Six More Days to the Resolutions


So it’s six more days to 2018, which promises to be a contentious year here in America, but also a chance for a fresh start, especially if we can do some governmental rearranging. Since January 1 is the traditional day for new beginnings (I like Sept. 1 because of spending most of my life in educational circles, but that’s just me), these are our last six days to clear away the deadwood of 2017 to start with a nice clean slate for the new year.  For me, that means finishing a book and throwing out half the stuff in my house.  I don’t do weight loss diets–they’re depressing and they don’t work and also, I like food–and any bad habits I have are now baked into my personality, so changing those is futile, but the book and the house are non-negotiable.  

By “finish the book,” I mean get a complete draft of The Devil in Nita Dodd.  That will not, of course, be an actual finished book because there’ll be a rewrite and then the beta reads and then another rewrite, and then a Jen/Jodi/Amy/Meg read and then another rewrite, but I want a complete truck draft, no missing scenes,  It’ll be a stretch, but I think I can do it because I’ve got a grip on what the book is about now.   

By “throwing out half the stuff in my house,” I mean finally coming to grips with the fact that I never use, need, or even touch half the stuff in this house, so it’s just cluttering up my life.  2018 seems like an excellent year to get rid of clothes I’m not in love with; books I can read more easily on the iPad;, old printers that don’t work; papers that have no meaning any more; Presidents who are cruel, stupid, and dangerous; and ideas that have been hobbling me for too long.  Everything must go.  Well, not everything, just everything that’s detrimental to my new, clean, productive life.

So that’s my next six days.  What are your end of the year plans?  (If you don’t have any, that’s good, too.  Sometimes  you just need to rest up before facing a new start.)

SaveSave

49 thoughts on “Six More Days to the Resolutions

  1. I’d like to complete the task list sent by my publisher so I can start editing. As soon as I find my password to the website where the task list is located…

    4+
  2. I need to drive back home tomorrow (I’m hoping the threatened snow won’t materialize); work through the long email and attachments my solicitor sent me; finish the edit that’s come back from the authors as a rewrite; and finish proof-reading ‘To the Lighthouse’. I’d also love some quiet, hermit time, and maybe a photography day – if, by a miracle, the work gets done faster than expected.

    3+
  3. “Everything must go. Well, not everything, just everything that’s detrimental to my new, clean, productive life.” Me too. Kon Marie part two.

    I just got back from a vacation in India. I am so grateful for my home country with its beautiful green hills and blue skies and sea.

    It saddens me deeply that there are parts of the world where the skies and seas are grey because of smoke and vehicle emissions.

    4+
    1. Also, living out of a suitcase and small backpack for 14 days really helps to remind me how little I need.

      The rest is just want.

      7+
      1. We’re living in 3 different places over 4 months while our house is being done. Over halfway through and I’m down to a rucksack of possessions. There will be a lot of discarding when we finally move back in and get everything out of storage.

        1+
        1. Also, staying in house where the owner has 4 bottles of olive oil on the go at once makes makes me wonder how much new stuff we really need. (note: these are all roughly the same type of olive oil and there are plenty of other oils open too) We have 2 bottles of oil at home, total. I’m starting to feel like a minimalist.

          1+
  4. We had a dining table covered with electronic components given to me by a neighbor who was moving across country. After debating for quite a while where to put them, I heard from a friend about a really good charity group that was taking donations to directly support refugee families, and we instantly decided to give them to that group.

    It was a great experience — I’d felt burned when I learned that the thrift I’d been donating to was owned by a rich creep and that less than 40% of donations went to actually help other people — by contrast, this group was wonderful and volunteer-driven with a great charity record.

    Finding an alternative place to direct my excess stuff has made a huge difference for me, and I’m back in de-cluttering mode.

    11+
  5. I wish I could say the end days of 2017 will be productive, but I’m so glad to have this time off from work and I’m feeling nothing but lazy. I’m cooking, eating, reading, watching TV and movies, sleeping, and getting up to do this all over again.

    3+
  6. I got the decluttering bug about a month ago (I think it was a way of having some control in an otherwise out-of-my-control period), and I don’t actually have all that much unnecessary Stuff to start with, so it’s just surface clutter that’s built up in the past year or two, but I’ve got that under control already, so I’m starting the new year tomorrow instead of waiting for next Monday.

