March promises to be better than January and February. I’m hoping March makes good on that promise. Regardless, life changes are upon me and my family. That’s why I’m relieved that the Scintilla Project is back this year, offering prompts to tell stories. I’m looking forward to the two weeks of story telling.
I can’t say for certain how I feel about March on the whole — I have mixed emotions after dealing with January and February. I want to let go of the past and make peace with things as they are and go forward with hope for a better future and love in my heart. But, I’m also scared of all the unknowns and uncertainties. It’s been quite a ride so far, and I’m not entirely sure if the exit for this particular roller coaster is getting closer or not. I’m in the dark and can’t see if there’s a swoop or turn ahead. I’m crossing my fingers that the car is pulling into the exit area, where I’ll leap out, kiss the ground, and count my blessings that I survived the ride of January and February 2013.
I started this month with intentions to go forward with my plans as scheduled. By mid-month, I knew this February was just as unforgiving as the last. Just as unforgiving as January. With all the pain my family’s endured for much of 2013, I’ve been too engrossed in life’s circumstances and completing myriad tasks to focus on my cultivate project. It’s a shame, really — this situation needs lots of cultivation and nurturing. However, I cannot undo the past or reset the year. I can only forgive, accept, and move forward. So when I saw that Scintilla was coming back this year, I felt eager to get back into the practice of writing for public consumption. I’m sure my prompt responses will be infused with grief, but processing grief through words brings peace. Somehow, I always feel a little better after I’ve written out my thoughts and feelings. And perhaps this is just the antidote I need to cure my writer’s block and get on with my projects.
Life has plowed full-speed ahead this year, and it’s all I can do to hold on for the ride. So much death and change has marred my 2013, and my heart has broken for my family several times over. At the onset of the year, I had grandiose plans to unveil courses, workshops, consultation and coaching packages, and a revised sliding scale tutoring fee schedule. I wanted to ring in my big three-oh in style. I wanted to celebrate my happy occasions with my family. Instead, I’ve found myself attempting to cultivate my life worth loving under very tense circumstances. I’ve opted to take time away from my job to focus on that which matters most — family. It’s all about my family — as individuals and as a unit. And at the moment, I feel like we’ve been set back quite a bit. We need time for grieving. For loving. For simply living. It may hurt now. It may feel like an unpleasant, discomforting state of being. Yet I know that we are all going to come out on the other side as a stronger family. Our strife will pave the way for stronger bonds and lots of love. Silly things like mortality and distance may mock us at the moment, but we will continue to cultivate thriving lives. I refuse to allow 2013 to break my spirit. I worked too hard for the last quarter of 2012 to prepare for 2013 — my determination to cultivate a lovely life for my family will only strengthen. I know that one day my children will be in their father’s shoes, and I want them to know that their parents were loving, caring individuals who did everything in their power to provide for them, teach them right from wrong, and instill good values in them. I want them to pass along the value of cultivating a life worth loving, even when life doesn’t feel worth loving. Life is always worth loving,
Congratulations! You’ve finished Cultivate 2012!
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. I’d like to give to gather some feedback for next December’s Cultivate 2013 prompts and give you a mission for 2013. Here’s the feedback form:
- What was your favorite prompt? Why?
- What was your least favorite prompt? Why?
- What segment made you think the most?
- What segment burrowed under your skin like a tick?
- What would you like to see in December?
- Would you like to write a guest post for December? What segment would you prefer?
- Do you plan to continue on with Cultivate 2013?
Now here’s your mission for Cultivate 2013: Create an outlook for each month. Review the end of each month. Learn from mistakes. Grow and change. Cultivate your life worth loving. Use the media that appeal most to you. Thrive!
Signing off for Cultivate 2012,
P.S. I’m taking a hiatus until the end of January. I need to digest the brain-dump that was Cultivate 2012 and formulate my battle-plan for 2013.
Do you hoard things? Take a look around your house. Are you finding things that nurture you or weigh you down? What can you give away or throw away? Can you maintain a monthly, quarterly, biannual, or yearly decluttering plan?
I find that we hoard too much paper. Bills, ads, school fliers — our piles of paper accumulate too quickly and get thrown into the trash too little. (Yes, I know they should be recycled — we don’t have a bin in our subdivision, and I’m not looking for perfection here. I need a system first!)
I’ve tried some methods already out there online, but it doesn’t take much to fall off the wagon. I need to set up regular times to go through everything — times that work around our schedules. We can’t keep getting weighed down by ink and paper. It’s funny how the very mediums that bring me so much joy also bring me so much stress.
