April 20th, 2012


The Era of Big Shoulders

I obtained a red geranium and some herbs yesterday, so I have something sort of flowery. I figured it was best to start small and see if I could make these things live. My last herbs developed a strange wasting disease in which they first turned white and then died. My patio is an eastern exposure that doesn't get enough sun for the "full sun" plants, so I thought I'd play it safe with the geranium that was partial/full sun. I may get some more flowers, but for now, I can see something bright and flowering, which is good. I also finally repotted my Christmas cactus.

The sudden strange urge to have flowers made me start thinking about creative outlets. In some creativity/self discovery program (it may be The Artist's Way), there's apparently a phase where you aren't supposed to read anything for a week. I don't remember what that's supposed to do -- maybe force you to focus on your own thoughts instead of someone else's input? -- and I haven't tried it because not reading for a week is just crazy talk. But going a while without writing does seem to have some interesting effects in bringing up other avenues for creative output.

During this lull between books, I've done a lot of reading, including things I might not normally have chosen for myself. I've cleaned my house (aside from the office) and not only kept it clean, but have developed routines for maintaining it and have continued with the organizing and decluttering. I've done my taxes (if the IRS is reading this, that wasn't at all a creative endeavor in any way). I've done a lot of cooking and baking. I've worked on my singing and started to learn Mozart arias. I've made some big dance breakthroughs. There was the thing about flowers. And yesterday I started thinking it would be fun to get some sidewalk chalk at a dollar store and create a mural on my patio. It may be that taking time off and letting the creative impulse come out in other ways is good for me, just as long as I don't lose my writing muscles.

Yesterday's decluttering project was doing a preliminary closet purge. They're having a community recycling day tomorrow, and you can drop off donated clothes and get a tax receipt for donation, so since that's across the street instead of me having to drive to the Salvation Army, I thought I ought to do some sorting and digging. Sadly, what tends to happen when I sort through my closet like that is that instead of purging, I find myself saying, "Hey, that's cute. I should wear that more often," and I get ideas for new outfits. I suppose that's still useful if it allows me to expand my wardrobe without shopping, but it doesn't create much space. I've been cutting out a lot of shoulder pads. We may think of the 80s as the era of the huge shoulders, but that lasted well into the 90s. I have one suit that's a dress with a jacket, and both dress and jacket have shoulder pads. The ones on the dress are small and just provide some structure, but with the jacket added, I look like I should be playing linebacker. I did institute the hand-me-down rule: I have to donate anything in my closet that I got as a hand-me-down from my baby brother. Even if they're good things that I could still wear, a grown woman in 2012 shouldn't be wearing clothing originally worn by a teenage boy in the late 80s. I'm also getting rid of the high-waisted, pleated slacks from my 1990s work wardrobe. Now I have to work up the nerve to get rid of a few pairs of shoes that I love and that are really cute but that hurt like crazy to wear. I've had one of those pairs for more than ten years, so I think it's time. But still, they're sandals with little hologram thingies on them, so when you move your feet, the flowers open and close. I can't get rid of something that cool, even if they give me blisters, can I?

And now we see why my closet is so cluttered.