About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Year, New Goal

Well, not exactly a new goal ... actually the resurrection of a project that never quite got off the ground last year.

Those of you who are familiar with my old blog, My Life After Layoff , might remember my plans to de-clutter and organize my workroom (you can see the "before" pics here ).  Right now it's a disaster ... bags, boxes, and loose piles of fabric, yarn, books, clothes, craft supplies, patterns, sewing machines, dress form, ironing board, computer stuff, fishing rods & tackle (don't ask) ... the room itself is seven feet by ten, and it seems like almost everything I do is done in here.  Or would be, if I had space to do it ...

Well, life got in the way, as it so often does, and nothing in here has changed.  Yet

I was making progress.  Really I was.  But then ...

My computer died; actually, a component of the power source failed and took out part of my motherboard in the process  -  the part that says "Why yes, you do have hard drives, and here they are."  That happened mid-September, and I was without a computer of my own until late November.  It's my very good fortune to have a dear friend who is also a tech wizard, and he was able to slave my main hard drive to (daughter) J's computer long enough for me to copy the files I really needed (job-hunting can be difficult without access to one's resume).  

On reflection, I must admit that the biggest hindrance to the timely completion of the project was a stroke of amazing good luck  -  a former colleague called me out of the blue and offered me a job!  Naturally, I accepted with grace and gratitude.  And then did the "Happy Dance" on the downtown sidewalk outside Dressew (which is where I happened to be when my phone rang), followed by a celebratory shopping spree at their 99-cents-a-ball yarn sale (I got some gorgeous stuff, too  -  Nashua Cilantro and Schachenmayr Nomotta Punto for 99 cents?  A dozen pattern books for 99 cents each?  Heaven, I tell you!).  And after thirteen months without work, a call on a Thursday afternoon asking "Can you start on Monday morning?" merited some celebration!  I believe my response was something along the lines of "If you want, I can find a way to start yesterday! "

Get-up-in-the-morning-and-work-on-the-room turned into get-up-and-go-to-work and work-on-the-room-on-the-weekend.  Good.

Work-on-the-room-on-the-weekend turned into do-something-about-that-damned-attic-so-there's-somewhere-to-put-things and do-the-laundry-and-housework-all-at-once-instead-of-staggered-through-the-week and yell-at-the-people-who-had-all-week-to-do-their-laundry-and-chose-Saturday-and-I-am-not-going-to-work-on-Monday-without-clean-underwear and well, you get the picture.  Frustrating.

Time constraints, attic temperatures, and family life being what they are, the attic turned into a much bigger project than I had foreseen, but I finally finished just in time for

ChristmasBaking.  Cleaning.  Decorating.  Gift making / shopping / hiding / wrapping.  And the Big Guy picked December as the perfect time to paint the kitchen and replace the stove ... The coldest week on record for the last umpty-dozen years, doors and windows wide open (therefore also the coldest week on record in the house) and no way to cook.  Uber frustrating.

Well.  Upward and onward.

The holiday dust has settled, the pine needles have all been swept up (well, all the ones I could find), and it's time to finish what I started in here.

Step one:  weed the bookshelves.  Difficult, that.  Done.
Step two:  weed the yarn and fabric stashes.  Even more difficult, and involving some lip-quivering, but ... Done.
Step three:  hit the dollar store for zip-close bags to store yarn and fabric, with the patterns I intend to use tucked into the bags.  Mostly done.
Step four:  inventory all the knitting needles and related gear so that I know what I have and what I need.  Done.  
Step five:  weed the craft supplies and office supplies, then hit the dollar store again for clear plastic bins / boxes to store the keepers in.  Weeding is done, dollar store trip will be later today.
Step six:  go through the small Alp of mending and sort by type of repair needed, then swing by the local fabric store for any necessary supplies not already on hand (like the new zipper for my fleece-lined hoodie).  Partially done.  In a perfect world, this would be followed by
Step seven:  Do all the mending.  In a perfect world ...

At this point, someone is sure to be wondering what all that shopping and all those plastic bags, boxes, and bins have to do with making my life "greener, healthier, and thriftier".  Well, life is full of trade-offs and compromises, and that's one of mine; an investment in plastic now will save me money, time, and stress.  Fabric and yarn won't be ruined by exposure to dirt, dust, bugs, or mildew (it's happened before).  Craft supplies won't get lost, broken, or damaged.  I won't tear my hair out trying to find things I know are "in here somewhere", nor will I spend money duplicating what I already have.  And having all those projects visible means I'll be far more likely to actually do them, which in turn means a better wardrobe for me and nice gifts for others, all without spending more money on materials. And ... I only buy plastics that are on my city's acceptable-for-recycling list, which is what will happen in the unlikely event that I no longer have a use for them and can't find someone else who needs them.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions  -  mainly because I know how unlikely it is that I'll keep them  -  but this year I've made a few and I think they're going to work.

1)  I will work with what I have.

2)  I will finish what I start.

3)  I will step up my efforts to reduce, re-use, and recycle.  

Remember I said last week that blogging keeps me accountable?  Well, putting that together with resolutions 1 and 2, every time I start a project I will post it in the sidebar, along with the start and finish dates.  If I get really ambitious, I might even put up pictures.  Yes, including "after" pictures of my workroom ... if only in the hope that someone, somewhere, will check out the "befores", compare them to the "afters", and say "Wow! Great job!"


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