Monday, October 10, 2016

Right Now

Right now I am supposed to be blogging for my job. I am supposed to be coming up with some content on Downsizing. I am supposed to inspire, and motivate and promote and inform. Right now I just don't have the mental discipline. Right now I want to take the dog for a walk and pray the Rosary. I think that would be much more inspiring, motivational and productive.
I just don't have any ideas and I am drawing a complete blank. If I were actually in the home of a client, and we were discussing an upcoming move that was going to require a serious attempt at downsizing, I would know just what to do. I would make lists and we would set goals and I would share resources. We would walk through the house and discuss the size of the new home and the amount of stuff in the old one. We would talk about what needs to be distributed to family, what to do with what they don't want, who to contact to sell valuable goods and how much stuff is just trash.
I would have ideas, because I would have to have ideas. I have no ideas because I have no one to look at and share them with. So, I think I am going to take the dog for a walk and say the Rosary. Maybe Mary has some ideas about downsizing. I know she had to move a few times. Maybe that's not what she will tell me at all, but it will be what I need, I know that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Miracles and Mercy

Fr Henry said something the other day that really went to my heart. He said that when we are in the Confessional we are at the foot of the Cross and The Lord can pour His Mercy down on us. He loves that we come to Him in our sin so that He can give us the Grace of His Mercy. When we make going to Confession about us, it's a pride thing. It's a kind of vanity to think that our sins are so special that we should dread going to Him and His Love. When we make it about God and the Miracle of His Mercy, we run to the foot of the Cross, and we can't be there often enough. We are embraced by the God who made us.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Getting my House in Order

You'd think that a Professional Organizer would have this all together, right?
Well, the physical house, the rooms, the laundry and the floors are all in pretty good shape.
I have a set standard and a pretty good routine, and my follow through is great when it comes to my household. I don't like clutter, and I like to be able to find what I need when I need it.

The house that is in need of attention is the one on the inside.
There is little order there.
I am scattered and cluttered, and I don't put the gifts that I have been given to the best use.
I lose track, I misplace, and I procrastinate.
My interior house is rather a mess, but I have new hope that there is someone out there that can help even me.

I have been on a journey through the "33 Days to Merciful Love"   with St Therese of Lisieux, and, while I am still a mess, still a shambles, I have learned that, with her Little Way of hoping against hope, there is indeed still hope for me to become a saint. I have been running in circles for a lot of years, and I have filled up my interior house with a lot of junk. I think I may be a bit of a hoarder in that department. It is easy for me to simplify the physical spaces around me, but for me to simplify the interior spaces in my mind and heart is going to be a much bigger challenge.

I am not a person that embraces interior simplicity, in fact, I think that I have for a long time given far too much energy to the acquisition of knowledge, trying to become well educated, not wanting to appear, well, simple. St Therese has shown me that the way to Jesus is the inverse of the process of becoming recognized as "wise and intelligent" in the world.

Jesus Himself said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants." 

I have sought to be wise and intelligent, when I should have been seeking Jesus with the joyful hope of a child. 

Now, the process of undoing 52 years of mental and spiritual cluttering is going to be something like stepping into the home of a hoarder, whose attachment to the things that are piled on every surface and in every room, is pathologically driven. I need a spiritual guide that will help me to let go, little by little, of the useless and broken bits of detritus that inhabit the corners of my heart; those thoughts and dreams of being "something" that have kept me from making Jesus and his Merciful Love my everything. It is not going to be any easier. Hoarders frequently fall back into their bad habits, and if not attentive to therapy and psychological help, they end up right back where they were. It's especially challenging when the attempt to change flies in the face of everything that the world and my personality have told me I need.

The thing is, I can't waste any more time. My life is more than half over, and I have not been paying very good attention to the most important details. I need a way to hold myself accountable. I need reminders throughout the day, of the pitfalls of "collecting" recognition and trying to have the answers. I need to seek the childlike around me, and the joy in the most simple moments, and I really need to stay close to the Little Flower. She will be my Spiritual Organizer. She will help me root out the things that are impeding my progress. 

Thank You Jesus, for your Mercy and for giving us the precious jewel of the "Little Way".
I think I get it now. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Is There Life Here?

Wow. I think Facebook stole my blog.
I post snippets of this and that here and there, so I feel like I am kind of journaling, but there really isn't much writing to that.
I am thinking about trying to create a useful theme, to use this blog to share things that might benefit someone else.
I would really like to build a credible consulting business around organizing and homeschooling.
So maybe I will try to write a post a day to answer questions from real people about either homeschooling, organizing, or both.
It's worth a shot.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

There's no Place Like Home...

...too bad I don't get to be there much...

What. A. Day.

I don't know how anyone can drive for a living, but then again i drive pretty much constantly and I seldom get paid.

Today was an early one, with John heading off to work at 7:30, which means that we get going at 6:30. Not so bad if you didn't stay up late the night before.  I got Lilly ready for school and onto the bus, then it was time to get the boys going, and get laundry done, and get the stuff outside for donation, and get the dishes done.....