    I’m finishing up all the holiday foods (sugar! salt!) in the house today, so tomorrow I can eat healthy (no diets, just more healthy stuff) and figure out a plan for the new year that will let me cope with stress more positively than in the past six months. Also looking for a theme for next year. Which could be a big year for me and the patient support group (and all the people being supported) I’m involved with, but also a big challenge.

    One thing I already know about plans for the new year is that I want to make time for quilting. Every single week. This year I did hardly any quiltmaking, and I think its absence contributed to my out-of-control stress levels. As everyone here knows, it’s hard to make time for play, but it’s absolutely necessary for my creativity and my work/volunteer productivity.

    6+
    1. This is the year of my 50th birthday, so I really want to be creative. I told my husband I want to spend time in my craft room, quilting, and sewing. Our little town is hosting the Route 66 celebration in June, and he keeps telling me to make stuff to sell then. I really think I’m going to see I can get some stuff made for that. So, my thing for 2018-CREATE!!

      9+
      1. One of my favorite gifts this year was a quilted potholder from a friend, bought at a local craft fair. It’s about 20 cm square, with a center square about 4 cm square, surrounded by 2 cm strips in similar color tone prints. Mine is in plum tones, and my friend showed me several others she fell in love with, in greens and in reds (every one was a single color family — all kind of floral or fruit/food patterns). I liked every one, and my friend said the quilter’s stock of them sold out every Christmas. Just an idea for you if you want to start with small stuff made from scraps, rather than bigger pieces. The quilting itself is straightforward right angled turns — and it is just a beautiful thing, a mini-quilt that’s immediately super useful. 🙂

        5+
        1. Oh, that’s a great idea. People are a lot more likely to impulse less expensive things that are beautiful. Plus, they’re faster to make. Win-win.

          2+
    2. I don’t think quilting is play, I think it’s art, creative expression, and I think if you’re deprived of that, a very important part of your brain and mental health begins to ache. The need to make things is strong in some of us; I think it’s akin to the need in some people to talk to others or to exercise daily or whatever your particular brain chemistry demands of you. I find crochet to be healing that way; when I get too stressed, I sit down with a hook and some yarn and make things and feel so much better. Of course, now I have piles of crochet laying around that I’m going to have to do something with, but really, SO much better than drugs for peace of mind.

      7+
  7. This year I produced very little in the “personal creativity” column and I want to change that in 2018. I want to do a truckload of re-writing, and a new story, and start a new novel, and I want to make some stuff for the new house. Even if “make” only amounts to “get those things framed and hung.”

    January will be devoted to outdoor projects, but I will get a writing area set up in the new old house … have been without any kind of useful home-office area since mid-October and, while essential business has gotten done, I haven’t even updated my blog since then. MUST WRITE.

    5+
  8. I too will be trying to finish a first draft (Broken Rider book #3, which I will be–gulp–self-publishing). Other than that, my main goals for the rest of 2017 are to keep my house warm (they’re calling for -15, which will be -20 where I am), and keeping all my cats alive.

    But I am so on board with your goals for 2018.

    4+
      1. Eesh. We’re supposed to get up to 80 here today. I would normally hate it this time of year, but we need to air the house out (Emma not wanting to keep food down for a few days makes for unmentionable atmosphere despite ALL the Nature’s Miracle) and Stephen & I both need the sunshine. Sending sunny warm vibes from otherwise yucky LA your way!

        1+
    1. We just got a robo call from the water company advising us to have an eye out for frozen pipes so we’ll keep the cabinet doors open under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. I remember coming home from work and having to use a portable heater on one and my hair dryer on the other to get them to unfreeze. My house is two hundred years young with crawlspace underneath a large portion and an area on another side for laundry, furnace and storage. I also try to make sure to keep the gas tank on my car to half full, I don’t know why but it’s something I do.

      5+
      1. I made my way down to the basement yesterday–no access from inside the house–and turned on the space heater I keep down there so that the pipes wouldn’t freeze. I may end up letting them drip when it gets below zero; that usually helps, too. They only froze here once, but once was enough.

        4+
        1. I do both–let the faucets drip and leave the cupboards open. I worry a little bit about the cats getting under the sinks, but frankly, there is so much crap under there, I don’t think there is room for a cat.

