Urgh…

Today’s title is a sound, not an actual word.

I am tired and I don’t know why. True I took a book to bed with me last night and read about 150 pages before I finally turned out the light. But, I also slept in. That should equal out, right?

But, I started taking medication for depression and OCD (which is short for obsession, really). I didn’t really think I had any abnormal hang ups until I started looking at the things I do a bit closer. I do have a lot of focus for details, especially once something catches my interest. I do get fussy about the smallest things, having them right. Not that I’m a tidy neat freak. Apparently though, being a neat freak is not actually required. Being a hoarder is the other side of the bucket.

Don’t get pictures of hoarders you see on TV. I’m not that extreme. I keep it to one room, mostly. I don’t bring food around here, other than coffee and the occasional snack which I am careful about. I don’t have mice and the only bugs are those attracted to my hoard of paper, not crumbs of food. So, I’m not a disaster of a hoarder. Just a hoarder light. I did get quite a bit of it cleaned up too but it seems to be creeping back. Anyway, that’s a story for another day.

I think the medicine I’m taking is making me tired. That is one of the side effects but I thought by now (over the first month of taking them) Id’ be past that. The tired comes over me all of a sudden. If you have ever taken an allergy pill (anti-histamine) you will know what that’s like. One minute you are fine the next you can’t possibly seem to keep your eyes open and your body wants to melt down and rest on the floor (or something softer if you can pull yourself together long enough). Maybe not everyone reacts to allergy pills that way. I find even the non-drowsy pills get me.

I’m mostly back to working on my sites again. Still getting sucked into little details rather than starting in on the bigger jobs like all those photographs for the exploration which need to be posted to Flickr (no posts since 2013!) and now my own urban exploration site, Wrecky Rat Bird. I also want to find a simple way to watermark my photos. This gets complicated because I don’t want to watermark my originals, just a web copy. Also, I have a lot of photos on Flickr but my originals from years past are burned on CDs and I’m not sure where they are in the clutter. Another thing, I found one of my saved CD’s but it was broken in half. Discouraging. So I guess that is all part of why I keep putting off the big job of posting my photos. Instead I’m fluffing around with plugins which I could really not bother with compared to the actual photo content which I do need.

There won’t be an image with this post. I’m mostly writing to keep myself awake and it seems to be working. So far. But, I need to get more done than this today. I should have gone out to the grocery store but I put that off for another day. I did the same thing yesterday. Urgh and bleh! There are days like that.

This is Me Today – Making Myself Crazy

twittercapture

Being a perfectionist is a vicious circle of events. Nothing is ever good enough. So we (or I) end up keeping endless stuff because I feel I have to finish it, get it right before I can let it go. I feel obligated to the stuff and myself. I’m letting myself down if I don’t do everything and do it right. I can’t just let things go so they pile up.

Ironically, the piles of actual stuff make me feel pressured and I can’t deal with all of it.

On top of that, no woman is an island. I get request from others who want me to do things for them. They even have deadlines and complain when stuff isn’t done, for them. Then I get annoyed because they expect me to just drop everything and put them first.

The joke is on me. I’m getting so little actually done that things are piling up (of course). In the end – I am the one on the bottom of the pile under all this stuff.

So, the plan is to wait until sometime in November when I will have the house (most of it) to myself and I can move things out of my work room and into other rooms. This will give me some space and maybe clear my mind a bit. If I feel I have some space to work in maybe I can actually get to work and get some of this stuff done.

Of course, we come back to the perfectionism issue.  Is making the space enough? Can I let things be imperfect? Can I decide to just get rid of some things, undone, not completed? Can I give up on some of the things which I thought mattered so much? That will be the hard part. It isn’t the stuff or the lack of space so much as feeling I am losing parts of myself and who I think I am and should be.

If I get rid of everything which makes me feel like I’m someone, what will be left of me? Once I am clutter free how will I know what to do with myself?

Regifting: Reuse, Reduce, Repurpose and Recycle for Christmas

Why Should you Regift?

There are good reasons to be a regifter.

First, if you know you won’t use it, can’t wear it, don’t have room for it, then don’t stick it on a shelf, at the back of a closet or somewhere else it will be forgotten and just take up space. Pick someone who will really want it, can use it. This way you don’t have clutter and someone else gets a gift they can use.

Second, it saves you money and time. Instead of buying more gifts or spending time making gifts (which can end up costing more than buying a gift) you can regift something you already have.

Third, it saves all those gifts from being added to the landfill. Not many gifts are made from 100% recyclable materials and most could be used by someone if you take the time to figure out just the right person.

