Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Reverse 100 Thing Challenge

Today I not only have 3 good things…. I have 100 things to write about! I have taken the challenge on be more with less blog and collected 100 items that need to leave the house by end of December. Courtney’s post was so inspiring I decided to join in right away and left a comment which won me the book The 100 Thing Challenge. The book came in the mail yesterday (thank you, Courtney!) and it seems I will finish reading it in just two sittings. 

I can understand the drive behind Dave’s journey but I am happy to say that I have grown up in a society that has not been all that consumerism oriented, at least not until just a decade ago when malls have been starting to grow like mushrooms after rain all around the country. I may easily limit my own desires for material stuff but I do have two girls that I have been spoiling, much to my pleasure and regret. Over the last year or so I have been looking at our place through the eyes of a minimalist and became painfully aware that our home is full of stuff and that moving out without a few months pre-notice would be a mission impossible. Giving away clothes we no longer wear on a regular basis is easy, but what about the rest…? A house with too much space gives us all a perfect excuse to keep things “just in case”, as “momento” etc.

So, these are my 100 things:

  • ·         38 books
  • ·         12 DVDs
  • ·         6 CDs
  • ·         3 necklaces
  • ·         1 lady bag
  • ·         1 promotional tote in pink
  • ·         1 backpack, new
  • ·         1 backpack for a boy toddler
  • ·         1 set of baby phones
  • ·         1 toy flute
  • ·         1 swing for a toddler
  • ·         1 pacifier for measuring temperature, new
  • ·         1 set of workbooks for 6 Graders, new
  • ·         2 perfumes, originally wrapped
  • ·         1 camera, new
  • ·         1 mobile phone, new
  • ·         1 new children’s Disney camera, new
  • ·         1 bag of plush toys
  • ·         1 device for measuring air temperature and pressure
  • ·         3 wall compositions made of dry flowers, new
  • ·         1 set of curtain pegs, new
  • ·         1 Nebulizer, never used
  • ·         1 puzzle ball, new
  • ·         1 Chinese vase
  • ·         1 lamp with two shades
  • ·         1 chess
  • ·         1 book with puzzles, new
  • ·         1 simple wooden doll house
  •           1 framed stitched painting with flowers 
  •           1 hair curler
  •           13 pieces of my personal clothing

Books, DVDs and CDs have already been taken to the school library or municipal library yesterday afternoon, making the librarians’ day, and most of my clothing will be given away to people I know and have already given clothes to before. Toys that my girls no longer play with will become other children’s toys at the local kindergarten sometime next week. I put up a few things on the giving site yesterday afternoon and people called in in the morning as soon as my mobile phone number showed up on the site, saving me from another 8 things in just two calls! I do have a couple of things yet to find the recipient for but it seems it has taken me more time to collect the 100 things than it will take to purge them! I feel really light seeing the room free from the pile of stuff I had prepared, and I know I will feel even better after holidays when I do another round. I think 2013 will be just great. Less stuff makes moving on easier.

Monday, December 3, 2012

  1. I watch the silvery morning turn into gold. An expected luxury I experience at home, on a working day.
  2. I can tell these are the ones, the perfect boots for Jay. They make her smile. Black velvet with a white furry embellishment and a clasp.
  3. She texts me and it makes me smile. She is the only friend I could call in the middle of the night.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A perfect morning offering 3 beautiful things:
  1. sleeping in
  2. cuddling in bed
  3. first snow

Saturday, December 1, 2012

back in September...

Sometimes being at loss for words is a good thing.
These are from my vacation in September.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

J's very first day of class, and M's second day in 8th Grade.
This isn't as much my happy day as it is theirs.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

  1. First delivery of private label tortelloni from Italy on time. Check. Smooth take-over. Check. Samples for marketing. Check. Accompanying documents OK. Check.
  2. Swimming in the sea under a mackerel sky. The clouds look like cushions, indeed, just like Em said.
  3. Our little mermaid Jay’s fair hair in the water as she demonstrates her face-up dead man’s float.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