          2+
      2. The gas tank thing is because you are more likely to get ice crystals forming in an emptier tank, in which case your car won’t start (until you put dry gas in it). Filling up when it is going to be cold is a good idea.

        4+
      3. We are still paying rent on the previous location of a business and fortunately I went over there today for another reason to discover the heat was off.

        Turns out when the appliance company moved to the washer/dryer, they turned off the gas to the furnace as well. Luckily the gas company fixed it.

        Tomorrow I get to have a fun conversation with the appliance company.

        3+
  9. I must have gotten a jumpstart on resolutions or new beginnings. I started toying with a new story, but it’s mostly playing with ideas at the moment. Meanwhile, I finished cleaning out the file drawers, they look amazing.
    Today, I sorted out clothes to donate. So many disasters it makes me wonder if I wore rose-colored glasses when making those purchases. Ha ha.
    Tomorrow, I might tackle organizing tax receipts, although my daughter wants me to do something with grandma’s mink coats. There are quite a few. I’ve found a consignment store, but it’s way the heck over in Beverly Hills. She’s so busy, and me, being a dummy, said I’d handle the issue. Guess I’ll have to keep my word.

    2+
    1. Oh good, you gave a task! Checking account statements, several years ago I bought a paper shredder and was moving along really well until the bank decided to photo the checks instead of mailing them with the statement. So they have been piling up again. Our accountant told us to get rid of them after, I think, three years. Perfect!

      1+
  10. I’d like to somehow manage to be in a different situation by next year instead of being in the same STUCK STUCK STUCK not great job situation, not great money situation, bored of where I live and what I do situation that I have been in for over a decade now. However, I am not setting that as a resolution because I honestly have no idea how to change any of that and have gotten nowhere trying for years.

    8+
    1. Perhaps frame it as small positive actions you can take, rather than a wholesale negative goal of “not this”? Think about the situation you’d like to be in and what you would have had to do to get there. Then take some of those things, and break them down into small steps you can do regularly – not just in January. It’s not all or nothing. Try new things if you want to get out of a rut. There are no guarantees about your level of success, but you’re the only person who can change your life.

      4+
  11. We’re spending the rest of this year trying to get puppies (ok 13 yr old Labs) back on their feet and happy, and doing all the laundry, and decompressing, and hopefully getting enough sleep at some point. Will also be throwing some stuff away, probably at the level of “what looks like I don’t want it anymore” rather than with any actual plan for the first pass. Actually reading Marie Kondo is one of my NY resolutions. Finishing books in there too. But first, sleep.

    2+
  12. Since I was sick most of the year and we don’t fully know what causes it or makes it worse, my goals have to do with restructuring my life in a way that accommodates my bad days and, hopefully, my bad stretches. To focus on things that don’t exacerbate it and try to let go of the attachment I have to those things. Unfortunately, tv and movies are high on that list. Fortunately, I have a lot of books to read this year instead.

    Now to find a new job…and clean and de-clutter my house at best, my room at RIGHT NOW. I moved in some things to sort when the new roommate moved in…that was July…get out, last of the stuff. Get. Out.

    4+
  13. Other than how round my middle is right now (I just can’t eat what I used to, and I just can’t seem to get this through my head) I am actually pretty happy with my life. My house could be cleaner (always), and I am sure there are things I could stand to discard, but I am endeavoring to embrace an attitude of freshness in my life – whether current events substantiate this attitude or not, I can be aware of all that IS alive and good.

    2+
  14. I’m getting ready for our annual New Years Party. This year is the 14th and we will probably have over 70 people. Getting ready means decluttering every surface and getting rid of all the paperwork lying around to be dealt with so I get to feel very productive and will have a clean house after the party. At my husband’s insistence I’m also going to make a chart of all our bookshelves so we can take the post it’s off them. It’s the next step in organizing our library. I carefully packed all the books by topic before we moved and planned to unpack them in an organized fashion and he unpacked them to get the boxes out of the way so over the last three years we have tried to consolidate books by type on shelves but we now have to reorganize so that all the shelves of one type are together. Guess who has the organizing gene in our house. Guess who is annoyed and probably could have done this a lot sooner if she didn’t think he should be doing most of it. Oh well. He has many virtues.

