Thursday, July 06, 2006

Simplify: write nasty notes to credit card companies

Sometimes in this post-wedding, post-baby life I feel that there's not enough time for anything! Luckily, I don't always feel this way, just sometimes. Like when I want to read my book about the Spanish Civil War, study a little Spanish from today's Hoy newspaper, knit a winter hat for baby Theo...but have to clean house, pay bills, call insurance company, order silly wedding photos (finally) and look up some new recipes because we're bored of our food choices (all of this after Lily's asleep, of course).

When this feeling hits it's usually because I'm doing something I feel I have to but don't really enjoy, or feel I have to do NOW but don't have enough time to concentrate on and do well.

Oliver and I talk about this horrible feeling when I feel it, and when I do I get nutty, and therefore I don't want this to be a regular occurence for the rest of my life! So I'm making efforts to think about life and the things in it differently. I don't want to think life is what happens when I finish taking care of all the responsibilities. Rather than thinking, "I have to get these thank-you notes out today or everyone will think I'm ungrateful," I am trying to wait until I feel like writing to one of the recipients of said thank-you notes and taking the time to write a heart-felt message to them. I've decided that a belated meaningful message is better than a punctual empty one.

In this same vein, I don't want my in-person experiences with friends and family to be had out of duty. Sometimes I feel like we used to spend time with my family because we felt we had to fill a quota. We said yes to every engagement and enjoyed about 13% of them. Now I'm trying to say yes only 13% of the time. In many ways, I think Oli's family gets the better part of us. We may only see them a few times a year, but when we do, it's a solid block of quality time spent on holiday. My family gets us more often, but usually only for a few hours smashed between errands in one of our homes where one or more of us is usually missing half the time doing something in another part of the house. When we see the Seeleys, other things are generally set aside and we get to enjoy each other whereas time with my family always seems fragmented. I want to explain this to my family but am not sure they think about things the same way. The way I see things: if you're important to me, I see you and I have a good time, I write you and share things with you, whether that's once a decade or every week.

All of this discussion is why I always feel like simplifying our lives, or perhaps keeping them simple since they're not too crazy yet. Things I'd love to dispose of: car, credit cards, cell phone, junk mail (Tonight I have begun writing notes to the credit card companies that send me applications by mail biweekly- two of whose cards I already have!). If you try to call my phone and its says it's disconnected, you'll know I've gone straight edge.

Anyway, I guess the main thing is that I will not guilt myself for not doing things I "should" because when I do things just because I should, the emotional results are not pretty and life is slipping away too quickly to melt down over thank-you notes.

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