When I set up the follow box in my sidebar, I decided not to display the number of followers because I didn’t want to feel that I was competing with other bloggers for popularity. I do glance at that statistic occasionally, though, while doing administrative tasks on the blog. A few days ago, I noticed that I was down one follower since the last time I looked, and my first reaction was to feel put out—not necessarily with a nice warm coat like my daughter’s puppy got for Christmas, either!

Puppy sitting on the porch on a snowy day, wearing a coat. 

I found myself worrying that people didn’t like my blog, that I might carelessly have offended a reader without knowing it, et cetera. Of course, when I stopped to think about it, I realized that I was being very silly! Lots of people go through their blog subscriptions at the start of the new year and remove blogs they haven’t visited recently, without making any judgments as to merit. In fact, I had done that myself just the day before!

In our competitive modern society, it can be hard to remember that most of what happens is not about us. The decisions people make about how to spend their time generally are not driven by harsh value judgments; it’s simply a matter of managing a huge number of choices and a limited amount of time. So when people decide not to stay subscribed to a blog or otherwise not to stay in contact, they probably haven’t even thought much about it, but are just trying to simplify a busy life. It’s not personal.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

A fire crackled cheerily on a wide brick hearth, sparks rising and popping as a log settled farther down into the pile. Snowy hills and bare, icy branches gleamed in the moonlight… [This is Part 17. Continue reading this installment, or read the story from the beginning.]

January 4, 2015 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

When I was a teenager, I made a needlepoint pillow from a kit. My mom kept it while I was away at college, but after that she cleaned house and gave it back to me. Although I expected that I would find a nice place to put it someday, it never seemed to match anything in my house quite right. So it ended up sitting at the back of my closet for over 25 years, even after I moved from one house to another.

Needlepoint pillow in shades of brown and gold. 

I thought of it as something I should keep because of all the time and effort I had put into making it. But this week when I considered it, I realized that no matter how I might decorate my house in the future, I still wouldn’t want to display the pillow because it’s so full of stagnant energy. It doesn’t fit the person I am now—I haven’t done any needlepoint in ages! Even if I bought something new and the pillow matched, it wouldn’t feel like a cherished possession, but would remind me of old stuff sitting around in the closet. So it’s just got to go!

About Clutter Comedy: Every Sunday (which I envision as a day of rest after a productive week of de-cluttering) I post a Clutter Comedy article describing my most memorable clutter discovery of the week. Other bloggers who wish to join in are welcome—just post a link in the comments! There’s no need to publish any “before” photos of your clutter, if they are too embarrassing. The idea is simply to get motivated to clean it up, while having a bit of fun too!

A very happy New Year to everyone, full of wonderful wishes that come true! I began setting my intentions for 2015 way back in October, when I bought a fairy figurine (shown in this post) as a symbol of releasing my dreams to fly free in beauty. I didn’t have a word or a New Year’s resolution in mind until Christmas, though, when one of my presents turned out to be a new toaster.

New red toaster with display screen.

A toaster certainly doesn’t need to have bright red side panels and a display screen that shows the settings and the time remaining. It’s just more fun that way! And the plain old toaster it replaced was still working just fine, as good as new—but “new” was 1986, when loaves of bread were narrower and people wouldn’t even have thought about putting a bagel in a toaster. I had been putting slices of wide bread in the old one sideways and toasting bagels in the oven.

So I decided that the new toaster would be my visual reminder that the world is full of fun stuff to enjoy, and that it’s perfectly fine to replace things even if they are not worn out! My New Year’s resolution is simply to say “Yay!” every morning when I go into the kitchen and see the toaster. (Not out loud though, as that would be a bit much to expect my husband to deal with!)

Because saying “Yay!” to a toaster is so silly, it will make me smile and laugh, which is a good healthy way to start the day. And my word of intention for 2015, meant to bring positive energy and to celebrate abundance, is also Yay!

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.