LET IT SNOW
The snowstorm called bomb something or other was beautiful, wasn’t it? The last days of December leading to the first few days of January are chock filled with the hopes and desires of a fresh new year coming at me like this first storm of the year. There is a shift that happens this time of year as I prepare for the first month of the year and a good storm in the mix just adds to the chaos. I absolutely love a New England winter storm. Like swimming in the Atlantic in the early month of May when I take my first ceremonial plunge, the New England winter storms keep me tough and ready for anything. It is what makes us New Englanders hardy in the grayness of a winter nor’easter. Of course I get to say this from the luxury of my own super warm house that fortunately kept its power on as I wait for Mike Cordeiro’s guys to come shovel me out.
I realized midway through the storm last night that I left my shovel in my barn that has about two feet of now in front of the doors. I did go out with my kitchen broom though and dig my car out as recommended by our trusty weathermen on TV (thank you Mark Searles). I sit on my couch on my second floor while I watch the darkness turn to magnificent morning after light on the shimmery water I get to call my view and review my first five days of January. Snowstorms give that gift, the gift of pause and reflection.
The list I made for myself yesterday was mighty. Lists of things to accomplish with or without power and I made it through about one third of the list. As I continue to purge and reorganize I am struck by how time consuming it all is. Office supplies, art supplies, clothes, files, housewares, even food and spices require my attention. As I get older I want less, I want less things in my closets and drawers and less to surround me. My grandmother always said you spend your first half of your life collecting stuff and the second half giving it all away. As I made my way through my closets and cabinets determined to continue my purge, I am finding it easier to get rid of things that are less than interesting to my sense of order. Moving shit around for some reason is my zen space. Maybe like gardening and cooking, it brings me humbly and delightfully to the glorious moment free from all outside distractions. There is no shortage of ideas flying into my never-ending brain, and if I execute just a fraction of them, I am happy. This is the entrepreneurial brain I have been blessed with though sometimes it is a mixed blessing.
New ideas though are a process that I have learned to embrace and be patient with. First it is the grand entrance of the idea and it blasts in with a force like the first few months of romantic interlude. It then exits at the speed of light or settles in like a new sweater does as it becomes a part of my go to comfort. This is what ideas are like and I cherish every one of them knowing that only a few will survive. I have been contemplating opening a satellite home and vintage store within my existing business to have an additional outlet for retail. My team looked a little horrified when I considered bringing this into my actual space so as I made my way through the remaining piles I had the revelation that I would open my store in the spring in my barn and garden in the back of my house. Now that the original idea has a literal home, I have a new direction and this feels like a wonderful way to start my new year. A place to rest my beautiful things I no longer need and no longer need me, but are too valuable and interesting to bring to a dumpster.
As I made my way through the piles, I reached the final pile of office work and this is what my focus is this first week of January, to organize my files. There is an utter satisfaction of brand new files and folders with shiny new labels standing at attention in my three drawer white Ikea filing cabinet. “I am not going to procrastinate filing this year,” I say confidently at the start of each year. Then I do and the piles grow and I scold myself for letting the piles get to that nuisance of a place. This is how I feel about organizing technical stuff. Technical organization is a full time fucking job and I don’t like the H word but I Hate technological organization. It sucks me dry and I fantasize about the day I can delete it all. I do have one fun rule and that is when my emails build up to over two hundred I select all and DELETE. It is so fun. I have been contemplating lately doing this with everything, just DELETING. Sounds so wreckless and I can hear my comrades screaming, “You can’t do that, you own a business!!!” With the sound of pure terror in their voices. I have two cell phones, three computers, and that is just my house and office, never mind my two businesses. I have five computers there and four phone lines, two business email accounts that require checking. It is mayhem, but I am fully aware it is a necessary evil, but between texting, emails, phone calls and social media checkins and checkups this in itself requires a part of me I don’t want to give up. Not to mention the full time reminders to update every one of them. Doesn’t it seem that everything needs updating like every other day? Good thing I own a company that provides relaxing services — I need them for all of this tech chaos I call my life. This is why the old fashioned store in my barn speaks to me, no phone, no computer, just great music and great items while people meander in my garden drinking lavender lemonade and enjoying the present moment I get to enjoy. After all I my own boss, I am the conductor, the director, the line leader and if I don’t want to do something, ultimately I am the one who gets the luxury of making the decision. I wouldn’t change this for anything. Sometimes though, I want to shut it off and down and not make any decisions.
Oddly and very ironically, this is what I most relished during my last few surgeries, the forced excuse to be brought to my knees and make no decisions except to heal. Why is it that I have to wait to be brought to my knees to do this? I guess it is ultimately because I don’t want to. I like busy-ness, chaos, ordering chaos and reinventing myself on an almost seasonal basis. I enjoy change and fixing things. The best result of all of this writing has been as I write I work it out and in the process, find myself accepting the quirkiness I get to call me. This has been the best gift of all, self acceptance in the process and for this I will take all of the mayhem, good and bad, calm and chaos and let it be.