonsense.

I felt GREAT after I got it all done. Not only because it felt good to see the neatness of it all but because it was a quick and easy job. I see why the experts tell you to tackle your clothes first. I ran into some emotions-shame-but I was able to get through them by keeping Marie Kondo’s mantra in mind. Does this item spark joy? Nope? Then into the donate pile it goes. It matters not that it still has the tags on it! (Or that it doesn’t fit. Or that I hate it now and probably shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.)

I found it extremely helpful to have a set of rules and guidelines there to assist me. SO don’t scoff at them, they do work and serve a good purpose. This is emotional stuff.

The takeaway: When you set an intention, have a plan and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by your feelings, cleaning and organizing your messy piles of nonsense doesn’t take all that long to do.

Spring is coming! We’re all going to need to go a clothes switch. Why not take this time to give yourself the gift of a good clean out too?

Stay tuned for part three-Three Altars.

A-Z Challenge Reveal

Hey Friends!

I’m participating in the A-Z Challenge this year. What the heck is that? It’s writing one post a day, with the exception of Sundays, using the letters of the Alphabet as your prompt.

I’ve done it before a few times with other blogs I’ve had and its SO MUCH FUN!

You meet new people, learn new things…its a whole experience, not just a challenge. I’ve enjoyed it every single time I’ve participated.

There is still time to sign up, should you wish to join in. There is a sign up link at the bottom of the post on the site. Here!

Today, not only am I making my intention publicly, I’m also revealing what my theme is going to be.

I have soooo many cool ideas, enough for at least three years of challenges so far. Woot!

For this one, my first challenge with my new blog, I’m going to stick to my site’s theme…

Life Through The Lens Of My Heart. ❤

My posts are going to be personal and unique to me in all my silly, playful, quirky glory. I may surprise you with other sides of me too. We’ll just have to wait and see. 😉

I know there are other weirdos out there ((((((cometome))))))) and I know we’ll all find each other and have a real good time!

You don’t have to identify as a weirdo to stop by. I welcome you all. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Love and Squishy Hugs.

Simple Pleasures: Hot Laundry

As you all know, this Winter has been a cold one. ( As Winters are…) I’ve survived mostly by keeping the cold goings on, in the background. I don’t remark about it, I don’t pay any attention to it. I focus on whatever is in front of me at the time. It’s been working great and has allowed me to start noticing all the LOVELY things about Winter, all the little gifts from the cold. Like:

Hot laundry on a cold day!

There is something so comforting about folding hot laundry when you’re freezing your ass off. Its not just the temperature that makes me feel good, its the great contrast between temperatures. Icy air against burning hot fabric. The hot makes the cold feel GOOD! Which in my mind, is something of a miracle 🙂 I may almost miss this one. I may even look forward to this come Summer…whaaaaaaat?!

With Spring well on her way, our lives are heading for a big change! The things we find pleasurable will change so I want to know, what are some of your Winter pleasures?

March Books-3 & 4.

Hand Wash Cold Care Instructions For An Ordinary Life by Karen Maezen Miller was a delightful little book of loveliness. A quick and easy read but one that you’ll want to savour and read in bits, so as to not miss anything. This book is hard to describe. What is it about? Life. Simple life. Insights into life as it is. The author takes us through her life’s stages and offers sound advice observations. A nice and valuable read.

I read Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate in an evening! So let that be your first indication of my feelings toward this book. On one side of the story you’ve got your ‘river rats’ and on the other you’ve got your “powerful and well to do”. How are they connected? Read the book and find out! The story pulled me straight through -in an evening- and got me thinking about class and adoptions and prejudice and love. Another good read.


Death Cleaning

One of the services a death doula can offer is Death Cleaning.

What the heck is Death Cleaning?!

Well, death cleaning is the act of organizing, giving away, donating and trashing the mountains of things you’ve collected in your lifetime, before you die, with love and intention. It can be a big job, which is why some doulas offer it as a service. Aside from the practicalities of cleaning, a death doula can help you make the experience rich and meaningful.

( If you’re with me and you’re keen on the idea, it can also be silly and fun. Actually I pretty much guarantee it’ll be silly and fun if you’re with me. That’s kind of my jam.)

