My dear friend Maegan just wrote a beautiful post about living more simply, and it struck a chord with me. You see, I suffer from depression, it’s no big secret, and if you’ve known me for any time at all, you probably already know this about me. I’m not one to hide behind it or use it as an excuse. I just deal with things a lot differently than other people. It is what it is. The person most affected by it would have to be Ken, because I am 100% real around him – the good and the bad. But he hangs in there through it all, and without him, I would have never accepted it for what it is.
Having said that, I am affected most by my depression when things get out of control. For example, if the house becomes a mess, I can’t wrap my brain around what needs to be done, so I do nothing. Until one day, everything clicks and I clean clean clean until it’s done. I don’t know how to explain it – it just creates an overwhelming grip on me, and I can’t break out of it long enough to figure out what needs to be done.
Or if my desk was messy, I would just brush aside anything that needed to be done. Sometimes, that meant bills. It’s silly to forget to pay your bills, but when you suffer from something like this, it’s like you know they are there, but you can’t even fathom taking three minutes to pay them. Luckily, I’ve never let it get too far, and I’ve been able to keep things paid on time for a long time now. But that’s how I live.
And being the homemaker, I felt like it was my job to do everything around the house. I felt like I couldn’t ask Ken to help … until we had to pay late fees. I always felt so stupid, like I couldn’t even sit down and take care of something simple like paying the bills.
But I realized that if I was organized and if I kept things somewhat clean and clutter-free, things moved along much easier. If I organize the bills when they come in and then sit down every Monday morning and pay them, everything gets paid on time. Or if I set up a little schedule on what to do around the house each day, it stays clean.
This is where simplicity comes in. Clutter = me feeling overwhelmed. The more simple we live, the easier it is for me to function without feeling like I’m drowning. So this month is going to be a serious cleanup month in the Hoskins household. I’m going to be working through each room and getting rid of unnecessary clutter. I’m going to be organizing the garage and linen/coat closets so we have more room to store the clutter that we actually need.
Emma’s toys are going to get a major overhaul, and then we will be enforcing the “one in-one out rule” (1I1O) … anytime she brings one new toy in, one toy must be donated.
Same 1I1O rule goes for any items of clothing that are not necessary (i.e., underwear is a necessity, a new sweater is not).
It’s also time for me to start getting busy making Emma clothes with the huge fabric stash I have right now. I refuse to buy her new dresses when I have so many patterns for cute dresses/skirts and the ability to make them myself. I’m also going to work on making some really cool things for her that won’t cost as much as a new toy will.
Anyway, this is where it starts. Will I blog about everything? Probably not, but I’ll try to update when I can on what’s going on. Maybe take some pictures, too, if I’m brave enough to show you the messy befores. Yikes.
Baby step #1? I’ve kept the kitchen clean for 2 days. Yes, this is a big deal for me. Most of you will think that it’s easy to just unload the dishwasher in the morning and then load it all day, run it at night, and start all over the next day. But little things like that are things that I have to work really hard to do. 2010 is the year to make the positive changes that will hopefully lead to me doing things like that without even thinking twice.
I feel like 2010 is going to bring some big changes for me. And for us as a family.