Good, Bad and Ugly

I haven’t been able to get too much done the last few days. My schedule hasn’t really lightened up as much as I’d expected, and when I look ahead I see it won’t for a while. I’ve been putting things off , telling myself I’d get back to them when my schedule lightened up. I need to think of this as my current normal and plan accordingly. But I do have some things to share.

• I’m slowly getting a handle on the mornings I have to work. This morning, I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, made the bed, got lunch for the kid and got myself ready for work, all before bus pick-up. Coming home to see those things done made a big difference in my mood.

• Tomorrow I’m having a donation pick-up, which will be smaller than I’d hoped, but even getting rid of a few things helps. On my last post, a few people suggested stashing the box Emma filled for the time being, which I think is a good idea. But I learned last night that Bob was planning to thwart my plans by keeping the toys! I share this tidbit with anyone who thinks men aren’t sentimental.

• Today’s 15 minutes were spent crawling around the attic. I pulled out a few more things to donate and noticed I have several baskets and a few Rubbermaid totes which are empty. I’m hoping to keep them empty but am not ready to donate them yet. I have a thing about baskets. I love them and I know I’ll have to part with some of them but I fully plan to be strategic about it.


• I need to begin planning my work outfits, or taking ginko biloba. This morning, I realized I couldn’t remember what I wore Monday, and was afraid I’d show up in the same outfit. Since Bob did laundry yesterday, looking at what was in the hamper was not an option. Seeing the shirt I wore Monday hanging to dry jogged my memory, but I think I may try to plan from now on, since right now I only need two outfits a week. It’ll make the a.m. routine a little smoother.

• I haven’t been reading. Not reading is a definite sign that I need to manage my time better. Even when I have the odd fifteen minutes, I haven’t been inclined to pick up a book because there’s too much going on. I’ve been working on this book since late February. It’s really good, but it’s a bit too deep for me given my lack of surplus brain power. I loaded my Kindle with some fluff, which I prefer at the moment. Yesterday I read for a solid half hour before I had to get Emma off the bus, and I think it’s something I need to do every day.


Too deep for the current time.


• My morning routine still needs tweaking, at least on the days I work. I’ve been eating breakfast after I put Emma on the bus, and because time’s a little tight, the potential for mess is high. Last week I got a huge gob of peanut butter on my brand new pants, and I haven’t been able to get the spot out even though I treated it and washed them right away.

• I’m breaking up with Pinterest, at least temporarily. It’s become a time suck, and I let myself get fooled into thinking that things need to be functional and look good. But right now I only need functional. It’s kind of sad how proud I feel about this, in part because it’s ugly:

I embrace the ugly.

I embrace the ugly.

Finally, after a lot of indecision, and some reader help, I chose next month’s book: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne. I’d been having a tough time choosing a book. There were a few books I was interested in but they weren’t available at my library. Because I live in an area with a big library system and a huge collection, I feared others would have the same challenge. A couple people suggested this book on a recent post and I was able to reserve it from my library so hopefully you’ll be able to borrow it too. It’s from 2010 so it’s not going to be so in demand as my last choice. I’m looking forward to reading it and I hope you join in!

11 Responses to Good, Bad and Ugly

  1. I wear the same thing all the time — I actively participate in Project 333 (this is my sixth season) — and no one ever notices, even though I work in an office. I used to worry about it (it caused me some anxiety in the beginning, I won’t lie), but I eventually realized that absolutely no one ever noticed. Even more surprising, I realized one day that even if they did happen to notice, I wouldn’t care. Being 42 is AWESOME. 🙂 Plus I literally have three pairs of pants. Repeats are just a necessity.

    RE the toy dilemma: I say donate the toys and be done with it. It’s a great lesson for your daughter. Every time my kids donate something (and yes, there are times I think, NO YOU CAN’T! But yes they can), they learn that things don’t define them, that they don’t need an object to hold on to a memory, and that possessions are not the end game. It also gives them the gift of freedom — they feel absolutely no guilt when it comes to discarding what they no longer use, no matter when they got it or who gave it to them. I didn’t get there until I was like 39… and maybe I’m still learning, now that I think about it.

    This all sounds kind of preachy. I’m sorry about that… I’ve been rewriting and rewriting, trying to come up with softer words. Please know I mean none of this maliciously. I think you are doing a wonderful job on your project — you’ve taken on a huge task and it’s truly inspiring to read about your progress (even if you don’t think you are making any. You are).

    • Thank you! Part of me loves the idea of a work ‘uniform’ because it would make life easier, but right now I’ve been enjoying nice clothes. It’s been a while. I’m going to have to look at Project 333, it’s been mentioned in the comments before. I didn’t think you sounded preachy BTW. 🙂

      • Oh, thank God–I reread my comment and was kicking myself because I really didn’t want to be a jerk. I think the reason I love P333 so much is that my entire wardrobe is awesome–it’s not really a uniform because I have all sorts of pieces in there, but it’s all stuff that looks great on me, that is suitable for my office life and my home life, and that I really just enjoy wearing. It’s my favorite topic!

  2. I have trouble remembering my work outfits too. I manage this by hanging the ‘recently worn and washed’ clothes to the left of my other clothes – that way I can pick anything from the middle or right of the clothes rail and know I haven’t worn it too recently.

    Regarding the pet food containers: We had some just like these when I was a kid. Mum got me to collect cat and dog pictures, then I did a kind of collage/decoupage around the containers. It looked pretty and disguised the contents a bit too while it still being obvious what the contents were.

    • That’s a cute idea for the pet food containers, it’s something Emma would probably like to do.

  3. I have tried in the past to designate certain nights for certain activities, I have never been able to follow through. Funny story, I got an email from a lady that I used to know from riding on the train. She always used two canes to walk. She reached out to me to see if we would help her with a project. She wanted us to come over and purge her house. I reluctantly declined, we don’t have the time to help her, but offered to stop by on occasion to carry things out to the curb. We can’t even get our own house cleaned out, and yet I feel extremely guilty.

  4. I LOVE Simplicity Parenting! It’s a wonderful book! It really helps, too, when I apply the advice there — it helps the whole family, not just the kids, either.

    Did you try blue Dawn on the pb stain on your pants? I’ve had wonderful results with that taking out grease stain, even old grease stains, on kids clothes, my husband’s shirts, and even light colored napkins (what possessed me to buy light yellow, unpatterned napkins, with kids?!).

    Good luck with staying off Pinterest. It’s my downfall.

    • I’m looking forward to the book, I’m picking it up tomorrow. I did try regular dish soap, it wasn’t Dawn but maybe I’ll grab stuff. My husband says I’m the only one who notices but I still want to try and get it out.

  5. My youngest is 25 and there no grandkids in sight, so I don’t think I’ll rush to read the book but want to know what you all think.

    My son was in a long distance relationship and they were to mail each other something “from the heart”. He mailed her his baby blanket (I wanted to cry) and she broke up with him two months later. No chance of getting the blanket back . . . it was a LOOOOG distance romance.

    I. LOVE. THE. UGLY. I’m wishing our cat food bag was small enough to do that. I do like the decoupage idea.

    I had a list on my closet door when I was working. Each day, I checked it and then wrote down what I was wearing that day. Love the idea of the 333 Project and hope to declutter down enough where this makes sense for me.

    • Making a list is a good idea, or the modern equivalent, taking a picture with my phone. Bummer about your son’s blanket, that really stinks. I actually have two honking huge bags of dry cat and dog food stored in a tote in the laundry room, and periodically I have to go refill the smaller containers. It’s a pain but there is no place in the kitchen for the big bags and at least the big bags last a while. 🙂

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