96: Moving right along

(Winter in sepia.  Taken at Quail Hollow State Park.)

This is the time of year when I start sorting through the goals I made for this year to see how far along I made it in terms of actual accomplishments.  I know many others will be doing the same as this week goes by and there will, no doubt, be lots of blog posts about resolutions, goals, and commitments.

(Winter in sepia II.)


One of the things I started doing a few years ago was establishing a theme for the year.  One or two (or three, if necessary) words to define what I hope to accomplish over the year.  For 2010 the theme was:  Simplify.

I have not outwardly done as well as I hoped to when I set out to simplify my life.  The past two years have brought a lot of transitions (birth, death, marriage) and it occurs to me that 2010 brought an inward kind of simplicity that will help me along the way in 2011 when my theme will continue along the simplicity path:  Declutter.

(Opening up.  Potter Furniture.  Lancaster, PA.)

There are some things I can and have easily removed from my life.  “Fat clothes,” because I don’t want to go back.  The kitchen gadget that seemed like a good idea when I purchased it but was only used once or twice because I found that doing things by hand is quicker and simpler.  Items that are worn out and need replaced.  Getting rid of that sort of stuff is uncomplicated and relatively effortless.  Donate, recycle, or throw away.

(Making change.  Potter Furniture.)

There are other things I have had to learn to release.  Books are a good example.  I have been known to hoard books.  This past year I’ve given away a lot of books, and plan to keep giving them away in the coming year.  I finally realized that most of the books I’ve kept over the years, carried around from move to move, are not books I will be reading again.  There are millions of books I haven’t yet read and life seems to be getting shorter as I get older.  It’s time to read and enjoy new stories, and even new ways of telling stories, while allowing others to enjoy the stories I’ve already read.

Not as easy

This year, I think, will be about learning how to let go of the sentimental.  There are things I cling to because they represent people and/or or events from the past.  If I make use of these items, they are part of my present and there is no reason not to keep them.   Many items, however, are tucked away and ignored until I start sorting and decluttering.  The tablecloth my mother crocheted.  Craft projects made by my sons when they were children.  Cards my husband gave me over the years.

(Toys without children.  Potter Furniture.)

Some of those things can be given away to family, friends, or even strangers who might want and use them.  Others I have plans for in terms of my own art.  Repurposing.  It will be both fun and interesting.  The key is to make sure I do use them in some manner.  Otherwise, I may end up back at start with boxes of stuff I’m saving for a future day.  In other words, hoarding.  Not on a horrific scale but still, it’s hoarding.

(The wheel of time.  Porter Furniture.)

Today’s Walk

The intent behind today’s walk was purpose.  I set out to meet my daily outdoor commitment, feed the birds, get some fresh air, and exercise.

(The rattling sound you hear is my camera.  It does that occasionally on very windy days.  That’s probably a sign I should leave the camera indoors.)

The weather here hasn’t changed.  We continue to have on and off lake-effect snow.  The temperature is in the 20’s.  Last night the wind was blustery, keeping up a fairly steady low moan throughout the early morning hours.  It should be noted that our tracks in the snow keep almost disappearing.  The snow accumulation each day is never quite enough to wipe out the footprints or the sled and ski tracks, but it does cover them.  All that’s left each morning are bumps where the tracks used to be.

(Snowfall and the standing stone.)

The sun made several brief appearances as the clouds were whisked away by the wind.  It caused me to act like a sunflower, turning my face towards the light every time it would come out.  I doubt there was enough of my skin exposed to cause my body to manufacture a full day’s supply of Vitamin D, but it did lift my mood, and that is one of the major and many reasons I took on this commitment to step outside for 30 minutes every day.

(Snowflakes and that big ball of light in the sky.)

The snowfall seemed heaviest when the sun was shining.  No sign of a snowbow, though, if there is such a thing.

(The woodpile at the outer edge of the wildflower meadow.)

I have to put in about 10 more minutes of outdoor time.  I will do that in a little while when M gets home from work.  We’re going out to practice our cross-country skiing techniques (such as “how to fall gracefully” and “stopping without smashing into the brambles”).

Addendum: Just back from another 30 minutes of outdoor time.  We sent skiing at sunset and it is FRIGID out there, especially when the wind blasts.  I am happy to report that I did not fall.  Nope.  Not even once.  That probably means I’ll fall half a dozen times tomorrow.  lol!


9 Comments on “96: Moving right along”

  1. Certainly enjoy reading your posts , you always have great pics and each and every one of them tells a story , I wish you much happiness and success in your aims for the new year , may all your dreams and hopes be realized in the coming year
    Ian aka Emu

  2. Marianne says:

    I too, love the themes simplify and declutter. I still have organizing and pitching to do as we move into 2011. I have all of my sons schoolwork, artwork, projects etc. also.

    You are right. I’m thinking about goals and intentions this week also.

    I love how the snow looks like puffy cotton as it drapes the woodpile in the last picture.

    Beautiful photos!

  3. Karma says:

    Best of luck on the decluttering! That is a goal I’ve been meaning to work on for YEARS! I live in the house my husband grew up in (bought it from his mother) and we inherited the clutter of a past life as well as our own!

    • Robin says:

      Karma: Oh my! Decluttering my own life is bad enough. I’ve been inheriting some clutter from the past lately and truthfully, I wish I’d just said no to it as it’s making the whole project even tougher.

      Ah well. I’ll figure it all out eventually. 🙂

  4. penpusherpen says:

    are you sure the rattling sound was the camera?. If it had been me ‘twould have been my teeth chattering!!! (I think I have thin blood, or thin skin…or thin something!! always cold!!)
    Congrats on not falling, bet I would have..(fingers crossed you don’t fall today!). and I love the photo of the wood pile, looks like it’s wrapped with cotton wool…but the first one Winter in sepia, takes my breath away…Love it!!
    and A New Year of decluttering sounds good, I could probably do with some myself. Since my Mum died in 2004 I’ve put off sorting some boxes she sent me previously, strange how time passes and things are ‘put on hold’ and never faced … they’re just gathering dust, a bit like my memories, so yes, clean and de-clutter!! … lovely to catch up Robin, and glad you enjoyed my JD theme ode, made my day thinking it up…Mmmm!! xPenx

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Pen. 🙂

      I can understand putting off sorting through those boxes. My mother died in 2009 and trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of is not easy.

      I hope you’re keeping warm!

      • penpusherpen says:

        I’m still flipping freezing, it’s a wonder I can type… must get to that radiator before I…….too late…frozen solid!! (only joking…but how long to spring???)

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