Clutter-Overweight-In Debt-Hate Job

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missC
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Post by missC »

I totally see where you're coming from and in a way agree, Expatana. It's a very old chestnut, but I do think God answers all our prayers. And sometimes the answer is 'No'. But I think it's also true that 'you've got to be in it to win it' - to some extent it's a numbers game - you've got to get out there and 'keep swinging'. How many times are you prepared to dust yourself off and get up again. Now if you get up 200 times that's still no guarantee at all. But if you get up once then next time roll about in the dust groaning 'what's the use?' then failure is almost guaranteed. Does anyone know the old joke about God and the man who wanted to win the lottery? Come on I'm sure we all know that one... The only way to absolutely guarantee failure is not to make the attempt. And that's a cast-iron rock-solid your-money-back-if-you-fail-to-fail guarantee. I'm not directing this personally (at anybody). And please don't think I have no sympathy, or indeed empathy. In the area of work and life purpose, I have wanted two things passionately in my life, and worked my heart out for at least one of them. I failed at both. Still looking for a new passion and out there swinging, though!

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Post by expatana »

Waiting for PCH, I read carefully your posting and am thinking hard on it -- with a sinking heart ... the same sinking heart I felt when someone suggested I pay attention to the "touchstone" and replace my dream with something else. Sorry. My dream chose me, and so I embrace it. I forced it on the back burner for too many years. When something doesn't let go, neither do you. Ana

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No sleep!

Post by webbdee »

How about insomnia being added to the list? This is on a chard from a Chinese Herbalist. This is for "General Circulation of Energy". Each time of the day, energy moves through and "works" in different parts of the body. My understanding is that insomnia may be caused by blocked energy in different parts of the body for each time. For 11pm-1am, it is the Gall Bladder For 1am-3am, it is the Liver. For 3am-5am, it is the Lung. For 5am-7am, it is the Large Intestine. For 7am-9am, it is the Stomach. Does this ring a bell? You did not tell us if you are feeling ill or if you are just trying to cope. I know what it is like to never feel rested. I usually try to avoid anything but herbs until I just need some deep sleep. What I think is odd is how often we here about sleep problems, digestion issues, and weight gain now. Have you taken anti-depressants? My sleeping problems started after those meds. Are you a student? Too much studying? Maybe we can find a pattern that fits most of the people with insomnia, clutter, overweight, etc. Later, Dee
We come here to learn what we must teach. "In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer

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Post by Tituba »

