21 Days To A More Disciplined Life Challenge – Day 1

Today has finally arrived.  Today is the day I become completely self-disciplined.

Yeah, I was laughing too.  If you have ever tried to change a habit, lose weight, change up your schedule or “become a new person” you know how much more it takes than just one day to make something stick.  Yet, the first day is a big step.  It puts you on your way to your second day and your third day and your fourth, fifth, six, seventh … and before you know it, you have lost count of which day it is and do the new thing without even thinking.

It is probably more accurate to say, today is my first day in becoming more self-disciplined.  I find that sometimes starting something is all it takes to get me going.  My personality lends itself to over thinking and over analyzing everything.  I try to work through every step before I have even fully decided to do something.  It is usually sold to myself as, “You’ll save time by thinking through it now.  This way you won’t have to redo or undo something later.”  Of even better, “You’ll save money by figuring out the perfect way to do this.  Then you won’t end up buying extra materials.”

When Crystal first wrote the 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life series on her blog, I followed along, but didn’t take advantage of the wisdom to actually change anything.  Then she rewrote it in book form.  Perhaps it was timing or having it all in one place, but this time I took note and decided it was time to stop procrastinating and trying to be perfect.

Day 1 of the book starts off at the very beginning, Discipline is a Choice.  Good point.  If you have ever tried to make someone else disciplined when they didn’t want to be, you would know exactly how true this statement is.  Not only that, it is a choice that must continually be made.

For the small project today, I an choosing to clean our main bathroom.  I have kept up with wiping down the mirror, swiping the sink every so often and emptying the trash.  However, it slowly has become neglected.  The other day when I stood looking at it from the doorway, I couldn’t believe how bad it had become.  Even in regards to my non-perfect standards.  Granted, it was nothing big and nothing that could not be fixed with some TLC.  What it became  was a sign of laziness on my part.  I don’t remember the last time I swept, let alone mopped it.  I had wiped down the sink and toilet fairly recently.  Yet, there is at least one person in the house who likes to have ‘spit races’ after brushing teeth.  The trails of post tooth brushing activities were rarely cleaned off and often left to dry.

Today I want to bring it back to a place where I can be happy to start my day instead of a place I rush out of.

As for my Mega Project I actually changed this at the last minute.  I almost chose to finally (after two years) finish removing wallpaper and repainting a spare bathroom.  And though that needs to be done, it isn’t exactly the kind of project I was looking to do.  It was while thinking this over (see above) that I went outside and for the hundreth bazillionth time complained inwardly about how bad my front weed flower bed looks.  It took me a few seconds before feeling the “well duh” book hit my forehead, but I got there eventually.

When we first moved into our home, it was spring.  This flower bed was beautiful, filled with tulips, hyacinthias, and other spring flowers.  As time went on and these flowers faded I eagerly anticipated what might come next.  And I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  I was afraid to week for fear of pulling something that was not a weed.  Then the first year ended.

The second year came and went like the first, except this time I was planning what to do … in my head.  Nothing ever actually made it into the ground.

So here we sit, five years later, and still nothing has made it into the ground.  Well, that isn’t really true.  I did try to grow cucumbers and melons here one year, to use as ground cover.  They didn’t do so well.  Then Year 3, or so, I planted one of the saddest looking Lamb’s Ear plants you ever saw.  It was going to be thrown away, so I thought I would at least give it a small chance.  Unlike the vegetables, the Lamb’s Ear took off.

One benefit to not weeding is that I did find one flower growing that I would have otherwise pulled.  Not only is it growing, but it is spreading and the plants themselves are getting larger.  That would be Columbine; three different colors of it in fact.

Still, those benefits were far exceeded by the month and months of weeds.  The bed is too large for me to keep up with easily.  I don’t want to spend a few hours after every rain pulling weeds.  It doesn’t help that I let them have a few years to establish themselves.

I’m still not exactly sure what I want the end result to be (as in size and shape of the bed, along with plants to include).  What I do know is that what is there is very much not okay and way worse than having a new bed that I will have to expand later.

Here are a few shots of what it looks like now:

Even the rock border needs work.  It is actually two layers tall, though the first layer has settled into the ground.

Lamb’s Ear.  It has thrived in this setting.

One of a couple lilies (?) that come back every year.

Columbine

Here is my game plan:

Day 1 – get pots and shovel from the shed.  Dig up plants I want to keep and place them in pots.

Day 2 – continue digging up plants.

Days 3-6 – remove stones from around the bed.  One side each day.  Call around to find a source of mulch.

Days 7-11  – Remove dirt. Salvage any bulbs that are found.

Day 12 – Mark area of new bed

Days 13 & 14 – Put in new dirt/mulch.

Days 15-18 – Add  border, one side per day.

Day 19 – Spread grass seed over area left bare (where flower bed used to be).

Day 20 & 21 – Order/put in new plants and bulbs

In all honesty, I don’t know if I will be able to finish this project.  What I do know, though, is that almost anything is better than what I have.

Update:  Day 1 has gone a lot quicker than I thought.  There were not near as many plants in there as I thought there were.  I was able to remove the plants I wanted, place them in pots and put them in a protective spot fairly easy.  One thing I did notice is that some of the plants left are quite large.  I think they would make removing the dirt hard.  I decided to make Day 2 a day of cutting down the weeds, rather than digging more plants.  This will make it easier to remove the dirt later.  That is also one step that I’m not sure how to do, but will cross that bridge when I get there.