26 September 2011

Indian Summer Reprieve

How did you spend your last week or two of summer? Did you fare well with pacing yourself to get the last drops from your cocktail...and did you make a list or two to help you stay on task for the coming days? Striking a balance between shifts in life to help you ease gently into the frenzy of fall is a difficult task. Each of us will handle it differently. Hoping that some of the tips shared in the August Daily Local News Organize This were helpful to you. See link below to reference. The days are getting shorter but there is still enough daylight to be productive AND to enjoy a little down time. Hope you find some time for both as we wind down to Indian Summer and the first day of fall! Thanks for reading! Miriam http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/08/28/life/srv0000013405940.txt

Savor the Season...

This month's Daily Local Organize This talked about enjoying the moment, celebrating with those we care about and making sure that we take the appropriate steps to allow this to happen. Simple. Get off the George Jetson treadmill for just an evening or two and relinquish your to-do list for another day. Enjoy the season of celebration! Toast the graduate, cheer the newlyweds and help them create a lasting memory of their special day. We've attended many a wedding and commemorated many a graduation but for the recipient, it's their only graduation, their first wedding day and we want to be just as present and participatory as they are! Have a wonderful June and celebrate heartily with those you love! Thanks for reading! Miriam http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/05/29/life/srv0000011829890.txt

15 May 2011

Show Your Garage a Lil' Love

How have you all fared with your garage project? I have been asked by many how mine is coming along and alas, I have the same response. Not very well. Life really doesn't leave alot of room for undesirable tasks such as this, does it? What with the long to do list of other items that get pushed aside in the rat race, who wants to dedicate an entire day to the garage? Or who even has an entire day to dedicate to the garage? I fantasized a "perfect world" scenario when I penned my last Organize This column. So with the garage clean up one of my purposed goals this spring I have delegated small assignments that don't really seem insurmountable on their own but ultimately, once complete, should leave us with a relatively tidy garage...we'll see. This week we tackled the shoe rack, the bike/skateboard/scooter storage area and I believe my husband actually did some organizing of his motorcycle paraphernalia. We are making progress but the ultimate end result will stand for themselves. Slow and steady wins the race as they say and I suppose this approach is better than none. We shall see... Let me know how you are progressing with this task and please, feel free to share any of your good ideas! Thanks for reading! Miriam

Pulling Out One's Hair Won't Solve Anything!

Who has not, at least once, attempted to render themselves hairless in frustration? I sure have! Could be that my hair in itself makes me absolutely batty at times! Generally speaking, it's our schedule that causes my reaction. Every springtime I stress that it will be different, but somehow, it's not to be. I rob from Peter to pay Paul time and again and end up so backed up with reschedules because of schedule changes that I could just scream! There is no one to blame, really, so venting is my only choice. Staying organized and on task are the best tools I can implement for myself to get through my week. I did mention a couple of my tried and trues in my Organize This column this month. The link will follow if you'd like to revisit those ideas. One of my favorite tools for getting through the overscheduled days is meditation. Truthfully speaking, there really isn't a whole lot of time left for that at days' end, but taking a moment for myself and breathing, regrouping and resting my mind can do wonders, creating a gentle shift in my mood and any anxiety I may be feeling from my day. Stillness of body and stillness of mind. It is sometimes not very easy to accomplish but if you have been able to go there once, you can do it again. Short little respites throughout the day are just as useful and very effective in helping us take pause in the day, reprioritize and remind ourselves of the purpose of our day. Even if you are sitting in a car line waiting for practice to end so you can rush off to the next, close your eyes, take a gentle breath and focus your mind on your breathing. Do not let thoughts of nonsense enter your mind. Clear your thoughts purposefully. Focus on the gentle flow of breath, in and out and relax. Do not allow yourself to drift off into sleep but stay focused and aware of your breathing. Do not breath deliberately and laboriously, just natural, gentle breath. I recognize the place when I am at ease and calm and can recognize it quickly when I take a minute for myself. It is refreshing, calming and a great tool for refocusing my mind and shifting my life towards a more manageable pace. This practice may not ease the time constraints on my calendar but it surely helps me to move through the schedule in a more restful way. Something necessary when I spend as much time in my car as I do. Try it yourself. If you find yourself enjoying this minute of thoughtfulness, download some meditations to your ipod, a treat for yourself! Thanks for reading! Miriam

14 March 2011

Take a Staycation....and chillax!

