Desk Cleared for Action

Thanks to my mom, today my desk is cleared and ready for action. Mom and Dad came for Thanksgiving (Lovelips cooked the turkey, and she was amazing, and the food was delicious — more on that soon). But the biggest news is that my mom pushed me into action on the storage closet for art supplies, and on my desk and working file cabinet — the one that contains papers in active storage — and got me to organize them all. Envelopes, file folders, hanging folders, clear plastic tabs, emotion, personal issues on the line… it was a nerve-wracking day. But it got done.

I now have a clear desk. There is an URGENT to-do pile (which has only three things in it, plus two bills), a DATA ENTRY pile (of things I need to input into my computer’s Address book or otherwise post), and nothing else not directly related to my computer. It feels so… so… organized.

Which means, I’m organized. And ready to hit the ground running in the winter term. It feels so good.

SO.

Thanksgiving.

Mom and Dad came for Thanksgiving. Leah made the turkey, using her famous confit recipe — and you should bug her to post it, because it was teh awesomely most moist and delish turkey I’ve ever had. We also had Dad’s creamed onions (and no, we saved NONE for you. Not one. Ptthpb.) and Haricots Verts. Mom made her roasted yams, I made mashed potatoes, Leah made butternut squash. Both Leah and Mom made cranberry relish — Mom’s was Cranberry-Orange Relish, and Leah’s was plain cranberries. Both were excellent. Our pie was an experimental model from Victoria Station Cafรฉ: a pumpkin pie in a cookie dough crust topped with sugared apples. We also had a sharp Vermont cheddar cheese for dessert, along with Mom’s cranberry tart. As Dad pointed out, it was three days and 21 hours of preparations squeezed into 25 minutes of eating time. Just like Passover.

We fell into a rapt stupor after dinner, and went for a walk in the rain, while Dad snagged my attention for a two-hour talk on the importance of money, and investment opportunities.

34 comments

  1. Re: Bringing New Habits…

    I like your approach much better.

    Thanks. My fee is $30 an hour. ๐Ÿ™‚ No, seriously, I’m really glad the advice I’ve given is helping someone. It feels good to pass on the insights and the secrets to successful de-crap-inafying your life, as my mom used to call it.

    How can I begrudge a man who likes shoes…

    I am particularly fond of boots, both wearing them and seeing them on others. Even so, I realized during this clean-out that I owned too many pairs, and some of them were quite unflattering or uncomfortable. I was owning them for the sake of owning them, and that wasn’t working for me. Thus, one pair is now in the car (waiting to be freecycled, obviously :-), and when I next see the person I intend them for, they will either go home with him, or go into the dumpster. And two more pairs went into the garbage here. I can see this as opening space for new boots, or transitioning to being a guy who wears other kinds of shoes. We’ll see what happens.

  2. Re: Bringing New Habits…

    I like your approach much better. I realize it’s time for round 2 of the closet cleaning – much to say “no, you DON’T need this” to – and mean it.

    Maybe the gold lame keds may go, but don’t even talk to me about all those pairs of all-stars (hi top and low) ๐Ÿ™‚

    How can I begrudge a man who likes shoes when I like a different type just as much? ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Re: order…

    So true. I can think of a snippet of a song as I’m playing another one and realize that’s exactly what needs to go next – and it’s all in my head and those records.

    We go way back, those records and I. Some of them have been around longer than any of my friends or lovers/husbands. Whoa.

    Those new monitors are going to sound sweet with new mixes coming from them.

  4. Re: order…

    I’d also say that the act of getting things in order actually helped jog your memory about what was on those records that moved. Your fingers have heard most of those records before, and your ears have touched them, too. When they move, you move too.

  5. Re: Bringing New Habits…

    Well, I’ll still say, “you don’t wear this… you don’t need it.” But I’ll also say, “you don’t wear this, you don’t need it… AND it’s blocking wonderful other clothes from coming into your life.”

  6. order…

    …that is so odd you mention it – I had ideas for three different mixes today after being in my studio with all the records gone and so much cleaned out – that clean space must have cleared up so much space to think, for the ideas to jar loose.
    Not to mention this apartment has some serious negative energy with it – I think that will also help so much.

    Ah! Note to self- get Arathin to help me with cleansing plans to start fresh.

