Thoughtful Thursday – Your Tongue

My mom quit working when I was born.  One reason was because she and my father decided having her at home with me was something they were willing to sacrifice her income to achieve.  Another reason was because my dad was a street cop at the time, which required him to change shifts every few weeks – 3 weeks on days, 3 weeks on evenings, 3 weeks on nights.   My mother was very, very good at protecting our family time.  While I remember having to be quiet during the weeks that dad worked nights, I rarely remember feeling like my dad’s schedule interfered in our time as a family.  I am sure that took a lot of work by both of them.   I know that they both sacrificed a lot to ensure that I was able to benefit from their undivided attention. 

My question is how were they able to do that?  I look at my life, at that of my girls, and my husband.  Financially, there is no way to have me stay at home, given the fact that I carry the benefits for the family.  But how can I ensure that the girls benefit from undivided attention, that they don’t feel lost in the business of daily life? 

I am trying to adjust my schedule to be available for them.

I make sure that either I or Hubby is available to be at their activities (such as Girl Scouts, Tae Kwon Do, VBS, etc).

I demand an evening a week where we have either a family game night or family movie night. 

I attempt to cook meals and insist that we sit down as a family for dinner a minimum of 4 nights a week. 

But one thing that gets lost in there is time for me and time for my marriage.  How do I meet everyone’s needs?

One way is to follow my dad’s advice -

Put the tip of my tongue on the roof of my mouth and say “NO”

But that is often easier said than done. 

There are so many expectations….

I found this article very helpful.  She discusses not only what saying no means, but also what saying yes means as well. 

At this, the beginning of the new year and filling in of new calendars, I am going to commit to looking at not only what I say yes to, but also what I will be saying no to in that yes.  I commit to being much more intentional in my schedule. 

How about you? Are you going to place your tongue at the roof of your mouth and say NO?

Blog plan

Gentaur schedule

Image via Wikipedia

OK -
I have decided to add some structure to my blog, thus also to my life.

I am going to have a schedule of topics each week.  Those will be the meat and potatoes of the blog, but I will also add some spontaneous posts as things occur or if I need to vent or toot my own horn.

So here is the schedule.  It may be tweaked as time goes on, but I think it covers a lot of what I need to contemplate in my life.

Motivation Monday -

Mondays I will offer up a quote/reflection/Scripture verse/etc as well as my own reflection on it. It may be be totally random, or it may be something that I need to address that week.  But it will always be thought-provoking and motivational.

Trashy Tuesday -

This is the day that I will talk about decluttering.  I will link up with articles that I have found helpful.  I will also talk about what my current decluttering project is and the progress I am making.

Wacky Wednesday -

Wednesdays are going to be a “surprise”.   I may go more in-depth about something I am already talking about on another day.  I may post a “funny” about something.  I may post a recipe that I found.  But you never quite know what I am going to writing about until you open the post!

Thoughtful Thursday -

Thursdays are my day to explore what has made me into the person that I am today.  It will be self-reflective.  I will also explore ways to grow.  I hope to learn a lot about myself, but I also hope that other people will share in the comments and feel like they were able to learn more about themselves.  Of course, I may be just so weird that no one can relate to me, too!

Family Friday -

Fridays are going to be all about family life.  I will evaluate how my own family is doing and look for ways to make my family grow closer.  I may post craft sites for kids, games that we love, plans for the weekend, goals for my family, or anything else that relates to the relationships within my family.

I am setting up a poll.   While this blog is about making myself accountable for changing my perspective, and it is about using that perspective change to find the gifts in my life, I also want to keep it stimulating enough that readers will keep coming back.  Please fill out the poll and also let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Stop and Do

I have several blogs listed in my side bar.  I love to peruse them.   My Google Reader is overflowing with even more blogs that I enjoy reading.   I have them divided into different groups -

Google Reader OS X

Image by gS32tom via Flickr

I have my 31 day group – the bloggers who wrote everyday for the entire month of October about a single topic.  I am still wading through all that wonderful information.

I have my Adoption Group – these are blogs of friends who have adopted, as well as blogs of adult adoptees, first moms and some that I have just stumbled upon over the years.

