Underwhelmed

As is always the case, my four days of break with the kids in school went by way too fast and I didn’t get nearly enough done. I’m been fighting back feelings of panic today, trying not to stew in regret for not getting more accomplished.

The house is not where I want it to be. I never scheduled a big junk pick up and we’re still maneuvering around my daughter’s old chest of drawers in the garage. I didn’t get around to purging anything–it feels like every shelf, drawer and toy box is bursting at the seams. I haven’t even finished putting away all the ski/winter clothes from our trip to the mountains.

I have a ton of work to grade, and I never inputted any scores online. I spent five hours at work on Tuesday but I had a hard time getting started and then staying focused. I didn’t use that time well. I did read through the whole classroom management book, and took notes on the first half, so that is something.

I did get the tree taken down and the bulk of the Christmas decorations/books/gift bags packed into the giant storage box that’s been sitting in the hall for over a month. I’m still finding random pieces of holiday paraphernalia around the house so I’ll leave the box out for a few more days; there is nothing I hate more than heaving that massive box into the loft storage space and then finding something I need to put in it. Getting that box back in the garage will probably make me feel better.

I think a lot about minimalism and how and why I’m still pursuing it. It’s easy to think I’m doing a pretty decent job; I live in a much smaller house than most people, and we have very little storage space to keep superfluous things. We don’t even have real closets in our house; my guess is we have fewer clothes, books and toys than most families of four. And yet there is still work to do, and this feeling highlights that for me. I hate feeling like my things are taking over. And while I appreciate knowing where almost everything goes–there were years when I couldn’t effectively clean up because so many things didn’t really have homes–I don’t appreciate spending so much time actually putting things away. We need to get rid of a lot more shit if I’m going to stop feeling so overwhelmed by all of it, and constantly underwhelmed by my ability to manage it.

So I start 2017 with a renewed commitment to minimalism. I know it serves me well, that I NEED it to thrive. If I keep chasing minimalism I expect enough of the other shit to fall away until intentional living happens organically. Maybe some day.

4 Comments

  1. I was thinking about your last post, when you said people with ADHD have a disordered understanding of time and can’t plan out how long things will take. I wonder if that’s why you always end these periods of time feeling like you didn’t accomplish enough. I’m not sure how to fix that, but maybe recognize it so you don’t blame yourself.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Overestimating what can reasonably be done, but also underestimating how long things take. Also the problem of thinking you have “so much time” so keep putting things off, and then run out of time. It may help to 1) narrow down what you absolutely want to get done and 2) schedule actually WHEN those things are going to be done (Monday 10-1, declutter garage; etc…)

  2. It is very disappointing when you don’t get done what you were hoping. This weekend is going to end that way for us, and it’s only because I would rather relax than work. The only thing that will be done is the tree dismantled because it needs to be in the curb tomorrow.

  3. I think you over estimate the time you will have while the children are in school. You underestimate how long tasks will take. You also under accept how tired you are and how much you need real breaks and do not plan that into your list of “what I am going to get done.” All of this means you are normal and human like the vast mass of the rest of us. This actually really does not make you wrong or bad or under-achieving.
    Only one idea: Set a timer and have all four of you look through the house and each room for any left over Christmas stuff for the box. 15 mins is a long time for 4 people participating. Then you put it in box while the crew sings 12 days of Christmas or some equivalent thing (10 mins or less) and then everyone stand and cheer while husband puts the box away. Because Christmas, and all holidays are really a JOINT holiday so the clean up needs to be a joint event also.
    You have made major progress on your house, minimalism, and your possessions over the past 6 years! SUPER JOB WELL DONE!!! Pat your self on back!!!

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