My love affair with the Buy Nothing Project

Clutter. I hate it, you probably hate it. Does anyone in the world like clutter? Ugh. It’s the worst. When my personal environment is cluttered I feel it in my soul. I suffered a traumatic back injury almost 10 years ago that changed how I dealt with things in my home. Things continued to come in, clothes, a replacement for big things, chairs, desks, sofas. But nothing was going out. So eventually we had two and even three sets of things cluttering up our home. Bags and bags of outgrown and dated clothes, toys from when my daughter was in elementary school! It’s a big house so it was simple to just keep shoving things into unused rooms or the garage.

But after awhile, and as I got sicker and sicker it became a problem. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Now, we never belonged on an episode of hoarders. lol We simply had TOO MUCH STUFF.

I started noticing how bad it had gotten a few years ago, when my back, and the assorted other health problems became more manageable. Problem was, I didn’t know what to do with it all. It wasn’t trash, so I wasn’t about to toss it. It was way too much, and often too big for me to load and take to the local thrift stores. After a few failed attempts at using a pickup service, I stumbled on the the Buy Nothing Project facebook group.

GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE.

www.buynothingproject.org check it out!

It seemed crazy at first. A tiny little group, no more than 100 members across the whole of my city.  Huh. Strangers. And they wanted me to give them my crap, I mean awesome stuff? Hmmmm So I observed for a while and started by trying to fill someone’s ASK an ASK is when someone is looking for a specific need, say, they need a small dining room table and chairs. Well, look at that, I’ve got two extra sets, take your pick! I love filling ASKS and after that I became very active in my local group. I started gifting everything I could possibly think of. Did it bring me joy? No? Alrighty, it went on BNK! I received a lot of awesome things as well, got rid of too many tables? Haha, yes, I did actually. But then I was gifted a gorgeous glass top table and chairs for my breakfast nook and I love it. It goes back and forth, gifting and receiving.

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But that isn’t even the best part. I have made some amazing relationships through the buy nothing project. It’s hyper local so that tiny group I joined, well it grew. FAST. It eventually became so large it had to be split up into subgroups….East, West, North and South. Then it grew again and branched once more into neighborhood groups. It’s amazing. So often people can walk to my place and grab their item. There were some growing pains, a lot of people were unhappy with splitting the group up but I always that it was fantastic. lol It kept getting more and more local and that was the whole goal of the group. So I was on board!

Long story longer, I love my group. It has been the vehicle I needed to get control of my environment. My house is no longer cluttered. But I am continuing the if it doesn’t bring me joy it’s outta here philosophy. I honestly think it’s made a huge impact on how I feel. I am so much happier without all that stuff weighing me down.

There is probably a Buy Nothing group in your area. If you aren’t a part of it I highly recommend you check it out. They started on an island in the Seattle Wa area and they have grown to be all over the world!

Find your group!

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I am thankful for my group. The community it’s built, the friends I’ve made. The way people have come together when someone is in need. As an example, when the Oso Wa landslide happened a few years ago my local group filled two big trucks (mine being one of them)  with items and we hauled it to Oso. That was pretty amazing. On a smaller scale, we help individuals who are in need for whatever reason. It’s really great.

From their about section…..

 

“Our Buy Nothing Project Mission:

We offer people a way to give and receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through a worldwide network of hyper-local gift economies in which the true wealth is the web of connections formed between people who are real-life neighbors.

 Principles:

  • We believe our hyper-local groups strengthen the social fabric of their communities, and ensure the health and vitality of each member.
  • We come from a place of abundance ~ not scarcity.
  • We believe in abundance, we give, we ask, we share, we lend and we express gratitude.
  • We are a gift economy, not a charity. We see no difference between want and need, waste and treasure.
  • We measure wealth by the personal connections made and trust between people.
  • We value people and their stories and narratives above the ‘stuff.’
  • We are inclusive and civil at our core.
  • We value honesty and integrity in all our interactions.
  • We view all gifts as equal; the human connection is the value.
  • We believe every community has the same wealth of generosity and abundance.

Join Us:
Buy Nothing: Give Freely. Share creatively. Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share among neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering, no soliciting for cash. We’re an adult-only, hyper-local gift economy. We are not a charity or community bulletin board.