I have my Budgeting and Organization Group – the group of blogs that focus on ways to save money as well as blogs about  organizing, decluttering and time management.

I have my Craft and Journaling Group – this includes different digital scrapbooking sites, journaling prompt sites, and a couple other sites that post frequently about other crafts that I enjoy.

I have my Faith Group – these sites are specific to my faith tradition

And last but no least, I have my Misc Group – blogs that don’t readily fit into any one of the above listed topics.

At any one time I had 1000+ posts that were unread.  I don’t like to leave things unread.  I am afraid that I am going to miss some crucial bit of information that may hold the key to getting me where I want to be in life.  Finally (mentally slapping myself on the forehead) I realized how much pressure I was putting on myself!  Most of these people did not care that I read their sites – they did not even know that I exist!  So I did something very radical – I removed them from my list.  I finally realized that I am NOT going to be the coupon queen.  While I am sure that it would save my family a lot of money,  I just don’t have the mental energy to deal with it.  I will by the white and blue containers from my local Wal-Mart and call it good.  So I deleted all my couponing sites.  Then I cleaned out all the unread articles that I knew I was never going to get around to reading.  I am now down to 739 posts to read.  Of those, I will probably delete several more.  But this was enough for one day.

Next came along another mind-blowing realization (and another mental slap to the forehead).  I was spending so much time reading about how to do things that I never got around to actually doing it!  Well, duh!  Blonde moment!  I am fairly sure that I was hiding from the responsibility of “doing” by “learning”.    While I could be a professional student, it is not part of my life at this moment.  I need to actually DO something with all the information and inspiration that I read.

So today I am publicly announcing a new goal for tomorrow.  I will organize my desk.  Now if you think this is a small job, you have NOT seen my desk.  First of all, there are not enough drawers for everything.   So tomorrow I will sort, fill my trashcan,  utilize all the little boxes that I have hanging around the house, and I will have a clean desk top.  I promise there will be pictures.  (No, they will not include me)

Does anyone else have a short term goal they want to set?  You have one day to get it done, then we can relax for the weekend!  (And I can get over this headache from all this forehead slapping!)

 

Pillows are so friendly!

3.365 - Not a morning person

Well, it has been several days now.  I will tell you that getting up is not getting much easier.  My pillows are so friendly in the morning.  They cry out for me not to leave them.

I am committed to doing this, though!

Pam In Missouri commented:

Did you see what was on the ITA (Inspired to Action) site yesterday? I love her comment about the morning not needing to be the

main time for praying, exercising, or planning. I struggle with an idealized version of what mornings should look like versus what really happens for this night owl/non-morning person.

I was very glad to have seen that post, as well.  I am, by nature, a night-owl.  But I really do need to change that for the well-being of my family.  The hardest part is trying to force myself to get to bed on time.   I also have to remember that it takes 21 days to create a habit. I have been doing this less than 7.

I am headed down to help get my oldest motivated to finish her homework and then spend some time with Hubby, then off to bed on time!

New Routine

 

Corbett Morning 2

Image by Eileen Delhi via Flickr

 

I am not a morning person.

I have never been a morning person.

But I have accepted a personal challenge posted on Inspired To Action.

It is called “Maximize Your Mornings”.

I am never on time for anything (except for my wedding – I was on time for that), so it is only par for the course that I find and start this challenge as they start week 2.   So I started it today – with week one.  I set my alarm and got up with it instead of waiting for either my hubby or my children to drag my sorry hiney –   um –  badger me to get up –  no, no, no – gently awaken me in the morning.   So I am headed to bed so that I can set my alarm a little earlier for tomorrow.   See ya tomorrow!

Finding Some Tools

slumber party

Image by theogeo via Flickr

Tonight I will have a houseful of girls ranging in ages from 6.8-10 years of age.  There will be 7 of them.  They will be here for almost 12 hours. I planned this little side trip in my journey. I made lists -

  • of guests,
  • of crafts,
  • of supplies,
  • of things I need to get done around the house.