Winter always seems to dilly dally and after my first late winter excursion to warmth a handful of years back, I decided I'd never spend the entire winter at home again. Well...we all know the logic of that improbability, life gets so full and time flies and therefore, no rest for the weary. In my Organize This column for February, I pondered the thought of taking a staycation and I am beginning to swear by these little respites. Right about now I can assuredly say I feel a little spoiled! A ski weekend away with my boys followed by a relaxing and somehow equally invigorating weekend in The Big Apple! Certainly a little more expense tied to this getaway but, still, if I cashed out minute by minute, a bargain at any price. There are many deals to be had if you just take a little time and search them out. And oh, how very therapeutic! A great Broadway show at last minute prices, some window shopping at some "only found in NY" boutiques and, of course, an awesome meal at one of my favorite tapas standbys and I had the makings of a great weekend. Our hotel was centrally located and lavish enough to make us feel pampered without breaking the bank. Everyone is working hard to entice guests so the bedding is clean and inviting, the attention to detail is precise and the courteous, attentive staff makes the occasional necessary human interactions pleasant and welcome. I can wander the streets of New York for days simply people watching when all else fails and I have a little time on my hands. Free entertainment! I have yet to locate the naked cowboy...but I'm still looking! Take some time and plan a little getaway of your own. You don't have to go far at all...even the next town over probably has something to offer that you've never experienced. Concentrate on your purpose and intentions. Live in the moment and savor the newness of your surroundings. Take a staycation...and do it soon! And thanks for reading! Miriam http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/02/27/life/srv0000011019554.txt

16 February 2011

Clutter-Free Closets are soooo....Freeing!

I'm wondering how many of you have already felt the need to tackle this project? And who has been putting it off? The dreaded closet clean up. It's a simple task, really, but somehow we get sweaty palms just thinking about digging in and getting started. I think, mostly, because what is found buried inside can usually lead to another project or two that must now be addressed. There's a snowball effect with closet cleanup because Lord knows what's truly hidden in those dark corners! So let's brave it together, shall we? My closet gets a general tidying up probably every other month, mostly because I can't even step inside if it doesn't. Some closets in the home aren't touched for a year or more, not until junk starts falling on my head when I open the door and I have to slam the door shut before my strategically placed object propels itself back at me. I hate to admit this fact, but it's true. These are the places that need the most attention. Serious attention. Obviously, I'm bordering on hoarding here! Why? What is contained that is so important? Probably not alot. Ask yourself that when your junk drawer or your linen closet overflows. Do you even remember? Empty the contents, sort the items and make sure there's a trash bag at the ready so you don't have to give something a second thought if it's ready for disposal. Has it outlived it's shelf life? Has anyone searched for it in the past year? Do you have three multiples? Do you remember why you put it there in the first place? Can it be recycled, repurposed or is it just plain refuse? Make the decision now and move on. Spring is just around the corner, I know you don't trust this right now as we have inches upon inches of snow covering the ground, but it will be here before we know it and we will turn our attention outside. Take some time over the next couple of weeks to give attention to those areas that aren't generally seen and give them a good sprucing up. Buy some nice scented shelf paper and some rattan baskets and get organized! I know you'll be happy that you did once the task is complete. With all these snow days maybe you can enlist a child or two for some help. Good luck...it's a very cleansing process and I promise you'll feel the ahhhhhhh at completion! Thanks for reading! Miriam Below is the link for Sunday's Organize This on topic. http://dailylocal.com/articles/2011/01/23/life/srv0000010696091.txt

Get Inspired by Your Resolutions!

Getting it all together takes time and a little spunk! Happy New Year one and all! It's 2011, where the time goes, I am not sure. My family and I were just reminiscing about our 2000 celebration and what a short time ago that seems! The only thing my middle son remembers is when the lobster tried to climb out of the lobster pot; a memory he'll not soon forget! So while we stand here in awe of the rapid passing of time I am also in awe of the volume of mementos, memories and downright useless clutter that has accumulated right along with the ticking of the clock. As referenced in my Organize This column this week I used to have a loathing for the new year and the failed resolutions. Now I look at the month of January and its' thirty one days of possibility as a challenge and a goal setting time. I am excited by the opportunities and the long winter days that lend themselves to productivity indoors. Whether it's a home project, an organizational task or researching and planning summer activities, it is a welcome day each day for success and accomplishment. I've decided that chunking up my goals instead of setting one great big seemingly insurmountable "resolution" means more success for me and therefore, more positive vibes for an occasional pat on the back for reaching my goal. Do you have tasks left undone or a wish for yourself that you haven't dedicated the time and energy to? Make a short, doable list. The key is to make it manageable. If you have a houseful of kids and homework, sports, part-time job, etc., don't set the goal of trekking to the top of Mt. Washington just yet. Maybe something more attainable and equally satisfying. Cleaning out the closets, toy chests, car trunk or garage would be a good start. Okay, quite possibly not as personally fulfilling as climbing Mt. Washington but definitely has its satisfaction quota. Move on to tasks with more bang once you get warmed up! I've heard the usual weight loss commitments flying about and I can sense success in the air if there is a dangling carrot and a mission plan. A goal such as a reunion, wedding or graduation will work with an attainable time frame. A thought out course of action and a cheer leading squad in the form of supportive family or friends on your side all help to bring success to a task that may seem daunting and insurmountable. Don't try to go it alone but you can and will be successful with a plan of action and dedication to yourself. Do it for you and nobody else and you will be triumphant! Best wishes and best of luck with your new goals for 2011! Have fun making, breaking and remaking commitments to your goals and don't be hard on yourself if you fall. There's 365 days to get it right! Happy New Year~and good luck! Thanks for reading! Miriam DL: Forging Ahead with Purpose while Welcoming the New Year. http://dailylocal.com/articles/2010/12/26/life/srv0000010373047.txt