By joining a Buy Nothing Project group, you agree to abide by our Mission and Rules.

You can join one group only, the group where you live so you can literally “give where you live.” This is what builds community.

Brought to you by The Buy Nothing Project. Looking for a group near you? Visit our Find a Group page. Want to join the Buy Nothing Project network and there’s no group in your area? Visit our Start a Group page to learn about how we set groups up.

© 2015 Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller
All Rights Reserved”

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Stress is a jerkface.

That’s right I said it. I don’t like stress and I don’t care if it knows. Things have been very stressful lately, extended family and some very close friends have been dealing with serious issues and it’s affected my nuclear family in a big way. For people wich chronic illness, stress is a huge trigger. Any heightened, negative emotion can send us into a flare. So I have been working on managing my stress levels. While at the same time doing my best to be present for my loved ones. Sometimes those two things are mutually exclusive and the thing that suffers is my stress management.  I thought today I would post a bit about why stress affects us the way it does, and some things I do to combat it.

There has been a lot of research showing that Fibromyalgia is a nervous system disorder.  Our systems are already in a heightened state of “fight or flight” So when there is a lot of stress is triggers an even higher state of fight or flight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response

It’s exhausting. Adding high levels of stress can do serious harm. That is what triggers a stress induced flare.

“A fibromyalgia flare (or flare-up) is a temporary increase in the number and/or intensity of symptoms. Worsening pain and fatigue are generally the first two symptoms noticed in a fibroflare. But other symptoms like poor sleep, increased cognitive dysfunction and digestive disturbances are often experienced as well.”

For myself, one of the first symptoms of a flare is increased skin sensitivity. Currently, the inside of my hoodie feels like it’s rubbing my skin raw. It’s not, but my brain is interpreting the signals wrong and is receiving them as pain signals. Not cool brain. I’m actually going to have to go change because this sucks. :p

So, if you’re in a flare what are some ways to manage it?

Distraction…distraction…distraction.

Find something to occupy your mind. If you can focus, read (or write!)

Play minds games.

I am a huge fan of xbox games, I play a lot. It’s my favorite way to manage.

Take a bath.

RELAX if at all possible. Getting those muscles to relax is a big deal, sometimes it feels impossible. (It’s that fight or flight, my muscles are always tense and ready to run)

Control your food and drink massive amounts of water. 

Seriously. This one is huge. Watch what you are eating. Cut out as much processed and artificial foods as you can.

Meditate

Listen to music, do yoga…whatever you like. Just find a way to calm yourself.

And of course, try to avoid stressful situations. HAHA. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha yeah, ok. Easy to say. Because stress is a jerkface and incredibly hard to avoid.

A big thing for me is making sure a fibro flare doesn’t trigger any other flares. My multiple conditions frequently work against each other. So I focus A LOT on reducing outside influences so I can manage better.

Today I am going to do some writing, play some video games, and putter around my house. But first I’ve got to go change my shirt because this is ridiculous! Hopefully, this flare will pass quickly. 🙂

 

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Clearly, I am a terrible blogger. :D

True. It’s been MONTHS since I last did a blog post. I’m finally starting to feel a bit better though. The mental fog and fatigue can really put a stop on things outside my immediate family and blogging is definitely one of the things that gets kicked aside. So here is a quick update.

I have started writing again. Not a lot, but somewhat consistently. My WIP book 2, is at a solid 58k and now that I have started writing again I feel it can be finished by my goal of Juneish.

I haven’t sent any queries for book 1 out in way, way too long so that is on the agenda. I am fairly certain I will not find an agent unless I you know, try. lol 😉

So, here is to getting back into a routine of writing and querying consistently. Wish me motivation!

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Finally back!

It’s been a rough few months, healthwise. But I am starting to feel a bit more alive.its-alive

That pretty much sums it up. lol

I haven’t felt well enough to do much of anything. Last month I managed to send out 8 queries, 2 short of my goal. So this month I am going to try and send out 12 to make up for it. I am super excited to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I will be attempting to write a novel in a genre I’ve never done, this time it will be suspense. Last year I did a Creative Non fiction novel and it may be one of the best things I have ever written.