The Five Golden Rules for Good Regifters

The item must be kept in brand new condition. You can’t have unpacked it to try it or use a little. If there is a guarantee or instructions they should be with the item. If you did open the packaging to take care in closing it up again. Dust it off, don’t regift an item that looks like it sat on a shelf for a year, or longer. If a book has an inscription you can’t regift it.

Wrap the item all over again with fresh paper, bows and whatever accessories and extras you usually use. Also, don’t mess up and leave the old gift card on or inside the gift. Some of the simplest things are the easiest to overlook.

Don’t regift the item to the same people who gave it to you. This is a reason for not hanging on to a gift for very long. You may forget who it came from. Also, you don’t want to send it to anyone the original sender knows, especially if it is easily identifiable, unique.

Never regift a handmade/ homemade gift. If it really is something you can’t use (wrong size, for example) find a gentle way to let the gifter know. Make sure they understand you value their work, their thoughtfulness and the time, energy and resources that went into the gift.

The gift should be desired and suit the person you are giving it to. If something really is unwanted by yourself or anyone else you can think of take it to the thrift store, or try selling it online. What you give to others is a reflection on yourself. Don’t regift something you know will be unwanted, just to get rid of it or save a buck. Consider age, gender, style, size, etc. when choosing who will get your regift.

National Regifting Day

Spring… So Far

I’m making scalloped potatoes tonight. I looked at a few recipes to get the general idea so I wouldn’t have them too wet or dry. Didn’t really reach a consensus on that so I went for the DIY plan. I added a can of Green Pea soup, mainly because it was too sweet tasting to have as soup on it’s own. It might be great mixed with milk and potatoes and some preserved garlic. Salt and pepper too. I thought about cheese but I haven’t used it in awhile and, of course, it’s gotten greenish. Why does that modern cheese that looks and tastes more like plastic than cheese, get mouldy?

So the dinner (scalloped potatoes) are in the oven. Should be about an hour of cooking time. I will give them a few check points along the way. It will be a real massive mess to clean up if that milk cooks up and floods out inside the oven. I’ve got it covered with silver foil. Some said to cover it and some said not to. I decided to cover it based on the lack of plastic cheese on top.

Graham phoned to remind me he is coming out tomorrow. Which I knew. He asked me to remind him cause he is getting the snow tires off the car and then he wants to help clean the house around before Mother comes home. She is leaving on Wednesday she said today in email or Facebook, one or the other. I have let the cleaning slide a bit. Mainly because I really just don’t like it. There are a lot of tomorrows if you keep waiting for tomorrow. But, it’s not terrible. I do live here after all. I’ve got the kitchen and bathroom cleaned. The only things I’ve left are dusting related. Clutter too, but I’ll swoop up everything tonight.

I’ve got the nice box the new computer came in and I will be able to pile a lot in there and closet it away. I wish I had gotten more done this winter, as far as the clutter. If I really got through most of it I’d likely be dumping more out than I’d keep. I can’t just dump it out without checking it though. All those bags are cases of closet tidying – times I’ve stuffed everything into a bag even though some of it is important. There is just too much paperwork to deal with in the modern world.

I almost forgot… it’s raining a slushy snow out there and has been all day. But, I have to go out and rescue Mom’s damn plants. Graham put them all outside a few days ago. Mom said to do it. I said not to. I said it was still not warm enough and there was a good chance they would all be zapped. But, Graham put them out there anyway. He has a clutter phobia I think. Not an actual phobia but as close as you can get to an actual fear without really having a phobia. Anyway, now I’m the one who has to go out into the cold rain and find something in the garage (not my favourite place) to cover the damned plants. I know she is going to tell me most of them are dead again this year. It sounds evil to wish death on plants but I almost do. All winter they fill the laundry room and then in spring I’m the plant murderer, no matter what I do or don’t do.

Anyway, everyone has their thing. My Mom’s thing is plants. So, I do water them and I don’t whack them out of the way over winter. Even in Spring when they start growing and do start getting in the way. It’s not the plants fault. They just grow where they’re put.

Walking on the Blog Fire

I’ve nearly got things fixed up again with the template. Now I don’t know why I got stirred up to make changes at all. But, I do have the three columns again. Will see if I can leave it for awhile longer this time.

Trying to decide what to do about the blogs I’m blogging. I really think of this one as a personal blog for whatever comes along. I’ve been really slack on journalling though.