    4+
  15. I just gave away 16 bags of clothes between my husband and I. Last month I thinned the kitchen. If I haven’t touched anything in 6 months (outside of weather related items here in N.E.) It’s gone. And I feel so much lighter.
    Next, I have to turn in the final proof on book two to my editor on Jan. 3, 2018, and get back to tweaking/re-writing the fourth book in the series due in May. And I need to continue to thin out the house.
    Sewing room will be gone in 2018, custom-made sewing desk with machine if I can find someone who wants it, along with 7 bags of designer knit and crochet books I picked up at Stitches throughout the years and collectibles (P.M.)I haven’t taken out of the boxes since I moved here in 2001.
    That’s my 2018 goal, and to finish up the 1st draft of the romance novel I started before I got my contract for my thriller series.

    6+
  16. I need to find a new doctor, clean my house, buy a greater variety of veggies and find a new way to deal with my depression. The treatment I tried this year was only a minimal help and will leave me with a $500 bill that will take me months to get them to write off.
    Public Aid ( my secondary insurance ) has started a new computer system that neither I nor my favorite person in my legislator’s office can figure out, so I imagine that I will be busy trying to get my bills paid for many months to come. I hope the new program will help in the long run, but until then, it is causing a lot of confusion.

    3+
  17. Among my resolutions is to check back here more often than I have in recent years. Life got stressful. But I am going to stop with the mindset that things I enjoy are things I need to “make time for.” the good stuff shouldn’t be squeezed in.

    Anyhoo, I anticipate for various reasons that 2018 will be a year of change, and some of that well earned, so some decluttering has already begun in the spirit of anticipation. Now I just need to make that call for a special pick up and haul it to the curb. On the smaller scale, I got new pans for Christmas and was ruthless about clearing out the old, dented, everything sticks and the lids no longer fit pans. I’ve filled other trash bags with odds and ends and mean to keep at it. The now clean and neat lower cabinets are inspiring me.

    1+
    1. I just bought new blue Pyrex for the same reason. It’s a new year, my old metal pans are all dented and ugly, and this stuff was so pretty. So now two square pans (with plastic lids), one sheet pay (with plastic lid) and four pie pans (I lost my grip). Really pretty on the shelf.

      4+
      1. Eventually you have had your money’s worth from kitchen pans. Might as well buy ones you love when replacing. You’ll have them a long while.

        1+
        1. I feel like this about towels. I just found towels that match my bathroom color and stocked up and demoted all our old bathroom towels to kids rooms. I find the right color of towels to be a luxury…(and these are also plush and absorbant).

          3+
  18. The next 6 days for me is a declutter and re-organising of my study/library/spare room and my bedroom. I need to clear things out of one, so I can move things to/from the other, then setup the office properly. Work is going to be flat out next year and a space that I can work at home is high on the priority list. I’d prefer to have it done before the new year starts so it’s a good end to a year, rather than a good start…

    I’m also going to set up a personal Kanban board on one of my walls, to track the household things I have to do. I’ve tried multiple methods for housekeeping reminders and they’re all too easy to ignore when I’m busy. This means my home isn’t a place of relaxation as the mess annoys me. I’m working on the theory that an in-my-face set of tasks on a wall will be different.

    3+
      1. I work in IT and you’d think that we’d be the group to use lots of tech to track work, but we use cards on a wall because it’s the easiest & best method of tracking what work we have, who’s doing it and how it’s progressing. When we started this system, a number of the team started to use Kanban for their households (it works really well with kids). 🙂

        3+
    1. I’ve been having some ease of mind with Post-Its on the fridge, but organized like a lightweight Kanban system. I am gently mulling (a) keeping an eye out for magnetic business cards, etc., to turn into nicer cards for the common tasks and (b) I would like it more if I moved it to the not-in-your-face side of the fridge, but honestly it probably needs to be In Our Faces to work well.

      2+
      1. I’ve put mine in the hallway to my bedroom. One side is daily household, the other is projects (the current one is Set Up Study). My aim is to check & update it every morning and every night as I walk past it. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view) it is the in-your-face component that makes it work.

