I have decided to test out using a standing up desk - Well, for me it's one of my kitchen surfaces that I have completely cleared off for the use thereof. I'm hoping that by forcing myself to stand up and type it might stop me being on the computer so much.
I was forever being accused of not listening, because to them if I don't remember then I wasn't listening in the beginning. It's not that I don't remember, it's simply that I don't bother to store it away in the first place. Einstein once said how he never bothers to remember anything he can't write down and then refer to it when needed. He didn't believe in cluttering up the brain with little details.
Fed up, and also understanding my family's frustration with me, I decided that at all times I would carry a small notebook and write everything down that might seem of importance at a later date.
My notebook is a totally separate entity to my appointments diary. My diary is for keeping definite dates in as soon as I am informed of them, but my notebook is my brain's personal assistant.
One of my worst problems these last few years is what I tend to call "word slip". That means that I could be chatting away or merrily typing and a specific word will be totally unreachable. Try as hard as I can the word has gone. At some point, which could be a few minutes or a few hours, the word will suddenly pop into my head. I will then write that in my "brain" knowing that from then on that word will never slip me again.
If a neighbour says I'm thinking of going away in, lets say, June, will you look after my fish, I will write, "Fish in June".
Looking back on some of the pages of my notebook, even I haven't a clue now what half of the information is there for or what use it was at the time, but if it's ticked off then I have dealt with it and once again my real brain can forget it. But until it's been ticked off and because it's been written down, my real brain remembers it until it's unnecessary to continue doing so.
Sometimes is a single word. Sometimes it's a very short sentence. All probably necessary at the time, but life is far too short and my real brain only has so much capacity, that it's all not worth remembering forever.
To me now, my notebook is as important as my diary and my mobile.
When these blocks of flats that I live in were built back in the early 60s they installed the lovely old style lifts. The type where only three sides are closed in and the front has two doors both of which have to manually be opened and shut. The inner door being a concertina metal affair which one can see out of at all times, and the outer door being almost solid but with a small window at eye level.
The association company that own the flats, in their wisdom and I should imagine at great expense, decided to upgrade our lifts to more modern ones.
We have had to put up with a lot of mess, a lot of noise, and the inconvenience of having a temporary chair lift for use for those that simply can't make the stairs, for many weeks.
It moves so slowly that one could virtually make a cup of tea while waiting for it to arrive from the ground floor and when actually inside it because of the snails pace at which it moves one feels as if it's not actually working. I stood there wondering if it was moving or if it had broken down.
That is until three evenings ago when I came home after visiting my Daughter at 9.30pm with 5 bags of shopping, a bag full of items that my dog needs when I go visiting, and of course the dog himself.
On driving up to my block there was no parking spaces for my Daughter to park. So I said no worries, double park and I will make two journeys to get the shopping etc, to the lift and once there I can make it upstairs by myself. She waited while I made the two journeys and then got back to the car to get the dog from where he had been sitting on her lap. I then waved her goodbye.
Getting back inside I pushed the button for the lift, and to my horror it didn't come. It was broken. Less than 24 hours after being tried and tested, it was buggered.
I now have 6 heavy bags and a dog, along with carpal tunnel in both arms, to drag up 2 flights of stairs. Plus adding insult to injury I have to struggle passed a chair lift that is taking up a good 50% of the stairway space. But, not to worry too much, perhaps I can use the chair lift to carry myself with bags piled on top of me, up the stairs.
I released Louie from his lead so that he could freely walk up by himself, not caring a jot at that point if he came face to face with the other dog that lives on my floor and started trouble. In my state of mind at that point I was too peed off to worry about my Louie and Max coming face to face. Although I was conscious of it not being Max's time for going out for a pee.
I sat on the chair lift, and pushed, pulled and struggled to get all the bags onto my lap, and with a spare finger pushed the lever to get the chair lift working. Nothing! the chair lift didn't move. By now I wanted to cry, or at least hit someone. I was not happy.
I then had to struggle off the chair lift, putting the bags once more on the floor, so that I could push the stair lift arms, seat, and foot stall into the upright position in order to be able to get passed it.
Louie was waiting for me and watching all this struggling going on from the top of the first run of stairs. I picked up the bags, and hauled my way to the top with arms feeling as if they were being pulled out of my sockets and legs giving way beneath me. If I had had breath I would have been screaming with fury. By the time I arrived at the top my heart was bursting with the strain and I thought I was about to have a heart attack.
We are now on day four and still the lift isn't working. Seemingly it was reported before I even discovered it out of order and yet no one has been to fix it. The mood in this block is not good. No one is happy about being enclosed in such a small space without being able to view out. No one is happy about the snails pace the lift moves, and certainly everyone is angered that after all the noise and the mess we still don't have a working lift.
They say that irritability, lethargy, depression, sleeplessness, and all the other negative feelings that we might possibly suffer from on and off, can mostly be put down to a cluttered home. Cutter is not only not aesthetically pleasing but it also harbours dust. So no matter how much we clean there can very seldom be the feeling of complete cleanliness and brightness that comes with an uncluttered home.
