Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, and New Mottoes

Hello my blog friends!

Happy new Year!

Last night we Sydney-siders celebrated NYE as we always do - with a huge fireworks show in Sydney Harbour (home of the famous Opera House). Sydney Harbour Bridge sits opposite in the shape of a coathanger, and the fireworks display erupts from every part of the bridge, to the continuous delight an amazed audience.

Every year, the pyrotechnics seem to be bigger and better than ever before. If that's possible.

Hundreds of thousands of people crowd into the Harbour foreshores to watch the spectacle. For us folks who live further away and don't care for crowds, it's all on TV.

In 2010, I had just one new motto: "Under-promise, over-deliver." It worked out well. For the first time ever, I did NOT overcommit myself, but considered each request carefully as to whether I could realistically do it. Especially towards Xmas, I did say 'no' to any additional requests, which enabled me to remain pretty well stress-free during the Xmas season.

For 2011, I am going with: "Be on Time." I am always 5 minutes late. Yeah I know, it's only 5 minutes. But I would like to figure out what I could do better so that I am NOT 5 min late, but right on time.

Also I'm going with: "If it's not part of a system, it's got to Go." That's for junk around my home.

I keep things for far too long, in the hope that I 'might' need it one day. Scraps of fabric, old toilet rolls for craft, batteries that might have life in them yet, expired medications 'just in case' get the picture. Consequently, some areas of my house are a MESS.

I would take a picture of my laundry to show you, but Im too ashamed. It's that bad, you can hardly open the door. My husband (and even two, yes TWO previous boyfriends) have at one time cleaned out my laundry for me. But then it somehow goes back to being a MESS.

If can get clear in my mind about what each thing will be used for IN THE NEXT 2 YEARS , then it can stay. Otherwise, it's got to go. Like this:

Shoepolish, brushes and rags - KEEP
Almost empty dried up shoepolish - THROW
Dirty, dried up rags - THROW
500 extra rags - THROW

1 Football - KEEP
1 Basketball - KEEP
13 extra balls, all deflated - THROW

I am going to let go of the word 'might'. Yes, I MIGHT one day need these rotary egg-beaters if we have a world energy crisis and I can't use my electric ones. I MIGHT need them for when I start a museum of old gadgets. But did I need them in the last 2 years? Will I need them anytime soon? THROW.

That Old Lamp that is broken but could be fixed; I need to ask myself, realistically are you going to fix it? When? If I can't give myself an answer on it, THROW.

I find this kind of prioritizing and decision-making really hard. I think it's quite emotional for me. I was raised in a household where nothing was thrown away. My folks were born just before WWII, and they were raised in that era of ration-books and frugality. To this day, my parents garage its full of junk that they might use 'one day'. In adulthood, I got divorced, lost all my household contents, and had to start over again with 2 tiny children to care for. We relied on charity and I made a habit of trawling roadside junkpiles for furniture.

Thankfully, those days are over now. Nowadays we have a lovely home and enough money to buy the things we really need. I need to stop hoarding stuff, because the crisis is over.

Let's see how I do in 2011!


  1. Hi Michaela. I see you have just become a Follower of mine, so thank you for that! We saw your fireworks display on the television a couple of hours ago. I think if you haven't used anything for at least a year, then it should go!! Anyway, wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy new year.

  2. Your New Year celebration sounds wonderful and I like your mottos! Enjoy the New Year.

  3. i think your plan for 2011 sounds wonderful and should be easy enough to do! happy new year honey!

    smiles, bee

  4. Re: the egg beaters. I always use a simple French whisk. Perfect for the zombie apocalypse along with a 12 gauge shotgun.

    BTW, I know enough about Australian geography to know Sidney is nowhere near Queensland and floods. I'm glad your above water.

    Happy 2011!


  5. I like the mottoes. Pooldad and the girls did that in our garage this year [for example - 15 years of court papers from our exes - BOXES of paperwork - GONE] It is so freeing. I agree with This - if you haven't used it in a year - out it goes. We called the Lupus Foundation of America and set up pick ups and they would come and get all the stuff that was still usuable or worth something. It makes it super easy to get rid of it. Perhaps you have something similar there in AUS.

    And y'alls fireworks are AWESOME - so pretty.

    I hope you have a fabulous New Year sweetheart - you deserve it. Hugs!

  6. Given your history I think you're being too hard on yourself :) I tend to hold onto things as well and there just comes a point where you have to say- enough and just let go- once you do it becomes freeing! Have a wonderful New Year!

  7. Happy New Year Michaela. Wonderful post, I also need to do some major clean outs. I have things in boxes that haven't been opened since we moved into this house 11 years ago. Thanks for giving me some incentive to clean some of the "junk" out.

  8. Happy New Year - I like your ideas for the getting rid of the things that I might use some day, maybe...LOL - I have a craft room that is so full it's ridiculous - can't craft because too much is in the way and it's full! So - next weekend I'm going to work in that room and try and clear it of stuff that I can't use soon!
    Thanks much, xoxoxoxo Michelle

  9. Hey there, new follower here.

    I came upon your blog completely by chance, and I liked it :)

    I hope that when you get a chance, you will follow me back.


  10. I am the same way Michaela, I can't get rid of anything!
    When you grow up like that, it's just a really hard habit to break!