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I’ve been meaning to write a book, a follow up to Magickal Connections, for years now. But it’s a daunting task, and I couldn’t get my ‘handle’, my thesis if you will. Then in late March I realized I had the title and all at once the whole outline came to me.

(Sometimes I hate my muse, but she’s kickass when she comes through.)

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Here’s how I’m doing so far in 2016:

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Last week my stepfather died. Most accurately, he was my ex-stepfather as he and my mother were divorced about 20 years ago when I was in college. As with so many things today, this is a complicated situation.
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I am grateful, first and foremost, for my husband. He has been in my life for 15 years now and is the sun to my earth, the musician for my dance, the partner of my dreams.

I am grateful for my job, which is stimulating and diverse and yet pays me well enough to live my dreams.

I am grateful for my friends. They are a wonderful group of interesting, intelligent people. Through them I learn about the world and see it through different eyes.

I am grateful for my coven, past, present, and future. Through them I am taught new things, constantly.

I am grateful for my teachers. Their gentle discipline and guidance has opened up new vistas for me to explore.

I am grateful for my family. We’ve been through a lot, and evolved into several different permutations, and there will always be love.

I am grateful for my home, which is beautiful and a source of safety on many levels.

I am grateful for the Deity, without whom I would not be.

(A friend asked for my advice on tackling the office. Here’s my reply)

You’re right that its a big project, all the more so because it’s not a room anyone writes about when they are talking about organization. (I think everyone its dismayed!) So here is what I’ve done, feel free to use what makes sense and ignore the rest.

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(To be revisited in six months, around my birthday.)

Health:

Peri-menopause is proving to be more difficult than I expected, although why I thought it would be another else, I’m not sure. Having spent two years attempting to get in better shape I find myself at the same place, nearly, that I was post-chemo. This (literally) depressing. (A mental state I wrestle with far too often to be healthy.)

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I love to read, I also read for a living (thanks Facing North!). So you’d think these reading challenges would be easy.  .  .

Here’s how I’m doing so far in 2016:

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You can’t.

I’ve spent the last three years in a job that used to be fun and occasionally stressful, but rewarding, but is now very stressful and holds me with golden handcuffs. I know I’m stressed, my expanding middle and over-burdened adrenaline system tell me that, nearly constantly.

I keep waiting for the job to calm down, so I can get a handle on it.

A few weeks ago, as I was lying on a massage table getting work done because my low back was in pain (surprise surprise) I had a tremendous realization. The job isn’t going to change; I will never get a handle on it. I need to change my reaction.

So, I can’t control work, but I can control my response to it.

I’m pretty sure this is not news to the world. But I’m putting it out there because I don’t want to lose track of this realization, it’s pretty important for me.

Next in our year of organizing was the library.

First of all, we looked through the house and found the books that were ‘living’ elsewhere and brought them into the room. Then we went through our books, shelf by shelf and decided to keep (or not). This took most of Saturday, and resulted in three large bags of books going out to be sold. ($45!)

We replaced three glass shelves with wooden ones because they were bowing under the weight.

Then came the big task: filing all of our books. This was most of Sunday, and if it weren’t for clearing out so many books, it would have been grueling, instead of just wearying. As it is, we ended up having a long discussion over lunch about whether non-fiction should be broken out by subject type, or just completely filed by alpha.

Here’s the thing, our paperbacks (99% of which are fiction) are filed by alpha, in two stacks on the top shelf of five bookshelves (10 rows total). Fiction hardbacks or mass-market paperbacks are filed by alpha starting under the first paperback shelf and continuing clockwise around the room until we reach Z (at bookshelf number 3, or 15 shelves total). Then we have two shelves of auto- and biographies, a shelf of gardening books, a shelf of travel books, and a shelf of books I’ve made. Then we start with the other non-fiction, again by alpha, skipping the bottom shelf of three bookshelves to make room for the ‘oversize’ nonfiction books, including my crafting books (yay Martha Stewart) and J’s music library. Under the last two stacks of paperbacks are several shelves for astrology books and tarot books and general divination books. On the other side of the room is a bookshelf solely of graphic novels, comic books, and art books. Next to that are the two bookshelves that are the rest of my occult reference library.

A Queen Anne style armchair sits next to the media cabinet that holds the household server and a table lamp, just right for reading a good book . . . of which we have several. It’s really perfect for settling in with a cup of tea and having a quiet time.

Our first organizing project of the year was the garage. It seemed especially appropriate after the extra special mess created by the holidays.

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