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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Plus and minus – Part 1

Change is in the air

There have been a lot of things floating around in my head: Work issues, back-to-school schedules, house cleaning and organizing, relationships, college student leaving and a myriad of other events, experiences, dilemmas or activities. And all of the paperwork and To Dos that go along with it.

During that pondering, I have been trying to decide what to update you on. What is the most interesting, entertaining or creative? Guess what? I didn’t come up with the answer, but I did figure out that I was trying to relate too much at once and it was all getting stuck. Hence the lack of posts since Saturday.

Now that I have that figured out I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a lot of change in the air. That shouldn’t have been so hard to realize since I am doing some business and personal coaching with Rick Sherrell – a longtime friend, client, my old editor when I worked in magazine and founder of ProSpeakers Bureau – and he immediately determined out of all that I said regarding what was weighing me down was that I want things to change.

Those changes are resulting in the addition of some things and the deletion of others. One of the deletions was the termination of a contract. There were a lot of reasons I wanted to discontinue my business relationship with this particular client, but the main thing was I wasn’t having any fun and I didn’t enjoy doing her work. Now before you berate me for that let’s review what I’ve determined I want to do with my life as well as my business. I want to enjoy it, I want to control it and I want it to be pleasant and as stress free as I can make it all while making money.

Another deletion, which leads directly to the addition, has been the continual removal of clutter and stuff around the house along with my attempt to get things organized without spending money. I’ve been inspired by Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting who recently shared a few things changing around her home and her progress to loving her space. She also shared some superbly creative blogs and the bloggers who run them. These folks are designing, organizing and creative geniuses, and if I could obtain half the feel and beauty in my home that they have I would be tickled red. I’ve also maintained my “commit to changing my space” mentality by perusing magazine articles (particularly those in ReadyMade, All You and Real Simple).

Thus began my quest to turn my office into a place I didn’t mind walking into or working out of each and every day. There was a 28-Day Organizing Challenge (that link is to a post I wrote about it, which includes pictures of my office then) in February that I signed up to do, but I ended up falling flat. I’ve got it started now and I was going to wait until it’s 100 percent done, but – honestly – when you’re decorating, changing or organizing is there ever a real completion? So without further procrastination, let’s take a look at the office. The pictures start to the right of the door and move around to the right. …

Some of these were before and others were after I was in the midst & remembered I was supposed to be taking pictures.


As I’m looking at the after pictures I still see quite a few things I’d like to do, but at least I’m making progress. What do you think?

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The rug that was rolled in the corner was put on the floor instead of being used in the living room where the kids were messing it up.
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The paper for the printer is placed handily on the shelf near where it would be needed.

I took this picture after I had cleaned off the bulletin board.
This is the desk my teen uses. When I first cleaned up the work area was clear.
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I removed the lamp, which I’ve had for almost 19 years, and the little round table and replaced it with a floor lamp my son broke. A little black tape should make that top light as good as new.
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When the teen and her BF were cleaning out the storage area they “found” my grandmother’s sewing machine. It still works and now I need to find a home for it.

That stack of papers next to the basket on the left still needs to be filed.
DSCF4823 DSCF5075 I’m still not quite sure what to do with those things on the right side. There are some pictures that need to be put up and a few things that I can still use.

The papers on top of the blue storage thingy need to be filed in there – that contains the kids past school work, drawings and projects.

Look at all the boxes and whatnot that needed to be put, given or thrown away…

It’s the little touches that count…

The trio of photos, a Florida keepsake and a bright basket on top of the cabinet that greets you as you walk into the office.

A ceramic piece that I made in 1994. My instructor said I have an art deco style! :-) Notice the “A” over one groove – that is my way of dedicating to my then 3-year-old daughter Amber.

The pictures of my children, ceramic animals they painted and souvenirs (including chopsticks form Korea).

That picture on the bottom right is Amber when she was almost a year old. On the top shelf are pictures of (from left to right) my brother when he was 18 and recently enlisted in the Army; a family photo of myself and my dad, mom and brother; another photo of my brother who I think was about 9 there (that’s right around the time I was born) and a collage of photos my mom put together for me after my dad died. Oh, the “vase” in the back is from a crystal lamp that was my grandmother’s. The younger children broke it.

I love this little spot on my desk. There’s the rubber band ball RP started that I keep going; a framed “Daughter I’m so proud of you,” which my mom gave to me long before I had four children; the paperweight my 6-year-old son gave me for Christmas – it says “I love you;” and a couple of little boxes that used to contain notes and note cards. A little repurposed shelf that holds lovely gifts, souvenirs and memories.
The Little Doughboy (Poppin’ Fresh) and his wife (Poppie Fresh) that my grandmother gave me when I was a young girl. And (below) framed cards, gifts and artwork.

Sharing this with you gave me the chance to take a deeper look at some of the things I’ve kept that cause happy and nostalgic memories. I’m happy those things have been given a spot in the office where I can enjoy them and where they hold spots of honor. I look forward to finishing the office and making the rest of the house into a home that I love.

That includes repairs, painting, hanging photos and artwork, cleaning, etc., etc. It’s going to be a slow process, but as long as I keep up a steady pace and go with the flow of ever-occurring changes then I think it will be a success.

In the next few weeks or so, I’m going to share with you another addition that’s in the works. Here’s a hint: Remember when I told you about my jewelry-making aspirations? Tune in next week for Part II of Plus and minus.

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