Sunday, January 13, 2013

Time for a Change

As many do at the year-end, I was thinking about resolutions. I have felt recently that while I am busy, I am busy with the wrong things. Trivial things take up my time, at the expense of things that really matter.

While walking Bonnie, and considering this things, I was listening to The Writer's Almanac on my iPod, and heard this poem.
New Year Resolve
by May Sarton

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.

Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.

Let silence in.
She will rarely speak or mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.

For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water. 

I think May Sarton was speaking of mental clutter, of her own thoughts and self-talk. For me, her poem said "Your life is full of clutter. Get rid of stuff. Make room for silence and for thinking, for things that matter." 

With that thought motivating me, I identified just a handful of goals -- guidelines, really -- that will help improve the balance between clutter and substance in my life.

1. Get up early.  The corollary to this, of course, is to go to bed at an appropriate time. And the benefit will be having more time to devote to things of substance.

2. Declutter computer time.  Of course, if I manage to roll out of bed early, and then spend my time reading Facebook and blogs and Ravelry forums, things of substance will still go by the wayside. So I've resolved to mostly give up the Ravelry forums; to strictly limit my time spent browsing Facebook; and to reduce my blog reading (no more trying to catch up on every single blog) (except for family blogs). (You, Dear Reader, should, of course, continue to read my blog!)

3. Eat wisely. This doesn't really fit my decluttering theme, but I'm keeping it anyway. I've been following Weight Watchers for a couple months now, and have consistently been dropping pounds. I still have days where I apparently believe that chocolate is a vegetable; clearly, this part of my life needs continued attention.

4. Spend 15 minutes decluttering, each day. Anyone who has visited our home knows there is plenty of decluttering to be done. I've tried this small-dose approach before; I think it's worth trying again.

5. Complete the essentials before the likes. This means that things like gospel study, exercising, and basic housekeeping need to come before knitting, blogging, and leisure reading. Sigh.

Will these guidelines survive past Groundhog Day? 

The other thing I need to do is stop obsessing over my blog posts. I wrote this Friday night, and have been tweaking it since then, trying to decide if I should hit <Publish>. Enough already!


  1. Hah, hah. Everyone knows chocolate is a legume -- it comes from a bean, after all. :-)

    I also had to partition my blog-reading time better.

  2. Robin, I am going to copy your resolutions. I hope you don't mind. (just one more blog, then I'll go do scripture study. really.)

  3. Charlotte, let me know if you have any luck. I am doing well with some, struggling with others - what a surprise. :)