Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Exercise I : Multiple sets

This is an exercise.  You do not have to take action yet. If you want to take action, I certainly won't stop you!  But I want you to basically tour your own kitchen. Open drawers, explore cabinets, make notes, either mentally or on paper.  Don't worry if you don't want to write it down.  What is more important is that you start your brain working on this, that you begin to get a little excited about this.

Copies.  Look for example in your drawer that houses can openers.  How many can openers do you have?  What do you use them for?  

Look at stemware, glassware, cups, china.  How many sets do you have?  Which are gathering dust?  Do any have chips?  Are there some sitting in there that you have not used at all?  Are some of them easy to access but you don't use them, whereas that cleaver you need daily is sitting behind them? 

Review all items in your kitchen. What performs the same function?  What are you consistently using and consistently not using.  What can you move back on the shelf for occasional use and what should you bring forward (once you have created space) so that you can access it daily.

Maybe your kitchen has very little room like mine.  It is important that it is functional. Once you kitchen is functional, you can enjoy it. Once you enjoy it, you will be more inventive there, and create healthier foods. 

If you do not want to part with something because your other set could wear out or break, could you put the lesser used set away in the attic or loftspace in a labeled bin?  That way it does not take up daily living space, but is accessible should you need it and you do not have to worry about spending the money again for something you've already purchased.

Ok, have you looked in every cabinet, every drawer?  I want you to familiarize yourself with what you have. Let your brain mull that over a bit then come back to it another day.  When you do you will be prepared.  Samuel T. Coleridge referred to his night-self as writing some of his poetry. Perhaps you will write poetry as you sleep, or, for the sake of our project, let your mind do some of the work for you before tackling any of the work you have ahead.   Did you ever come up with an answer seemingly instantaneously for a problem that vexed you for hours just the day before?  Perhaps your sleeping self did some of the work.   Basically what I am looking for in our kitchen tour is for you to gather a level of awareness, so that is why we will call this an exercise.  Once you begin to work on an area, we will label that an action plan.

As we age our tastes change.  For me, I've become more practical.  I want light weight plates that are small and fit in my sink and do not hurt my wrist when I pick up several at once. I want them to take up minimal space in my dishwasher, my closet and my sink, so they should not be too thick. I do not want my young child to easily break them, so they should be durable. When I first married I admired a thick plate.  I had them on my wedding registry and received them, and soon realized they were not practical for every day use.  I quickly purchased Corelle plates and bowls. Their cups were not made in the USA, the pattern was not attractive to me, and I worried about the paint on them, so I gave those to Goodwill rather than keep something I did not want just because it came in the set.  I instead bought some cups at a craft show and enjoyed the beautiful pottery of deep blues and greens and the textured surfaces. Others my parents did not want and let me choose some.  We soon had plenty of cups that I liked.  I've never needed everything to be new.    One thing I noticed if I find I consistently avoid using a cup or a glass for any reason, I try to let go of it after checking with my partner to make sure he does not want it. If I am not comfortable using something on a daily basis why keep it? 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Field Trip I

When you have time take a trip to your local Goodwill, or large thrift store. I don't want you to bring anything just yet.  I just want you to set aside some time and walk around the thrift store. I certainly don't want you to buy anything. Relax, walk through the aisles. I just want you to note all the things that people have let go, that sit on shelves, sometimes for a very long time.  I want you to look at these objects and think about how they belonged to someone, and how that person let the object go. I want you to look through the objects thoroughly with your eyes.  Listen to the people around you. Listen to what they are saying.  Just listen, observe the objects, move through the aisles. That's it. You're done.

Visualization I

VISUALIZE:  I just want you to imagine a simple home where functionality and art meet. Where light fills the room, and you can sit comfortably, perhaps look out a window, and read a favorite book. Maybe you play some music too. Maybe you have a cat on your lap. I just want you to imagine a room that makes you feel good. Does it have a few plants?  Is the light falling through the room gently filtered?  What is in that room? What isn't in that room.