Life seems to have a way of changing us, and teaching us lessons along the way. Sometimes you’re forced to grow, sometimes you can choose to learn. Sometimes you start a thing and you realize along the way that you’re not the same person you were before you started.
I’ve been an adult for almost half as long as I’ve been alive. Over the years, I’ve rented apartments (alone, with a roommate, or with my husband), and have been a partial homeowner for nearly a decade. I’ve been out from under my parents’ roofs since I up and moved to Edmonton more than fifteen years ago. But if I’m completely honest with myself, I must acknowledge I can get by on my own… but I haven’t been as self-sufficient as I’ve told myself I am. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. It’s only been recently that I realized I spent a long time living in a house where – often times – things just didn’t get done. This is not a negative judgment, an assigning of blame, a falling on my sword. The reasons for this pattern are not important, it is simply a fact. Things just got let go.
And I’ve hit a point – and a stage in my life – where if I want something done, I do it myself. Because I’m the only one that can change how things are, so if I want things to be different, I’ve gotta make it happen.
I’ve been living on my own – for the first time in over a decade – for nearly six months, and I’m in a position to be able to make this house my home. I’ve always claimed it as my home, and it is, but I have felt I need to make the changes – big and small – to not just make it my home, but welcome others to it, too. It’s overwhelming – my place isn’t small, and needs a lot of work – but I have abdicated too much for too long. It’s time I take the bull by the horns and get sh*t done. It will be a work in progress – my house is not going to be a magical showplace. It will be imperfect – heaven knows I’m not the best housekeeper in the world (and, no, it’s not solely because I’m blind). I fully expect to fall on my face, to make mistakes, to just not wanna do this… but the time for changing of long-standing patterns is now.
My goal is to learn stuff, to be productive, to get to know the nooks and crannies of the home that I love. how I’ll get there is to tackle one non standard/maintenance project every week for 2020. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – in fact the big things usually are the strongest motivators – but it just has to be a thing that isn’t something that needs to be done on the regular, like laundry or dishes or whatever.
It’s taken months for this goal to take shape. This past fall, when I was cleaning eavestroughs (while my father held the ladder), washing the fridge, cleaning out the hall closet and the pantry (while my partner held open garbage bags and took them outside to the big garbage cans as I wiped down shelving)… I realized this place needs a ton of work. It felt so overwhelming, and like I didn’t know where or how to start. Between training, travel, racing, and life, I didn’t stay on top of things as much as I wanted to this past fall, but I was still maintaining some momentum on this front. A little momentum is better than stagnation. And I liked the feeling.
Then January hit, and with it came a burst of productivity. Call it a New Year’s resolution, or turning over a new leaf. It was happening, seemingly without my input. I was getting stuff done in January. Like just getting sick of how things were and quietly making changes. Why not continue? I like how it’s gone… so start a whole new pattern? Make the goal open enough to be flexible, but concrete enough to see measurable results? Doesn’t research say something about making goals/resolutions/whatever this way?
And as a way to chronicle my journey – the successes and setbacks, the motivation and the lack thereof – why not share my journey in a monthly series of blog posts… because this blind lady’s getting sh*t done! And she’s sure she’s not the only one who wants to be productive on her own terms. She could also use some tips, tricks, and encouragement along the way – no person is an island, and all that.
So, come with me… I’ll be getting dusty, buying stock in vinegar, “cross-training” by lifting things, conceptualizing space, and quite possibly growing up and learning unexpected lessons along the way.