  1. I run into an acquaintance at the local library that I really like. She shares about her children, and I can see she is overwhelmed with feelings.
  2. Jay is looking forward to starting school so much that she is counting days. And she knows she will be making many new friends. Although she already has a friend, Becca. But Becca is different from her: her talking is very quiet. And I tell her that it is good that people differ from one another. Then she starts laughing and says: “Everybody should be the same! Everybody should be like ME!” She sees the fake astonishment on my face and responds with a big smile: “But you look like me.”
  3. First Jay reads rhymes from the book about Muri the cat, then Em joins her and they tease one another and bounce all over the big bed till it’s time to sleep.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

  1. A breeze of fresh air in the church brings an instant relief.
  2. I watch the baby's eyelids droop. My Mother keeps singing to him, rocking him gently in her arms.
  3. It’s a heartbreaking movie and nothing to do with anything I ever experienced but it’s a wonderful opportunity to cry a little and let go a lot.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

  1. I tell her that I have been looking forward to these two days too much to listen to things I don’t want to talk and even think about.
  2. The baby tears the wrapping paper off the gift Jay has brought and a little singing turtle shows up. My cousin smiles and says they have just been talking about having to get a toy to bathe with.
  3. Rolling in the wholegrain flakes made the procedure all but dull and the final appearance misleading. Jay's amazement: “Isn’t there any chocolate in the cookies?”

Friday, August 24, 2012

  1. I find Jay making something out of pink wool. Cutting, weaving in the middle of the living room carpet. A necklace for me.
  2. I am not an afternoon napping person. And all I really wanted was a stretch on the bed after putting away a pile of dry laundry.
  3. Just embrace the present as it is, or fight it? It's a paralyzing in-between that I get caught in, and I am more than grateful for laughter of my girls' that brings me back from there every time.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

  1. I got carried away watching the heavy raindrops outside, but then I looked around and realized I wasn't the only one. It's been a blazing summer.
  2. What was supposed to be »pick the one perfect book for that very special person and go«  extended into a long meeting with good old friends that I hadn't seen for a long time, only that they were all new and nicely exhibited or lined on the bookshelves.
  3. It is wonderful to watch the girls have such a great time, with a friend sleeping over and another two playmates turning up in our yard to play in the sandbox, hula-hoop, skipping rope and homemade pizza breaks in the breezy late afternoon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

  1. The sky is golden and I feel like this magic has been made just for me.

  2. I complete the final draft of the contract that has been negotiated for nearly three months. I know I am just a few minor changes and a couple of days away from having it signed by all parties.

  3. “She is a very persistent little girl”, says the nurse. My thought, exactly. Indeed, Jay wanted the doctor to keep trying to remove the earwax, partially occluding both her ear canals. It took much longer than expected and more than one method had to be applied. While she was sitting in my lap I couldn’t help but admire her endurance and determination to have this unpleasantry over and done with in one sitting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  1. We walk through the wood, past hayracks and farms, all the way to an old cottage. I love that we have come here, to see the place where our favorite poetess used to live, but what makes the walk worthwhile is holding hands with Jay and Em. 
  2. "Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—-and for me, for writing as well.” I didn't exactly exert myself by running after my girls today, but I would really like to get back to running. Jogging, actually. I am inspired.
  3. Rain, rain, don’t go away, and do come again tomorrow. I am so happy to have you here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

  1. I take an afternoon nap and wake up with a slight headache and a bad conscience.  But then I realize I needed it and that I am very fortunate.

  2. “Mommy, Tim has to use the toilet!” While I rush them to wash hands Jay asks him with great concern: “You need to go really badly?” They have been mates at kindergarten this past year, but this is the first time the boy from down the road showed up in our yard. I watch them play in the sandbox. It is not just a play, resulting in deep holes and high piles of sand, but a game of interaction where we all learn more about sharing and caring about each other.