  7. Re: Bringing New Habits…

    I bet you would make wonderful money – the holistic approach is the part that appeals to me so much – not just “oh you don’t wear this you don’t need it” kind of crap. It makes more sense the way you frame it.

  8. Re: Bringing New Habits…

    I think the most important thing is that organization and clean-up is a process, not an end in itself. Mom pointed out that stuff in deep storage is always creeping into medium storage, and that medium storage stuff leaps out into active storage, or even into “mess”. For example, I’ve stayed out of the kitchen all day because there are things on the kitchen counter that need to be put away, and I’ve not done it.

    On the other hand, I’ve been working hard in the office, pulling papers out of books and out from between books, and either filing them or throwing them away. So far I’ve filed three things and thrown about 400 away. This amounts to about 4 small and one large garbage bag full of stuff.

    I should make organizing people a summer job. I bet I could make a ton of money. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Re: Bringing New Habits…

    1 – if he ditches 10% of his words in every revision, I shudder to think of the breakdowns his editor has. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have already ditched a couple of trash bags worth, and I am still working on that today.

    2 – oops, too late! I had the CDs in the 1400 case alphabetized, and they packed them one row at a time, so at least they will be in some order. However, there are a lot lying in misc places (this is what happens when you’ve been a radio DJ for six years and gotten all those promos….I have a special box for all the promos that are suitable for arts and crafts and not much else. I also have a lot of non-cracked CD case parts to refurbish the ones I keep. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The records are a whole project for the building of the new studio and the purchase of the second rack from the Container store so I can store them all. Not only do they have to be alphabetized, they have to be categorized. I am not a normal hooman in that sense. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    3. I will definitely do that. I’m getting even better as I go along. All they packed yesterday were books, vinyl, CDs and glassware/plates/pots’n’pans – the bulky stuff. I am packing (and tossing out a lot of) the smaller stuff. I also have a small pile going for Goodwill (there’s a lot of crap). ๐Ÿ™‚

    4. I will have to pay attention to the Bagua – because I believe that it can’t hurt, and might help. It’s been something (Feng Shui) that I’ve considered more than once. Time to start another practice.

    Thank you both for the post and the reply. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got the “get rid of the crap you don’t need and don’t wuss out” (basically) advice and had started working on that. Now I can finish that with specific directions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Oh, yeah…

    Recognize that cleanliness, organization, and habits of orderliness, actually promote creativity. When your space is clear, your mind is receptive to new ideas and new forms. It’s great.

  11. Bringing New Habits…

    You’ll get started on getting rid of your old habits faster and acquiring your new habits, if you do some organization before you move. I did in fact post a lengthy discussion of my clean-up over the weekend on my LiveJournal earlier today, so you’ll have some ideas to work with.

    A few you-specific suggestions…

    1) Steven King tells writers to ditch 10% of their words in every revision. Ditch 10% of your stuff before you move. If you have 10 rooms now, ditch stuff equal to one room. If you have one room, 10′ x 10′ (hello, D&D mapping tools!), ditch ten square feet of stuff.

    2) Alphabetize your CD and vinyl collections before you move, and pack them into appropriate containers alphabetically. You’ll know what you have, and you’ll know where it is. Label the boxes in which you pack your music collection… also might be time to weed out the CDs you haven’t played in a while.

    3) Make a committment to yourself to throw away 20 bags of trash from your apartment before you move. Your movers (whether professional or just friends) will thank you, and it will be easier to unpack when you get to your new place. Twenty bags sounds like a lot, but it’s really not if you live in a full-size apartment. If you live in a smaller space, set your number lower, but make it at least double-digit. I usually find 10 grocery-store bags full of stuff in just one room, though I admit to being a bit of a pack rat.

    4) Clear your Bagua. The Bagua is a Feng Shui diagram that shows which parts of the house affect which parts of your life. I don’t worry about the colors, or about the Elements. I simply align the CAREER part with the front door, and think, “OK, my kitchen is in the HEALTH AND FAMILY area on the left, and the Office is in LOVE AND MARRIAGE.” Decide which part of your life is in the negative, and clean up that part of your living space. Wait a few days and see if something related to that area changes in a positive way. The results have always been profoundly encouraging to me; I suggest you try it out.

  12. Will do. I am convinced that since I’m moving to a new home, I want to bring new habits with me, not the old ones I don’t think work well.

    I’ll look for it!

