Monday, March 12, 2012

Hot Tubs, Moldy Towels and The Birth House

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
A Weekend Away.
I had the pleasure of going to the Oregon Coast this past weekend.  Our dear friends (and GLWT reader number uno) hosted us at their beach house just south of Astoria, OR.  I loved every minute of it, from driving through the old town where the Goonies was filmed, the windy walk down to witness the mighty Pacific Ocean, the sauna, the breakfast of seasonal frittata and dinner of dungeness crab to catching up in front of the fire after the kids were tucked in bed.  So, no, I did not do any water aerobics this past weekend.  Not unless you count raising my glass while relaxing in the hot tub as a form of excersize.

My Pool is Closed.
It's a bummer, Green Lake's Evans Pool is closed for two weeks.  I am hugely disappointed, since that was my favorite place for water aerobics in Seattle.  I just don't know if I'll find another spot that fills me up, emotionally and physically, like that one.  If you know of one, I am all ears.  And in case you weren't aware, I prefer my water aerobics in the deep end with lots of old people.

Project Simplify is on.
I don't even use half of this stuff.
Last week, Amy started a challenge that has to do with organizing.  Amy found a blog, Simple Mom, and she does a decluttering/organizing project every March.  She sets up guidelines and helps you to focus on one "hot spot" in need of attention in your home every week.  When I first read Amy's post, I cringed.  Organizing and cleaning used to be my thing, until kids.  I suppose I still do OK in the category, but for me, with these things, it's like I either do it really well or I throw in the towel.  Consider my towel thrown, so long ago, it's probably in some cluttered recess of my closet growing the mold that is giving me allergies and my leg rash.  Now when I hear about other people "organizing" my ego takes it as a personal blow.  Like someone just plastered my old moldy towel on the cover of US magazine next to Snooki's baby bump.  

My weekend away was spent with a friend of mine that excels in the organizing and cleaning categories of life.  Every closet or drawer I opened was a new challenge.  How do I feel good about my personal flaws in the face of perfection?  Well, believe me, it is hard for a Virgo woman.  Hell, it might be hard for any woman, if they are being honest.  It wasn't until I got home that it really hit me, when I was faced with all the clutter and disorganization and mess of my own space.  I walked through my door with a smile on my face from all the fun, and quickly discovered an uncomfortable chip on my shoulder, longing for the neat and orderly me of yesteryear.

The wretched container cupboard. 
Instead of wallowing in my imperfections, I decided to move through my cringing and right on into Project Simplify.  It feels like less of a To-Do list for me, and more like some kind of intense exposure therapy.  Let's just hope it goes better than my trip to the mountainside.  Although, I wouldn't rule out a few tears being shed.

This week is going to be spent tackling the kitchen.  I love cooking, so this is an area I spend a lot of time in.  I figure it is a good place to start.  I have agreed to three things for the week:

  1. Cleaning out my fridge and freezer.  This means getting rid of things I don't use, no matter how healthy and good they are for me.  If I don't use them, they are doing no good.
  2. Organizing my containers, plastic and otherwise.  This cupboard is out of control.  I can get it all tidy in the afternoon, and by nightfall it is a complete mess.  I am going to also find a way to keep it tidy.  My recent purchase of a Martha Stewart magazine on organizing says, "Staying organized is an ongoing process; if something isn't working well for you, change the process until it is."  That is my goal for this cupboard.
  3. Making a meal plan and sticking to it.  I used to do this and it always felt so good.  Knowing that all the fresh, healthy food in my fridge is going to be used and not found rotten two weeks later is always a good feeling.    

Reading more.
I have continued to read, since last month sparked my love for reading.  I am not reading at the same pace as last month, but I am working through a 400+ page book, The Birth House by Ami McKay.  It takes place in the early 1900's and is about a woman that apprentice's with an old granny midwife and has to cope with medical technologies like twilight sleep being offered to the women of her rural town.  She has to walk the delicate line between being a good wife in the context of the culture she was raised in, and following her calling, which is serving women, not her husband's needs.

I am really enjoying it and I feel a strong sense of reading the right book at the right time.

Until next time.  And please, consider checking out a water aerobics class near you.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.


Amy Baranski said...

Hey M - to enter the weekly project simplify drawing here are all the ways you can upload content

Cassandra said...

I've heard really good things about The Birth House. It's on my to-read list!

(I've been away for 9 weeks and thus am way behind on blog reading. Sorry if you see a few comments all at once from me!)


Melissa Baumgart said...

I really loved it, Cassandra. Definitely pick it up and start reading!

Cassandra said...

I will do that! It's going on my list of books to check out as soon as I can get a Seattle library card! That will be as soon as we have a permanent address because I am going through library withdrawal over here... not a single library book in my house. :(