U.S. material wealth leads to clutter By Joseph B. Verrengia, AP Science Writer | October 22, 2005 BOULDER, Colo. --Karen Lowe looks a little lost, even in her own apartment. Board games and puzzles teeter over the hamster's cage. A green metal desk spills toys and papers like a jackknifed truck in what should be the dining room. Upstairs, a computer shoots wires like kudzu around her bedroom. Her daughter's room down the hall? Don't go there. Lowe's home convulses with clutter. The chaotic accumulation of stuff is more than a quirk in her otherwise orderly life as a software engineer. The mess has become her shameful secret. Most friends have never visited her apartment and she lives in fear someone might drop by. Worse yet, her daughter Elphey, 12, is developing the same unkempt habits. Ashamed and seemingly paralyzed, Lowe finally hired experts to help get her unruly habitat under control. Her story offers hope to the tens of millions of Americans like her who live under the anarchy of their possessions. To many observers, clutter reflects the mind-set of the modern household -- overburdened, disorganized and compulsive. To others, clutter is a broader symbol of a ravenous culture dependent on easy credit, piling up debt and consuming a lion's share of the world's resources without considering the consequences. "People's homes are a reflection of their lives," says Los Angeles psychologist and organizational consultant Peter Walsh. "It is no accident that people have a huge weight problem in this country, and clutter is the same thing. Homes are an orgy of consumption." The obesity analogy isn't a joke. While personal spending drives much of the U.S. economy, the resulting clutter from all that shopping is so pervasive that some researchers wonder if it might have a deeper, biological component, similar to overeating. Their speculation borrows from evolutionary theory. Modern humans developed some 100,000 years ago as hunters and gatherers living in fundamentally harsher circumstances. Today, we are surrounded by abundance, but our bodies have remained genetically programmed to eat everything in sight and store calories to survive winter, drought and famine. To some nutrition experts, it's a primary reason two-thirds of Americans are overweight. Similarly, our forebears saved anything that could be materially useful because they had to make everything from scratch. Clutter emerged alongside industrial specialization and mass production in the 19th century, and it was then that the biological need to save everything morphed into a desire to acquire. Suddenly, the rising middle class was buying items once reserved for royalty. Tea sets. Mantelpiece figurines. Forks used only to eat fish. And the opportunities to acquire have only skyrocketed. The old corner store stocked fewer than 1,000 items. Today, a Wal-Mart SuperCenter covers a quarter-million square feet -- that's nearly six acres -- and carries 130,000 products. Yet scientists have difficulty quantifying clutter. It is a private problem that most people -- like Lowe -- sweep under the bed and shove behind closed doors. On cable TV, at least three reality shows are devoted to clutter management. On the Learning Channel, "Clean Sweep" employs psychologist Walsh; it has filmed more than 200 episodes unloading people's junk. Fifty cities in 17 states have chapters of Clutterers Anonymous, a 12-step recovery program. For some, clutter results from more than rampant shopping. It suggests widespread social discontent. "People hold onto stuff like their kids' old clothing as a way of holding onto the past," Walsh says. "Or they keep things they think they might need someday as a way to control the future." ------ "Might need someday" is a common refrain for the 35-year old Lowe. Paperwork, toys, cookbooks and clothing spread from one room to the next. "We put off housekeeping to spend time on just about anything that we like better than tidying up," Lowe concedes. The National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, an association of professional organizers, has established a household clutter assessment scale. At Levels 4 and 5, people face eviction for filling their refrigerators with old newspapers and blocking fire exits with rubbish. Often, these hoarders need psychological treatment. Psychologists estimate that 3 million Americans never throw anything out -- even old newspapers and yogurt cups -- in a twisted logic of perfectionism and fear. These hoarders have a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Too often, they wind up entrapped and injured by their own junk. Hoarding research focuses on changes to a region of the brain connected with decision-making, problem-solving and anticipating rewards. At UCLA, patients receive a radioactive form of the sugar glucose before being examined by positron emission tomography. The PET scanner's color-coded images show which brain areas use the most glucose and are working hardest. In this small experiment, the hoarders have lower activity in a certain part of the brain when compared to other patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. They also had lower activity in a related region of the brain when compared to healthy volunteers. But how does the brain react at the moment of truth, when a person must decide whether to throw something away? At Connecticut's Hartford Hospital, patients reclined in a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, which images brain function by tracking blood flow. On a video link, psychologist David Tolin held up their junk mail and asked whether to save it or run it through a document shredder. The hoarders' brains showed activity spikes in one part of the brain. "Their brains screamed that they were making an error," Tolin said. "So they put down the mail and clutter builds up." ------ Not everyone who lives in a cluttered home is a compulsive hoarder and people who are messy might not need a brain scan. But increasingly they are seeking professional help. Lowe contracted with Aricia LaFrance, a suburban Denver psychologist and organizational consultant. She describes Lowe as a Level 2 on the household clutter scale, but warns she could get worse. "She says her mother is this way and now her daughter is this way. So there is a cycle that we need to break," LaFrance says. The purge requires three consecutive August weekends with Lowe doing "homework" on closets and junk piles during the week. An entire afternoon is reserved for Elphey's room. At 12, her Lil' Bratz dolls mingle with teenage hip-hugger fashions that cascade in knee-deep waves from her bunk bed across the floor. Elphey retreats to her top bunk and pulls a leopard-print blanket over her head. Her mother stands on the bottom bunk and, resting her chin on the top mattress, speaks quietly to the curled shape. After several minutes, Lowe starts back downstairs. Elphey slams her bedroom door with such force that the bannister shivers. Her mother winces. "She's going to work on her closet," Lowe explains. "But she doesn't want anyone to watch." Social forces contribute to clutter, too. The chief culprit: Easy money. Americans use 1.2 billion credit cards and carry an average total of $8,562 in consumer debt. A surprising villain: Technology. Just consider how the entertainment industry has lurched from record players to 8-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs, VCRS, DVDs and now digital downloads. One area where technology should reduce clutter is documents, but the paperless office has not materialized. Lowe and LaFrance agree to combine file boxes and digital storage, and they banish the file cabinet to the alley along with the desk. Cooking trends spawn drawerfuls of specialized gizmos. Does anybody really need both a tomato corer and a tomato slicer? Lowe balks at discarding several bottles of fruit-flavored syrup -- mango, kiwi, raspberry -- that cost $10 apiece. "I MIGHT make an Italian soda," she protests. "Or," LaFrance counters, "you COULD just go to Starbucks and buy one." By September, Lowe's apartment is ready for company. The brown floral print sofa sports a snappy denim blue slipcover. The hamster has been moved. Monopoly and Clue rest neatly on the living room shelves. Instead of the monster desk, a blonde wood table and chairs gleam beneath the dining room chandelier. Elphey has donated three huge trash bags of clothing. Together, she and her mother have hauled out dozens of bags and boxes. They admire the front closet as if it was an oil painting. The coats hang straight. Snowboots are matched on a rack, ready for winter. Suddenly, the gnarly mountain biker in Apartment 17 staggers past Lowe's open front door, wrestling the hideous file cabinet with the faux oak veneer. "Hey, look what I found out in the alley," he announces. "Got to get organized."