I am not a fan of plotting my stories, I prefer to write organically and see where it takes me. It can be fun, and very surprising. It can also be frustrating. I completely pantsed NaNo last year and I am debating whether I want to do that again. One problem I run into is my memory and mental fogginess can be a real issue. There are days I can’t remember what I wrote the day before, or I can’t think of words to explain what I want to happen. Simple things, like the sky is blue, can completely derail me and on those days I simply don’t write.  It’s not so bad when I don’t have a deadline. But, with a tight one like NaNo it does lead me to consider changing my somewhat wicked pantsing ways.

anne-lamott-quotes-wayward

My mind puppy is pretty flighty. So I might plot things out before getting started.

I am excited about this project though, it’s fun, no pressure and a great way to stretch my creativity and hone my mad writin’ skillz. 😛

Meanwhile book 2 of the Secret series is percolating away in my brain. Maybe after NaNo I will actually get writing!

 

 

Research is fun.

I am prepping for book 2. That means I am reading a lot of stuff on survivalists and preppers in cities. There is quite a lot of difference in prepping for living off grid versus living in a city. Researching is probably one of my favorite things about writing. It’s so fun learning the different ways to do things and what we’d need. Plus of course how many people could and would survive if they weren’t prepped. That is the biggest thing right now. Deciding how people who weren’t preppers could have survived. Maybe they just got lucky and were in the right places when it all went down. Maybe they knew it was going to happen.

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True story. 😀

Here are a few websites I particularly enjoy.Even though I do tend to get absorbed into reading things that have nothing to do with what I am writing. It’s all so interesting!

http://prepperswill.com/

http://survivalist101.com/

http://www.topprepperwebsites.com/

I’ve learned so much and am halfway towards bugging out. 😉 Seems like a good plan these days.

When I started The Secret Colony I knew next to nothing about Preppers and Survivalists. Now I am pretty sure I could be one.

Trying new things

I am long overdue for a blog post. I’ve been taking turns between being very busy, not feeling well, being unmotivated and back to busy again. Amongst all that excitement I wrote an article for a mommy page that I follow on facebook. It’s an emotional piece about watching my daughter grow up, I don’t think it’s a perfect fit for the mommy page, but it was something new to try and if they don’t like it I will send it to some other online magazines. I have ideas percolating for pieces for some other online magazines too, it could be a fun experiment.

In other news, I have sent 15 queries out this month! I am really enjoying this part of the process. Finding agents that are interested in what I’ve written, researching them, tailoring each query letter to each person. There is a lot more to this than I’d ever imagined. I have a serious appreciation for the agents that take the time to send a rejection. Whether it may have a bit of a personal touch, or is a form rejection. It is so much nicer than not getting one. I’ve already surpassed my goal of sending 10 queries out this month. That is very good because next month is busy and I am not sure how much time I will have, or how I am going to feel.

Meanwhile, I am planning to start book 2 of the Secret series. I feel that I can not “pants” this one like I did the first one. I have to be careful to get certain pieces in the right places. Which means I need to make some sort of outline. So I’m going to work on that. It’ll be a whole new adventure.  Tentative start date will be in August. So you know, probably some time in September. 😀

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The Feels. And a little progress.

My daughter is driving on her own for the first time today. I am full of feels so I wrote this poem to try to channel them. I used to write poetry a lot, but it’s been a long time and it’s not very good, but it’s helping a little. I thought I’d share here since I am trying to keep my cool on my facebook wall. LOL

Fly little Bird

We’ve practiced for this moment 
You’ve grown and matured.
You watch and learn, you question.
Today you are ready to go.
By yourself. Alone into the world.
We’ve taught you well.
You are prepared.

But am I?
Am I ready to watch you drive away?
Without me by your side.
Guiding you, encouraging you.
Look at you go, my beautiful babe, my girl.
So strong, so capable.
My bird. She flies.

bootnest
Had to add some levity, because THE FEELS.
On a different note, I am making real progress on getting queries out. I sent an easy one the other day. Query+first 10 pages. Just for grins and giggles. Now that the first 10 chapters are prepped I just need to start sending them out. So that is what I will be doing for the next week. I plan to send 10 out, I think. Then I’ll wait, building the next list of agents to query and in a August I will send out more.
I’m hoping that by doing it in waves like this it won’t be too overwhelming for me.
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