I think we’ve got too many clothes, too. I’ve got clothes I don’t wear anymore that I should donate. I need to go through my children’s clothes to donate my younger two’s smaller clothes. It takes up valuable space in our closets, dressers, and boxes in the attic. We need to stay on top of these things to prevent a backlog of clutter.
What chores and tasks need to be repeated on weekly basis? Do you keep up with them? Is there a better way to manage them?
We need to make sure the bathrooms, kitchen, windows, and dusting get done once a week. Again, we aren’t involving the kids as much as we could. It wouldn’t take much to get the smaller to kids to clean kitchen cabinets with soapy water. They’re at the perfect height to wipe them without having to get on their hands and knees. I hate scrubbing the toilets, but my oldest loves cleaning. He can do something that he won’t mind as much as I do.
Again, we need to instate a chore chart method. It’ll be easier to keep up with if the kids get incorporated into these necessary tasks. They need to learn these tasks for their future, and they need to feel involved. These tasks can build their confidence just as much as take the pressure off me and my husband.
What chores and tasks seem to pile up daily? How can you manage your days (or delegate these chores and tasks) to make these items disappear faster?
Everyday we build piles of dishes and laundry. The cat trails her litter. The kids drag out their toys. The mail piles upon the counter. It’s time to make chore charts and rewards systems — it’s time to get the kids ALL more involved. We can’t just expect me and my husband to do it all anymore.
I think if we taught my oldest how to load and unload the dishwasher, we might have less stress with that necessary daily chore. We need to get my daughter folding her own laundry. We need to train our littlest to put away his toys instead of leaving them out. I need to get my husband on the same page as me, too.
What’s your least favorite room/ space in your home? What makes it so frustrating/ annoying? How can you nurture this room/ space to cultivate a better atmosphere?
I think the laundry room annoys me the most. We have shelves that seem only to house clutter and junk. Junk piles on top of my dryer. The attic is above the washer — and has stolen more than its fair share of important items and documents. It feels like we never make any progress on it, and it currently feels too cramped to comfortably do laundry.
We’ve got to change this. The laundry room is where we wash our favorite clothes and linens. We need to throw out the junk we don’t want, donate the old, small clothes, and reorganize the shelves. We need to get into the attic and repeat that same process. It’s time to get things minimized and manageable.
What’s your favorite room/ space in your home? What makes it so special? How can you maintain its ability to cultivate your life worth loving?
I actually have three favorite spaces in my home — the front porch, the back deck, and the bar counter. Since it’s been too cold to sit outside, I’ve been trying to make time at the bar counter. I like to sit with my tea, laptop, and/ or notebooks and think. The extra space allows me to spread out my supplies and relax. I also get to enjoy staring at my kitchen. I love the shady trees that surround my deck, and I love the mountain views from my porch. Sitting outside always refreshes my attitude, too. The wind rustling through the trees, the birds singing, the clouds floating by — it’s relaxing.
While there’s not much I can do to maintain myt porch and deck so they can cultivate me during the colder winter weeks, I can nurture my bar counter better. It tends to attract clutter when I’m not home. I’m considering some new ways of maintaining our home to prevent that from happening. I’m sure we can fashion some “inboxes” or erect shelves to keep our home a little more orderly — and to keep that bar counter open for enjoyment. In the warmer months, it’s really all about pest control — I do NOT love the wasps and spiders that over-run the outside of my home.
What is your personal outlook for 2013? What do you hope to accomplish this year? What do you need to nurture in order to cultivate your intentions? Write, sketch, color, photograph, create a vision board — do what feels right. 2013 is yours for cultivation!
I’m envisioning another year of progress and cultivation. I’m going to live, thrive, and love. I’m going to grow and transform. I’m going to heal, build, maintain, learn, and teach. I’m going to relax, enjoy, decompress, and dream. I’m going to optimize and plant roots and seeds. I’m going to blossom. I hope to accomplish much this year, including feeling healthy and comfortable in my body, reducing my stress levels, healing my family, bridging the gap across Canyon Poverty Trap, celebrating my 30th with a grand party, loving my life, and following my heart. I need to nurture my health, my family, my relationships, my home, my self-esteem, and my writing. I need to nurture that which brings me joy. Overall, I believe 2013 will be a banner year in my life, and I look forward to the continued journey ahead of me.