        0
  19. Resolution arises from a lesson learned on a holiday visit to my MIL, 98, and newly installed in assisted living. After three months, she’s cozy and down with the idea of permanency. We stayed in her house, about a quarter mile away. Because she’s decided to sell the house – named the favored realtor and the estate seller – dear MIL invited us to take our pick of furnishings. She has a thousand – roughly – Objects covering shelves, walls, display cases, and of course the furniture. After returning to the house late one night, we took a tour of the rooms. We selected an autobiography by Leo Carrillo. If you watched early television, you might remember Pancho, sidekick to the Cisco Kid. Carrillo was an actor and also heir to several significant family land grant ranchos. Much of Malibu eastward was once theirs, and major parts of San Diego County. So. Book on California history, a ceramic garlic keeper made by MIL about 50 years ago, an almost-dead dracena I’m hoping to revive, and a yellow spade my dear husband since he was three has been certain would one day be his. That’s it. So saddening. Eyeing my own house on our return, I see we have not nearly the MIL volume, but still an overwhelming amount of Stuff. Much will be packed up this year, dear Arghers, and then out with it.

    2+
    1. I wonder, are these the first generations to be able to accumulate such a large amount of stuff? Once you’ve had to empty such a house, your enchantment with things has the sheen taken off it a bit, but maybe they never had to do it? My grandparents on one side didn’t have a lot. The other side however were a bit younger and had a stash of china dolls and commemorative plates bought from the back of magazines. Mostly hidden away in the attic and never looked at once bought.

      3+
      1. I’m sure many of us have more stuff. But I’m wondering if some of this is also because generations don’t live together as much—I think people used to just use the family stuff rather than setting up new homes.

        5+
        1. I still use my grandmother’s cast iron, some of her cutlery and her good china; her dining room furniture, and a couple of bureaus. My sister has the kitchen table my BIL grew up with, an old fashioned secretary and book shelves from my BIL’s side.

          Because my mother lived with my grandparents and because my sister and I inherited when we were still living in the house, it was never their stuff as much as ours. I used the dining room table and she used one of the beds until they fell apart.

          But then the tchotchkes were never a big thing in my family and to this day I don’t think anyone of collects small china things. I like magnets, she likes pencils and that’s pretty much it. She does like art but her artworks might or might not have value depending on the market.

          The dogs’ ribbons will probably be trashed when I die but I won’t care.

          My aunt had Lladro and other decorative pieces and a lot of jewelry which she was disappointed to find had no value but then she had a couple of things she thought were worthless which did.

          I will say this. Before you give away or trash a older relative’s house, either run some of the stuff through ebay or hire an appraisal service. Because I know a woman who threw away two working Victrolas and collectors actually pay money for those. She also tossed a lot of ugly looking vases (that’s how she described them) and from the description I was pretty sure they were primitive pots and face jugs which also can be collectible.

          2+
      2. My mother’s been cleaning out her house to sell and downsize since my father died (two years ago). After going through his things, she’s much less sentimental about her own. And I’ve been tying hard to winnow my own possessions…to make room for family treasures we can’t bear to part with yet!

        On the plus side, this means my house is much cleaner. On the other hand… NOT FOR LONG!

        Earlier this month she brought the contents of their seldom-used liquor cabinet. My husband asked, “Should we check with your brother to see which ones are watered down?” (He raided them often in high school… He’s 30 now. That’s how infrequently my parents drank cocktails!)

        I said, “Babe… They’re ALL watered down!”

        Related this to my brother, who agreed. We’ve stated referring to the Johnny Walker Red in the box as “Johnny Walker Pink.” I’m four months pregnant, though, so husband will have to enjoy that on his own until May!

        3+
  20. Everything must go. Well, not everything, just everything that’s detrimental to my new, clean, productive life.

    I would so happily read a Jenny Crusie novel in which the heroine introduces herself that way. I would not expect the story to actually go that way. May serendipity and productiveness be the yin and yang of your 2018.

    3+
  21. My goal for 2018 is to keep on with what I did this year: finishing things. I can’t say that I had a 100% success rate but it was better than previous years. I actually accomplished things this year I didn’t know I could and that feels pretty darn good. Some of my projects are waiting on me to have more knowledge/experience before I tackle them but I’m working on getting what I need to finish them, even if it is slow going.

    3+

Comments are closed.