  3. I can see Em’s excitement and her big smile when she mounts the bike. I let go of my over-protectiveness and say yes to her mini biking trip to her girlfriend’s.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

  1. It doesn't seem like a day with something to look forward to, so I stop by the patisserie and bring a big box of pastry to the office.
  2. Walking down the hill and all the way to the castle, to the library, with Jay, in all that afternoon brightness is wondeful. Having a police helicopter fly over our heads over and over again makes up for a good guessing game about what they are looking for, and when we get to know it's an armed post office robber our walk in the sun turns into an exciting adventure.
  3. A beautiful card with a rainbow, encouraging me to find what works best for me. I am not sure indoor workout works best for me, but I choose to go anyway. And it does work.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

1. Easter eggs
2. Snow in April

3. Creative projects

Friday, April 6, 2012

  1. Leaving the office one hour earlier than usually.
  2. Running into a good friend at the mall and having a glass of orange juice together.
  3. Boiling eggs in a pot with onion peels, my favorite traditional method of dying eggs. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

  1. There is more air and more light in my new cubicle. That is all I need.
  2. Not only has Em participated in the school discussion about children's heroes, she has even been picked to be one of 9 kids from school to debate with other peers from the municipality.
  3. Jay’s little hands warm mine while we drive to her dancing class.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

  1. I feel my friend's excitement. She is eager to take part in that course.
  2. When I see my teenage girl's face and hair, not curly but straight, I see me.  
  3. Moving my stuff from one desk to another. Feeling like an absolute professional failure. Building a career for 15 years and this is the same position, only in a different division. But I welcome change. Any change is good.

Monday, January 30, 2012

  1. I have a cold but I feel so much better today.
  2. It's such a bright and sunny day it seems like Spring (but feels like Winter).
  3. My teenage daughter and her classmate set a date to start on their assignment on idioms for the Slovenian class. Special assignments are the only part her school work that really get her full attention.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

  1. Sleeping in. Cartoons are being watched, breakfast is served, and I am still in bed.
  2. She comes rushing back in within minutes."Veš, kak' je mrzl'!" (you have no idea how cold it is!) she says and her cheeks are like two red apples.
  3. While reading the English story out loud she makes a whole dramatization with her voice and gestures. Who says homework's boring...?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

  1. I got through the day at the office without having a hot-dog, a cake and a drop of sweet strawberry wine, all the extras I would have forgotten all about by the time I got home. Today I am doing all it takes to break the old habits. Tomorrow I will have to start all over again.
  2. By the time I am out of the door again pancakes with my friend’s homemade jam are made, served – and gone.
  3. Our parental meeting at the daycare centre starts with photos of our children involved in their projects and activities.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

  1. Lettuce, grilled cheese and yoghurt dressing for lunch.
  2. There is a teenager on the fitness bike. I glance at him and there is something familiar in his face and his straight red hair. Then I see him smile at a friend and it’s the smile from more than 20 years ago, an age this boy hasn’t even reached yet.
  3. Coming home from the gym I tiptoe into the living room hoping to watch the one movie in the whole week on TV. Soon I hear the squeaking of the door behind the wall separating the rooms and within two minutes a piece of paper lands on the floor. It says, in capital letters: HVALA BOGU DA SI PRIŠLA (in English: thanks god you came). I laugh out loud and go search for the little sender.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

  1. I imagine the same situation happening in a week. And the week after. And I understand myself better. For now.  

  2. I sensed their resentment and it affected me but after a while I decide to pick my thoughts and let go. I don’t want to please everybody. I can’t and I don’t want to.
  3. The plan to get to work super early tomorrow morning after a hopefully good night sleep come crashing down the moment I feel her hot forehead. Nothing else matters anymore.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

  1. We take a walk in the sun, all three of us.

  2. For a moment when we converse about common issues, in our kitchen and away from the rest, I feel the old closeness we used to share, my Auntie and I.
  3. “What’s so great about being a mommy?” she wonders at bedtime.

Friday, January 20, 2012

  1. If I had had an alternative, I would have left yesterday…  So far there is one good thing about the new position they expect me to take: I get the my old pay back.
  2. Post work-out energy overload.
  3. I thought I’d surprise my teenage daughter by picking her up after her dance class.  She doesn’t think it’s any big deal until I tell her that we’re off to the movies, just the two of us…!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

  1. I have something for you, she said. A book. Her first. In it she wrote her first story. About a butterfly and the desert and the sun and the seagulls. 
  2. I mail the big envelope and it is a relief. I may not be able to ever deal with the emotional loss, but at least I am getting over and done with the bureaucracy.  
  3. Long showers. Lavender soap. Soaking feet. Tee tree cream. Reading. Tonight my bathroom is my spa.