I made timelines -

Getting Things Done: The Inbox
  • for the party,
  • for the house cleaning,
  • for my work week  so that I could turn off the computer on time at the end of the day,
  • for craft prep,
  • for baking cupcakes.

I am now down to 5 hours before the party starts and everything has fallen apart.

  • The cupcakes did not rise when baking.
  • The clutter in the playroom is not put away.
  • The clutter in the living room is still piled around.
  • The clutter in the kitchen and the kitchen table has multiplied.
  • I still need to go to the grocery store.
  • I forgot my wonderful husband is in an all day meeting today and is not around for me to rely on for those last-minute details.

This, unfortunately is not an unusual situation for me.  I start out with terrific intentions, but then somewhere along the line I end up on some unforeseen detour that never seems to get me back on the right road.  It is extremely frustrating.  What makes it worse is that my husband and I do not seem to have the same  destination in mind as we start out on our little jaunts.  We talk about the goals.  We agree about what needs to be done. But somewhere along the line his idea of getting things done and my idea diverge, neve r to be connected again.    After over 20 years of marriage (I got married when I was 8 – that’s my story and I am sticking to it!) one would think that I would no longer be irritated by this.  Whoever one is, one would be very wrong! Today, procrastinating and reading Unclutterer, I think I finally realized part of the problem.   In the 3 part series by  guest author Alex Fayle,  he addresses 3 “monsters” of that prevent people from getting things accomplished.   They are entitled Getting Started Monster,  No Momentum Monster, and Flattening the Never Finishing Monster.  I read the articles avidly, trying to figure out why I seem perpetually cursed to never get something done on time.    There were some things in each article that really sparked for me.  Things like,  just making the lists does not count  - I actually have to follow through on the lists.  But the entire Flattening the Never Finishing Monster is really what illuminated my path.  You see, the reason that my husband and I never get anywhere when we attempt to do decluttering projects together is because he is ok with the Never Finished Monster, and I am not.  I want to do it right from start to FINISH.  He is ok saying that it will get finished sometime and leave some things sitting around or stashed in a drawer where those items undergo some bizarre form of clutter mitosis and soon there is an overgrowth of clutter again.OK – now I have the source of the trouble.  But the problem is how do we co-declutter?  He helps me get past the Starting Monster and pushes me through the lair of the No Momentum Monster.   But I don’t know how to help him fight the Never Finishing Monster.  Man, a professional organizer would make this so much easier!  But I know that my girls need to see me overcome these challenges.  They need to see me face personal issues.  They need to see hubby and I work together to get things done.   So, for now, I am off to slay the Never Finishing Monster on my own with my trusty laundry basket (for things that need to find their true homes), trash bag (for those items that need to go to that big clutter pile in the sky), and my dust cloth which I hope will help with all those pesky dust allergies!  I will report in on Monday and let you all know if I was able to slay this particular monster!

Walk with me!

Welcome Fellow Seekers -

I am on a journey.

It is a journey of discovery.

I want to discover  how to recognize God’s gifts that are found during moments in my day.  I want to slow down so that I see them, savor them, and be thankful for them.  I want to store those gifts in my heart so that I can pull them out when I need them – to ponder, to admire, to recognize God’s hand.

But right now – I can’t.

Right now my house is over-flowing with clutter.  I can’t enjoy the loveliness of my house and the special items I cherish because it is hidden by unimportant junk.

Right now my children are out of control (not really, but it feels like it). I can’t set up the routine that I know they crave because I can’t figure out what to do first.

Right now my body is neglected – I don’t eat right,  I am overweight, I have joint pain – because I have not developed the self-control and personal strength to stop putting myself last.

Right now my schedule is overflowing with things that I am not even sure are important. Those things sure seemed important when I said yes.  Yet I can’t find the time to spend a few minutes of alone time with God.

So I am setting out on a journey.

It is a personal journey, but I hope I have some company.

Journeys are much more fun when they are shared.

I am not sure exactly what path this journey is going to take, but I do know the destination  - a serene home, which is built around the priorities of my relationship with God, respect for myself, and the nurturing of my family.

Over the next few days I am going to explore the route I am going to take.  Please  let me know what path you are on and what route you want to follow.