Early in 2008 I declared it the year to clear things out. No, I'm not done. In my defense, I've heard it said that it didn't take a day (or a year in this case) to get that deep, so it's going to take more than a day (or year) to clear it out. Besides the whole 5 kids and lots of other things to do factor.
Still, I got a lovely surprise about how much I've learned and how my attitude has changed when I attended an organization class Saturday put on by my amazing and talented friendKaren. I don't think there was anything overly new for me in that realm that she shared (other than another burst of motivation to keep it going), but the biggest realization I got there was that rather than feeling anxious while I listened, feeling like it was something I should be doing and internally coming up with all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't/couldn't get rid of things I didn't need to hold on to anymore, it was refreshing and exciting to be there, knowing that the weight of all those feelings isn't on me ANY MORE! That I can get rid of things and it's okay, and wonderful even! Hooray! Thank you Karen for the big part you've had to play in that, Lara for yours a lot through your blog (and a quote recently while talking to her, "Just throw it away, you'll be glad you did" - she's right), and the authors who've written books or articles I've happened upon to help my heart change as much as it has.
Oh wait, before I move on, something I did learn from Karen at the class that has already been proving helpful - tell the kids they only have to clean up the things they want to keep. Genius! I told that to my boys, and I don't think I've ever seen their room cleaned so well. They didn't have time to finish what they were working on, but I was impressed. Very impressed. I'm so glad there are so many people smarter than me.
This year, I decided back in January, was my year to learn to make bread. It took some reading and playing and messing up, but I feel very great about my bread making efforts. We make a triple batch of rolls about every week, if not more often when I'm more on top of it. I've learned that rolls go faster than a loaf of bread so I make those the most. Just easier for the kids to grab and eat without having to deal with cutting it. My learning has paid off enough that I even taught a class on making bread Saturday!
Isn't it great how learning new things pays off? If those were the only two things I'd learned in the past two years I would still feel pretty darn good about myself. A slow learner, but still making progress. With all the years ahead, if I learned one more cool thing like that every year, just think about how amazing I would be!!!
Exciting things to learn practice a lot in the future: canning, sewing, meal planning, piano (after years of piano lessons, I was teaching two of the kids how to sight read using Jon Schmidt's method and really learning it for myself!), and some other things I thought of earlier but can't remember right now.