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Posts Tagged ‘stuff’

I’ve not been here for awhile.  It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say…I simply wasn’t sure how to say it.  Much has happened.  I moved from the Rectory where I was living into a one-bedroom flat.  It seemed so silly for myself, a middle-aged single woman and a geriatric cat to live in a four-bedroom house.  Now we live in a flat that we both love.  He likes to go into the hallway and pace.  He’ll get about half way down the hallway and then lay down.  Sometimes he’ll snooze there, and as soon as I shake the treat bag he’ll come back.

My commute to work used to be roughly 100 steps.  Now it’s a 3 minute drive.  And that’s okay.  Eventually I’ll walk to work, once I get into a better routine.  I live on the top of a hill, in a ground-floor flat where I can see mountains.  Walking to work is marvellous, the views are spectacular!  Walking home, uphill…takes a little longer.  But I get there.

My flat came partially furnished, which was perfect.  I work on my dining room table, and I moved my bedroom furniture in.  I’ve got only two more boxes to sort through, which I will do by the end of summer.  Right now I’m learning new paths and exploring a new part of the village where I live.

I have a wall in my new flat that has my university degrees, a photo of myself in uniform, my letters of Orders and my license to be at the parish were I am.  It also has a hand-drawn picture of me and God, drawn by a young friend.  And finally, it also contains my dad’s university degree.

Another smaller wall has a series of icons of St. Peter, Jesus and St. Jude.

Just after I moved in I was gifted with a beautiful painting from my family at an Independent Living facility.  Every resident painted a part of the picture and it hangs in a place of honour in my home.  It is something I will treasure forever.

I thought long and hard before I made the decision to move from the Rectory.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy living there, it was more that I was longing for a place that was uniquely mine.  The Rectory is a church building, meaning it belongs to the Church, and while it was my home, there were times when I didn’t feel that I had a lot of privacy.

I was always mindful of whether I was dressed every day, even on my days off.  I would feel guilty for napping even when I was up half the night working or if I wasn’t feeling well.

Now I’m in a place where I find myself coming and going a lot.  I enjoy living here, learning new ways to get here and finding side-streets and trails to explore.  It feels like home.

I haven’t got all my pictures up yet.  I will soon.  I’m figuring out where things need to be and I’m finding places for all my stuff.  I did a lot of purging before I moved, which was awesome.  I couldn’t believe how much stuff I’d accumulated in the time I’ve been here.  There were several trips to the charity shop and a ton of paper for recycling.  I purged clothes, kitchen stuff, electronics and assorted bric-a-brac.

So for now, I’m looking forward to settling into my new home.  I’m still figuring out where my drop zone is.  Right now it’s the dining room table, but I’ll get there.

A room of one’s own.

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This past three weeks has been a huge challenge.  Everywhere I turn there’s boxes, paperwork, unfinished “stuff”…in short there’s piles and piles of chaos.  Time is getting short where I live, as my last day in the pulpit here is Sunday the 24th of January.  I have commitments every day between now and Monday.  Then Tuesday is a day with absolutely nothing scheduled.  Wednesday the car gets packed up and we head west.

Generally I don’t cope well with chaos.  I like order, structure, routine.  And I find myself emotionally all over the map.  I’ve got forms to fill in for my new Diocese.  I’m working with the current Parish Council to work out changes to the new slate of officers.  At the same time I’m writing reports for both congregations…all awesome but still quite scary.

Everywhere I look – at the Church, the Church office, my home, there is a pile of stuff to sort through.  I’m giving a lot of stuff away as it no longer holds a connection for me.  I have been given and have aquired a lot of “stuff” and while there was a plan and purpose for that “stuff” it is no longer the case.

What I’ve been doing is cleaning and holding a piece of pottery or an object and I think of who this reminds me of…then I give it to that person, explaining that this is a gift to them from me, and that it came from my home.  They can keep it and/or give it away when they are finished with it.  This may sound crazy, but it is something that I’ve begun to realise about myself.

