Monday, January 31, 2011

The title of this season of life? RESILIENCE

'People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life's circumstances to push them down and hold them under.'
~Charles Swindoll

A friend sent me a card this week.
Inside, she wrote in big letters, "YOU ARE RESILIENT!"
I know the word, but looked it up anyway:


1. (of a substance or object) Able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.

2. (of a person or animal) Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

Resilience is the ability to work with adversity in such a way that one comes through it unharmed or even better for the experience. Resilience means facing life’s difficulties with courage and patience – refusing to give up. It is the quality of character that allows a person or group of people to rebound from misfortune, hardships and traumas.

Resilience is rooted in a tenacity of spirit—a determination to embrace all that makes life worth living even in the face of overwhelming odds. When we have a clear sense of identity and purpose, we are more resilient, because we can hold fast to our vision of a better future.

Much of our resilience comes from community—from the relationships that allow us to lean on each other for support when we need it.

You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.
~Henri Frederic Amiel

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Woke up at 3:40am
Stayed in bed til about 4:30

So far today, I

  • drank a pot of coffee
  • showered
  • cleaned the house (in case someone comes by to see it!)
  • made (low carb) pancakes for breakfast
  • was one of about four people at Wal Mart
  • stopped by Ralph's for yogurts
  • drove through the bank
  • filled up my gas tank
  • had two Craig's list folks come collect their goodies
  • looked at apartments online
  • blogged
And it is now 9:30am
I think it might be time for lunch

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nothing nothing...absolutely nothing...

One of my unwritten New Year's Resolutions is to not buy ANYTHING this year. NOTHING.
Now, obviously I have to buy groceries and toiletries, but I have made a pact with myself to not buy anything clothes, books, DVDs, trinkets, purses, shoes...NOTHING!
Simplicity is the name of the game.
Certainly a good portion of this resolution has come at the heels of knowing I will be living in 600 square feet very soon. But, I swear, it happened late last year--the realization that there was NOTHING I wanted. NOTHING I needed. Call it a mid life crisis, but NOTHING turns me on anymore! NOTHING.
Been there, done that. Had the purses, the cars, the houses, Santas, Bobbleheads, books and knick knacks galore!
Don't need it anymore. I don't want it anymore.
I want simple. And clean. And containable.
In 600 square feet.
Truth is, even if I NEVER bought another item over my lifetime, my home is already BURSTING at the seams with too much STUFF.
It's gotta go! I will have no where to keep it.
Better yet, there is no reason to keep it. Simplify.
Gratefully, so far anyway, I haven't had a hard time parting with anything.
And I am loving giving it away.
Here's the bottom line: there is NOTHING that is not replaceable if I decided I HAD to have it again. Honestly, there is NOTHING that is 'worth' something anymore either! I've looked up dozens of items on eBay lately (just in case!)--sorry, everyone already has one and obviously, they're trying to sell THEIRS!
I have already received joy from all the STUFF in my home.
It's time to pass that joy to someone else.
No backs!

I will not buy much this year. I will wear the clothes that are in my closet and read the books that are on my shelves. I will continue to give things away and wish everything well.

NOTHING feels better than clean and orderly.
Well, except good ol' SIMPLICITY.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

...not your shoe size

Yesterday, as I told some folks that I was heading to Phoenix next month for Dodgers Spring Training, someone asked, "Do you ever think you'll act your age?"

Though I don't think he meant it maliciously, you know me. I am QUEEN of defensiveness. And that pissed me off.

I said, "Nope. Probably not. When I was 18, I was married. By the time I was 21, I had two kids.
I didn't get to act my age then...
I'm sure not going to act it now."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Simplicity is a bargain

I am in the process of giving away every single thing I own. Well, that may be a tad exaggerated, (what? me?) but it's pretty darn close!
I have to move. Yes--HAVE to. I can no longer see the logic in paying nearly $4000 a month for housing. For just me...and my 'stuff'.
I've been looking at one bedroom apartments over the last week or so. One of them was $840 a month. One was $900. Much more logical. (And, truth is, I'll be happy as hell no matter where I am.)
These apartments are each about 650 square feet. (Sounds like heaven!) so, the KEY to making this logical step is getting 1500 square feet (plus a packed two car garage!) worth of belongings down to the absolute bare necessities.
What do I really want to keep?
What do I really NEED?

