September 23, 2015

The Final “Month Of” Plan: September 23, 2015

I really burned myself out in July.  In case you don’t remember, July was the month of Yoga.  I did Yoga almost every day.  At first, it was really tough, but I’d been doing a fair amount of Yoga before the month started, so I just pushed onward.  I felt fatigued, but not incapable.  As the month wore on it got harder to do, but also easier.  It was harder mentally but easier physically.

August hit and my attendance faded out until I stopped altogether.  It had been at least a month since I’d last gone to Yoga when I ventured forth today.  I’ll admit my motives were not entirely for the intrinsic value of Yoga, but also because I’ve suddenly realize that I’ve gained a few pounds.  Not because I own a scale, but because my favourite pants were not as comfortable as they were a couple of months ago.  I figured that the downward trend of physical activity might have something to do with it and I was not planning to cut down on my food consumption so it was time to kick things up a notch.

Yoga is hard.  As in: harder than I remember.  I caught myself thinking two competing thoughts today: “Wow, this is a gentle class” and “I can’t believe how tough this is!”  Back in July I would have breezed through that class without breaking a sweat.  Not so today.

I’m going to let you draw your own conclusion about how that ties in with letting things go.

Today’s class did give me the inspiration for my last month of blogging (or, at least the last month of this project).  It’s a question people have asked me for years and it’s also an ongoing challenge…in Yoga.


I want October to be the month of BALANCE.  It seems like a great way to round out this project, and it’ll also be an enormous challenge given that Mike is currently booked for two business trips in October and the whole family is planning a road trip to Montreal.  Balance is going to be extremely important.

On the “Yoga” side of things, balance is also something I have enormous difficultly with.  My Trees look like they’re being hit by hurricanes.  My Warrior 3s look like the division stopped by the pub on the way to the battlegrounds.  My Eagle needs to stop dive bombing gophers.  It’s something I did not even improve much on in The Month of Yoga.  So I am going to make a point of practicing my physical balance each and every day.

One way or another, I’m going to reach a ‘balance’ at the end of the next month: I will have moved all the “to go” items to the “5 Downed” side of my scorecard.  Hopefully I’ll also feel better sorted in all my life projects (more on that in October) and maybe, just maybe, I can Crow for longer than 5 seconds.

Day 327 scorecard: 1635 down, 190 to go

September 22, 2015

Childishness vs Evil: September 22, 2015

I am always happy when something I think about a lot sneaks its way into the media*.  Value is something I’ve written about many times on this blog and it’s something that continues to boggle my mind.

Things that usually amaze me are: brand name clothing, real estate, male vs female haircuts, Walmart.**

Today, however, I’m amazed at the hedge fund guy (well, I’ve always been amazed at hedge funds in general) and his gleeful profiteering on the backs of desperately ill folk.  The bit I’ve been most taken with is his “defense” that the price is what the market will bear, so there.

I can’t help but draw parallels to a guy who charges $1,000 for a sip of water for a person crawling out of the desert.

Or maybe the people who charge tens of thousands of dollars to ferry refugees across the Mediterranean in pieces-of-junk boats.

It’s the going rate, after all.

I still can’t find it in me to wrap my head around how we got to a place where we think it’s a-okay for some people to make a killing (literally, in this case) while other people go bankrupt (or die) for cleaning the kitty litter.

I realize how preachy I sound, but it is a common theme in my head.  I remember discussing this with my mother, one day: the fact that we poke and prod at our children to encourage them to share, to be generous, to be fair…and then as soon as we grow up it’s suddenly okay to be the biggest hog, the stingiest miser, and the beneficiary of absolutely gross inequities.


Fortunately, in another case similar to today’s miserable story, another drug got dropped back down to a “reasonable” price*** recently.  Here’s hoping Mr. Evil gets the message and starts acting a little more childish.

Day 326 scorecard: 1630 down, 195 to go

* Happy people are realizing the evil possibilities of Capitalism pushed to its natural conclusion, not happy that this is happening; horrified.

** Brand name that is not valued because of its reputation for high-quality, but for high prices, real estate that is worth a fortune because it’s in a prized area, complicated men’s cuts that are cheaper than a woman’s trim, and that Walmart can so disgustingly drive us all down to the lowest common denominator (and not just in the prices for their products, but also for the way they value their employees…).

*** Still highway robbery in my humble opinion, but no one asked me.

September 21, 2015

200 To Go! September 21, 2015

Today is my younger sister’s birthday, and my next-door neighbour’s daughter’s birthday, and 6 other people on my Facebook feed.  So, if I missed saying happy birthday to you, “happy birthday.”  It seems it’s an extraordinarily popular day for having babies.*

Fortunately, my brother and my brand new sister-in-law were here to help celebrate.  Upon realizing he had not been here for his other sister’s birthday, my brother was happy to “5Down” some excess wine from his wedding stockpile.  I graciously accepted.  After all, one can only have so much Nova 7 (kidding!).

Amidst all the hanging out and celebrating, the day slipped past without me having much time to contemplate life and de-cluttering.  Happily, my darling husband spontaneously decided to make today’s list.

And we got our van back, so life is pretty sweet right at this end-of-day.

Day 325 scorecard: 1625 down, 200 to go

* Alas, perception is *not* reality.  It seems that MY birthday is actually the most common birth date of all!  Who knew?

