Sunday, January 23, 2011

Room For Change: PBO

I should really be PBO ing right now.   Instead I am in procrastination mode as I scour my desk for scattered "to do" lists and things to stuff in the trash.   My magazines have been sent to  recycle bin I have and I have acknowledged my plants are outside on the terrace, telling them I will find a great home for them but they cannot travel with me on my move.


Packed by Owner
Purged by Owner
Protected by Owner
Picked by Owner
Placed by Owner
Pondered by Owner

Well the official winner is " Packed by Owner" in the moving company world, but all the others could be merged right into the concept.   Packed by Owner means the move will be less costly.  Packed by Owner means if it's broke on the other end , you are responsible and Packed by Owner can mean hours of agonizing decisions or freeing of the mind and spirit.

I will gather my boxes and decide what to start with.  Deciding what you can do without for a while may give you an idea of what you have too much of or even what you have neglected.  It may also give you a time to reflect on the items presence in your life now compared to later.   Isn't this what I should be doing in little steps each day? How often have I really got on that ball for my abs or brought the desk lamp out to use this year.  When was the last time those speakers were used? and where did all the mix mash of wires come from?

Okay.  My first box will be books set into categories.  ( Just reads, Interior Design, Spiritual and Religious and Grief.)   Next my art supplies from the garage and closet and grouping of all non-attacked canvases in the same general area will be stacked.  Third will be my bellydancing garb that is dispersed in several areas of the house along with its accompanying music.   I can do without these items for a few weeks or months.

Photo to follow. Oh yes, forgot the cookbooks that I seldom use above and the teapot collection that usually lays adjacent in the cupboard above the refrigerator. This was purged on the last move so no agonizing decisions this time around, although I may give one of the teapots to a friend at work with some flowers in it.

Next are the vases that lay dormant in my pantry.  I packed them yesterday, then as quickly as they were packed I bought myself some fresh flowers at the grocery store to liven my dissembled living environment. Now one vase sits on my dusty round table adjacent to my small sofa which no longer has its accents pillows due to their new function as padding for the pictures taken down in haste from the walls!

Practicing what I preach is arduous, but making little sanctuaries in an unfolding home is important to me and can make the "have-to's" less burdensome.

I have also given some of my once gazed upon books to others to gaze upon and send on their merry way. I have snuck into both adjacent neighbors' yards and put lawn ornaments ( tasteful ones) for them to discover.  It is easier to pass things on with the hope that your beloved items will find a way to someone else with the same  passion you once had for them.

PBO also represents Participation by Others , in the items you enjoy.   Creating room for change is creating space in all areas of your life.  My focus this week is items, so keep that front door light on, as there are more items I need to be "PBO"ing!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Room For Change: Open Your Home, Open Your Heart

Within a few months of my husband's death I was sitting in counseling, reviewing my life, rethinking my future and rebelling in the future prospects.

My counselor suggested that my social circle would no longer be "corporate" entertaining nor logistics with teenage daughters and their networking.  What then?   She commented that my circle would be women.   I cried, I cursed, I cringed.   Hadn't the rug already been pulled out from under me and now another own shoved underneath without the welcome mat?

She was right.  I was willing to try.

A friend  of mine was turning 50 years old.  She , like myself, had friends that had never met each other.   Friends that were gardeners.  Friends that were dog people and animal recusers. Friends that shared in her jewerly making  and church friends.   

I invited them all for a "sleep over" as I lived deep in the woods at that time.   My friend, Judy, was the common bond.  We had heard about each other but seldom crossed each other paths except by Judy's stories.   We shared a meal, shared stories, shared some dancing and laughing.  We shared our lives and slept under the same roof that night.  The next morning another woman joined us for breakfast and the circle widened.

A tradition was started that evening as well.  I had a fireplace surfaced with river rocks.  I had written in chalk on the rocks, " Happy Birthday, Judy!"  Others suggested what else could be written up there and the  
tradition bloomed.   Whenever someone spent the night , they were honored with a piece of chalk to write what they wanted on the river rocks and it stayed for others to enjoy and ponder.   

The quotes spread on the wall and everyone who spent the night, left a bit of themselves behind with me.

So my counselor was right.  My social networking started with a birthday party for a good friend and ended by making more great friends.   

In loss there is always a gain.   In darkness light filters through.  In your opening your home to others your heart gets a chance to open again, even if in a small way.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you willing to open your heart and home again and again.

Blessings.  Susan

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Room For Change: Revamping Your Location In Thought

Here I go again.  I have been living in Austin for over a year with the inner thought of looking for another place after two years in Austin.  That thought spoken aloud to a friend spawned  him to mention that he might have someone interested in buying my home if it was for sale.   I was not really thinking of selling it now, but told him to let the couple take a look at it.  They loved it.  They are purchasing it.

My thought changed to reality within 3 days.  On my birthday a contract came in and now my head is swimming in change again, so soon?  The feelings of regret surfaced.  The feelings of sorrow of leaving new friends and connections surfaced.  The feelings of loss floated the surface and yet had I not initiated the tiny thought?   Here we go again but this time I will document in black and white my emotional thoughts and then look at what this change truly brings to the surface this time around for me.

If you have read my book, Room For Change: Practical Ideas for Reviving After Loss,  you may already know that I have moved at least 12 times, built about 10 homes in other phases of my life.  This phase, I guess I could call... Changing and Aging with Haste and Grace and  as I preach, there is always Room For Change.

Step One:  Panic

Step Two:  List Making ( of repairs, of sorting, or telling others of your departure and paperwork)

Step Three: Checking off the List.   ( Ahhhh! so sweet)

Step Four: Opening the Door for Opportunities on the Other Side

 If the list is tweaked a bit, isn't this what we do when we know our time is at hand? Don't we try to clear the clutter, tie the knots and look to the other side of what will be?

So over the next few weeks I will blog about my process in packing , purging and plundering this process.   It has been 6 years since my husband's death and the third time I am moving.  What I have moved from and what have I moved towards is difficult to delineate.  I do know that fewer items accompany me this time around and the yards are getting smaller and smaller.  The kitchen pantry holds fewer items but the tools and clothes seem to swell in the closets and storage.

I am working on Step Two this week and repairs have started. I am down to a  repair needed on a faulty lock of a window and then the sorting of items blog will evolve.  I don't know how I will feel this time around, but I do know that I feel so very much more than I did when my husband died.  My lows might be low but I recover sooner and my highs are definitely higher.  The most grace comes my meeting new, interesting and very different people within the last few years to add to my collection of friends.

Stay tuned for the Sorting Saga.  May your New Year be Full with Thoughts come True.  

Blessings.. Susan