Sunday, April 01, 2018

General Conference Weekend, April 2018

I haven't been able to pay attention during General Conference for long time. Keeping the kids occupied at the chapel takes up lots of my attention, and when we listen at home they often forget that we're listening to Conference. Even with the Conference Board.

Somehow, this Conference weekend was different. Maybe it was getting extra sleep leading up to the weekend and not being as tired as usual. Maybe it was having one child who mostly remembered to be quiet (for the first hour of each session). Maybe it was having a small enough house that we could play Conference loud enough that I could hear it from everywhere downstairs. Maybe it was deciding not to try to post to social media during conference. 

I heard more, and was listening more.

Now, even though I heard more of the words and understood more of the topics being discussed, I don't remember very much of it. I blame this on my season of life, wherein I haven't been allowed to stay focused on any single idea for more than about five seconds at a time, for the past six years. My brain is out shape! I perused the Church's accounts on Twitter for some of my favorite quotes (and for tidbits that I missed), and copied them into my notes. I'm looking forward to when all of the talks are available at so I can read them. (The videos are already up!) 

I don't have a good plan for studying them, though. In the past I've tried making a list of all the talks, but I only followed through on re-listening to two or three of them. Sometimes I'll do really well at listening to one talk, then the next, then the next, and so on for a several days. But I need some kind of study program that I can stick to (in five second increments). 

Does anyone have any ideas?

Maybe this is a good excuse to shop for travelers notebooks...

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A Box of Journals

In my journey to get rid of stuff, I run into obstacles on a regular basis. My dad once said to me, "Ryann, everything we touch triggers a memory, but not everything has to be a memory." It was a revelation to hear him say that. Both he and I are intensely nostalgic and have detailed long term memories

Somehow, most of the Stuff I keep is paper. You can stash a whole lot of paper in a one foot by one and half foot moving box. Like, thousands of pieces of paper. Needless to say, I get emotionally burned out pretty quick when I'm trying to purge.

I opened a Box with the intent to get rid of the stuff inside only to find my childhood journals and some beautiful blank notebooks that I love (and want to fill up with writing). I can't get rid of those! Opening that Box triggered some depression (including crying). It can be demoralizing to have a strong urge to change, but are not be able to change very fast.

I've been pushing to get rid of Boxes, Stuff, and Paper  faster than I've ever done since we returned from our Epic Summer Road Trip. I realized that our lack of tall bookshelves is actually a major impediment to emptying Boxes (and subsequently, getting rid of the Stuff in them). After a few days of feeling stuck, I decided that I just need to unpack the blank journals onto the shelf next to my bed. I'm obviously not ready to deal with the journals. I'm getting better at getting rid of stacks of Paper in other Boxes, so I'm giving myself some grace on this particular Box.

When you are trying to change something about yourself, what gets you stuck?

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Importance of the Dumpster

An unexpected effect of spending a month away from home, was an increased desire to have less clutter and a realization that I could get rid of more of the Stuff I thought I still needed. I've been riding a wave of nesting energy from coming home with fresh eyes. I'm throwing away more than ever, and increasing my frequency of donation drop-offs.

But last Tuesday, someone threw a wrench in my system. Someone (or someones) filled up the dumpster bin at our apartment. Like filled up. To the top.

The day after it had been emptied.

There wasn't even room for the daily kitchen trash! We put the trash in anyway. (I made Darren do it. And the neighbor's husband jumped on the lid to try to squish it down.) But we were way above the "do not fill past" line. It really stressed me out.

It took me a few days to figure out why I was stressed. (Aside from the obvious: The kitchen trash stinks. I need it out of the house!) I couldn't throw things away because my trash bins were full. My de-cluttering momentum came to a full stop. But my nesting energy didn't.

It was the last week before school started and we wanted to have fun. We did have fun. We threw a birthday party and had dinner company. But I couldn't wait for the week to be over and trash day to come so I could move forward with cleaning things out of the house.

Trash day came. The truck didn't come at it's normal time. I checked the trash bin every hour (yes, I know that's weird). When the garbage truck finally came, I was so excited I think I hollered like it was Christmas.

How strange are the hangups we have when we're trying to change!