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Monday, March 14, 2011

Growing Up and Putting Up

Anyone who has ever been to my house knows I am THE worlds worst housekeeper. I am disorganized, a hoarder of the silliest things and I live with 3 other slobs who are just as bad. I have an issue letting go I'm always afraid I'll need it later therefore nothing gets thrown away or discarded. I have problems prioritizing and processing something I attributed to my learning difference however I have come to realize now that its due to my bi-polar disorder and my anxiety. Putting items in a file or "away" is disasterous for me because once its out of sight its out of mind.

In deciding to stay together, James and I decided to remain in our postage stamp sized apartment. We have agreed to reduce our clutter and we need to make investments in our home and selves. So we are buying furniture. First thing we decided on was a sofa so that we're not fighting each other for space. James wanted to go to a local furniture place spend 1500.00 on a sofa to get a free TV. I wanted to spend less since we have kids and the likelihood  the kids would use the things as a dumping ground or a napkin.
We ended up with a vintage sectional, its ivory but at 300.00 it was a steal. James and I might get diy on it and dye it burgandy or black.
Though we have some differences of opinion on style and how to accomplish the look we want. James is a minimalist, I like cottage/ecclectic design. I like scouring thirft stores,antique shops, and flea markets. James would prefer to buy from some danish modern designer but being limited on funds and can't have what he really really wants he has no opinion. So we have compromised WALMART the great american compromise. I had my misgivings about Walmart, that it'll look temporary and dorm like. But actually we bought a TV hutch its a Better Homes and Garden make. It's an expresso black which picks up on the black wooded finishings of the ivory sofa. We feel having one common element carried over from room to room giving a monchromatic look will give the design a modern feel yet if we purchase a more expensive item in the future we can repurpose the items elsewhere. Our colors are black gold and burgandy with shots of sage green and orange, tying in our other sofa thats a sage country green in the living room.  I bought pillow shams to use as toss pillows from a thrift store.
James is the nuts and bolts type so when some assembly was required he went right to it. He said it was easy to build up compared to the dressers we bought this weekend. We have spent the week enjoying the new TV hutch and sofa, I realized once this was built up and in place that I could unpack a couple of boxes that had lingered though we've lived here a year, there was no place for putting away for dvds or game disks.
Last weekend we also purchased parson tables that serve as night stands also in a blackish expresso color. We bought lamps to go on the tables we are doing a black and white theme in our room though eventually I want to purchase new comforter set thats a little more formal than our walmart dorm room special we bought 2 years ago. I thought maybe I'd do a tiffany blue and chocolate brown as a color scheme in the bedroom and put black and white photos like my Kiss at Hotel Deville up.
This weekend we bought his and her dressers also in the expresso blackish color. For the first time in our lives together we have a place to put our socks and underwear somewhere other than in a pile in the corner of the room or have baskets heaping sat in some corner that we have to dump out in the morning and then scoop up to go to bed only to repeat the process again the next morning. We repurposed the metal shelving unit that held the tv in the living room and one in the bedroom in a space between our dining room and livingroom which now holds bins and baskets so I can sort through and have a pretty dumping ground for the things I can't throw away. I'm learning to throw away but thats a slow process in the meantime I'm accepting myself for who I am and making accomedations.
Both of us felt that stuff is just stuff and we can live with the stuff we had which was repurposed office equipment like metal shelving or a printer cabinet. We never realized just how not having proper items affected our relationship. How cranky it made us to always have to quest for our socks. Or search thru the mounds of boxes to find a movie we knew we owned. Or how it communicated unspokenly how temporary our living arrangment with each other was. The investment in having stuff to put things aways symbolizes how sick we were and is a testament to our collaborative effort to move toward health and well-being.
Next on the list is a dining room table, possibly a desk if space allows, and a flat screen tv for the bedroom. I realize he will make fun of me for buying a himalayan salt lamp but I know he will appreciate the purifying elements and maybe he'll use the meditation relaxation nook I plan to create. Marriage is a compromise and a journey together side by side not one or the other leading the way. Furniture makes a house a home and a home is where everything and everyone has a place. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My new tools

I mentioned in my intro-post that my husband was leaving. Amazingly enough he has decided to stay. I have been in pursuit of personal growth. Some of this has been psychological, I have learned some new skills in not taking thngs personally and how to reduce anxiety. I have been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder for which I am seeing a psychiatrist, who manages my meds, that control my racing thoughts and some of my strange behavior. I have completed 2 rounds of intensive group therapy(IOP for short) and I see a counselor.

None of us are immune to problems, relationship or otherwise. My current problems stem from learning to take in the world from a place of anger. Even though bi-polar is an emotional disorder I believe I don't feel the emotions I'm having-instead I get angry-my mother dies and instead of despair I get angry. How can anyone love you when your angry at everything, I have made small but significant changes though I know I am still a work in progress and for any change to take hold and flower it takes 100 days.

Over the last 100 days since my intial post I have identified that I have needs and I can fulfill those needs with or without James. I am learning new skills to resolve conflict which has helped every relationship including my clients. I have in the past chosen to isolate my self and not nurture friends. Even if my attempts at becoming a lady who lunches have not been successful I continue to reach out to people and nurture relationships. I haven't quite gotten to the point of having that impromptu party I wrote about in my first post but I did buy the cavier!

My New Tools
- Identify your needs(Is it space? Independance? Concentrated time with your lover? Attention?)
-Communicate mindfully-its not new but it works instead of saying when will you be home for dinner and being annoyed at the answer say I am upset that you don't tell me when you will be home I can't plan dinner, what can we do to resolve this? OR I am concerned that you choose not to tell me when you will be home for dinner I can't plan therefore I am serving dinner @ 6 if your here great if not I'll save you some.
-Try new things: identify some new hobbies that can get your positivity flowing, overcome anxiety by planning for it and managing it.

I have identified an area that I want to work on and then set relative goals. There are many areas to work on with me but working on one impacts another. So pick one and go to work.