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Post by audreyh1 »

Tituba wrote:U.S. material wealth leads to clutter By Joseph B. Verrengia, AP Science Writer | October 22, 2005 ......... Lowe balks at discarding several bottles of fruit-flavored syrup -- mango, kiwi, raspberry -- that cost $10 apiece. "I MIGHT make an Italian soda," she protests. "Or," LaFrance counters, "you COULD just go to Starbucks and buy one." .......
Yep - this would get me often. I would buy things thinking "I might do X with that someday" and it seemed so exciting at the time. Thus an impulsive purchase was born. It took me forever to get to the point where I would counter myself - "Well, when I get ready to do X, then I'll come buy it. There is a very good chance I will never get around to it considering all the other things I have going on.". That's been so true - I easily forget about it immediately thereafter. Months of clearing out and getting rid of stuff that I accumulated because I thought I MIGHT do something with it has really cured me of this illusion. It's pretty shocking when you dig into that back closet you haven't opened for years and find all these impulsive purchases and long forgotten items. Audrey
I have uncluttered my life and I now live my dream full-time!

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Post by Tituba »

My biggest clutter-challenge is paper. I'm always ripping out articles, recipes etc. Then I have to file them. Then I never (ok, rarely) actually even look at them again. Because... I might need that info, make that recipe etc. What exactly is on those pages of paper I couldn't look up on the internet??? :shock: And....why not just scan the important stuff and keep it on my hard drive instead! Jeez.

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Post by Scenario Thinker »

Tituba wrote:My biggest clutter-challenge is paper.
Mine, too. It's like it never stopped learning how to grow on its tree :)
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Post by audreyh1 »

Tituba wrote:My biggest clutter-challenge is paper. I'm always ripping out articles, recipes etc. Then I have to file them. Then I never (ok, rarely) actually even look at them again. Because... I might need that info, make that recipe etc. What exactly is on those pages of paper I couldn't look up on the internet??? :shock: And....why not just scan the important stuff and keep it on my hard drive instead! Jeez.
Yeah - I had to get rid of all that (you can't carry mountains of paper around in a motorhome - it takes space and it's heavy!). It was recycled. I had to come to terms with the fact that the chances of me going back and actually reading it were close to nil. Boy - I had a bad magazine accumulation problem. Lot's of "promise" of valuable information there. Really a big false promise, because I would almost never get around to reading them. Recycled and freecycled. Don't miss them at all! Big relief! For sure - the internet helped me "let go", because I knew that in reality that info was at my fingertips when needed. 10 years ago it might not have been so easy for me to throw that stuff out. It can be insidious! (our need for hanging on to printed information). Audrey
I have uncluttered my life and I now live my dream full-time!

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Post by Tituba »

Sigh....I even have a storage hassock in my living room. I throw the paperwork I intend on filing in the hassock with the intention of putting it in a file someday. Right now, the hassock is full. I know, I know - there is a rule about handling a piece of paper more than once. Ok, ok, tonight I'm going to go through the hassock and toss or file.

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Post by audreyh1 »

Keeping track of papers is a royal pain in the behind! I think I finally got out of my paper monster mode when: - I moved all my bill paying on-line - either from bank, direct account withdrawal or credit card. (a few aren't - like insurance) - I moved all my finances into Quicken - this helped track all income tax related stuff. Checks, credit card charges, tax info are automatically downloaded. - file income tax online (and even pay taxes and get refunds electronically) - I cancelled all my magazine and newsletter subscriptions - I wrote email after email to get myself off of mailing lists - this actually worked pretty well even though I had to be persistent! - I went to the direct marketing site to get off of mailing lists Of course, I don't have my own business, and running a business requires keeping track of expenses, etc. I have a "to shred" folder, a folder for credit card receipts. When I get the mail, I immediately toss the "junk", open any financial docs and file. I don't really get bills in the mail anymore since most are emailed to me now - yeah! Really, I get very little mail these days. I won't keep a paper copy of anything that I can get on-line. I have a two drawer filing cabinet at our in-laws house that keeps long-term papers we might need (like several years of tax records, medical records, etc.). In the motorhome everything fits in two small accordion type folders. Generally, I throw out stuff as soon as I can. This really helps. Audrey
I have uncluttered my life and I now live my dream full-time!