I have always believed that STORAGE is God's way of telling you that you have too much stuff. I truly can't rationalize paying $400/month--nearly FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR--to store my $500 worth of crap. Everything is easily replaceable. Actually, everything is truly dispensable.
And so, it's gonna go. To friends, relatives...and a whole lot to my new best buddies at Goodwill. (FOUR car loads full so far...)
I've also been selling a few things on Craig's list--which has been an unexpected JOY. Every single person who has come to my door--with cash in their hand--has been SO grateful and SO happy to be receiving what I am selling. And, because I am trying to get rid of EVERYTHING, I always throw in a few extras. The girl who bought my Brighton bag got all my Brighton jewelry as a bonus. (She cried.) The guy who bought my Partridge Family Lunch Box got TWO Partridge Family BOOKS to boot! The lady who bought my beer mugs got the vase and pie plate that were from the same set. One of my friends from work came to get a TV last night and left with the TV, a DVD player, six movies, three books and two Barbies!
I always feel like I'm saying, "But wait! As a bonus, you get the Ginsu knives-- (please take them away)!"
And have I mentioned that they give you CASH and then HAUL AWAY your stuff?
It's amazing! This Craig guy is a genius!
A friend of mine posted his new home pictures on Facebook--asking for donations. I called and offered him my rhino racks, ladder, tool bench, hose and all my gardening stuff. Basically, he will clear out the garage for me--and fully stock his own for free.
It's beyond a win-win. It's JOY-JOY.
Last week, a friend from work asked if I had anything "Jackie Robinson" that his daughter could use for her 'Black History' report at school. Let me end with this: putting together a big bag of Dodger goodies--including a hat, a teeshirt, a team ball, a Jackie Robinson book and a few Dodgers cups--and giving it to this little girl for her speech--knowing that all my 'things' were no longer going to be just sitting on a shelf in my house, but helping her give an amazing speech about Jackie Robinson--was one of the GREATEST joys of this cleansing process.

I am hoping that by the time I have to move, I am down to my bed, my kitchen table and a few good books.
What do I really need?

Peace, joy, simplicity.
I've definitely got that.
Amazingly though, there's still a lot left to go.
When are you coming over?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Don't judge

I know that I am in the process of simplifying and downsizing and clearing out things from my life...but when I came across these on Amazon...well, I thought, 'Someday, I would like to have this.'
It is the Penguin Classics Collection. How beautiful are these books?
And, honestly, I can just picture myself, in my tiny, quiet home...reading each and every one.
No, I didn't buy them...but someday...
check them out here

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door...
Emily Dickinson

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Sunny!

My sweet niece, Sunny is 11 today! I said to her, "Wow, you're turning 11 in 2011! That doesn't happen very often."
She said, "Actually, it happens to me every year...and always will...I was born in 2000!!"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Come and get it!

Yep...I'm moving out...and it's time to clean's all gotta go.
Is there anything you want from my home?
It's yours.
Just let me know...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.
- Raymond Lindquist

Monday, January 10, 2011

Da niece and da nephew...

First it was Sunny's weekend, then Elijah's 'special day'...
We had a LOVELY day at the Aquarium of the Pacific!
(Aunt Juju is ready to go back to work...)

Sunny with a chance

Spent the weekend celebrating my niece, Sunny's birthday in Laguna Beach!
It was gorgeous!
Spent a little time at the Candy Baron...they have EVERYTHING there...
Hmm...maybe it's time to grow one?

Sunny FINALLY got to taste gelato! Yep--twice.
Happy Birthday Sun Bun!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Had a few (ok, MANY!) of these cookies while in NYC!
Need to find them in Orange County...they are AMAZING!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's really so very easy

In 2011 I will
  1. Trust my intuition
  2. Have fun
  3. Become 100% debt free
  4. Relax
  5. Down size my home.
  6. Give away everything I don't need
  7. Realize how very little I need
  8. Edit my clothing...delete, delete, delete.
  9. Hang out with my friends
  10. Read. Read. Read
  11. Be grateful
  12. Be forgiving
  13. Be generous
  14. Get outside more. Seek and find adventure
  15. Live well beneath my means
  16. Give LOTS of compliments
  17. Be a model employee
  18. Appreciate my family
  19. Breath. Smile. Laugh.
  20. Continue to love, savor and RELISH this very simple and highly enjoyable life.