Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I'm Challenged...

It's here.  October 1st. Day one of the "31 Day Challenge."
This "challenge" is really about writing...but since that isn't much of a challenge for me (I would seriously spend all day everyday writing if I could) I have decided to make it more of a "I'm going to challenge myself to do something that IS actually a challenge for me...and then I will write about it each day."  Yay!  Exciting!  It will not only give me subject matter, but also will force me to be productive in some shape or form.
So, I decided to go with a vague, yet all encompassing theme:  "Taking On The "To-Do" List."
I am limited, as far as space, for my "theme," as I had to make a "button" to use as a link.
(You can see it if you look to your right.)---------->
And we will also pretend that I have ANY idea what I am talking about.  Buttons...links...good God, I have NO idea what I am doing.
(By the way, there are hundreds of bloggers doing this challenge...which is why I need to link up.)
Let's just say that I have made promises I may later regret with my hubby.  He is going to try and figure out the whole "link up" thing that is supposed to happen at 8pm tonight while I am at the studio teaching.   It took me a week to figure out how to make the darn "button"...and that was EASY! 

Moving on.
Today.  Day One.  
My plan was to begin gently.  Ease myself into this month of productivity, good-habit-making, renewal, organization, increased health of mind, body and soul.  Yes, this is more than a regular old "to-do" list.  This is a list of items that need attention.  Not just projects around the house, but projects to feed my spirit.  Oh yes, this is a month of miracles.

It began a little strangely.  Mark had an early morning meeting, and left at 5:30.  I was in charge of making sure the teenagers woke up at 6am.  I accomplished this feat, and went back to bed....hoping to ease into the morning, feeling refreshed.  Instead, I had strange dreams about back stairways, hiding from strangers, and people holding what looked like toddlers, but when they turned around, they were all elderly people who had shrunken down to baby size...but still had normal sized heads and bad grandma perms.  Very disturbing.
I decided to just get up.  I asked the boys if they wanted to go outside.  Usually they respond enthusiastically. Today, I got this:

I finally had to just lift them out of bed, and carry them to the back door.  Cooper (the white one) is sometimes a bit above going in the backyard.  He is really more of a front yard kind of dog.  I typically have to walk down into the grass in order for him to lower himself to backyard standards.
Very unfortunate for me, considering the temperature, and the fact that the grass was also wet.
(Note to self: Leave shoes by the back door.)
While standing there (for a full 5 minutes...he is also extremely particular about where he pees..) I noticed that even the squirrels were working against me today.

I closed my eyes, and imagined how I would change the path my day was taking.  My day one plan was "incorporate yoga into your daily routine."  Yes...that is exactly what I would do.  I pictured a nice, relaxing time of stretching and focusing on the positive.
I might even pretend I was blonde.

I would imagine meditating in that cool chair I have been wanting for years....
While listening to my Zen fountain..
Yes.  This would turn my day around.

Then I opened my eyes.  And saw our dock.  It is no longer a "deck" because Mark sawed all the railings off of it this summer.  They were rotting, and he figured someone would lean on them and crash to their death.  So, now, I pretend it's a dock.  From inside, if you squint really hard, you can almost imagine water beyond it.  Green water...but water.  We really have taken the time to make the dock look extra beautiful this year, as you can see here:
Actually...the plan is to just tear it down...but we can't afford to put another one up. So, for now, the dock remains.  And obviously, I should probably put THAT on my to-do list.

Okay.  Look past the dock...look past the dock.  Walk toward the good chakra!  Sadly, our kitchen is in-between the dock, and the yellow-brick-road-to-good-chakra-aka-zen-land.  
I went to bed early last night.  I thought maybe the kids would cut me a break. Maybe?
Oh hell no.
one more....just so you can feel my pain

I seriously stood amidst this vision of....I can't even think of words to describe it...and didn't know how to react.  Tears wanted to come...but the anger inside me didn't allow them through.  I started thinking "I watch A LOT of crime shows.  I am pretty sure I can commit murder and get away with it.  Who is going to miss a couple of teenagers and a husband anyway, right?"

