The last couple of weeks have been, um, interesting. They have been in some ways a breakthrough in this whole WinnowingWoman lifestyle. You see, eight months in (eight.flipping.months.), I am seeing progress. Finally. Real progress. Not the *“look, I got the laundry room cleaned up!” long enough to take a picture of it and only to see it junked and cluttered with different stuff a month later* kind of progress. Real progress. . .
There is a place for everything, and everything is in it’s place (or can be put back there in about two minutes) in ALL of our bedrooms. Clothes, toys, books, shoes, everything. A place for everything.
The Us-es have been observed day in and day out, helping me realize that out of a hundred toys, they consistently play with about the same twenty-five. So broken toys have been trashed and the rest have been stored in an extra-large plastic container and put away in the garage for “trading out” every few months.
I can tidy the living room at a moment’s notice in less than five minutes, including returning the items back to where they go because now they actually have a designated location instead of “I don’t know, just put it somewhere” (read: our bedroom).
The kitchen dishes can (and do) still get backed up and overlooked for a whole day’s worth of meals, but the entire kitchen can now be cleaned to a spotless shine in less than an hour because we simply don‘t own too many plates or pans or utensils.
Closets have been gone through and then thought through before anything went back on a shelf or rod. We know what we have in there. Nothing lurking in corners neglected or forgotten.
The front and back yards have been purged of broken toys and random shrapnel (tools, plastic plant pots, wood scraps, etc.) so all that remains is the beauty of Creation, swings, slides, a playhouse, garden beds, and room to romp.Eight months. It has been a long time. I look back in review and see this long string of starts and stops and steps backwards. I have done huge things that ultimately made little impact, and tiny tweaks of things here and there that resulted in monumental improvement in the way our home operates. Lots of trial and error. Plenty of one-step-forward-two-steps-back. Eight.Months.
I also peek back over my shoulder at the gal who started out on this winnowing endeavor and sort of chuckle and roll my eyes at how easy (or at least quick) I thought the challenge would be. I actually and truthfully remember thinking around the first of February something to the affect of, “What will I do in a month or two when all the winnowing is finished?” Ha. Foolish, ignorant lass. If she only knew then…
But I’m glad she didn’t. Like everything else, this has required process. Birth, death and burial, and rebirth. And just looking at the components of the life-cycle and these elements of process, I see now there isn’t any one of them that in some capacity isn’t messy or hard or painful. If I remembered that at the beginning of this quest, my own resistance to discomfort or hard work or change would have potentially locked me down. I perhaps would have settled and “kept the peace”, a counterfeit, instead of “making peace”, the authentic, in our home and family.
I have stuff left to do. There are things that remain to be learned. Mistakes are still going to be made. Thinking-it-through will continue to be requisite. And I’ll still need some changing. That’s good. It’s all good. More process. Once again I am reminded that the process is likely the point.
Eight months later. Who knew we’d be here?
Eight is great.