I headed out to Fr Henry's at noon, and it was a rather slow drive, so I didn't get there until 1:00.  When I got there we went down to the Bistro for lunch, so that was very nice. We went back up to his apartment and had a visit, also very nice, and then I had to get back on the road by 3:00. I had to get gas, get John dinner, and pick him up from work at 4:30, so he could eat and go to driver's ed at 5:00. Then I ran to the store for dinner stuff, ran home, cooked dinner, did the dishes, and ran back out to do a review for a homeschooling friend, which was also very nice, except for having to sit at the gate to APG for 15 minutes while they decided whether I was a serious threat, or just stupid for trying to get on post after the visitor's center is closed.
After the review I went to Wal-Mart so that the family would all die of hunger, because the only food we had in the house was stuff that had to be cooked. oh, the inconvenience.
I got home and put everything away, and now it's time for bed.
I am exhausted.
At least I should be able to stay home most of tomorrow. I hope.

On the bright side, we got news from the hospital already! The GI doctor called first thing this morning to let us know that Paul's scan showed that his stomach empties REALLY slowly. They are going to try a simple treatment with a common medication and see if that helps. Sure hope so!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hi Blog...

I've really got to get better about this. I have no excuse.
I have a new computer after all!
I am working a bit more now, but that should just add a bit more to the texture of life.

Getting back to work has been so wonderful! I have been working with so many wonderful ladies, I have been writing blog posts, which I really enjoy, I have been even giving a bit of thought to a book that I might start putting together. I guess everyone says that don't they?

I feel like I am starting to look at what life after homeschooling is going to be like, and I know that a job I enjoy, with a great company, is going to play a very large role.
I truly love homeschooling and I guess I was just born to be a teacher. Organizing has a very strong instructive element to it, and it feeds my love of communication.

I have been doing a LOT of driving, which makes all things home-based rather a challenge. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't have an appointment, job commitment, or outside activity that has to be attended. The poor van has a lot more miles than I would have thought, but I don't see a way around it.
Just today Paul and I had to drive to Wilmington for a test that he needed. He is still struggling with appetite and weight issues, and the doctors thought that it might be helpful to see how things go after he eats them. He wasn't allowed to eat anything after 7:30am and we got up there around 11:30. He was given a radioactive egg sandwich to eat, and they started taking pictures. It was a four hour test. A lot of sitting around. We won't know the results of the scan for a week or two, but if nothing else we will know what the problem is not.

John is very busy now.
He works full time at the Marriott Hotel at Ripkin Stadium, he is taking Driver Ed, and he has a new mini-bike.  He always has something going on, and a big project.
He is going to be 18 on Sunday!! My first adult boy.

Happy Birthday to Tim!!
My dear husband is a year older today!!
I am so happy that we are able to celebrate him.
Because of all the details of the day, we will celebrate this weekend. We'll go out to dinner, and I will give him his present!

Brendan is not having any medical tests, he doesn't have a job, and he is almost done with school. Life is good when you're Brendan. The job situation probably needs to change, but he should enjoy it while he can.

So on we go. I am going to REALLY try to post on here on a more regular basis.

Things are going well right now.
There's food on the table and a roof that doesn't leak.

God is good.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Movies as History-

Or What Really Happened at the Wannsee Conference.

This is the story of the original 12 Angry Men, the Nazi Regime's "best and brightest".
Of course, the Third Reich went far beyond anger and the incredible hubris that became the legacy of a nation for half a century is a most important part of the history.

The Wannsee Conference was a gathering of a dozen high ranking Nazi officials. Heads of departments and military branches. It was convened to decided what to do with the overwhelming number of Jews that had been rounded up and were being kept isolated in ghettos and camps. We are all familiar with the names of the men that led the party, or we should be, but one thing that never fails to amaze me is that, while so many of these men were narcissists and sociopaths,  as they rose to the top, they were able to cooperate and accomplish so much. The heads of the departments in the Nazi regime were a mixed bag of emotional and psychological cripples.

The movie "Conspiracy", attempts to recreate the meeting that developed the "final solution".
It is heavily cast with top actors from both Britain and the US and is a collaboration between the BBC and HBO. Most of the film is set in a gorgeous villa and the action, as in "12 Angry Men", is mainly dialogue that takes place around a table. The story is captivating from the very beginning and the men are portrayed as we have come to expect.

Heydrich is played by Kenneth Branaugh, and his delivery of the character's legendary ability to alternatively persuade and bully is excellent.
Stanley Tucci plays Adolph Eichmann, and he is a very convincing second to Heydrich.

How accurate is the movie version of this story though? We need to be careful not to use film, exclusively, to inform ourselves of historical events, and when we do supplement our understanding with a film, we need to read reviews and actual accounts to balance potential bias and agendas that may be held by the creators.
There is an excellent review of this film from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. You can read it HERE. The reviewer claims that the movie stays close to the documentation and testimony that was found after the War, and that any dramatic license taken is simply to help develop the characters beyond the limits of the conference itself, which helps us understand more of who they were and why they thought the way they did.
The story line is absolutely heinous and diabolical and even worse, as we now know, it's true. It's rated R for good reason, and it's not family-fare, but I would say important enough to show to high school history students.

We can't ever forget the evil that was done in that place at that time. We need to be sure that we don't let political or cultural mores bend the truth, or make it about something that it wasn't.
A film of this quality can be a good resource to look to.