If you know me, you know one of my passion's is volunteering at a rummage sale. And not just any rummage sale but the self-proclaimed oldest and largest rummage sale in the state of NJ. It's quite an event.
I'm in the middle of my tenth sale and the magic of rummage amazes me every time. You see, this isn't your typical rummage sale.
Before I started volunteering, if I heard the words 'rummage sale' I thought of the basement of the church of my youth. The women of the church would collect donations and then one Saturday afternoon the sale would commence and we would get to buy things we didn't need for a quarter or a dollar.
The rummage sale today is sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills (VNA-SH) and is celebrating it's 95th year, in 2016. 95 years. That's a long time. As I have been told, it started small as a rack of dresses and has grown to a multi-day event (twice a year) with 20 departments and over 400 volunteers. Amazing. You can buy almost anything at rummage.
I love just about everything related to rummage. The generosity of people who donate personal and household items. The VNA-SH who provide wonderful services to the local community, including the Adult Day Program which my mother attends. And the volunteers who give their time and talent. That's the good stuff. The not so good stuff includes the portable toilets and bad weather. Rummage is an outdoor event that lasts a month between set-up, collection and the sale.
I experienced the magic of rummage during my first sale when I was able to match a buyer with her dream piece of clothing. I volunteer in the Boutique Tent, the home of women's designer clothing. I know this may sound odd, but rummage clothes all have owners and a home. The Spring 2016 sale is no exception.
We receive many interesting and valuable donations. This sale we received a wedding gown and wedding gowns are hard to match and sell. This gown found its home when a seamstress, whose niece is getting married in the Fall, saw it and inquired. She was hesitant and started taking and sending photos to the bride and mother of the bride. You see, the bride had champagne taste on a beer budget. The aunt knew she could transform the dress and exceed the expectations of the bride. You could see creativity as she told us what she would do with the dress. The ladies of the Boutique Tent knew this dress had just found its owner. We rallied around and negotiated and made the magic happen. When the dress was sold, we all cheered. Not because we had made the sale, but because the dress had found its new home and the good work of the VNA-SH would benefit.
The wedding theme continues as another magical event occurred when a future mother of the bride saw a fur stole and imagined wearing it over her shoulders at her daughter's December wedding. She was hesitant and thought she would come back the next day to get it and immediately started to worry it would be gone. I handed it to her to try on and look in the mirror. Her face lit up when she saw it because it was perfect. It was a beautiful piece, very vintage and in very good condition. I knew this piece had found its owner and I needed to make the magic happen, so I did. With a little negotiation and a lot of good intention, the fur stole found its home. Again we all cheered. It's rummage magic.
Not every item sold at the rummage sale has a dramatic story but every item sold is magical. Since my first rummage sale I have said rummage clothes are magical. When you wear them, you carry with you the good intention and generosity of the donor in addition to good will you earned when purchasing the item. Magic.
Now that I am in the midst of my tenth sale I also understand that a necessary part of the rummage lifecycle is re-donating the clothing and items you have purchased. I love all of my rummage purchases: clothing, shoes, lamps, chairs, pottery, etc. And as they come to the end of their useful life for me, I send them back to be loved by someone else.
Many organizations collect clothing and household items to be sold and raise funds. I can't speak for them, though I am sure the magic is there in its own way. I've experienced the VNA-SH Rummage Sale magic and it’s one of the many reasons I return to volunteer, rain or shine, hot or cold, busy or not. I will be there as long as they will have me.
I love the magic.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of magic! Deb
Mark Twain said "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." I have used the 'eat the frog' analogy throughout my career when I was procrastinating. In fact, Brian Tracy has written a book called "Eat that Frog" about overcoming procrastination.
I find myself at a point where I have no time for procrastination. As quickly as I decided to take a step towards moving, my new house presented itself and I am in the midst of working through the purchase. Providing it all goes well, I will be moving in less than 2 months and then will put my current home on the market. The reason for the buy - move - sell strategy? I am surrounded by FROGS!
Having lived in the same small townhome for 20 years, I have accumulated stuff and a lot of it. Not hoarding levels of stuff, but more stuff than my little townhome needs. Faced with the task of packing and moving, all of my stuff looks like frogs. I am overwhelmed to the point of standing still and doing nothing.
Has this happened to you? Not the stuff, but becoming so overwhelmed by a project that you simply do nothing because it's easier. We know we need to take action to move forward on our projects and our journeys. How do we do that? One step (frog) at a time!
From my days as a project manager, we broke all project milestones into detailed steps so we could track the timing and ultimate outcome of the project. The same principle works with our own projects. If we are going to look for a new job, we need to prepare our resume, identify target industries and target companies, write cover letters, review network contacts, etc. We could easily create a mini-project plan or list of steps or check list for this project.
