The new year heralds new hope for many people, only for them to be dashed very quickly.
New years resolutions are only for the highly disciplined who can manage to get through the first three weeks without having faltered. For many of us, that is a tall order. Personally, I gave up on resolutions years ago, I like to take my time to reflect on past successes and review what worked well and what didn’t, then consider how to improve on that for the coming year.
January can feel a bit flat after the busy run up to Christmas, the festivities and celebration of the new year. The days are getting longer, albeit very slowly, and even on some overcast days it doesn’t feel like it is getting lighter at all. The best thing to do in January is start planning for the year ahead, set some overall goals, but not dwell on the details, there is time for that when you have an overall picture of your vision.
I have started to get some clarity by giving the house a good deep clean, this will give me a fresh environment and unclutter my space so that I can think clearly. The clean will not be a quick process, there is a lot of house to clean!
I have started in the dining room, this was where the Christmas tree was and I hope that I have managed to clear up all the pine needles. I’m sure I will still be finding a few errant ones in June!
I have washed the ceiling, the walls and the woodwork. Just by washing the ceiling the room has a much brighter feel and has given it a lift. Everything had to come off the furniture and walls where possible. Each item was assessed as to its relevance in the room before being put back. I have to shame myself here. Having cleared everything from the top of the piano so that I could polish it (this doesn’t happen very often), I realised that I had been picking up a photo, dusting it and putting it back. The original intention was that it was to be hung on the wall above where it was resting. It has been sitting there for 5 years! It took about 2 minutes to find a picture hook and hammer it into the wall. We get so used to our surroundings that we don’t notice things.
Curtains were taken down, thrown on the washing line and given a good clean and dust. They needed some adjustment because over the years they had dropped and weren’t hanging very well.
The final job was to unscrew the shelving unit which has games and art materials on, take everything off and clean all the contents, the unit and walls and floor surrounding it. This is a bit of a thankless task. Every time I go through this exercise, I seem to have trouble getting all the things that came off back again, we just seem to collect more stuff. The first rule of decluttering is that you can’t throw out other peoples stuff. I put some things to one side to discuss with my other half. Before asking the question as to what we still really needed, I did point out that our youngest isn’t a little girl any more, she is nearly 20. With this in mind, he reluctantly agreed that all but one of the items that I had put to one side had outlived their usefulness to us.
The dining room is the creative area of the house and I hope that with this section of the house clean I can find creative solutions to make positive improvements for the year ahead. One room complete, until next time.
Now where to go to next? The kitchen could do with freshening up, we bought the paint for that 2 years ago! To be fair, the house has been too busy to allow us to put the kitchen out of action for a couple of days. We have a few weeks to get that sorted out, hopefully it won’t take too long.
All of this activity has kept me warm, active and in a positive upbeat frame of mind. Exercise, mindfulness and feng shui all rolled into one, and I have no intention of joining the gym – maybe that is my resolution!