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Archive for May, 2012

Six months ago I made the following resolutions, in addition to my ongoing resolution to declutter my stuff:

1. Relearn to crochet
2. Start and finish sewing projects
3. Read all the unread books on my bookshelf
4. Start writing again

So, how am I doing at the 6 month mark? Not as well as I had hoped.

1. Relearn to crochet

I’m making progress on a blanket that I started crocheting in January. I’m about a quarter of the way done. I haven’t learned that many stitches. Just the basics for now. I started this project in order to use up some yarn that I had lying around for years. But, of course, one skein will not do for a blanket so I had to buy 3 more. Not sure which is better for my decluttering: having one skein of unused yarn or, in the end, having yet another blanket lying around the house. I have a feeling my cat will be happy though. Another soft place to sleep.

2. Start and finish sewing projects.

Haven’t started or finished one. Still have the materials sitting in the closet waiting… with hopes.

3. Read all the unread books on my bookshelf.

As you can see by my reading list (see tab above) I haven’t gotten through very many books in the past 6 months. And, some books I’ve read this year haven’t even been my books. After I read the last library book, I vowed to not read another until the books on my bookshelves are all read.

4. Start writing again.

For those of you who follow my blog, you know the answer to this one. I don’t do much writing at all and haven’t written a line of poetry for a couple of years. This mostly has to do with the new schedule since we moved into our house back in 2010. I don’t get up to start my day until after my husband leaves for work. Previously, when my husband worked 50 miles away, I could get in a full day’s work and still have about an hour to think, meditate, read, or write before I had to start dinner. Now, with my husband working 4 blocks away, as soon as I leave work, I have to start dinner. No time to think, meditate, or read. And, as a consequence, no inspiration or time to write. What about evenings, you say? A second problem is that there’s no room in this house in which I can be alone with my thoughts and relax. No room in this house inspires creative thought. Unfinished home-improvement projects, clutter (not mine!), and lack of comfortable, relaxing surroundings contribute to this situation, with no end in sight.

So, how’s the decluttering coming along? This too has slowed recently, ever since I had the flu in April, the after-effects lasting an entire month. I haven’t even been doing the minimum of decluttering one item a day. But, I do manage fits and starts. Recently I cleared out 4 plastic drawers so that I can unpack a few boxes of pictures, memorabilia, and such. As a result of this clear-out, I was able to move my small file cabinet into my closet, rather than having it out in my office, and I re-arranged a few things. It’s amazing how much “lighter” the room feels when the file cabinet, an old computer, and a few other things moved out of the “living space” of the office. My next goal is to declutter enough from my other closet to fit a bookshelf in there and use it for storage. That will free up some more room in my office living space and allow me to paint a section of wall to match the rest of the room. The room is blue, this section (that was behind a mirror that the previous owners left) is brown. Eventually, when my husband is free to help, I’d like to remove the previous owner’s 1980s window treatments (multi-colored balloon valances) and put up something more suited to my taste. But, this will have to wait until after we get new windows (hopefully this year!).

As you can see, making this house a home that’s comfortable for me to live in takes more than my decluttering efforts. The list of house projects keeps growing. The time my husband has to spend on any of these keeps diminishing. I don’t have the know-how to do many of the things that need doing. Priorities keep getting shifted. And, in the end, nothing gets 100% done. In the meantime, the house looks like a construction project in progress…

And, with summer coming and late spring temps approaching summer-like highs, I’m guessing the motivation to continue with these resolutions (formal and informal) will wane ever more.

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The child … makes the wife a mother. Man more commonly cooperates with nature, but a woman cooperates with God; she is the bearer of the gift of God to man. The word of woman is “Fiat”, submission, surrender, cooperation with life. A woman’s unhappiest moment is when she is unable to give; there is hell within when she refuses to give. Bearer of the cosmic plentitude, she fulfills her mission when she brings a child into the world. Looking down at that babe, a new paradox is revealed: it is the only time self can be loved without selfishness. A mother now loves a non-self in herself as her body becomes the ciborium of the new life, and her arms become its bearer as she passes on culture to ages yet unborn.

I’m currently reading the book Life is Worth Living, by Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. It includes the transcripts from 44 episodes of his television show of the same name. This particular quote was taken from an episode entitled “Children: Burdens or Joys”. I thought it quite appropriate to share this quote with you at this time, Mother’s Day being Sunday.

I think that this quote not only speaks to women who have given birth, but also to women who, for whatever reason, cannot: “a woman’s unhappiest moment is when she is unable to give.” I wonder about some women’s consciences, if there is truth to the statement “there is hell within when she refuses to give.”

Some reading this will be put off by the phrase “she fulfills her mission when she brings a child into this world.” But, in context, there’s no disputing the fact that God made Woman to bear children. This is what Bishop Sheen is alluding to.

I can empathize with the “unhappiest moment”. I can ponder the “hell within”. I was struck with awe, however, by the statement: “A mother now loves a non-self in herself as her body becomes the ciborium of the new life, and her arms become its bearer as she passes on culture to ages yet unborn”.

Slowly re-read that sentence. “…her body becomes the ciborium of the new life….” Just think what our society, what our human race, could become if each and every person took this phrase to heart and treated the gifts from God with the respect and care that they deserve.

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Full citation for the quote above: Sheen, Fulton J., Life is Worth Living: First and Second Series, Ignatius Press, original copyright 1953 and 1954, p. 173.

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