For as often as I complain that my husband's middle name is procrastination, if I'm honest with myself it's one of my middle names too. Really, to procrastinate is to be human. Everyone puts something off at one time or another. My list of projects runs the whole gamut, from weaning my boys to sleep training and potty training. Or cleaning bedrooms, baking muffins, raking the lawn, and putting folded laundry away.
Last week was spring break for our family. While lots of people vacation in sunny destinations like Mexico or California, I prefer to limit their spring break expectations and stay close to home to tackle something that needs to be done. This year, it was the bedroom the boys share. Being the frugal person that I am, I have saved almost every toy, article of clothing, and book that my first son ever used.
My boys have 6 years between them, so that is a significant amount of stuff that has piled up. Of course, I got rid of the obvious baby toys, like the ball popper, walker, and other big items. The clothes are sorted routinely too, as my second son outgrows his current clothes. But their bedroom was a minefield of toys, and it was such a big job I really just postponed doing it for many years. I'd do the odd purge or toss, but never, ever completely finished the job. The final straw was my second son's complaint that he was bored and had nothing to do.
Between my first son and myself, we moved out all the furniture we could- dressers and bookshelf- and pushed the bunk bed as far away as possible. Then both my boys got to experience the joy of decluttering. Everything went out of the bedroom, and everything got sorted into keep, toss, or give away. By the end of the first morning, the furniture got moved back into the bedroom, albeit into new places. The bed was ready for sleeping in the same night. But it took the entire week of spring break to go through everything in their room, and I am reasonably certain that what is left will still be used by my second son. He did hear me say a few times that this will be done again in a year- and if he doesn't play with something in that time, another child gets to enjoy it instead of him- so there won't be any surprises next spring break.
Most of this tower of stuff is from their room, although I've been decluttering our bedroom and kitchen as well. And my good friend Pam is coming by this morning to pick it all up and take it in to goodwill for me.
This is where I want to talk about perseverance, and when it comes into play. It was such a big job. I wanted to give up more than once. But if procrastination is one of my middle names, so is perseverance. I suspect all of us have this character trait inside of us, but it's harder to reach for than procrastination, and takes more effort to develop.
All of us have our own hills to climb, and our own challenges to face. Many of us procrastinate making positive changes in our lives, because change is hard. But with practice, and conscious choice, we all have the capacity inside of us.
Can you think of any changes you're not making that would impact your health in a beneficial way? A small change I made last year was to eat unflavoured, unsweetened yogurt- as a way to start ingesting less added sugar. It was hard at first, but is second nature to me now. Getting outside into the sunshine and fresh air every day is my new challenge for myself, this year.
It doesn't have to be a massive and monumental change- any change for the good will be a positive one. Only you can tell yourself what changes you're willing to make. Don't be swayed by "get rich quick" or "drop 60 lbs in a month" schemes. Realistic changes are easier to realize.
Like the little engine that could, keep chugging away, keep working at reaching the top of that hill you're climbing, and keep pushing forward. Like procrastination, perseverance gets easier to access the more you choose it. "There are many things that we could do, if only we would try, if only we would say 'I think I can'".