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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Transitional Periods Within the Organized Minimalist's Quest

I promise that I haven't intentionally been ignoring you, my readers. I've been going through a household move, and it's been difficult to do the physical work & navigate a course in the midst of a boatload of cardboard boxes. I'm just in a real period of transition within my life, period- hence, why I even started this blog to begin with. It was not only to help you- my altruistic side was working there- but it was also to say (for once), "This is something that I alone created. It's all me, and I accomplished a work of importance to me." Don't get me wrong- I've had a lot of excellent teachers along the way, and I owe a lot to each of them. But I've put my own spin on things, added here, subtracted there, took off flying in one direction, then buried other things in the ground forever. I'm not particularly well-known for my ability to see things through until the end, so sticking with writing this blog means a great deal to me, as did just getting this site going & publishing my work. I've worked hard my entire life, but it's always seemed that the work was done for someone else to get the glory in the end (bosses, elders at home, church leaders, etc.) Writing this blog has been & still is to me the largest step out into the public with a "hidden talent" that I've ever had to take. While most people who know me personally realize that I've always tried to be a meticulous housekeeper & cook, presenting myself as a writer when they don't know me in that fashion is challenging. Whenever you put yourself out there like that, you immediately open yourself up to criticism, scam artists & even just the fear that people who do know you already will treat you differently. Maybe that sounds stupid, but it's the way the brain works. Publishing to the faceless masses of the Internet reading public are one thing- but knowing that family & friends will read my work is something entirely different. :)

Anyway, lately I start out writing about the topic that I want to discuss for you guys, and then becomes more of an autobiography & a summary of my opinion on things than something that is easy for the reader to get true tips from. I don't intend it to be that way at all, but I can't seem to condense the information properly without giving you a decent back story. And maybe that's deliberate- it may be exactly what I should be doing. I've been working on new posts almost daily, but I don't get the work published for that very reason, because it takes longer to write in that personalized way. I think that those who follow me know that I'm not one to stop swimming in the shallow end, but that I head on into the deep. In this world, I think that maybe people need some of that, though. There's plenty of quick tip-heavy organizing writing out there; all one has to do is read an issue of "Real Simple" magazine or peruse the organizing book section of Amazon to know that. I hope that each of you will understand that I know something a lot of these articles & books don't acknowledge- all organizing, simplifying & minimizing accomplishment comes directly from within one's mind. The desire for organization, the drive to start pursuing it & the will to finish the journey- that's all mental. Without clearing the mind first, it's more than a little difficult to clear out space or time. This is what creates self-sabotage; not laziness, but walls built up in the mind that are quite transparent but nonetheless are very real. Because beliefs are often transparent, we can't see them & break the brick-and-mortar that makes them up easily. A-ha moments come when the wall becomes apparent- it's no longer invisible, so you can begin busting it down. Most of us hit conflicts in our lives mentally before we hit them physically or outwardly in a relationship. This is why we're incompatible with some people, places & things and completely compatible with others- because of our mental state. It explains why we change over the years, why occupations that once fulfilled us no longer do so & why we choose to leave certain aspects of our behavior behind periodically. I'm not a quick-tip kind of girl, my friends. If you're looking for that, you'll probably have to look elsewhere. Because when you stick with me, I'm going to take you through the wilderness & try to get you to The Promised Land of organizing. (Thank you to Joyce Meyer for teaching me about this concept in life.) It is not all about heavy lifting, buying new products to stick in your closets or checking your day planner each morning. There is so much more to it than that, especially when you are sticking with it for the duration & you are trying to not just create but MAINTAIN an organized home & life.

As I mentioned earlier, my own home & life is in an unheard-of period of transition. It is my hope that you'll understand I've made the decision to no longer put homemaking first, nor caretaking or being around to cook dinner every night. I have weight to lose & nighttime calories have to go, for one thing. I also have a career to plan, get educated & possibly move yet again for. I've made the conscious choice to push these things to the forefront instead of homemaking & caregiving because I need to. The economy certainly makes this choice both necessary & challenging, but I think that the internal changes were happening in my brain anyway. Emotionally, I need to stop letting my own needs take a backseat while everyone else's get met- I've been resentful & angry for a long while at home, and I know that this is the reason why. It's no one's fault but my own that I have my existence, but it's time now for me to change it. This is not an easy decision, given my culture, religion or family. I've been raised to put homemaking first, and my society has certainly contributed to that old belief of glorifying that option. But these are necessary steps that I have to take, requiring putting myself in first place after three decades of subordinating my own desires to someone else's life & needs. In other words, I'm hitting what's been called a mid-life crisis about twenty years early. :) I've been homemaker & caretaker for twenty years "officially", but my own needs came second to someone else's since my life began. And it's time for me to end all of that for good & move on to the next phase in my life. That next phase includes many things that I put off earlier in my life- going to college, starting a different & better-paying career & probably moving out of my home state to a place where more well-paying jobs still exist. At this time, I absolutely intend to keep this blog going, because I don't think that any organizing, simplifying or minimizing mindset dies with a change of goals- I believe that my skills will translate to the career-focused lifestyle just as much as they have the home-focused one. I hope that my deliberate life changes will give me far more to write for you in the future, and from a broader perspective than the one I share with you now.

Thank you for continuing to read this blog,



  1. Good luck to you Liz, I'm happy to hear you are going to put yourself first! You already have the organizing skills in your head and heart to follow you wherever your journey takes you. I did it the other way around, college, career first, now trying to provide a good home. My husband is going through a similar thing, having just left Real Estate (finally) and is going back to school. Scary stuff at his age. I will still look forward to your very thorough posts, as you say you never know what you will end up writing about. I like your reference to the Promised Land of Organizing - still trying hard to get there and find your posts very inspiring! Thank You, Sue

  2. Hi, Sue, thank you for the support. And I'm so glad the blog has helped you! :) I still care a lot about my readers & end up working on a draft nearly every day, because I always find things I want to talk about in organizing. I'll love that subject forever. But, yes, I'm definitely looking forward to college! And I think I have more of an appreciation for an education now than I ever could have at eighteen years old.