While I was standing in my kitchen today, I realized I needed to do at least one thing each day. Eat one frog each day and simply start the process of working through 20 years of stuff and sorting into "trash - donate - keep" piles. My project was the oven drawer where I found the gleaming brand new broiler pan that had never been used along with a ton of other bakeware that could be donated. I emptied and cleaned the drawer, put the donations in the box and placed the keep items back in the drawer. One frog eaten. Whew.
I noticed that as soon as I ate one frog and realized it wasn't so bad, I wanted to eat another. So I opened the oven where I determined it was all 'keep' items but I need to clean the oven. That's the next frog, cleaning the oven without using the self-clean feature or harsh chemicals. Frog identified and research underway.
I won't be writing a project plan to clean and pack my house, but I will be looking at my frogs and tackling some of them each day when pockets of time appear in my calendar. It only took me 20 - 30 minutes to work through the oven. So, small pockets of time = at least one small frog.
Sometimes our goals and dreams overwhelm us. We need to remind ourselves that we can move towards our goals by taking one step at a time or in my case, one frog at a time.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of achievement! Deb
Have you read the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho? It was our November book which I have now read and posted comments on My Bookshelf. It's a great story about intuition and discovering your personal legend. I can't believe I have not discovered this book before now!
2015 has been an interesting year. In my first blog of 2015 I wrote:A personal year 5 is a year full of fun, adventure, travel, new people and new possibilities! Sounds great, if you like change because the number 5 is also about change. I have exciting things planned for 2015 and will remain open to all the people and possibilities that present themselves.
Here's an excerpt from my most recent blog on 2015: My year was full of adventure with travel to Los Angeles, Disney and Italy! New people came into my life including new personal relationships. As the saying goes, "We don't meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason." New people also bring new possibilities and I have met a number of new business contacts who have supported and encouraged me to DREAM BIGGER!
2015 was a year of great change and adventure for me! Was it by coincidence or by design? Did I set my intention to live seeking new people, possibilites and adventure? Intentions are powerful.
What intentions will you set for 2016? Read on for tips on intentions and vision boards. If you would like assistance with your 2016 intentions, let's talk. Send me a quick message to get the process going.
Enjoy the holidays. Thanks for an inspiring 2015! You inspire me.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of inspiration, Deb
In this post, the personal years 3 and 4 will be discussed. A quick reminder that personal years are part of reinvention cycles as defined by Pythagoras and you can think of it as the energy of your year. We move through these nine year reinvention cycles throughout our lives.
If you are wondering what your personal year is, simply add together the month and day of your birth with the current year. Mine looks like this: December 30 = 12 + 30 + 2015 = 2057 = 2+0+5+7 = 14 = 1+4 = 5. 2015 is a personal year 5 for me. Remember, personal years run January to December with the calendar, not birthday to birthday.
2013 was a personal year 3 for me (December 30 = 12 + 30 + 2013 = 2055 = 12 = 3). A personal year 3 is a creative, social year. A year full of ideas, creative downloads and distractions! I often call a personal year 3 the shiny penny year. Think of yourself as a social butterfly going from event to event with lots of ideas, lots of distractions, and very little focus. You will need to find a way to focus and express the creative energy in a personal year 3. That's the core of the number 3, creative expression.
In 2013, I was full of ideas! I was walking regularly and nearly had to carry a pen and paper with me so that I could capture the ideas running through my head. It was also a year of travel: Mazatlán Mexico in March, Disney World in June and a Wine Cruise through England, France, Spain and Portugal in October. It was the year I discover the Camino de Santiago and added it to my bucket list. Who knew when I first started reading about it in April, I would have the opportunity to visit the end point, the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela when I was in Spain in October. Coincidence? Nope. I love the way the Universe works for our greatest good. I didn't do a lot of writing in 2013, I was saving it for 2014!
2014 was a personal year 4 for me (December 30 = 12 + 30 + 2014 = 2056 = 13 = 4). A personal year 4 is a year of hard work moving you closer to your dreams and goals. It's a foundational year in the cycle. Just think of the 4 corners of a square or a house. The four corners form the foundation from which to build. That's the essence of the number 4, hard work and foundation.
In 2014, I started writing! Talk about hard work! The Real Life Spark newsletter started in January of 2014. I also wrote My Seasons of Transformation and Transformation through Volunteerism. Both will be published by the end of 2015 (the first in Women Living Consciously, Vol II and the latter in Keys to a Good Life). There was some travel involved - visit to the Ranch and a trip to Scotland. It was a year where I started to find my voice and move my life in the direction that I wanted. Foundational work at its best.
What's going on in your current reinvention cycle? What's your personal year? Any questions, post them in the comments below and we can discuss.
Next post is 2015, my personal year 5. Stay tuned.
Wishing you peace, love and sparks of inspiration! Deb
Deb Wilber is the owner of Real Life Spark, a coaching practice dedicated to Igniting the Next Generation of YOU!™