I stepped away.  Cut up a caramel apple.  Mixed up a glass (I use that term lightly..tba) of Spark, and took a bath.
Now, one would expect that Calgon could take it all away.  Nope.  Not even close.  I enjoyed the apple.  Very much.  Then I just sat there and looked around. If I looked up and wasn't horrible.
But it didn't hold my attention....because now my mind could only focus on the mess.
All I wanted was quiet and peace today.  Instead, all I was getting was chaos and clutter.  There was no pill that would cure this.  I could light every damn candle in the house, and it wasn't going to calm me down.
I looked at what SHOULD be a beautiful, relaxing oasis...MY beautiful, relaxing oasis, but I saw nothing but a bunch of crap.

NO amount of Spark is going to get me through this day.
And what is with these horrific "glasses?"  
I realize that, yes they are nice and big, and they were handy when "Bennett the Wonder Dog" lived here, and would try to get in the tub with me, and inevitably knock the glass over.  But they are SO UGLY.  I HATE PLASTIC GLASSES WITH DUMB PICTURES ON THEM.
Why don't I have pretty plastic glasses that LOOK like glass?  Why???

Can you see how peaceful my thoughts are today?

I head back to the kitchen.  Leaving the disaster there for my darling children is not an option. 
1. It will push me over the edge (from which I am currently dangling....perilously)
2. The piano tuner is going to be here in 15 minutes.

I empty the dishwasher, thinking "I'll just put all this stuff in the dishwasher, and call it a day."  Until I find this:
Why yes!  That's murky water that is sitting in the bottom of my CLOGGED DISHWASHER!
And another one of those ugly a$$ cups.

Ironically, I find hand washing dishes therapeutic.  A bubble bath for my hands, while taking any aggression out on the stuck-on food.  I almost find it similar to bathing a baby...(sans the aggressive scrubbing, of course.)  I think it is also the reason why kitchens typically have a window in front of the sink.  I washed, and watched 15 birds (I counted) frolic around the feeders.  Then they would come and sit on the edge of the dock, look out on the (green) "water" and gab a bit, while they enjoyed getting rained on.  I LOVE birds, by the way.  It's unhealthy, as I get very emotionally attached to baby birds who make nests where I can see them.  I usually have a mini break-down for a day or two when they fly away.
Here is my last family.  Peep is the one on top.  We won't talk about it.

So, the dished calmed me down, and the kitchen looks a little less like a bomb went off.

Then the piano tuner arrived.  I knew it was time for me to be quiet, and time for me to write this darn thing. (So sorry for those who read this with your coffee.  I am four + hours late.) :-/
Stress brings on headaches for me.  No, actually LIFE brings on headaches for me.  So I had one brewing already.  Then I sat down to write.  If you have ever listened to a piano being tuned, it involves the tuner POUNDING on one note at a time while he listens to the vibrations.  It is annoying as all get out.  Let me share the proximity of my computer to my piano:
In other words, for the past 90 minutes, I have had my head practically INSIDE the piano as my tuner man has POUNDED on EVERY SINGLE NOTE ON MY PIANO.

There he is! (I was super sneaky when I took this pic...I am pretty sure he will NEVER read my blog.)

SO now, it is 1:15.  I have two hours before I have to look presentable, and go teach piano lessons for four hours.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  :)

What I know for sure is this.  Day one of the challenge has been a challenge.  Tomorrow, I have fun things planned, which will actually push me toward my goals.  Today, my goal is:

(This includes me, and every member of my family.)

Let's get OVER this hump day!  
Happy October! xo


  1. I absolutely LOVED your post today!!! I look forward to reading more of them as we continue on our journey of 31 days. By the way, my daughter is a music teacher also; she recently "retired" from teaching elementary school music to be at home with her 3 children; her two boys are 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 years old, and her daughter is 6 weeks old. She has several piano students she either goes to or they come to her. She hopes to home school the kids at least through elementary school! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Thank you Barbara!! I love that your daughter teaches music also! That is one thing that I this line of work there are so many options. I have been freelancing for four years now and LOVE it. I hope to incorporate writing into my life a lot more now as well. It's wonderful when you can fill your days with things you LOVE! Looking forward to getting to know you throughout our journey here!! xo