When I owned a very large house, I owned over a thousand books. To move into a smaller property when moving down here to Dorset, I cut that down dramatically. I am living in a small studio flat, which barely has enough room to swing a cat, but I have still managed to keep and add to a book collection which today totals just over 200 books.
I own just over 150 videos that I never watch anymore. 26 Filofax's. 6 boxes under my bed filled with handbags, shoes (that I never wear), knitting that I will never pick up again, packed away ornaments which I have no idea why I keep. And let's not even go into my wardrobe and bedroom chest of drawers.
I have sideboard chock a block with what I call stationery, thousands of photos of views of places visited that I never get out and look at, kitchen cupboards full of dishes that living on my own I simply have absolutely no use for whatsoever and will never ever use. I have a bathroom head height cupboard and shelving unit full to the brim with bottles, jars, makeup, hair decorations, and goodness knows what else that I simply keep but never use. I have 2 boxes filled with jewellery, the junk mixed with the good. The list could go on and on.
No wonder that how ever much I clean, sort out, and move things around, that I always feel claustrophobic and squeezed into a small space.
I am not a hoarder, but I do collect things that really should only be temporary and then passed on to someone else that could make use of them.
So I have decided to take the bull by the horns, and however much it hurts, I am going to totally minimalise (is that a real word?) my environment.
Today I have reduced my books down to approximately 100 - the rest are being picked up to go to the charity shop. With that 100, there are approximately 50 that I haven't read yet, but as I read them I will be putting them downstairs in a little area we have for leaving things that we think another resident might like to take if they want.
The remaining 50 I simply can't part with. Those are several bibles, several spiritual books, educational type books including a dictionary, and a couple of large history books.
I did find it quite hard because about 30 of the books that I am giving away are leather bound classics. But I told myself that nowadays I can always download any book onto either my Kindle or my iPad. I will never be without a book to read. And of course if I want the feel of a real book there is always the library.
As I make room in my glass fronted cabinets, this of course will leave shelving space to bring out some of the ornaments that I have packed away under my bed, reducing the clutter from that space as well.
Over the next few weeks I am going to take one part of my chaotic life and reduce it down to the barest minimum. Once that is done, I am not only going to totally give my home a complete new look by decorating and changing soft furnishings, but I am also going to take a look at the furniture that I own. The questions I will be asking myself are, do I need it? Is it really of use, or could it be replaced by something smaller - less bulky?
When first moving to this home I had been living in a caravan so I had to buy all new furniture to move in here with. When doing that I not only stuck to the conventional but I also chose my furniture in the way I had when living as part of a family. I did not take into consideration that I could in fact choose a different way to live once totally living on my own. In the words of Julia Roberts, "Huge mistake - Huge".
Now I am quite excited at the thought of what I might be able to achieve.
I have decided that 2015 will be a year that I will not waste money.
Throughout these last few years it's been far too easy to spend money on things that I could quite easily have done without.
Before the web there was a gap between thinking we wanted something and making our way into town to find it and buy it. We would browse the shops and if we saw something we fancied it was only bought if we could really afford it. If not we waited, and nine times out of ten by the time we had the money we realised we didn't really want it anyway.
Now, however, it's far too easy to visit shops whilst in our own sitting room and impulse buy. Not that I have ever regretted buying anything I have, but there is a lot I have bought that I really didn't need. Nowadays I don't even look at my bank balance before I click to buy. I dread to think of the money I have spent on line these last few years that I simply wouldn't have spent if online shopping didn't exist.
I have therefore decided that 2015 is going to be different.
Before I spend any money I am going to give myself a period of time to think about whether it is necessary. Is this just a treat for myself or do I actually need it. I am also going to think whether I could make do and mend, as we did in the old days, rather than buy new.
What has given me the idea to skimp and scrape and make do and mend is that yesterday I had been scouring Amazon.co.uk looking for some lounging trousers to wear indoors. This is to save on outdoor clothing and also washing. It's so much easier to wash and wear lounging indoor clothes than washing and drying good quality outdoor clothing. Wearing an outfit simply to pop to the shop if one changes out of it on arriving home, then that same outfit can be worn two or three times before needing washing again.
The trouble with buying clothes via Amazon one can never be certain of the quality of the clothing, or the sizing. Many shops on Amazon will use the S. M. and L. for sizing and one can order an M or L. only to discover that the size turns out to be smaller than even an S.
I then began to think how I would be better off making my own lounging pyjamas or trousers. I decided that instead of hunting Amazon for trousers I would order a dressmaking pattern. This I did and I'm now waiting for it to arrive.
I then thought how I could save even more money if, instead of buying new material I went and bought sheets and duvets from the second hand shops and use that material. When I volunteered for the Samaritans we had stacks of really good quality, and in good condition bedding. Sheets and duvets give plenty of material to make a pair of lounging pyjamas/trousers.
I am lucky in as much as there is a lot of money in and around this area, which means that our second hand shops have really nice quality stuff donated. I am looking forward to visiting those shops and finding a bargain ready to make a start on my first pair of loungers.
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