You may have seen this before marketed as Swedish Death Cleaning based on the book of a similar name. It is a lovely, lovely idea and I am fond of it madly.

I’ve since learned that this isn’t really a thing like the press would have you believe. It’s more like minimalism- live simply and practically- that the lifestyle types have repackaged and turned into a trend and brought to the masses. This lovely book has been turned into a movement of sorts which is very cool. And whether is a “thing” or not, I love that it gets people thinking, and talking and acting. It’s a thing now, ha ha.

( My need for authenticity is fighting with my love of talking about death)

Whatever you want to call it, at its core Death Cleaning is just the act of taking care of your shit so your loved ones don’t have to. It’s done in the later years as one thinks about such things.

This can all also be done before your later years because hey, let’s face it: You could be 21 years old and this very day is a day in your “later years” because you get killed by a crazy Edmonton driver! One never knows.

With that in mind, if you happen to still be ALIVE , a good Death Clean or even just thinking about good Death Clean might inspire you to live a more simplistic lifestyle and that my friends is called minimalism.

I suck at minimalism.

I suck at cleaning.

I love it. I appreciate it. I crave it.

It’s all very Zen.

But I suck at it.

I can’t suck at something if I’m going to offer it as a service! And the thought of leaving piles of junky stuff for my kids to clean makes me shudder so…

I’m going to death clean myself first!

And document it here of course 🙂

I have a feeling this is going to be a difficult task but I think that by doing this I’ll have a better understanding of what the process is like for my dear clients and that’s a win for everyone.

I feel great anxiety and trepidation in my chest just thinking about it. The task is very overwhelming.

I have so much stuff!

All over the place!


Which is why I’m going to start small with the easiest items:

Clothing!

Let’s tackle the dresser first.

The whole task took me about an hour from beginning to end. I approached it as if I were working with a client so I was a. nice to myself about the mess. b. detached emotionally from my belongings c. invested in being efficient.

Here is what I learned:

  1. Doing the task quickly and intentionally is crucial to not getting stuck in the emotions of it.
  2. Have a garbage bag and containers for each of the following right there before you begin. The containers, boxes, bags, whatever are for things you give to family and friends, things you are donating/selling, things you need to move to another area of your home, and trash.
  3. Do any task that will only take 5 mins, right away. For instance, I had a pile of sunglasses that needed to go somewhere. I found an old makeup bag, tossed them in it and then put them away. Completing these small tasks right away prevents you from moving one mess to another area and gives you a feeling of completion in the original one.
  4. If the task is something that requires more work and time, write it down and then do it. You’ll forget and it wont get done or you’ll remember and it’ll hang over you and make you anxious. I can’t put all my things away because I need a jewellery box, and I need one of those file folder thingies and I need a Rubbermaid. So I wrote myself a list and on payday I’ll get what I need to put it all away, in a proper place. Now I know those real minimalist types say things like “Oh, if you need to buy more things to put your stuff in, you need to get rid of more stuff!” Well, I’m sorry DIANE, I’m not tossing out my fucking jewellery just because I don’t have a jewellery box to put it in. Gee Willikers!
  5. Be kind to yourself. Take breaks if you need them. Ask for help. Work through your heart lens. It will all be OK in the end no matter what you do.

It was an interesting task to complete because I could really see the way my mind operates, laid out within my stuff. According to a bunch of studies that are easily Googleable, if one lives in a scattered, cluttered mess, one’s mind is an scattered, cluttered mess BUT the opposite of that is true too!

Cleaning it and organizing it and living simply has a calming effect on your entire life. I can benefit from that and if I die from a stroke today, my drawers are one less thing my family has to take care of. That brings me peace and comfort, however small.

Until next time, when I tackle the closet, love and squishy hugs!

Happy Monday!

Do you need some motivation to get active? I’ve got your motivation right here :

Number 1, 4 and 5 are my personal favourites, ha ha.

Seriously. Don’t be mean to my cat. Or any cat.

Teehee. He wants to be a web designer. I laughed like a lunatic over this one because I am a dork.

I hope your week involves something fun, something peaceful and something rewarding.

Love & Squishy Hugs!