Though I am rather late off the bat in discussing Week 1's focus, I thought I'd do it anyway - if only for a personal visual record of my efforts. In Jen's first week, she began by placing her focus upon the entryway, or rather, one's SHOES. Now, we don't really store our shoes in the entry of our house excepting a pair of thongs and sneakers for easy access when we go outside; but my shoes collection in my room had begun to look like noone loved them!
Unfortunately most of my shoes I had pre-motherhood and, as I still weigh approximately 13kgs (27 pounds) heavier than I was before I fell pregnant [5 kgs heavier than when 9 months pregnant, and have lost 6 kgs since the beginning of February], my feet are still a lot bigger than when I was able to wear them and thus many no longer fit. This helped in my decision making, though I still kept one or two pairs which are slightly tight as I am aiming to be weighing even less than then by the end of the year.
A good four or five years back, when there was a sale on clear shoe boxes at Coles, I purchased a whole heap of them intending to use them to help me organise and store all my collection. Since having my daughter I haven't touched many, leaving most in their boxes for years and me forgetting I had them. A lot of my pre-motherhood shoes were also high heels, a style I rarely wear these days due both to my added weight and the fact that it is so much harder running after a enthusiastic 'little tacker' in heels than it is in flats. Nowadays I only wear them at church, since I rarely go out without my daughter and haven't been on a date for over four years.
Once I collected all the shoes together in a central place (my daughter likes grabbing ones she thinks are 'pretty' to toddle around the house in *grin*) I was able to really see what it was I owned. Those I knew I wouldn't wear again, due to size and/or comfort (I need more padding under the ball of my foot than I seemed to need all those years ago), immediately went to the "give away" pile. From the remaining shoes I then paired down some of the similar styles so that I didn't have quite so many double-ups - especially since I seem to really only wear certain shoes 'all' the time rather than others.
I also pulled out the shoe organiser I bought from Target almost a year ago, and put that together, before dusting out the bottom of the cupboard and putting everything back (I plan to attack my closet in the next few weeks as I get everything washed and ironed, and I'll do a more thorough clean then).
It looks so much clearer now - and a lot easier to see what I have! The two pairs in clear shoe boxes (yes, I kept two - but two dozen are on their way to the op shop as soon as my car is back from the shop for repairs) are my 'old' ballroom dancing shoes. Even though I haven't done it for years, I plan on getting back some day - and since they were expensive and still fit they're staying! My short faux 'ugg's are front and centre as the dry season will be upon is in a couple of months (Darwin weather is 6mths 'dry season' when we consider it to get cold, and 6 months of 'build-up' and 'wet season' when it gets all hot and humid before bringing glorious thunderstorms like no other - oh, and the cyclones). The pink suede with brown trim heels at the bottom of the organiser are slightly tight - ie, I couldn't walk in them, but I can get them on - are staying as I LOVE them, and am hoping to wear them again one day soon. The rest is a collection of black or brown heels of various heights.
Below are the shoes that are headed to the op shop ...
I HATE to give away the three pink pairs on the left, mainly for the memories they carry, and the silver ones in the bottom centre-left were my bridesmaid shoes, but I decided I need to be ruthless - and most of them don't fit now anyway. They are all well-worn, but if I don't give them away, I know they'll just hide away in my closet.
That's 9 pairs, and if I add to that the 11 bags (and dis-regard the two Huggies boxs worth of books, spare stationary supplies and other goodies) I also purged this month, I am well on the way to exceeding the "30 items in 30 days" amount. So far so good!
Another challenge I've made the commitment to participate in is the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge which the darling Sarah is coordinating. Basically we are to make a (minimum) 1.5m x 1.5m quilt by the end of July (or mid-month for me) to send to Judi over at Green Fairy Quilts by mid-August. They will be then distributed to older children and adults in need over in Romania. For the last three years they have been making an annual trip to distribute quilts and school supplies to needy children, and food to their families, and their generosity to those individuals is just incredible.
I just welled up watching the video they made of last years' distribution (which can be viewed HERE) and felt a sense that I was meant to be involved.
To say I am apprehensive would be an understatement. The fact I ...
- have never actually made a quilt before - though I have done applique, embroidery, machine and hand sewing, and only recently done my first (small!) patch-working /quilting project, and
- never seem to find enough time in the week to work on my own projects, and
- I will need to post the completed quilt over to America from Australia
... have all made me re-think participation in this challenge. And they're all legitimate reasons to decide I can't do this! However I felt I needed to be involved - actually making a quilt for someone less fortunate than myself, whose "thanks" I will never hear - and that God wanted me to be involved. I have been so selfish about my time and finances in the past, and it is a major area He (and I) wants me to seriously work on in this season of my life. I have the skills - I don't have a full-time job on top of looking after my daughter - so this is a way I can use them to benefit someone else who really needs that warmth and comfort a quilt of their own can provide.
May God bless both me and the recipient at this time, and may I be able to create a quilt worthy of the recipient and their family.