Over the past couple of months I’ve come across posts and articles about getting rid of clutter and stuff in places other than those devoted to decluttering and minimalism, from the Style section of the New York Times, to featured articles in everything from lifestyle to fashion magazines, and even a philosophical blog. The subject has moved from topic du jour into perennial concern.
There’s a direction for everyone.
I discovered the whole minimalist, zenlike, uncluttered movement in 2010 and was so deeply impacted I started this blog and even wrote my own small book on the subject. My shopping habits are a tiny fraction of what they were back then; most of what comes in are replacements for things beyond repair or utility–and their boxes, which we keep for the duration of warranties. Clothing is also replaced periodically. The things we need and love shift over the course of time and interests, but are now kept under control by curation rather than purges. Read more »
Where it All Began
Two big things are coming up in the next several days: the home stretch toward completion of my third Charlotte Anthony mystery, An Undisclosed Vocation, and my birthday! So to celebrate, the digital edition of the first mystery in the series, An Uncollected Death, is available on Amazon today and tomorrow, June 26th and 27th, for 99 cents.
I can’t believe I’m about to turn sixty years old. I remember when my mom did, and it really got to her. Fifty didn’t bother her, and seventy only so-so. But sixty was a threshold, a bar, a marker of some sort that changed the meaning of how much life had passed and of what was left. A couple of friends of mine have experienced something similar.
Maybe that’s why, when I turned fifty-eight, I started to prepare for this event, to help me feel grounded and less freaked-out when the big 6-0 finally came. I made a bucket list, of sorts, and at the very top was learning to write a novel–and if that worked out okay, to have three written by the time I turned sixty.
Well, actually, I wanted three novels published by the time I was sixty, but I will settle for written. One thing I’ve learned about this early part of the aging business: my stamina has taken a big hit. Working too hard doesn’t get the novels written any faster, and actually slows things down.
But one thing’s for sure–I’m so glad I made the decision to write fiction again, and to set the goal to have three novels done by the time I turned sixty. From here on out, for however long I can write, each book that gets written is a bonus, a celebration of sorts. At a minimum rate of one book per year, maybe by my seventieth birthday I’ll have a total of thirteen books–a nice mysterious number!
Are you planning for ways to ease the transition to your next milestone birthday?
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these updates.
Once upon a time there was a house here.
Recently, a new reader of this blog wanted to know how I went about decluttering, and how to find the relevant posts. This was partially solved by adding an Archives widget to the sidebar (at the bottom of the right-hand column). At a later date I might add a tag or theme cloud, but that will first require going through the many pages of posts from the past five years and make sure they have been tagged or categorized consistently. That’s a project I can do this coming fall.
Why this fall, and not sooner? By then, my third novel, An Undisclosed Vocation, will have been published and I can take a non-writing breather–things like improving blog navigation and cleaning out closets are less likely to completely sidetrack me from job #1.
The bit by bit decluttering method generally doesn’t work for me. I’m an all or nothing gal, very project-oriented; I’ll jump into rabbit-holes with great enthusiasm, whether it is remodeling the house or writing a novel. Age and experience have tempered that, somewhat–three or four different projects used to occur simultaneously when I was younger, but these days I tend to just do one at a time. That’s my variation on minimalism: one big job at a time. Read more »
Most of us go through periods in life where we feel something is missing or not quite right. This leads to a search for something that will correct this feeling, to make it right again. The search, however, can be either conscious or unconscious.
Light and Form in all the Right Places
The conscious search doesn’t require much explanation. If you sense you need more energy you look for health-related answers; if you feel you need a change in your living environment, you look for decorating ideas or even the houses up for sale. Whether it’s a new religion, career, or wardrobe, the conscious search can provide some options.
The unconscious search is when you come across something you didn’t know was missing from your life–and you are inspired. Something catches your eye or your ear; a fragrance wafts your way; a moment of deja vu occurs in an elevator and for a second you are once again as if young and full of promise–until the moment passes and the present day returns. But the seed has been planted, the damage done: you want it, and that sense of magic and possibility it holds, that feeling of inspiration. Read more »
Something must have worked–it’s halfway through the weekend promotion, and at this writing, An Uncollected Death is #34 in the entire Free Kindle Store rankings, #1 in Free Cozy Mystery, and #2 in Free Women Sleuths! Thanks so much to everyone who picked up a copy. It was nice to get a boost like this in the middle of writing the third book of the series, knowing that thousands of new readers now have a chance to get to know Charlotte and the gang.