Thursday, 27 March 2014

Size matters- Less is more

In my previous two Blogs I mentioned wanting to be less busy and in preparation for Easter whittle down my To Do list. And like many good intentions, this one too needed the necessary discipline and perseverance to implement. I am happy to report, that despite a few setbacks I am reasonably pleased with my progress. The appointments and tasks I already had listed were minimally added to. I managed to contain myself! A succes you could say. I feel I have interpreted and understood my initiative and have acted accordingly. I look forward to the end result with exciting anticipation.

Easter, the feast of New Life, of Renewal, of promises of good things to come- I so look forward to that.

By accepting LESS in my day(s) I have achieved and had time for MORE. My 'to do list' is slowly but surely shrinking with still enough activities to keep me occupied the coming period. I LOVE the LESS IS MORE feeling- and embrace it with enthusiasm.

One of the topics in conversations around me that stands out is the discussions about ' to have's and haven't yet got! About SIZE and that it MATTERS!

Bigger wardrobes, larger home, newest appliances, more CD's and DVD's ( have you see, heard have got??) more spacious caravan, holiday further away, longer weekends. Somehow our hunger for MORE keeps increasing.

I occasionally visit the 'Kringloop" store- a secondhand chain here in the Netherlands. The word Kringloop meaning - the Recycle Circle. A place for one to bring/deposit your unwanted goods- so others can purchase these at a reduced price- second hand. What strikes me is that these stores look more and more like a Warehouse or large Home Style store filled with goods that sparkle in newness. Rejected by those who first thought they would be 'happier'  owning such articles.

Clothing racks that groan under the weight, shelving jam packed with glassware and crockery. Furniture not even outdated as it used to be the case in these type of stores. Up to the ceiling highly stacked shelving filled with unwanted bric a brac and toys. Collectables and Wantables!

Since my resolve about minimizing to maximise - I have gained new insights into the contents of my cupboards. In the past 12 months not a bric a brac niceness has entered my home and  the only new clothes have been a couple of ( practically new) hand me downs from a friend. I feel a sense of ownership and freedom to choose for LESS is MORE.

I do not profess that purchasing niceties is wrong- just that it may be useful to think twice. I believe gifts and titivating your surroundings is appropriate and can provide joy and a sense of well being. My thoughts are just my thoughts and my experiences also mine alone. I share what I think, experience and feel. My reflections on this subject I share for you to do with what you see fit!

Sometimes it is good te re-evaluate! And for me, that time is NOW! The preparation time leading up to Easter- the promise of renewal.

And..... has that time arrived for you too?

Saturday, 22 March 2014

The past week's activities

Monday morning: Off to see my cousin's daughter in Geertruidenberg. Got her started on her Blog. Going on an exciting journey wit her mother- and wanting to document the whole event from start to finish.
Monday afternoon: In the kitchen baking of a High Tea to be held Tuesday.
Monday evening: Everything ship shape for receiving guests tomorrow still for my husband's 60th birthday.
Tuesday: High Tea: Was absolutely wonderful: old aunts and a few cousins sharing tales from yesteryear. Lots of laughter and hilarities. Fun for all.
Tuesday evening: Made a digital photo album " Summer holidays - the Duncan kids".
Wednesday: Crack of dawn - 06:20am on my bike to the voting booth ( church hall) where I was stationed for the duration of voting for City Council elections.
Wednesday evening: Finished at voting booth round 10 pm- then off to Council Chambers  and home at 00:15
Thursday morning: Visit to friends who returned home after trip away.
Thursday afternoon: Film with mother in law, 12 Years a Slave. Heavy!
Thursday evening: Dinner out with husband and brother in law, meeting till 11:30 pm home 00:15 ( again).
Friday: Once up and about and off on an errand realised I wasn't going to hack it. The couch looked awfully tempting- and I succumbed.
Friday evening: Early to bed.

