Monthly Archives: January 2011

Magazines: A Love/Hate Relationship

Over the weekend I began purging the house of junk.  Buying and subscribing to magazines has always been a weakness of mine.  I used to subscribe to 4 or 5 magazines.  Now only one.  And I doubt I will renew that one.  I was also known to buy a few magazines a month at the checkout lane.  I really do LOVE magazines.

During the we-own-two-houses-and-have-no-money era I knew I had to  cease with the checkout line magazine buying.  At almost $5 a pop, it was just not possible to keep that habit going.

I did hold onto all my old issues of magazines though… I have had stacks and stacks of magazines.  Under the bed.  In a nightstand drawer.  In a big basket in the living room.  In a box in the storage area.  In my office.  In the bathroom.  You get the idea.

Earlier in 2010 I thought I finally had the strength to get rid of them.  I did the clip-great-articles-to-look-at-later thing.  They are neatly filed in a couple of accordian file things.  And in six months I haven’t needed one of those articles.  I did decrease the size of a few stacks that way.

So, thoroughly sick of my piles of junk I decided to cull the magazines.  While my family laughed I measured my success…. 24 inches of recycling!  TWO full feet of magazines stacked up!

I did save a few, and they are in the basket in the living room.  Of course there are a couple of magazines in the bathroom too.

While I’m happy to be rid of TWO FEET of clutter, I can’t help but think that I may be missing out on something.

Like…

  • 11,387 tips for beating stress
  • 9,026 great uses for a handy kitchen tool we all own
  • 23,612 great beauty products under $12.73
  • Answers to all my parenting questions… complete with cute crafts.
  • 795 super foods to make me bionic
  • 817 foods that will kill me
  • Detailed directions to every effective exercise move.  Ever.
  • 679 ways to brighten up any room
  • 912 ways to organize any room
  • 1190 ways to clean practically anything

That is a LOT of great information.  And I’m getting rid of it!!!  What am I thinking!?!?

Oh.  Wait.  I know!  I have a library.  And they have magazines.

Have you noticed that every magazine has some combination of the following:

  • How to look better
  • How to feel better/be healthier
  • How to handle some common problem experienced by 90% of the population
  • A handful of new! seasonal! recipes
  • How to decorate/prepare for the current season/holiday
  • and of course… HOT! NEW! TRENDS!

I was at the library tonight to help Grace with some research for a speech.  I also spent 20 minutes reading some magazines I had resisted at the grocery store last week.  Next time though, I need to remember a little notebook and pen so I can write down really great ideas and websites to check out that are mentioned in articles.

So how about you?  Do you love or hate magazines?

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Filed under Lists, Simplify, You Don't Have to Like It

Sunday 1.2

Happy New Year!!

It is good to make some time to jot some things down again!  I’ve missed being here…but there were a lot of things going on that I didn’t know how to really write.  Suffice it to say that I’m happy to see 2011 start.

I was looking over Tsh’s reflection questions over at Simple Mom.  Everyone is busy looking ahead, but do you ever really stop and look back over the last year??  I don’t think I do.  I start to and can recall some of the last season or some REALLY BIG things from the last year (major vacation, BIG illness type stuff)  But I don’t think I look at the small blessings.

As I was looking at those questions and thinking about 2010, I got  out a notebook and pen.  While I didn’t actually answer her questions on paper, I got to thinking about the last year.  The following is part of that list of highlights I made.

  • Committing to ridding my house of 40 bags of stuff in 40 days for Lent.
  • Going on a scrapbook retreat alone in March in the MN woods.
  • Welcoming a dear childhood friend to my house for a long weekend during the summer.
  • Indulging in semi-regular girls’ night home-pedis and movies with my daughter.
  • Taking one full Sabbath day.  Soaking in the silence.  Listening.
  • Chaperoning Grace’s 8th grade class field trip into very northern MN for 4 days & 3 nights of wilderness/orienteering training  & team building. This was just a month ago so it was cold and snowy!  Awesome experience.
  • Camping at a local state park.
  • Bonfires in the backyard.
  • Driving down to the CSA farm early in the morning for farm pick events.

And then there was the less than fun stuff.  But it happened none-the-less.

  • Taking the dog in for surgery and feeling horribly guilty I hadn’t noticed the lumps earlier.
  • Grace’s 10 day migraine.  Spending days taking care of her and then taking her on the long drive to Mayo in Rochester to finally get answers and the right treatment to break the headache.
  • My car accident in October.  Although it wasn’t my fault, it is hard to know that I hit the other car.  After almost 2 months my new van is fixed but I am still doctoring for my sprained neck/back.  Ugh.

There were hundreds of other moments, both good and bad.  Just like your year, I am sure.  What I notice in these lists is that it is all about experiences, not things.

Notice?

Nowhere did the new TV or clothes dryer or van come to mind.  Ok, so the van kind of got mentioned.  Only because it makes the van-crash story that much more sad…the fact that I only drove it 10 days before the accident.

It helps after the materialism that creeps into the holidays to notice that my biggest memories of 2010 were not things at all.

Looking ahead I will focus on the experiences.  Not the things.

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Filed under Attitude, Goals, Just Me, Lists