On Discipline

I’m getting a lot done lately, and I love the feeling of accomplishment.

Re-organizing and prioritizing.

I’m realizing that as much as I admire minimalists, I’ll never be one of them! Yes, I’m a sap.

A friend just pointed out to me that I’ve invested a lot in my books. Good point! I got rid of the ones I bought but accepted I would never read, or on topics I’ve already absorbed. Let someone else enjoy them. I have more space now. I kept my favorites, including some from childhood. Now I get to buy MORE! Mwahahaha!

I love it! I can’t believe I got rid of probably 85% of my movie collection. But CD’s are harder. They are attached to a time period in your life, memories and emotions. I’ve never used digital music. I have no files on my computer or songs on my iPhone. I am a decidedly old-fashioned lady when it comes to technology. I still love my cassette tapes. I even have a few vinyl records. I don’t listen to music often at home, but always blast it in my car. At home I enjoy silence or watching TV and movies.

Being single, I’ve learned to appreciate quiet. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable.

And I’ve made an executive decision to keep my writing. Some poems and things that aren’t relevant, I’ve shredded. But I have notes and papers I wrote in college. Old newspaper articles. Old school assignments, they are mostly in binders. They are a record of my life. They show how much I’ve grown. What I felt back then.

Those, I’m keeping.

But what I’ve learned through this purging is that when you dispose of useless things, you leave room for something better. Something ELSE that will bring you joy.

If it doesn’t bring you joy, why keep it? Pitch it.

As I de-clutter and purge, I’m feeling more relaxed in my own space.

Can’t complain.

Thrift Store Score!

After donating some clothes and boots I don’t wear any more at a local thrift store, I decided to peruse myself.

And since I still use a boombox with cassette tapes and have a car with a tape deck in it, I checked the tape selection.

I feel like I hit the FREE PARKING in Monopoly!

I left with these soundtracks and albums of nostalgic treasure:

1. ANNIE THE MOVIE– I squealed to myself when I spied this! Annie has been my favorite movie since 1982, and when I believe it’s the first movie I remember seeing as a toddler. I know every single word of every single song and listening to this makes me ridiculously happy. I still have the original vinyl record! I had the tape for years until a friend in college borrowed it and then broke it. She promised to buy me a CD to replace it, but never did. I was so mad at her, I’d had that tape my whole life! That was in 2000, and now I happened upon another Annie tape!

Annie makes excellent cleaning music. 🙂

2. Reality Bites Soundtrack– Another of my favorite movies, full of bad ass ’90s music!! Especially appropriate since in May I bought a “new” car, which I named Winona because I felt like Winona Ryder’s character  in the movie– who drives an old car and has a shag haircut. Now my shag haircut has grown out (FINALLY!!) but I still love this car, and will always love the character of Laney in this movie.  (Although I have also finally outgrown my “bad boy artist” phase of dating.)  At last! Now I can listen to the soundtrack of the movie which inspired my car’s identity, and the circle of joy is complete!

3. An Officer and a Gentleman Soundtrack– iconic ’80s romantic fluff, self-explanatory!

4. Go West Young Man, Michael W. Smith– Reminds me of my high school youth group days! It doesn’t have the one song I was really hoping to find on it, “Friends,” but it does have “A Place in this World.”  I remember a retreat I went to once, and “A Place in this World,” was the theme. Since I’ve been getting back into Catholicism lately, listening to some old-school Christian music seems just the right thing to do.

5. Like a Prayer single, Madonna– Again, with the Catholicism theme! I’ve grown up with this song, and it’s still awesome decades later. It’s also got a song called Act of Contrition on it, which I’ve never heard. Woo hoo!

It doesn’t take much to make me happy, just simple joys like this.

Get Outta My Dreams… and into my 90’s car!!

I own a new car, as of yesterday morning!

Okay, it’s a 1998. But it’s still da bomb!

I named her Winona, after my favorite actress. Winona Ryder defined the ’90s, and I’ve got several of her movies on VHS. I’ve got a haircut similar to her character Laney’s in Reality Bites– though not quite that long yet. But it’s very much a shag, as I painstakingly grow out my pixie cut from earlier this year.

And in the movie, Laney drives an old car, so it fits in this way as well. She is obsessed with Slurpees, and so I stopped and got myself the biggest frozen beverage I could find– 44 ounces. It wasn’t the equivalent size of Big Gulp, or even a Slurpee– but it was close enough. I mixed the blue raspberry and cherry flavors, and happily nestled it into the new cupholders. Laney also chain-smokes, but I’m not going that far! Gotta be nice to the lungs.

This car is perfect for me. I would have written my column about it, but it was after deadline.

An instant peace came over me when I got in to test drive it. This car felt like home.

On top of that, it’s barely got over 78,000 miles on it, and gets great gas mileage. Jackpot!

I loved everything about the interior– the gray color, the simple features. No confusing digital displays. No annoying buttons to move the seat forward; just a simple lever. Power windows and doors. I fit perfectly in the seat, and there are several spaces to put things, within easy reach. Eveything about this car is so conveinent! I can see over the steering wheel without a problem, there are almost no blindspots because the car is already low to the ground and compact rather than wide.

Best of all? It has a TAPE DECK. My original 1999 Neon came with one, and when it broke I had it replaced with a CD player. It always skipped anyway, so I don’t plan to do that with this car. Instead, I’m going to enjoy it as is, and play my old cassette tapes! I grabbed a random mix- Soul Asylum, U2, Wierd Al, the Pretty Woman soundtrack. Then I bought some new ones at a local thrift store– Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Rait, Dolly Parton, Whitesnake, the Big Chill Soundtrack. I’ll just donate mine and swamp ’em out for different ones when I need a change– they barely cost anything!

One of my favorite tracks on the Dolly Parton tape was “The Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” I rolled the windows down all the way, laughed, and sang along with Dolly.

The sounds is great.

It was simply a phenomenal day. I drove around, reveling in my new ride. It’s a color I never would have sought out– I’d buy a metallic orange car if I could. But it’s a beautiful silver with a hint of blue. It’s gleaming with possibility and hope.

I got a great deal from a family friend, and she was happy to sell it to me. And although the car is 14 years old, it’s in stellar condition– the interior looks practically new, nothing is broken. There’s just a bit of a scratch on the bumper, but she covered it up pretty well with matching paint.

I’m thinking a fun political bumper sticker will do nicely to take care of that!

Last night, I drove up to see Leslie, a friend in Bolingbrook. She was so excited for me, and took pictures of me in my car! We drove to a Mexican restaurant and had a girls’ night dinner, listening to my tapes and giggling all the way. She gave me this fantastic collage she had found at a thrift store: all about celebrating yourself, discovery, and comprised of words and images that are exactly what I’m about! I can’t thank her enough, and am anxious to put it up at home. I’m glad Leslie was my first passenger, and equally excited about Winona!

I am grateful for this amazing find, and hope it lasts me another 100,000 miles at least!!

When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t wait to get up and drive!!!

By Thoth, I need to sign off. It’s a beautiful day and I’m restless to create some new adventures with Winona!