Column by Marla Cilley
This time of year, we all start getting cabin fever. This sickness is fueled by the neverending flow of our junk mail filled with gardening and seed catalogs. I am a sucker for them. The thought of a beautiful garden filled with fruit trees, butterfly attacking bushes and perennials makes me smile.
When we first married, the patch of dirt in front of our home would not grow anything. We are surrounded by a forest. The only open spot is just above our home and where a maple tree had to be removed. Direct sunlight only happens at noon. I spent a whole winter plotting and scheming.
When I moved into Robert’s home in 1996, I was determined to make it mine, too. I was not going to move in and not unpack! This went for the yard, too! The first thing I needed to do was to figure out what I liked and what I didn’t like about the front yard.
That was easy! I didn’t like the ivy that grew on the concrete block wall that was beside our driveway. The rest was going to be a little more challenging. As those gardening books and magazines flooded into our home, I would spend 15 minutes culling through them with scissors in hand. Each time I saw something I liked, I would cut it out and put it into a sheet protector. Then place that sheet into my Garden Control Journal. This was just a place to keep my wish list. It had no plan except for holding the things that I loved along with some interesting articles. After I was through clipping pictures, I would toss the magazine into the recycle bin.
Slowly my vision for our garden began to blossom in my head and my Garden Control Journal. But it was not on the ground in front of our home. No one was going to see it stuck in my book. For this vision to come to life, there had to be actions. I began one babystep at a time, and with the use of a timer. I knew me! I can hyper-focus with the best of them. I would set my timer for 15 minutes and go pull some ivy! Each day I could declutter a little bit of the ivy! The best part was that I didn’t kill myself in the process. That decluttered ivy unveiled an ugly block wall. One project led to another one. Isn’t that the way it always goes? Thank goodness! We don’t have to do it all at once!
I know you really want to get your home organized RIGHT THIS MINUTE, but stop yourself! I don’t want you to crash and burn! You can’t develop habits that will take root if you try to do everything at once. Babysteps and being kind to yourself are the seeds to growing effective habits and cultivating them into the routines that will nourish you the rest of your life.
Are you ready to plant the seeds of change in your home? Get out your timer! Set it! Then go shine your sink! It is the actions that plant the seeds; not the wishing for the clean house!