Sunday, January 31, 2016

NYC Roadtrip and the "Magic of Tidying Up"

Gideon rapt by the train show at the New York Botanical Gardens
A little bit of catchup is in order.  I've gone from one big thing to the next recently, and have finally had a chance to slow a little and catch up with life (and the cleaning, and Mt. St. Laundry, and Mt. St. Ironing, and Mt. St. Mending, etc...)

Before the Esther Episode (see last week's post) and after the mid-January work deadline, I put the kids in the car, blizzard or no, picked up a smallish friend in Boston to keep me company and help with the kids, and drove the four-ish hours to New York.  

There we caught up with very dear friends and tasted a little New York magic - a broadway show for me and a train show for the kids, pictures below.

Upon returning home I faced Mount St. Boxes and attacked them from every angle till I made my final dump run with the last box on Tuesday.

As I cleaned, I organized.  Maybe micro-organized is a better term. Lance had me read the best seller, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying-Up" by Marie Kondo a few months ago, and I pretty much followed her guidance: only keep those things that "spark joy", tidy your entire house in one go, and organize vertically so you can see what you have when you open its container.

Though her writing and style leave much to be desired, now that I've organized per her method I can say that Kondo's philosophy is pretty much accurate.  My creativity was completely sapped while my house was a disaster.  Couldn't even think about blogging.  No ideas and nothing to write about.  My social planning skills, which always requires energy and creativity in some form, could not be mustered.  Cooking was even difficult - which I normally do on the fly and without recipes.

Yet as I started to put my house in order, my creative juices began to flow and I could think about writing projects both personal and professional, set goals and mentally plan vacations, and all of the various to-dos I hadn't done for months.  I don't know if it will change my life that dramatically as I am a generally clean person, but the process certainly underscored a life lesson: organization and letting go of dead weight engenders creativity and energy, at least for me.  

Time Square with Katie Lazenby

We got standing tickets to a sold-out An American in Paris for $27 then found seats 20 minutes in.  Score.

Loved seeing the lego miniature of Rockefeller Square

A very serious evening playing at the Claytons.  Will and Sarah were amazing with our kids, and Gideon asks for Liam and Coco nearly daily.

New York Botanical Gardens

All of the buildings at the train show were NYC miniatures made out of natural materials - twigs, cinnamon, etc.

 Small Wonders:
* I forgot to add Wednesday that Esther's vocab includes "ball," "hat," "apple" (a new addition today), "up," "dog," and "gentle"
* I got Gideon a 42 piece puzzle and opened it this morning (puzzles are our "Sunday" toy).  We thought it was a bit of a stretch for him, and have been helping him a bit each time.  I left to sing at a fireside and Lance put both kids to bed.  As he was finishing with Esther, Gideon went upstairs and told Lance that he finished the puzzle by himself, which Lance thought just might be a fib.  Turns out it wasn't - Gideon can do a 4+ puzzle by himself.  Now to get him to learn buttons and zippers so he can dress himself...  

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