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Post by Scenario Thinker »

Tituba wrote:Sigh....I even have a storage hassock in my living room. I throw the paperwork I intend on filing in the hassock with the intention of putting it in a file someday. Right now, the hassock is full.
I have 3 small-size cardboard storage boxes full of papers; internet printouts, magazines, mail, et.al., from the last time I had someone over (a couple weeks ago). Eventually, I have to more or less dump all 3 boxes on the floor, sort the stuff into piles, then either throw out or keep. As far as books that I have accumulated in addition, I just stacked them in big piles close to where they originally were, and my guest seemed to enjoy browsing through the stacks :) I'm pretty good at getting rid of internet printouts, even on an ongoing basis. I keep ALL my Consumers Reports, and Psychology Todays. I know CR is online (and I'm a subscriber), but I've used the paper magazine as much as the online version (PT is online of course, also). Mail is also very easy for me to toss, once I get around to it.
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Post by expatana »

audreyh1 wrote:
Tituba wrote:And....why not just scan the important stuff and keep it on my hard drive instead! Jeez.
The problem for me is that I do not know how to scan or keep anything on the hard drive. All I'm familiar with is how to save a Word document on my memory key (and hard drive). That's all. I don't know Quicken and wouldn't know the first thing about how to do anything llike that online. I have quite a lot to learn. But I can't throw anything important out until I do. Ana

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Post by Scenario Thinker »

audreyh1 wrote:- I moved all my finances into Quicken - this helped track all income tax related stuff.
I do this, but it's a more manual process. I download/import some, cut/paste others. It's not as much work as it may sound. All of this does bring peace of mind that I won't bounce my checking around. :)
audreyh1 wrote:- file income tax online (and even pay taxes and get refunds electronically)
I do this too.
audreyh1 wrote:- I cancelled all my magazine and newsletter subscriptions
I did this with many. I decided CR was something I would keep, file, and be useful on a regular basis. PT remains to be seen.
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Post by audreyh1 »

My main reason for canceling all magazine subscriptions was because we were "going mobile" and we have family collecting our mail and forwarding some of it as needed. So the major effort to get paper mail down to the absolute minimum. But I must say, it's been quite a relief not having the subscriptions. Audrey
I have uncluttered my life and I now live my dream full-time!

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Post by AnneSophie »

"people like Dr. Phil are making huge amounts of money capitalizing on such. The concept that Dr. Phil perpetuates (i.e., that we live the life we expect) is only a part of the picture. But people eat it up because it gives such a sense of control. It's a 'fix' we love to ingest. Meanwhile, the poor are getting poorer, the middle-class are shrinking, many go without medical treatment because they can't afford it, etc." He has a weird way of "teaching self-responsibility". First he includes the difficulties of his childhood/ teens/ and first years of marriage in his biography but doesn't put the emphasis that his personal and financial life became way better when he became a corporate lawyer in Texas. I could bet you that it didn't mean fighting for the interest of the people in Texas. Dr Phil hit the jackpot when he had to defend Oprah on a free speech case that should never ever have been brought to court. On his show two cases of child neglect/abuse made me loose confidence in him. The first case was a young teen who seemed to have some developmental delay was yelled at because her babies were chronically overweight. No matter how much he yelled, all she could was cry, the overwhelmed grandmother in the audience was sad as well. The were coming from a very modest background, I could just tell. Some month latter, there was a wealthy christian perfect looking family with a beautiful 4 years old little girl. The problem is they only had been married for 3 years. The mother was terrorizing the child using religion and threat of corporal punishment if the child was not sticking to a military style schedule, I was appalled All Dr Phil could say was "she is four, give her a break". I'm not PhD, but it was obvious to me that this woman and her husband were punishing their daughter because her existence represented the proof of their premarital sex, a no no at their church. The second family was wealthy and the young teen mother was not, it was the only difference I could see.

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