Monday, August 13, 2012


My dear friend, Kenny, posted this on Facebook this morning:

One can be deceived by three types of laziness: of indolence, which is the wish to procrastinate;
the laziness of inferiority, which is doubting your capabilities;
and the laziness that is attachment to negative actions, or putting great effort into non-virtue.
                                                        ~Dalai Lama

It must have struck a nerve somewhere deep inside me because as soon as I read it, I walked into B's office and scanned some documents into digital files--something I've been putting off for far longer than I care to admit.

Then I walked into my office (or lack of--that's a post for another day) and began to cull books from my "gardening" book collection--another something I've put off. The average person could still look at the modge podge of books on my shelves and say, "Brandy, you're still a hoarder." Well, yes, I am, but I'm in recovery, though. Isn't the first step to recovering from addiction to admit that we have one?

Where am I going with some quote from the Dalai Lama and decluttering my bookshelf? Glad you asked. I realized that I've been saying I would return to blogging for just shy of two years now. Yet, I've found every excuse under the sun not to:
1. Didn't have my camera
2. Didn't have time between a full-time graduate course load in business school and working full-time
3. Killed my laptop and lived off of a netbook for 6 months (which may I say is no easy feat when trying to complete your capstone courses for your MBA)
4. Suffered from career burn-out (call me a wimp, when you've been there, you'll relate to how big of a number this deserves on the list)
5. Moved away from my much-loved tropical environment to Virginia (I'm still learning to cope with that)
6. No longer had a garden to blog about
7. Converted to Mac--of which I still cannot use iPhoto other than to upload photos from my camera (pathetic, I know) ANY POINTERS WELCOMED!
8. Spent some very boring time (well, not to me, but not much to write about) in Mississippi
9. Got caught up in hanging out with my family (B, Chance, and Yoda) roaming trails and not touching a computer of any kind for months
10. Couldn't decide what to blog about.

In reality, all of this could be summed up in one word, a very nasty word, a four letter word, one that we all call ourselves, but would fight anyone who called us this word to our faces: LAZY

Yes, I've been lazy. Don't get me wrong...I firmly hold my position that some of my laziness was deserved, earned, and much needed. However, when that time drug on from 6 weeks to now 54 weeks (how long I've been unemployed not how long I've been absent from blogging) became a rut which I was stuck in.

Make no mistake, I've enjoyed my past 54 weeks of not working: I've learned to cook--really cook, not like 15 minute meals, but meals in which each flavor bursts in your mouth, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I can actually make rue now, along with poached eggs, and a whole host of other wonderful things (read: tamales, real scalloped potatoes, crab cakes from scratch). I've gotten back to spending a lot of time hiking.

I've decluttered our home to a minimalistic state I haven't seen it (or myself) in since I was 18 and could live out of a backpack for weeks on end. No, we won't be living out of a backpack anytime soon (maybe a suitcase and the 4runner), but we definitely don't need a McMansion to house our junk. We can park two cars in our garage, if we wanted to. We have 3 rooms in our house virtually empty. I know that when friends visit us, they wonder why I don't decorate those rooms, or fill them with stuff, or perhaps feel pity that we don't have more "Keeping up with the Joneses" items. We actually have chosen not to add to our collection of junk just to satisfy filling a room for the sake of decoration. In the end, we want to move to a small house by the water.  Junk is usually a limiting factor in the size of a home people purchase (over what they can afford, isn't that ironic?)

Decluttering was no easy feat.  Do you know how hard it is to donate items to thrift stores?  Do you know how much time and effort it consumes?  And did I mention that I am a hoarder? A collection hoarder. Just ask Melissa. She helped me pack the house when we moved from Benning to Tampa. I don't just acquire a lantern...I acquire 22 (which as I type that number tells me I need to let go of 1, keep things divisible by 3 or 5). I don't just have 1 wooden carved bird, I have 6! Hey, give me some credit...there were 14. I let go of 8 of them.

So, while I've been lazy, I've also been very busy. I've modified my behavior from shopping, collecting, hoarding to being content with enough. Lila, Kerry, Melissa, Gina, Cara--I don't have a bazillion Christmas trees and ornaments anymore. (Other readers--yes, trees, don't ask, and no, I won't blog about that one day.) I still probably have more than the average person, but I plan to let a lot of those go when I decorate for Christmas this November (wow, is it really that close?).

And my study of living with less has been soulful for me. I've learned a lot about myself and why I shop, eat (that's another post for another day--I hope one of you are keeping a list of what I said I'd post later and sending it to me), hoard, and am OCD about being organized (yet another post--what are we up to 3 or 4 now). I've learned to let go. Just because my grandma (aka Maw) gave me a quilt every year for the past 10 years does not mean I have to keep them, especially in the wake of her passing. I've seen what my mom and her sisters have gone through to deal with my Maw's things that she kept, and I realized that I don't want anyone to have to do that when I depart. Plus, at the rate me and B are moving, we'll have no one to do that for us, unless Al and Annie take up the challenge. It's not the stuff that matters, it's the memories.

Hmmmm, did I digress? Yes, oh yes, laziness. I am lazy. I've made excuses long enough. For the past month I've been telling myself (and others), "I'm going to start blogging again." And I have lots of ideas, but I can't seem to force myself to sit down and just do it. Part of that is the iPhoto excuse, yes, but a valid one.  Guess I need to buy another how to book, or take a class, because going back to Windows is not an option in my household (I'm singing "another post").

I once had the dream that I'd write books one day, but a writer is not a writer without a written word.

So, if you're still reading this, thank you. Thank you for sticking it out and getting through one of my blog posts. I promise the next one won't be as long, or if it is, it will contain pictures. And I promise to update my blog regularly and change the graphics a bit, and answer your comments.

Today, I kicked LAZY to the curb and let the Brandy I've always been so fond of hating back into my life. The one who is a perfectionist, who never stops, who is active and vibrant and innovative. Why do I hate that? Because it's exhausting being those things, but that's who I am. Sitting at home is not who I am. Vacation is over. Time to go find a real job--a career...time to do a lot of things, perhaps the first on the list is to suck it up and go see doc for a cortisone shot, because this poison ivy is driving me nuts!! 

And no more excuses (that means I now have to get up and go downstairs and eat my frog--Insanity workout) and then polish up the ole' resume.

We all feel lazy sometimes in life.  Mine has lasted far longer than I care to admit, but it's benefited me in many ways.  I've grown as a person quite a bit (wonder how I can fit that in as a skill on my resume).  What have you learned from your bouts with laziness?


Kelly said...

Lazy? Not a word that I think of when I think of you. Hyper, loud, OCD, anal, and loyal, yes! A bit shocked and concerned about the hoarding of lamps and X-mas decorations and am wondering if all that crap in your FL garage was in fact, said hoarded items. Seriously? Collect something cool like iPhones and iPads. Glad to hear you're on the mend, but just in case, try not to be this person. . .

Brando said...

Gee, thanks just gave me the idea of where to mail all of my discarded Christmas ornaments.

Sad to say, I know two people that fit the buried-alive-hoarders profile. I am NOT one of them before you go pointing fingers.

Collect iPhones and iPads...well, I have one of each...and will soon be the proud owner of the iPhone 5s or 5q or whatever, though I'm a little disappointed that they've decided to convert the charger, resulting in my now having to carry around even more cords. Just when I was happy that now I only needed one extra charger/cord to power most of my devices.

What would be awesome would be if they'd make the Macbooks operate off the same charger...and if Nikon would fit their cameras to operate off the same charger....alas, I can still dream.