Saturday morning: Resolution- Attempt to avoid such full on and hectic weeks in the future.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Getting organised

It has been a week since my last BLOG. That isn't unusual, happens more often. Only this time the reason was different. I had painted the stairwell and it needed a few days to dry and harden before use. I know I could have 'arranged'  other ways to get to my BLOG and other 'necessary' ills - but I used this 'holiday' to enforce my discipline. No computer- no work. I did keep tabs on my Social Media as it is my life line to my children across the miles, Down Under - but NO WORK!

And that posed a dilemma. Almost as if the text urchins were toying with me. All sorts of ideas and quotes ran riot in my head- and NO, I didn't write them down but attempted to 'store them'  in my memory. It was quite a battle.

Just like a number of years ago I decided, off the cuff, to give up coffee for Lent. Just like that, cold turkey- no warning no preparation, no down time! Just like the stairs - it was an instant decision taken without thought as to the consequences!

With the cold turkey coffee event; it was extremely difficult and posed all sorts of problems. My body became unwell, derailed. The caffeine shortage affected me in ways I had not realised that it would. No way did I understand I was addicted. I drank coffee - and I was going to give it up for a few weeks- I knew I would miss it, That was the point- give up something you love! Big deal. And unexpectedly IT WAS.

Computers too can become an addiction. For many already a reality. I am a fortunate person. In my possession I have an iMac, iPhone, iPad and a laptop. Internet is available everywhere in the home and in the garden. I don't play games, well on the odd occasion while on holiday I might play Patience and I Love jigsaw puzzles. I may have used that App 5 times in te past two years. That's as far as my gaming on computers goes.

The stairs needed painting and 'today is the ideal day to do just that' was my idea at that moment. Through the window, the sun threw it's spring rays on the stairs, perfect for a slow but sure dry process.
As the paint odour penetrated the room I headed outside and spent my time getting 'rid' of winter in both the garden and the wee summer house. Both all set now to be enjoyed.

As of today my husband and I can enjoy the fruits of those flighty days- when time and weather allows. The paint on the stairs has hardened and I am once again able to sit in front of my screen and do what I need to do to get my admin up to date and commit the insights 'to paper' as it were.

I feel a sense of freedom and in charge as far as computer time is concerned. I focussed on what my routines were and have re-set my schedules to give me more 'off screen time'.

Spring, renewed energy, a fresh breeze, time to shake those winter ills off and look forward to Easter, to renewal. I aim to use Lent to clear my head and identify and rid myself of things - addictive.

There are 39 days to Easter...!! I am counting the days and aim to use the time wisely.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Spring knocked on my door

It has been a mixed bag as far as winter weather is concerned. An almost unidentifiable season in our region. No white stuff, more than our share of wind and a good doses of water. Having seen the news from around the world- it almost appears if our weather system has lost the plot.

There are people who suffer from winter depression and almost disappear from our radar during these dark months. How sad and burdensome this period must be for them. Luckily winter turns into spring and the light brings new energy. Faces re-appear and join our ranks once again.

By nature ( and generally speaking) I am a positive person, not affected in that way by any of the seasons. However, my experience this past month, due to my physical un-wellness, was unrecognisably dark. After almost drowning in a misere- I have resurfaced into the light. I feel spring has sprung in my life again and I have left the darkness of that season behind me.

It occurred to me funnily enough the we need these seasons in life to recognise the differences. We need our journey through the desert in the dryness and scorching heat, the strolls along tree lined lanes and moments in colourful gardens where we find time to smell the roses.

Awareness, situations, solutions and emotions! 
All ingredients for a full and sensation-filled life.

The highLIGHTS during the past weeks have come from the people who have supported and surrounded me with GOD' S love. With their faithful friendship and prayerful support. Through their presence and actions they blew away the dark clouds and made it possible for the sun to reappear and shine it's warm rays in the dark corners of my being.

My head is clear, my heart is joyful, my enthusiasm for each dawn is keen and ready to face a new day!