I already keep Word Grrls for writing and sort of blogging stuff. But it wandered off on it’s own and has been just writing prompts of almost a year now, maybe longer. Should I stack it with all the blogging stuff that I think up and get the blogging stuff out of the personal blog here? I’m leaning towards that.

Doodle Week has it’s focus so that’s not one I need to mess with. But I could post more about drawing, maybe. Do I really want to take on more and give myself more to do in a blog that is ok how it is. I don’t think so.

Anyway, back to coding. I should be able to put all my sidebar clutter back now and not have it get eaten. Don’t you wish Blogger would fix it so the widgets don’t get killed off every time you change the template!

Discovery by Yourself

“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you are alone with.”
Wayne Dyer

“We are all inventors,
each sailing out on a voyage
of discovery,
guided each by a private chart,
of which there is no duplicate.
The world is all gates,
all opportunities.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

Albert Einstein

Red Hot Drops

Adding this list here for now. Really need to find something else to do with these kind of site lists. I’d rather not go back to a three column blog again but… it’s looking like a good option in the case of blogrolls and other links which I’ve had to bury a bit to avoid clutter. There just doesn’t seem to be a perfect solution for clutter and blogrolls yet.

Get the Blog Clutter Bug

I think the biggest upcoming things for blogs is going to be about clutter and making them look cleaner overall. So many blogs are stuffed full of ads, traffic and seo rank related things that it’s hard to find anything in the sidebar that could actually be interesting.

I found a few links today about fixing blog clutter.

Lorelle on Word Press has written about Cleaning Up and Decluttering.

Skelliewag has 50 Tips to Unclutter your Blog and A Guide to Creating a Minimalist Website

ProBlogger writes about Minimalist Blogging too.

Supper Blogging Tips has written Unclutter your Sidebar.

Blogging Tips has Remove the Clutter from your Blog.

Wisdump has the Resurrection of the Sidebar.

Pro Blog Design has Sidebar Redesign.

There are so many endless, bottomless posts about how to add more to your blog, your sidebar and your search rank. Why is there so very little good information to be found about making a site reduce it’s clutter and become readable again?

To take it to the barebones of the clutter situation it’s about taking what you need and keeping it and then tossing everything else, no excuses and no saving stuff you only think would be nice to keep or might be good later on or gives you an ego boost but does nothing for your blog itself or those coming to read your blog.

Decluttering does not have to be heartless. If you really can’t delete it all consider making a footer with three columns. Just like sweeping the dirt under the rug, keeping a junk drawer in the kitchen or a closet stuffed full of stuff you don’t have time to deal with.

There are also ways to roll up the clutter so it is not visible in full but available at the touch of a mouse. There are two types of roll away clutter busters and I’m not really sure what they official standard names are for them. Lets call one the scrolling window and the other the scrolling title.

Another plan to move clutter off your front page is to give it a page of it’s own and just link back to it. Or, categories set up like an index with the same link back plan.

Thursday Thirteen #19: EntreCard Blog Ideas

For Thursday Thirteen – Thirteen things I could write about personal blogging and blogs for the EntreCard blog. Kind of nice to make a list even if I never remember to check it.

1. Clutter and decluttering a blog. Three columns blog or 3 column footer.

2. Keeping true to your own voice. Writing for yourself instead of putting on a show.

3. Online journaling. Release your passions, upsets and strange ideas.

4. Making a site on MySpace, Vox and other offbeat or lesser known blog-type places.

5. Simple HTML and CSS tricks.

6. Personal blog security, passwords, backing up your blog and so on.

7. Writing when no one is listening. How to keep writing when you feel like you’re just talking to yourself.

8. How to add illustrations to your blog even if you can’t draw. Photo hosting services links included.

9. Should you use word verification or just comment moderation.

10. Elements of a good layout and design.

11. Joining groups to match your interests.

12. Using the background file to change the look of your whole blog, easily.

13. Spelling counts. Spellcheck, free and easy to use online.

Free Traffic Exchange Sites

Sites that I have found for free traffic exchange. I’m not using all of these, I’m considering adding one of them. The trouble is making space above the fold for more than one. Also, not sure I want more cause they do look like ad clutter. But, I’m enjoying EntreCard and My Roomie is such a cheerful looking site. Likely some will stay and some will go, over time. I find the more stuff you try the more interesting things you find.

EntreCard

Spottt

My Roomie

BloggerSwap

Blog 125

Blog Explosion (Rent My Blog is currently offline, for maintenance they say but it seemed to be mothballed quite awhile).

If you know of others let me know.