Thursday, April 28, 2011

In a cleanup, cleanout, fix it or throw it out kind of mood.

Computer files and a broken bathroom storage cabinet were the most recent victims of my wrath!  I'm not sure what caused this most recent session of purging, but I am delighted with the results.  I hope it is more of a lifestyle change than a simple Spring cleaning phase. 

Some of my recent victories in this war include the two examples mentioned in the last paragraph as well as some shredding of lots of paper.  (Confetti for sale here)  Even the flower beds are getting an overhaul by pulling dandelions and other weeds.

Part of this may be the fact that I am approaching 5 years living in my house.  In a way, I feel like I never really moved in because I never addressed the clutter issue.  I am now getting caught up on maintenance and repairs and am beginning to feel like I AM THE HOME OWNER, NOT JUST THE OCCUPANT.  I think I realize what it means to be a home take ownership of the home and to make it into something nice, not just a place to dump things and be protected from the elements.  It is a home, not public storage.  It is where I LIVE, not just stay.

Addressing the issue of clutter will be even more meaningful because I will make room for MY future by letting go of parts of my past that I no longer need.  I am sure there are things that I should have tried to get rid of 25 years ago, instead of holding onto them as useless baggage.  They cluttered floors, shelves and who knows what else and instead of purging them when I should have, I tripped over them and moved them once or twice, hundreds of miles.  I am literally carrying around excess weight.

OK, enough blogging for today...time to stop living in the past and de-clutter my way into the present and future. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time off for good behavior

...or perhaps I've been around so long, my workplace can't tolerate me as much as before, so they are willing to pay me to stay away.

16 years is a long time to stay at any one workplace, especially in these days of high turnover rates and few if any incentives to stay long term.  When I reached the 15 year mark almost a year ago, my paid vacation went from three weeks per year to four.  Our department had some issues with staffing and there are two months where taking a vacation is not allowed, so I took one week last September and one in October.  I understood the staffing issue, so in January, I told them I would take the remaining two weeks right before I would lose the time.  (The fact it took more than 2 months, several reminders and a meeting with the my boss' boss' boss to finally approve it is another matter.)

It has been several years since I've taken two weeks in a row, and I must say I enjoy it.  Mostly I take one week at a time and usually add a personal day and/or an unpaid day off plus a weekend to extend my time away to a week and a half.

I can feel a difference the second week makes.  Now that I am in to my second week, I feel my stress level is much lower than it has been in several months and my happiness level is higher.  However, it took a full week plus three days to really feel that way.  I am enjoying this fourth week of vacation since last year.

Now to figure out how to use my next 4 weeks of vacation!   ;-)