September 20, 2015

Inanimate Objects Do Not Make Good Decisions: September 20, 2015

One of the first items we thought we’d like to 5Down, when embarking on this project, was our van.  See, we’d thought about working our way into a 1-car family.  Mike was initially skeptical and then came 100% on board.  I, on the other hand, disembarked entirely.  The older and more active our kids get, the more frequently we seem to be headed in different directions at the same time.  It’s hard to ride madly off in all directions with only one horse vehicle, to paraphrase ever so slightly.

The few times we’ve been without two cars have involved massive amounts of planning and scheduling to make sure everyone is where s/he is supposed to be at a reasonable approximation of “on time.”

This weekend was my (only) brother’s wedding to his lovely bride and my (now) 3rd “sister.”  It was a wonderful event, memorable and beautiful and breath-taking.  The location was out-of-this-world, the decorations (including the bride’s gown, the floral bouquets, the decor) were phenomenal and the food was beyond divine.*

We were almost late for the rehearsal, however.

We had brought ourselves home from our various locations (2 workplaces, 2 schools) and packed ourselves up.  In our rush, we’d neglected that last visit to the little girl’s room so Clara needed a pit stop in Berwick.  As we pulled off the highway I commented to Mike;

“Gosh, that smells horrendous! I sure hope that’s not us!”

Mike replied, “Hmm, what do you mean?  What does it smell like?”

“Massively overheated vehicle” replied I.

Sure enough, it was us.  Mike deduced we were low on some fluid of some sort and he topped us up and off we went.

We proceeded onward until Mike noted that we were in need of gas.  We pulled off the highway at Lequille (pronounced, here, as le-keel) and rolled into the gas station.  Mike realized we were at a “full service” pump so he rolled forward and executed a 3 point turn to land at a self-serve spot.

Clara needed another pit stop, so I hopped out to accompany her in the world famous Lequille Country Store.  As if in slow motion, I turned my head to glance back at my busy husband.

It was at this moment that I noticed we were leaving a trail…or, rather, a small stream.

“Egad” I shouted (or something less comic book-y, but I’m taking some artistic license here, give me a break).

The story doesn’t get much more exciting from there, except for the part when Mike announced (directly after spotting the trail, er, stream):

“We. Are. NOT. Going. ANYWHERE.”

I pulled out my calmest wife-of-the-year smile and calmly breathed:

“The hellllllllllll we aren’t…it’s my baby brother’s wedding.”

We topped up and drove the last 40 minutes.  Dad (retired mechanic) showed me how I could listen to the fluid boiling away, 10 minutes after we stopped.  Life-long learning, friends, that’s what that is.

As you can see, Clara, Solomon, and Max's presence was clearly not optional.

As you can see, Clara, Solomon, and Max’s presence was clearly not optional.

The van is now at my parents house and we’re VERY uninterested in 5Downing it.

Changing one’s mind is always a part of learning to downsize.  And it’s our prerogative, not our van’s.

Day 324 scorecard: 1620 down, 205 to go

* #fraiscatering is the best.  Tell Stephane I sent you and he’ll give you a free shrug or something.


Nothing to see here…:September 19, 2015

this is a first and it’ll be the last, too…I am posting this from a smart phone.  NOT my phone.  You would weep real tears if you could see how painfully slowly I eke out each word on this thing.  5 Downing my computer in favour of one of these new-fangled contraptions is not a thing that is ever going to happen.  And there will be no scorecard tonight because I am at a serious technological disadvantage here.

September 18, 2015

Pre-Wedding: September 18, 2015

We are in the middle of nowhere. I mean, I suppose it is the middle of somewhere, but we drove here in a caravan of 3 enormous vehicles, in the dark, and off main road, onto a smaller road, then a single-lane dirt road until we finally pulled up to a large, dark house. Tomorrow, my brother gets married at another house in the middle of somewhere.

It takes a lot more planning to live in a place like this. There is no running to the store to grab something at the last minute, or dashing out for that special ingredient. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbour unless you were up for long hike.

But it really is lovely out here – at least at the house where the wedding will be. I have yet to see this place by the light of day.

We’re all exhausted and it’s late at night. Fortunately, the kids got all the 5Down stuff together before we hit the road this afternoon, so I can write home at my home away from home.

Day 322 scorecard: 1610 down, 215 to go

September 17, 2015

Disappeared Objects: September 17, 2015

Our children’s schools (of which there are 2 and next year there will be 3(!!!)) are kind enough to have cancelled school for tomorrow afternoon so that we can travel to the top secret location of my brother’s wedding.  All the other kids in this county get an afternoon off, too.  My brother must have a lot of pull, what can I say.

One of the items on my list is rather anonymous today.  It’s something I’ve had for years and which I really wanted when it was given to me but which has long since lost its luster. It’s the kind of thing that I wish someone else would have just come and quietly removed from my house for me.  There might be a market in this: provide me with a list of things you’d like to have ‘stolen’ from your house, and I can come remove them for you.  It’ll be perfect – no need to make an excuse or confess to turfing something.  Just “it was stolen” and “I feel so violated.”*

Or you can just straight-up blame me: 5Down made me do it.

It’s okay, I can take it.

Day 321 scorecard: 1605 down, 220 to go

* having had my house and car broken into before, I can assure you this would be an accurate statement if it were a real theft.