Days 52,53,54: Organize



I have a new goal for 100 Days of Awesome.

There was a time in my life, when I was finishing college, that I had very little. I rid myself of television, junk I barely used,  and most of my furniture. I had my bed, my books, and my kitchen with food. It was so damn simple! I loved it.Vacuuming was easy. Cleaning was easy. Everything took 30 minutes a week to maintain.

With two girls I know that isn’t possible anymore, but could be better. I am ridding myself of anything I no longer need or use. I am simplifying my home as much as I possibly can. As the saying goes, “The more you own, the more that owns you.”

Over the last 5 days I have read a book called, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”   It was on the New York Times best sellers list for a while. I must admit, I was intrigued. The author, who also has an endless stream of clients asking for help, states quite often, that her method was developed after years of research into how we clean and organize our lives. I was skeptical at first, but as I get further into it, I see that what she is saying makes a lot of sense. This is my weekend.

The first step is to go through everything, put it in your hand and ask, “Does this spark joy?” Seriously, she wants me to ask myself if it sparks joy. It’s quite a mind bending experience to sit with an old computer power cable, or an old t-shirt from college, and ask that.  If I feel it does, I keep it. If not, I get rid of it. I have a ton of garbage bags and am going through everything. According to her, I may end up having a lot of garbage. So far I have around 10 bags filled to the top.

We all know the feeling of having a really clean house. It feels like your mind is clean. The author’s selling point is that, when finished, your house will be easier to maintain.  I want that. Even as I give my daughters more and more responsibilities, I find I am spending way too much time trying to keep my house in order. I just don’t have the time to constantly go, from room-to-room, cleaning.

I thought it would be smart to do it with my kids as well. If they bring me joy, I will keep them. If not, they’re out the door.

Seriously, if it does end up being something that really works, I will teach them as well. My youngest loves to save every little thing she finds. I once found 20 empty toilet paper rolls in a drawer that she was using for her Littlest Pet Shops. It’s cute, but also just ends up being more crap to deal with.

I’m off to simplify my home! Joy!

I haven’t exactly loved the last few days, throwing stuff out, but I know I will be thankful for it soon.

I lived today.



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Day 20: !! F#*@ ing Great Day.

It’s Day 20! I am 1/5th of the way there! A Guinness is in order!!!

2015-03-28 20.25.22

In the last 20 days I:

1. Jogged at least three times a week and have a lot more energy.

2. Got an official cheerleader who, by the way, said I write well. I think it may be a cheerleading tactic. Cheerleaders are like cheer ninjas, sneaking motivation in without you realizing it… the good ones at least.

3. Wrote a lot every day. Personally and publicly.

4. Ate very healthy.

5. Was mindful of my life and feel… here now. I am present more than I have been in many years.

6. Figured out a great budget for living well with good savings.

7. Fixed, resolved, worked on personal things.

8. Become a much happier person and have started to find myself again.

9. Have reconnected with my kids. We were good before. We are better now.

10. Read more.

11. Was a better teacher.

12. Lost weight that was weighing me down. That was a bonus. I really don’t care so much about that part.

13. Made new friends.

14. Learned a lot.

15. Struggled but overcame.

Today? Fucking great.

Yesterday I was worried about falling out of my routines. Being conscious of it helped. I ran this morning . Yes, on a Saturday morning. I went faster than any day yet. Not as far, but faster. Oh yeah.

I then went to task redoing the girls’ rooms. It took a little time and effort, but they helped me as best they could. Had to wash the floors really well, and prep it for painting. The floors are 100 years old. I finished the walls when I first moved in, but the floors needed some help. Finished with the first coat today and tomorrow will be a piece of cake. It took all day but looks amazing.

One fun part was sitting there painting while my oldest sat and watched me, asking me questions about life and the universe. It was… fun. Working, scrubbing, and painting, was fun. Seriously.

I am very, very tired now… Going to sleep like a baby tonight.

And that brings us to the end of Day 20. If this keeps up, day 21 will be even better.

I lived today. I loved today. I laughed today. Today was awesome. 


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Day 13: What We Want vs What We Need

64020-Office-space-meme-Tlk3Today was what I needed, not what I wanted. After the major brain hijacking this morning, I decided to slow down and assess what it was I truly needed. The day ended up being really awesome, just not what I thought it would be. 100 Days of Awesome, for me, is also about quieting my mind.

I needed a nothing day. Yes, it was nice outside today. Yes, I did get outside. I threw the list of things to do out the window, took a short nap, and then read on the porch, breathing the fresh air and feeling the sun on my face. That was my day. It was fucking glorious. 

The book I read was relevant and perfect for where I was in my head. I highly recommend it.

A passage from it:

“While we practice conscious breathing, our thinking will slow down, and we can give ourselves a real rest. Most of the time, we think too much, and mindful breathing helps us to be calm, relaxed, and peaceful. It helps us stop thinking so much and stop being possessed by sorrows of the past and worries about the future. It enables us to be in touch with life, which is wonderful in the present moment.
Of course, thinking is important, but quite a lot of our thinking is useless. It is as if, in our head, each of us has a cassette tape that is always running, day and night. We think of this and we think of that, and it is difficult to stop. With a cassette, we can just press the stop button. But with our thinking, we do not have any button. ”

Excerpt From: Thich Nhat Hanh. “Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.” 

I lived today. It was awesome. 

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Day 9: Must Do; Money, POM, Continue on…

Screenshot 2015-03-17 10.32.39What can I do when most of my day is filled with stuff I just have to do? I work long hours on Tuesday. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, meetings… you know the drill.

I did light weight lifting, stretching, and … a little yoga (yes yoga) this morning.

I did my best to focus on the present. Mindfulness. If I have lots to do, I will be in the moment. I refused to be a robot and miss this day.

I also must add that I am currently reading a book called, “Awareness“. My mom recommended it. So far it is… interesting. I am about 50 pages in and will reserve judgement until I finish. The text at the top is from the first paragraph of the book.

I got a small break in between classes today.   I took some time to look at my finances and build a better plan. I feel confident this plan will improve my state of mind and perpetuate a more peaceful relationship with money. The trick for me is to automate everything. I automated a lot. I have automated emergency savings, investments, bills, and weekly costs-of-living money. Having two daughters, alone, in a country as expensive as Norway, is not easy on the pocketbook. Now, every week I will know what I can use and won’t see the other stuff. I got the idea from here.   I will keep you updated on how it is working out.

I also contacted a lawyer and am now in the process of making a will to make sure, if anything  terrible should happen, that my children will be taken care of. That’s a big one that I have avoided for some time. Who wants to think about those things? I want peace of mind.

I can say, after 9 days, I am seeing the habits forming. I am becoming a better person. I am more at peace.  Sleeping, eating, and exercising are improving. Reflection and mindfulness are becoming parts of my daily life. Planning a little for a less stressful future will breed peace within.

Mindfulness. Assessing my economy. Safety for my children.  Eating well. Light training. Living now. I was here today. 

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