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Thoughts from sabbatical

Posted by Tabitha on August 26, 2003, at 2:06:16

Hi all, it's week 3 of voluntary unemployment. Here's a rambling update...

I've been working on home improvement. Trying to line up roofing, stucco, exterior painting, interior repairs, landscaping, then redecorating and interior paint. My poor house was in marginal shape when I got it 2 years ago, and I've neglected it a lot, the paint has faded and aged badly, plus there's some weird damage from floor-leveling. I have so much shame, like it's a big blinking sign that says 'Depressed Woman Lives Here, Doesn't Always Function Too Well'. But really it isn't-- the neighborhood has its share of run-down houses, and some picture-perfect ones, and mine is somewhere in the middle right now. I don't know if I'll ever acheive picture-perfect because I don't want high-maintenance landscaping. Landscaping is so difficult here, since it all has to be irrigated, the soil isn't that good to begin with, and the heat fries everything in the summer. And I have so much house and yard that's visible from the street, since it's on a corner. Gaak!

I have a ton of unused junk in the house and garage. There's a garage sale in 3 weeks, but I don't even have a place big enough to keep the huge pile of stuff. I'm going to have to box it up and stack it somewhere, then drag it out for the sale. But I thought it would be fun-- I've never had a garage sale. It will be kind of like a lemonade stand, right?

I've realized I buy way too much stuff. And I start too many projects, leave them unfinished. Or I take up new hobbies, buy books and equipment, make plans and have a dozen ideas, then only do a little, then don't dispose of all the supplies. Stuff piles up fast.

I need to learn to do one thing at a time, and FINISH It. Like for instance, even having a meal, I need to finish it by putting everything away afterward, dirty dishes in the dishwasher (not the sink), leftovers put away, and plan for when I'll finish them. I make so much extra cleaning for myself by just not quite finishing up tasks.

My sleep cycle has normalized itself! I wake up at 8:30 every day. I even had to reduce my melatonin because I was groggy getting up. This is significant because I've always fought a night-owl pattern, and I was having to add OTC sleep pills to the melatonin even. I guess it tells me the culprit was anxiety from the job that I couldn't work off at night in time for sleep. I just kept getting on a later and later cycle, aided by the blessing/curse of flex-time.

I have way way too many books. I've sold a lot of them and buy fewer than I used to, but there are still too many. I'm tired of carting them around with me from home to home, and dusting them, and figuring out how to store them. I want to sell them on Amazon or something. I want to set them free to be read by other people. I don't need a huge personal library any more.

I want to think in terms of the life-span of purchases. I buy something, and it ties into some temporary fantasy or dream, or cheers me up, or something, but I want to think of how the thing will actually be used, how many times, what pleasure will it give, and ultimately what will become of it. Do I need this thing? Or am I just trying to buy a dream? I don't think of myself as a shopaholic, and many of my purchases are modest, but dang, there's so much recreational shopping opportunity in our world. Stuff piles up so easily. I don't want to drown in stuff anymore.




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