Friday, October 24, 2014

Sorting Out Life, as well...


Happy husband...

This is where we were the other day, and yes, I gave myself permission to stop doing gruntwork and do what I NEEDED to do.  I plan on more of that!
 
So.  Not only are we simplifying our home and possessions, but life and priorities as well.  Life is too short, things of real importance deserve our attention, and yes, it's okay to be happy!

I know, that should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense, but we do so often do things because we think we should, we must, someone asked, we've committed, we've agreed, SOMEONE ought to, it needs doing, we're responsible...we're trapped.  Tra la.

LONG after these things have stopped being fulfilling, long after they really, actually needed doing, long after the time when someone else might be able to do them better, and might want to have the chance, we're still plodding along.  Blinders on.

And before long we find our souls occupying a tiny corner of our own lives--all the room that's left to them.  I recently posted a link to a site about things happy people do, and it was shared widely.  This is good.  But when I went to some of the shares I discovered a disturbing number of negative comments by people who resented the idea, who thought anyone who had time must be retired (some of the busiest people I KNOW are retired), who didn't have time to be happy (?!?!)...

It made me sad.

The other day Joseph and I were talking about what I actually WANTED to be doing, right now.  (Aside from being Out There, as above!)  I told him about a silly little project I've been wanting to do, for months...it doesn't pay, it's not "work," I haven't agreed I'd do it, no contracts involved...it's just fun.  But ya know, I don't have time for that.

He said "DO it!  No wonder all the gruntwork is sucking the life out of you right now...you need to be doing something else, and you're not letting yourself!  Do THAT, and then maybe the Work, capital W, won't feel quite so heavy."

And so soon, I promise myself, I'll do just that.  Right after I put in a few more hours on the contracted obligation.



However, ya know, it felt great to write all this down!  That too is something I need to do.

I'm a lousy Pollyanna, really...I'm stuck in a couple of jobs that have had glitches, lately, needing far more work than I have energy for, and pretending everything is great is just too damn exhausting.

Nuts to that. 

I hope you give yourself permission to do what you really want to, as well.


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Meanwhile, there's a helpful series on the Tiny House Blog you may enjoy, on simplifying! 

http://tinyhouseblog.com/ti…/helpful-tips-downsizing-part-1/

18 comments:

  1. What a great post, Cathy!
    First commitment must be to ourself!
    Have a great day !

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    1. Thank you, Martine--I AM feeling that putting off those things that are truly ME is a bad idea!

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  2. Bravely speaking this truth is such a gift to us all. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Yes, go full steam into what your heart yearns for. That, too, is a gift to the world.

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    1. Thank you, Mischa. It requires clearing the decks, in some cases, completing existing obligations, but knowing without a doubt what NOT to say yes to in the future. I think this is such an important lesson for each of us. Too much of life gets a yes we end up resenting. I don't mean the kind of yes where we accept the Universe's gifts, or go with the flow...it's those other ones, meeting someone else's expectations, that is soul-stifling.

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  3. Absotively, posolutely!! :) :)

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  4. Great post Cathy. It really made me think. I'm on the brink of 70 and retirement -this Feb. My husband and I have been decluttering too.

    I am one of those people who never eat "desert" first in life (unless it's loaded with refined sugar and carbohydrates). However, I'm beginning to think the commitments, the responsibilities etc are actually what makes me "happy", as they ultimately give me a sense of purpose, satisfaction.

    As I look back at my life I think the quest for "happiness" has sometimes been a bit contorted in my mind because of how our western society defines it. I've decided that I need to strive to be content with what I chose to commit to rather than think I'm missing out on happy.

    Just some thoughts that your excellent post provoked . . . time will tell, it always does!

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    1. Thanks, Judith...I think we're all different, and if commitments make you feel purposeful, go for it! I think I just over-committed and then feel trapped. I'm getting better...

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  5. Do you see my comment on your end, Kate? I saw it get Published, but now it's gone. :-(

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    1. Susan, sorry, I didn't' see it! NO idea why...

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  6. It is somehow comforting to know that others struggle with these issue!

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    1. I know, it is, Janette. We all want to help, we want to share, we want to do what we can, but I'm doing a LOT of sorting on what actually IS my path, my purpose--in addition to getting rid of excess Stuff.

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  7. Having trouble again with my comments sticking! I can really empathize with what you are going through, as you know. And I am determined to make what I want to do be the goal and not what others want me to do. To lessen the latter, anyway. Here we are talking about work, of course. I hope your personal project soon takes center stage!

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    1. Hi sweet thing...I JUST now saw your comment, because (I think) I was using the old notification address. I've changed my settings, wish I could figure out why you and a few others have problems with the comments. I'll check that setting again.

      And YES, we need to be who we are, and give the world what it is we actually have to offer. I've turned down several things lately that just weren't me. Workshops in other states, teaching elsewhere, etc. Getting easier to say no, thank you for thinking of me, but no.

      At least I'm making more progress on the work...at last!

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  8. Thanks for this great post Cathy. I too am at this place in life...weeding out possessions and personal goals. It also makes me sad that people cannot see their way to finding happiness. Thinking somehow that it is forbidden in our society as a selfish construct. I truly enjoy your posts and always find them elevating!

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    1. I think the world needs more authentically happy people, offering the world what we REALLY have to offer. Women are especially expected to put everyone else first...when your children are young, that's a necessity, of course. Men are expected to Provide, to Be A Man, and that can have tragic results as well. Society has expectations that we will be good, quiet little sheep, but as we come into who we truly are, that is what we REALLY have to offer.

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  9. Just seeing this post now, and this line particularly struck a chord: "before long we find our souls occupying a tiny corner of our own lives--all the room that's left to them."

    I've been doing a lot of evaluating of my priorities and commitments, and realizing that not only will I be less stressed and happier if I major in those things that flow more naturally, but I will most likely also be more encouraging to others that way too. I think we so often stress ourselves out trying to meet other people's expectations, but a stressed out spouse or friend is rarely as encouraging to others as a peaceful and contented spouse or friend.

    As you said above, sometimes it's a necessity, but I think more often I get trapped by the "someone has to do it" or "so and so wants me to do something" etc, and then my soul gets squeezed and strangled. It's felt so good in this past year to prioritize the things that feed my soul (your classes are a part of that soul nourishment for me), and a side benefit has been more energy for some of the most important people in my life.

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    1. Melissa, it's always so good to see your thoughtful comments...and I know you are going through a lot of the same things I am. As I was writing my newsletter I really realized (again!) how thin I've spread myself. Many things I've started were "a good idea at the time," but I've either grown or changed or the moment passed or someone else needs to take over.

      I have streamlined a LOT in the last year or so, but there's a lot left to do. I am finding more time for the important things, though...

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