  13. I can give you a pamphlet called The Richest Man in Babylon about the basic precepts of managing your money. It’s an easy read, and the essence of it is that you should put aside at least ten percent of what you earn, all the time, from every gig and job and employment, to help you earn more money and grow your wealth. In other words, you gotta save your money to make it grow. But Richest Man says it a whole lot better than that.

    Not to speak for but she’s good at organizing places and people, too. Hire her for an afternoon. You’ll get a lot done.

    I’m going to post later today about cleaning and organizing. Watch my LJ for the post.

  14. Hey, can you send your mom and dad to my place once I move? I could use help getting organized and certainly could use guidance on how to manage the doughstacks.

    OTOH, if I don’t ask allan the super-accountant, he might kick me in the shin. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Hey, can you send your mom and dad to my place once I move? I could use help getting organized and certainly could use guidance on how to manage the doughstacks.

    OTOH, if I don’t ask allan the super-accountant, he might kick me in the shin. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I can give you a pamphlet called The Richest Man in Babylon about the basic precepts of managing your money. It’s an easy read, and the essence of it is that you should put aside at least ten percent of what you earn, all the time, from every gig and job and employment, to help you earn more money and grow your wealth. In other words, you gotta save your money to make it grow. But Richest Man says it a whole lot better than that.

      Not to speak for but she’s good at organizing places and people, too. Hire her for an afternoon. You’ll get a lot done.

      I’m going to post later today about cleaning and organizing. Watch my LJ for the post.

      • Will do. I am convinced that since I’m moving to a new home, I want to bring new habits with me, not the old ones I don’t think work well.

        I’ll look for it!

        • Bringing New Habits…

          You’ll get started on getting rid of your old habits faster and acquiring your new habits, if you do some organization before you move. I did in fact post a lengthy discussion of my clean-up over the weekend on my LiveJournal earlier today, so you’ll have some ideas to work with.

          A few you-specific suggestions…

          1) Steven King tells writers to ditch 10% of their words in every revision. Ditch 10% of your stuff before you move. If you have 10 rooms now, ditch stuff equal to one room. If you have one room, 10′ x 10′ (hello, D&D mapping tools!), ditch ten square feet of stuff.

          2) Alphabetize your CD and vinyl collections before you move, and pack them into appropriate containers alphabetically. You’ll know what you have, and you’ll know where it is. Label the boxes in which you pack your music collection… also might be time to weed out the CDs you haven’t played in a while.

          3) Make a committment to yourself to throw away 20 bags of trash from your apartment before you move. Your movers (whether professional or just friends) will thank you, and it will be easier to unpack when you get to your new place. Twenty bags sounds like a lot, but it’s really not if you live in a full-size apartment. If you live in a smaller space, set your number lower, but make it at least double-digit. I usually find 10 grocery-store bags full of stuff in just one room, though I admit to being a bit of a pack rat.

          4) Clear your Bagua. The Bagua is a Feng Shui diagram that shows which parts of the house affect which parts of your life. I don’t worry about the colors, or about the Elements. I simply align the CAREER part with the front door, and think, “OK, my kitchen is in the HEALTH AND FAMILY area on the left, and the Office is in LOVE AND MARRIAGE.” Decide which part of your life is in the negative, and clean up that part of your living space. Wait a few days and see if something related to that area changes in a positive way. The results have always been profoundly encouraging to me; I suggest you try it out.

        • Re: Bringing New Habits…

          1 – if he ditches 10% of his words in every revision, I shudder to think of the breakdowns his editor has. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have already ditched a couple of trash bags worth, and I am still working on that today.

          2 – oops, too late! I had the CDs in the 1400 case alphabetized, and they packed them one row at a time, so at least they will be in some order. However, there are a lot lying in misc places (this is what happens when you’ve been a radio DJ for six years and gotten all those promos….I have a special box for all the promos that are suitable for arts and crafts and not much else. I also have a lot of non-cracked CD case parts to refurbish the ones I keep. ๐Ÿ™‚
          The records are a whole project for the building of the new studio and the purchase of the second rack from the Container store so I can store them all. Not only do they have to be alphabetized, they have to be categorized. I am not a normal hooman in that sense. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          3. I will definitely do that. I’m getting even better as I go along. All they packed yesterday were books, vinyl, CDs and glassware/plates/pots’n’pans – the bulky stuff. I am packing (and tossing out a lot of) the smaller stuff. I also have a small pile going for Goodwill (there’s a lot of crap). ๐Ÿ™‚

          4. I will have to pay attention to the Bagua – because I believe that it can’t hurt, and might help. It’s been something (Feng Shui) that I’ve considered more than once. Time to start another practice.

