Weeding like a viking or for a king?

irisMy favorite way of weeding is to dig everything up, sifting the soil and replanting the plants I want. I call it the viking way. No dithering, no delicate fingers carefully picking tender unwanted shoots.

My favorite way of cleaning a room is to take as much as possible our of it, scrubbing every nook and cranny, and sort thoroughly through what comes back in side.

My favorite way of improving myself is grand plans, I will never… I will always….from now on. As a kid I ate no sugar for a year, just to prove I could, you get the picture?

peonknoppThen I heard the King’s gardener giving advice on how he weeded the king’s gardens. His main rule was, green things need light to grow. Or: if weeds do not get light, they will not grow. The second rule was, focus on what your favorites need to grow, and give them that. That could be to remove weeds, it could be to mulch, to support or to cut down, to divide and to renew.

If you look for weeds to weed, weeds is what you see. You could stay in your garden the whole day and see nothing but weeds.

Perhaps that is true for life too? Do we look at what is wrong? Do we concentrate on what should be changed or on what we have power to strengthen and let grow? Could my life’s garden be more enjoyable if I just cut away the weeds above ground, and start looking for flowers and fruit, even while I weed?

kobberkjelI tried that when cleaning at the cabin this weekend. Instead of grumbling about to few cupboards, muttering about plans for an annex or another room, I looked around for the things I really liked. Then I made them shine and look their best. The old copper coffee pot, the huge copper pan that we use for firewood, all the candlesticks. For an hour I polished cherished memories incorporated in lovely things, at night I could se the flames from the fireside reflected all over our lovely, perfectly clean, just big enough, little cabin.

Our vacation will soon be over, I am tempted to make rigorous plans for all the things I am to achieve this term. Until now my normal approach would be to do all chores on my list, try to make everyone happy, and then hope for some time for my own projects. Weeding away every disturbance, before I enjoy the flowers.

My new plan is to be so absorbed by the blooms that I neither see the weeds or hear the complains.

From now on, I will be weeding as for a king!

blomsterknopp

Listless is clueless

Mad Hatter Teaparty

Mad Hatter Teaparty

I was having some girl friends over, and some of us had quite a lot on our plates just then. You know that middle age means being in the middle of all ages did you not? There were parents, spouses, kids, grandchildren, obligations and careers, and we were in the middle of it all, comforting, helping, advising and supporting. We got to talking about how we tackled stress, and how we sorted our priorities. No one surprised the others by saying she made a list, because we all do that.

Too much to consider

Too much to consider

The interesting part is how we make different lists and how we make lists differently. One of my friends said the trick was to make a narrow list, just wide enough for a single item, that would convince her that one step at a time would guide her through her day, and it would. My mother used to go to the other extreme, the bigger sheet of paper the better. She would make columns for each hour of the day, allot tasks to each hour, and then force ahead, being sure that if nothing happened it would be possible to achieve it all.

Too much on you plate...

Too much on you plate…

Then of course, as most of the elements on her lists were living creatures who did not know that we were committed to paper, she was always behind her schedule. She found it comforting to know though that life was the messy part, not her planning. To me all sorts of lists are basic survival tools. My head is always filled to the brim with ideas, plans, projects, dreams and pictures. I can handle that, what makes me reach for my notepad is when worries are trying to take over.

Just one task at the time

Just one task at the time

If I think I really have too much to do, I use a list to tell me it is not true.To me list making is a way of making sure that the pieces of my life’s puzzle will fit together and make a beautiful picture in the end. I jot down every thought that comes to mind, not categorizing or sorting, just everything. Like emptying the puzzle box on a big table. The rationale is that if it is crowding my head it needs to get out so I can see what it is all about. Normally it takes only a couple of minutes to know that whats left in my head might stay where it is.

They do not really care about the fuzz

They do not really care about the fuzz

Then I start sorting. Normally the categories would be family and friends, work and church. These are the corners holding my picture together. Then of course there will be different projects to do and to remember. The surprise that always elevates me is that is normally boils down to the small details of the big picture. Thinking it over, having a look at the pieces that want to be in my picture I can confer with the picture on the box of the puzzle and say, sorry you do not belong, or I can turn it over and say, this piece goes with the border, so let’s just keep it out of the middle for a while.

Let's get to work

Let’s get to work

Doing this I also discover that life is just like the old jigsaw puzzles at our cabin. Someone has been lazy when sorting the pieces. Mostly you will discover that by emptying the box. As in life, I can easily  spot and remove the big, clumsy pieces that clearly not belong.

One big picture

One big picture

It get’s tricky though, sometimes you can make a piece from another box fit. Not quite, but almost. That is when I get stressed, that is when I sense something is wrong, when I try to fit something into my life because somebody has dumped it into my box. As I get older, I am learning. Doing what others should do is not taking responsibility, it is robbing someone else of the blessings to being allowed to  walk in the work prepared for them.

Different tasks

Different tasks

Of course, when nobody is shouldering the task, when there is a real emergency, that is something else. If not, I have learned it is wise to just wait it out, sorting through my pieces once more. Resting in the blessing that I will have time for what I am called to do, quietly putting the other pieces back where they belong.

First things first, as pigs see it

First things first, as pigs see it

The pictures are from the County Fair this weekend. Busy, teeming with life, everybody concentrating on their own tasks.

Teamwork

Teamwork

Grandmother’s organizing secret(s)

I guess your grandmother had this adage, or something like it  ‘to everything it’s own place’. I am sure it works wonders, and every clutter specialist will tell you so. In fact I use that secret…sort of. Everything has it’s own place, only every thing does not know that, at least keys are left in pockets,notes in books and eyeglasses all over. The real difference is not if things are in their place or not, but that they have a place they might be restored to. All the things I (well mostly my family) own, belong somewhere, together with stuff used together with it. That makes it easy to clear up for everyone, and supposedly easier to find things….you know how that reasoning goes. The most important secret is this though,( actually my grandfather’s and what every organizer tells you to get rid of ) Every room must have a place for clutter! And I prefer it to be a drawer, basket or some separate unit. It works, for three reasons when doing a quick clean up, everything that clutters a room goes in there, no need to think where things belong. When looking for lost things you will find them there as ( at least in our family) everyone chucks everything they do not bother to clear away properly there, most important there is a lot of “things” that it is not that easy to designate a place for and that is used all over the place.

And a fourth reason: the wonderful feeling of achievement when you tackle that drawer once in a while and reunite every sock with its mate, every pin with its cushion.

 

as for me…I love that feeling, and tackle my drawers and shelves both in office, home and cabin with regular intervals…bliss!

I can not clear up everything, can I?

I can not clear up everything, can I?