Making lemonade

If you follow my blog you may have noticed I’ve been missing for a few weeks, and it’s true. I was not tired of writing, I was rather suffering a massive allergic reaction to cleaning chemicals. I’m still recovering, but getting better all the time.

I thought I’d write about that today, even though this is a blog about joy, because even joyful people do not have stress-free lives. I ended up going to the emergency room several times with swelling and my skin is still recovering from a feeling that feels like a bad sunburn. It’s been very worrisome as I tried to figure it out, but I’ve been able to make some lemonade out of the lemons, so I thought I’d share that:

  • Eating better: I gave up eating sugar years ago, but when I get stressed out I tend to eat lots of junk food like french fries and potato chips. I wasn’t sure what was causing this to start with, so I started stopped eating all processed food for a few weeks to try to feel better. It turned out not to be food-related, but I broke the cycle and am eating healthier than I have been.
  • Saving money: I seem to have reacted to two different chemicals, so I’m now back to cleaning with things like vinegar and natural soaps like Dr. Bronner’s. This will be less expensive over the long run, and there are less products to store. I’ll get a little bit more of a workout, too, and there will be less chance of poisoning myself in my own house.

You can’t always avoid life’s troubles. The car breaks down, the cat dies, you fall ill. You won’t be joyful all the time, either. If you were you would probably be repressing something. You CAN choose to make lemonade out of life’s lessons and find your blessings where you may. These are some of mine. How about you?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
276. Do you have a less than ideal situation in your life right now? Has anything good come of it? See if you can make some lemonade this week.

Random fluffy bits of wisdom

I’ve been atypically domestic this week as I’ve worked on a massive project to declutter my house to help with dust allergies. The project is done, except for sorting through a few boxes of paper. This week I thought I’d share some of the myriad things I’ve learned during the process.

  • It became easier to declutter as I realized that I wanted to spend as much time as possible on certain goals I have. These include earning a living, writing, and creating art. I also need time to keep myself healthy and interact with friends. Once I sorted out my core goals, it was easy to determine that there simply is no time to learn the ukelele, and hence I do not need the ukelele (and many other things that don’t fit with my current priorities).
  • I read Lifehacker¬†on a regular basis. It’s a great place to find tips to streamline your life. One recent article said that there are many things you can and should buy generic. It also pointed out that sometimes name brands do work better, and that Tide actually gets your clothing much cleaner than other detergents. I bought a small pouch of Tide Pods for a test, and they were right–the clothes hadn’t seemed dirty before, but now they look like new when I wash them. Good to know (and I have no connection with Tide).
  • In a previous domestic effort I had tried the Swiffer mop. I don’t like the cleaning fluids or the replaceable pads and had resolved to use them up and donate the mop. I realized while cleaning this last time that it’s very convenient that the handle comes apart, because I was able to use it to get under my clawfoot tub. I also realized that microfiber cloths will stick to it (in the little holes where the pads fit) and so I’m keeping it for those odd places and I won’t have to buy any more of those odd pads.

Clearing up my physical space makes it easier to keep out the dust that’s hurting my lungs, but it also clears up my mental space as well. I feel much better having more room to navigate and having the things I need where I need them. It has been time well spent, and I plan to try to add some domesticity into my regular routine. The benefits are worth the trouble.

256. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
If you aren’t very domestic, tackle a cleaning chore you’ve been putting off. How did you feel when it was done? Was it as hard as you thought? If you are domestic, get rid of at least five items of clutter. How does that feel?