I’m not materialistic.  I don’t pay a lot for my clothing and I don’t have a lot of clothing.  I pared down my books, which was very difficult.  The books I have now all have meaning and will be used for reference, etc.  I’m being specific with the way I deal with “stuff”.  Does it make me smile, is there a blessed memory to go along with it?  Can I live without it and not miss it or pine for it?  And if I say yes to these things, I let it go.

It’s been very freeing and peace-filled.

I realise there are things I’ve held on to because of who gave them to me.  They don’t mean anything to me other than that.  There is no “sacred connection” and so, those things, I’m choosing to let go.  And it feels great.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been sorting through computer files.  Deleting, merging, updating, and while that’s electronic, it’s also been very therapeutic.  I’m taking what there is too much of and making it manageable.  Do I really need Epiphany bulletins dating back 8 years?  Even electronically?  Nope.

My goal is to take the files I have on my home laptop and transfer them to a memory stick for the Church and one for back up for me.  At the Church I’m doing the same thing.  And it’s oh, so freeing.

So while I’m not yet at the place of tidiness and cleanliness in my house – I am in a place of great peace with the “stuff”.  And I like that.

 

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All my life I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food.  I am a self-described food addict.  When I eat, I tend to eat a lot and when I crave, it’s never for healthy food.

Something that I’ve been seeing a lot of lately is articles about foods you should “never” eat.  Foods that are “poison” and foods that can kill.  Seriously?  Toast is evil?  Give me a break.

I should eat better than I do.  And I will admit that on occasion supper is a bag of Smartfood.  Which really isn’t all that smart.  I know what I need to do to eat healthier and better.  The problem is being motivated enough to actually do it.

In just over two weeks I’m heading to southeastern British Columbia.  A whole new way of life.  A new culture, a new geography, new grocery stores, and a whole new level of panic and anxiety.  I know my local grocery store.  And I’m sure it won’t take me long to learn my new grocery store.  But the fear is real.

I am not moving with any food.  I’m taking some of my favourite tea with me, the rest I will buy when I get there.  Stocking a pantry, buying spices and condiments is both exciting and terrifying.  I’m taking reusable bags with me to never use a plastic shopping bag again.

I will buy cookwear when I get there.  And bakeware.  I’d like to stay I’ll plant a little garden, but the reality is, I likely won’t.

I’d love to homestead where I grow my own food.  But the reality is I don’t have the knowledge, experience or motivation to do any of these things.  And that’s okay.

I am recommitting myself to a pescatarian lifestyle.  A pescatarian is a person who is a vegetarian but eats fish.  I have the proper supplements so I will be healthier in myself and in my diet.

Yes, I’m fat.  Yes, I shop in fat girl stores.  I’d like to lose weight but I don’t think my body is ready to let go of a lot of the stress it’s been holding.  If I was a betting person I’d say that my cortisol levels are extremely high, due mostly to the stress with which I am surrounded.

Once I get moved I will re-establish a healthy routine that will include exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer and silence.  I will eat healthier than I am right now.  Because I will be ready.  The weather here has been mild but also slippery.  I’ve fallen a couple of times in the last two weeks, and while the injuries were minor, it’s scared me, to the point where I don’t want to venture outside.

This morning it was raining.  Rain in January scares me because when it changes it’s almost always to ice first, then snow.  Sure enough a winter storm whipped up, and there’s a thin layer of ice beneath the snow outside.

I’m not sure why I’m so scared.  I suspect, in part, it’s because I don’t want to arrive in my new pastoral charge physically damaged.  They hired someone with all appendages intact, I’d like to arrive that way.

I’ve started bookmarking recipes again, especially ones that replace pasta noodles with veggies.  That kind of thing makes me very happy.  I’m looking forward to buying a soup pot and I have two special soup bowls that are coming with me.

My goal as I pack and prepare to move is to downsize and simplify my life.  I don’t need much to be happy.  Open space, uncluttered, is good.

I think I will be writing more regularly as I prepare to move.  I may even blog at the end of each travel day.  Only time and wifi will tell.

 

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