          Thank you both for the post and the reply. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got the “get rid of the crap you don’t need and don’t wuss out” (basically) advice and had started working on that. Now I can finish that with specific directions. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Re: Bringing New Habits…

          I think the most important thing is that organization and clean-up is a process, not an end in itself. Mom pointed out that stuff in deep storage is always creeping into medium storage, and that medium storage stuff leaps out into active storage, or even into “mess”. For example, I’ve stayed out of the kitchen all day because there are things on the kitchen counter that need to be put away, and I’ve not done it.

          On the other hand, I’ve been working hard in the office, pulling papers out of books and out from between books, and either filing them or throwing them away. So far I’ve filed three things and thrown about 400 away. This amounts to about 4 small and one large garbage bag full of stuff.

          I should make organizing people a summer job. I bet I could make a ton of money. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Re: Bringing New Habits…

          I bet you would make wonderful money – the holistic approach is the part that appeals to me so much – not just “oh you don’t wear this you don’t need it” kind of crap. It makes more sense the way you frame it.

        • Re: Bringing New Habits…

          Well, I’ll still say, “you don’t wear this… you don’t need it.” But I’ll also say, “you don’t wear this, you don’t need it… AND it’s blocking wonderful other clothes from coming into your life.”

        • Re: Bringing New Habits…

          I like your approach much better. I realize it’s time for round 2 of the closet cleaning – much to say “no, you DON’T need this” to – and mean it.

          Maybe the gold lame keds may go, but don’t even talk to me about all those pairs of all-stars (hi top and low) ๐Ÿ™‚

          How can I begrudge a man who likes shoes when I like a different type just as much? ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Re: Bringing New Habits…

          I like your approach much better.

          Thanks. My fee is $30 an hour. ๐Ÿ™‚ No, seriously, I’m really glad the advice I’ve given is helping someone. It feels good to pass on the insights and the secrets to successful de-crap-inafying your life, as my mom used to call it.

          How can I begrudge a man who likes shoes…

          I am particularly fond of boots, both wearing them and seeing them on others. Even so, I realized during this clean-out that I owned too many pairs, and some of them were quite unflattering or uncomfortable. I was owning them for the sake of owning them, and that wasn’t working for me. Thus, one pair is now in the car (waiting to be freecycled, obviously :-), and when I next see the person I intend them for, they will either go home with him, or go into the dumpster. And two more pairs went into the garbage here. I can see this as opening space for new boots, or transitioning to being a guy who wears other kinds of shoes. We’ll see what happens.

        • Re: Bringing New Habits…

          I’m also getting rid of some pairs I never really wore. They appealed to me but then I just realized they wouldn’t really “work” for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Oh, yeah…

          Recognize that cleanliness, organization, and habits of orderliness, actually promote creativity. When your space is clear, your mind is receptive to new ideas and new forms. It’s great.

        • order…

          …that is so odd you mention it – I had ideas for three different mixes today after being in my studio with all the records gone and so much cleaned out – that clean space must have cleared up so much space to think, for the ideas to jar loose.
          Not to mention this apartment has some serious negative energy with it – I think that will also help so much.

          Ah! Note to self- get Arathin to help me with cleansing plans to start fresh.

        • Re: order…

          I’d also say that the act of getting things in order actually helped jog your memory about what was on those records that moved. Your fingers have heard most of those records before, and your ears have touched them, too. When they move, you move too.

        • Re: order…

          So true. I can think of a snippet of a song as I’m playing another one and realize that’s exactly what needs to go next – and it’s all in my head and those records.

          We go way back, those records and I. Some of them have been around longer than any of my friends or lovers/husbands. Whoa.

          Those new monitors are going to sound sweet with new mixes coming from them.

        • Re: order…

          I feel much the same way about improv’ing poetry. Sometimes I know exactly what the next line is, and other times it’s like grasping at straws. Clearing out my space has actually made it easier to improv these days.

          It’s as though freeing physical space in the house has freed mental space in the brain to form new connections.

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