In one word:
Or, in three words:
Little By Little.
In fact, other than the day I swapped bookcases and moved things into drawers and had a floorclutter eruption, I've literally done One. Simple. Thing. A Day.
This is because sometimes, or once upon a time, I have, or had, a tendency to try and take on the entire thing all at once. Like, I've thought, Today I'm going to rearrange the entire bottom floor of our house, plus clean it, plus…oh, paint it, and perhaps build a new room onto the side…!!!
Yeah. I took on too much, and inevitably, either wrecked my back or pooped out.
I sometimes (or once upon a time) have forgotten (or forgot) the lesson I was taught years and years ago.
And I am seeking to remember it now.
It was taught to me at a Managing Depression class. A class I was told to go to by medical people, my husband, and my family. It was part of the general all-hands-on-deck! lifesaving that went on about ten years ago, in the depths of my Post-Natal Depression.
I went to my Managing Depression class once a week for eight weeks. I sat in a room with about a dozen other people. All of whom were in the Thick of it. All of us lost, all for different reasons…but it wasn't a class to share why we were lost, or talk about our own details. Rather, it was a How-To Class.
A bit like those classes where you learn "How to build a t.v cabinet," or "How to set-up your Modem," but not. This one was bigger. It was, "How to Rescue Yourselves from the Deep."
We learned about Depression and what made it tick. We broke it down and studied its insides like a car engine. Then we broke down typical reactions we might face and studied them too, studied how to find different, more positive reactions, reactions that would help us live. We learned simple tricks to get from day to day, a bit like ice-climbers, going from ice-screw to ice-screw, slowly, slowly.
It was that slow. That steady. The fear of falling growing less and less each week I went.
I remember thinking, when I started the class: Wow. I am not alone. There are other people in the world who feel the way I do. Other people finding their way through the dark, and out.
That helped so much.
I also remember thinking, It can be as simple as this:
Focus on this moment. What is here that is good?
I started noticing. I started writing those small, good things down.
I also remember learning, Set yourself a single goal, every day. Don't make big plans, don't plan out the whole week.
Like, if you want to clean out your garage, don't think, I'm going to clean out my whole garage! Think instead, Today, I am going to clear this shelf. Just the shelf. Keep it simple.
And you don't think, I'm going to exercise! I'm going to exercise every single day this week! I am going to exercise every day this month! I am going to become a triathlete! (I swear, I once thought this. It didn't happen). Instead, think, Today I am going to go for a walk.
This was one of the best lessons I learned, and am always learning. Trying to remember and apply. All the time.
Keep it simple.
Focus on the moment.
Aim to achieve one simple thing. It might be a clean shelf. Or a walk. It might be noticing the colour of the sky as the sun sets.
It means you don't get overwhelmed and it makes living easier. It makes each day better. It makes you notice and smile.
So that's how I'm running my Mission.
I'm doing one simple thing a day. Which means, there's probably no way I'll clean my whole house in the month of January. I was kind of kidding around in my last post.
(And you all are saying: No way! Really?! Wow, Helena, that wasn't clear at all! :) )
I want a clean house, don't get me wrong. I've put it out there into the universe; I've said, "Oh, Universe, I am striving to declutter! So let's make it happen! At some point! Somehow! This month, hopefully! But I'm open to taking longer!"
I'm keeping it real.
I've cleared a table. I've found some awesome drawers to put our art and craft and pencils and rulers and stuff.
I've cleaned the front of all the cupboards in the kitchen. I've tidied my girl's room. I've moved bookshelves and created a great floor eruption that took three bit-by-bit days to clear.
Today…all I did was vacuum one living room floor. And that was enough.
Because I had to play boardgames with my boy. Battleship AND scrabble!
I had to walk a friend's dog.
I had to read Calvin and Hobbes on the couch and tell my boy what Lactose was while he played Dragonfable.
I had to play the board game my girl made today.
And I think we're going for a pizza picnic in the park tonight!
All simple things.
Things I try, and try, to remember to keep simple.
I do these simple things
One. At. A. Time
when I am done,
a walk, a boy, a sunset