Three Things Thursday: 10 August 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness. This week, it’s all about the future…

Happy memories of past holidays – looking forward to making more

First, holiday planning. I’m currently in the process of sorting out some trips away over the next nine months (I do like to plan ahead), including a holiday to Scotland next year that will involve seeing another blog-writing friend who I’ve never managed to meet in person before. The trip is also going to include a visit to New Lanark – a place I’ve wanted to go for several years. Although the planning is time-consuming, the anticipation is really making me smile.

Soon there will be shelves here

Second, getting organised. Tim is due to arrive tomorrow to install the shelves above the new cabinets in the kitchen. This will mean that all the cookery books can come out of my work room, and I can clear my work table of all the sewing things that have accumulated there because their shelf-space is otherwise occupied. It will be good to be able to use my sewing machines again… especially looking at my  (lack of) progress on the sewing-related items on my 17 for 2017 list. I’ve alrerady started filling the new cupboards in the kitchen, but I can’t really get them sorted out and everything in its new home until all the work is complete.

Looking forward to seeing these two soon

Third, meeting people. Over the next six weeks I have all sorts of get-togethers arranged, from a birthday tea party on Saturday, to teaching a friend to use WordPress; from a family lunch to a big Sixty Million Trebles meet-up in Birmingham in September; not to mention a training course with some smallholder friends and my monthly shared lunch with some of my permaculture pals. Writing this, I realise that all these events involve food in one form or another, so I’m doubly happy.

I know that I should enjoy the present (and I do), but it’s lovely to have so many good things to look forward to. Do you have any plans that are making you smile this week?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

STUFF and nonesense

As the summer comes, it’s so much more tempting to be outdoors than inside, but we are currently working on a project that requires spending quite a lot of time in the house… changing the use of some of our living space. I started working in the living room when I was here on my own because it didn’t cause any disturbance and it saved me heating more than one room. Now Mr Snail-of-happiness is at home all the time, it seems silly for me to work there, for us to have a shared office (that I don’t work in because I want solitude) and for him to have a separate workshop/studio. So, the decision is that I will have a small room to work in, the living room will no longer host any work and he will have the big room to do what he likes in, but where the main computer will remain.

All this means that lots of ‘STUFF’ needs to be moved around… and once you start moving STUFF’ you realise how much of it you’ve got. My assessment is that I definitely have too much STUFF. OK, I’ve had lots of years to accumulate it, but I do seem incredibly reluctant to throw it away. I can understand this if something has the potential to be useful, but why oh why had I kept my annual job evaluation sheets from when I was a civil servant over 10 years ago? What was I thinking? Did I envisage a time when I would be applying for another job and someone would say ‘Well, yes we like your cv and your gazillion qualifications plus the glowing references, but could you provide documentary evidence of the courses that your boss suggested you might like to go on in 2001?’ Somehow I have a feeling it’s never going to happen. And so, the old job evaluation sheets are destined for the compost heap.

But it’s not just paperwork I collect… I have also had to dispose of a huge number of padded envelopes. I don’t mean a couple of dozen, I mean several hundred of the things. They were on the top shelf of a large cupboard. Even as I was throwing them away I kept wondering whether I might , some day, regret this rash decision. But I am being strict with myself… drawers are being emptied and the contents evaluated. Supposedly I’m only keeping things that I need. Even with this approach I’ve still got loads of STUFF.

Perhaps my biggest downfall is books… I love them and find them very difficult to part with. Slowly I am weaning myself off buying paperbacks – a Kindle has helped and downloading audiobooks (great way to access books when you’ve spent your whole day editing and the last thing you want to do in the evening is read) – but non fiction books still find their way into the house in abundance. This means that I am in the process of transferring hundreds of books from the shelves in one room to the shelves in a different room. Look on the bright side, though… it’s great exercise.

I’m not sure whether it is good or bad, but Mr S-o-h is also a squirrel (favourite items to collect: electronic equipment). I guess we couldn’t live with each other if one of us was a hoarder and one a minimalist, but our collective collecting has resulted in a house full of STUFF.

So, the time has come to provide myself with a less cluttered space in which to work and I’m hoping that this will encourage my creativity. It will still be like working in a library and I will still have loads of teaching materials to find a home for, but perhaps if I can start with a tidier room I will have a tidier mind and be less likely to commence the collection of extraneous STUFF again… maybe…

… now where did I put that bin bag full of bubble wrap…?

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