When Opportunity Knocks

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For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been tinkering with SoPupuka for a while now. This blog and this site may look brand new, but SoPupuka’s been in existence for a couple years. Over this summer I was feeling like all the work I had put into it wasn’t worth it, and that I should let it go and move on. Just after making this decision, Jill from Sugarcane Shop in Kaimuki contacted me through Instagram asking if she could carry my products in her store. I thought I might as well unload some cards and maybe I’ll make a little cash from it. Well, it turns out some cards were pretty popular, and that was enough to encourage me to start fresh. So here I am, pouring my heart out into this little business venture. I guess I’m not finished yet!

This time I’m doing things a bit differently: I’m now working on selling through a small handful of local shops throughout the Islands as well as on Etsy.

Here we go again!

Much Aloha!

Overcome Overwhelm, One Tiny Step at a Time

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Today felt hard. I worked all day long trying to clean and organize the house, but for every step forward, I felt like my 3 year old was setting me 3 steps back. By 4pm, the house didn’t look any better than it did at 8am.

I don’t know why I bother cleaning while my kids are awake.

So there I am at around 5:30pm, exhausted, utterly spent, grouchy and discouraged. I roll of my sleeves and get to work making a quick dinner, putting away dishes, picking up and putting away toys, folding blankets, etc.

And it dawned on me.

Cleaning the kitchen is hard.

Taking a plate and moving it from the dish rack to the cabinet isn’t.

Organizing my girls’ room is tedious and time consuming.

Gathering up the books and returning them to the shelf isn’t.

Doing the laundry can take all day.

Folding a shirt takes 15 seconds.

Scrubbing down the bathroom can be disgusting.

Cleaning the toilet is…still disgusting, but less overwhelming when you remove it from the larger context of the entire bathroom.

This, I believe is the first time the idea of micro-actions really clicked for me – not to reach a goal, or establish a habit, but to simply get through my day.

Of course, my day may look entirely different from your day (and to be honest, I don’t do ALL that housework in one day). You might teach 25 6 year olds, deliver babies, make sales calls, wait tables, write books. All those things are simply descriptions for the little tiny actions that, when put together, create a teacher, a midwife, a salesperson, a waiter, and an author. And in everything we do, there is potential for overwhelm.

Our entire lives are made of tiny actions whether we see it that way or not. Every day we think about EVERYTHING that we have/want to do, and the overwhelm can be paralyzing, but when we break down our day into hours, and minutes, even seconds if we need to, and immerse ourself in each tiny span of time, we can get through whatever overwhelms us, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

4 Questions for Getting Your Home to Maintenance Mode

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We moved to this house back in May (it’s now October) and I’m still trying to get it to maintenance mode.

What is maintenance mode you ask?

Maintenance mode is where everything we have actually belongs here, and everything has a home. Maintenance mode is where our space is planned out in a way that makes sense to us. Maintenance mode is where I’m done sorting and re-arranging and I can simply maintain our space and focus more attention on other things…like my family…or this blog…or some business ideas that are floating around my head.

Some of you may think “Well I’m not moving anytime soon”, or “I haven’t moved recently,” but there are lots of things that may cause a shake-up in our living spaces – a new pet, baby, business, or hobby just to name a few. Some of us simply live in chaos for years and are numb to what a energy-drain and time-sucker living in “set up” mode can be.

If you came to my house today, and then visited again tomorrow, it’s very likely that some piece of furniture would be in a different place. In fact, that’s what often happens to my husband – he comes home from work and something is different. A few weeks ago I completely re-arranged our living room furniture. The next day I switched our dressers over to different walls. Then I moved a bookshelf from our bedroom to the dining room, and during this whole process, I’ve built up a big box of stuff I want to get rid of.

All of this takes time and energy and I want to get through it as soon as possible (I know…it’s October….and I said we moved here in May…in my defense I was either very pregnant or very early postpartum. Even now at 2 months post-baby it’s hard to get stuff done)

Here are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself as I work toward “maintenance mode.”

What do we want the function(s) of this room to be?

This almost goes without saying, but I’m asking this question because I’m thinking of turning our living room into a little preschool for my daughter, so I’m seriously questioning exactly what we want this space to be. This would mean a huge shift in our current arrangement. NOTHING would be where it is now. It’s all about making this space work for our purposes.

Is the amount of space we’ve allotted to a certain activity proportionate to the amount of time we spend on said activity?

Case in point: We only use our dining table for eating, but it takes up almost half of our living/dining area. I don’t think we spend half our time eating, so it shouldn’t take up half the space. I’m thinking of demoting it to a corner of the room. Never mind what interior design experts might say. Chances are no one from HGTV will EVER see the inside of my house.

Is this ____________ worth the investment of money/and space we put in to it?

I’m specifically thinking about my desk. It takes up quite a bit of space, and it’s currently catching paper and whatever junk doesn’t have a specific home. Heck, I’m sitting on the couch typing this post up. CLEARLY I don’t HAVE to be sitting at a desk to get stuff done, and CLEARLY I was more enamored with the idea of a desk rather than the functions of a desk when I bought it (curse you Pinterest and all your lovely office spaces!). I’m conducting an experiment to determine whether or not I really need it, but that deserves its’ own post.

Even when we’re in maintenance mode, these questions are still helpful. Just because we’ve done something a certain way for 20 years doesn’t mean that’s the best/most efficient way to do things. It’s healthy to entertain other ideas once in a while, just not too much, lest you throw your whole house into chaos.

How can I best utilize the assets of our space?

Can we fit all our clothes in a closet rather than buy a dresser? Can we use those built-in shelves for our book collection? Our house doesn’t have a ton of built-in storage, but we try to make the most of the storage we do have by editing what we have so that our things fit nicely (still VERY MUCH a work in progress).

Eventually I’m hoping that things will settle down in our place, and these questions have been integral in helping us (and by us I mean me) get there.

Are you in a place where you’re happy with your space? What (if any) changes would you like to make?