Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Taking Life Small Bites at a Time

One of my biggest resolutions this year was to learn how to make small, achievable goals. It’s far too easy for that list to open up and swallow me whole, especially when I’m having one of my down days.

I can’t say that I’ve done very well keeping up on my daily to-do commitments. Between my daughter’s sprained ankle, both the boys having a virus and generally being exhausted from getting up early for work every day, plus the usual lineup of homework and afterschool activities, I’m way behind. Even more so since Tuesdays and Thursdays are now my days to slog down to physical therapy.

Even being behind, however, there’s a tremendous amount of freedom in being able to give myself permission to get just a few things done each day. I promise myself I’m going to do six things each day-and three of those things are physical therapy, ONE load of dishes and ONE load of laundry.

It’s a sanity saver, because I’m not beating myself up. I don’t spend all day agonizing over everything I didn’t get done. I can do what I need to do, then give myself permission to relax and enjoy because it’s enough.

Granted, it’s resulted in an unbelievably messy house. I have laundry stacked to the ceiling after re-organizing all the kids’ rooms. (Princess C apparently has a previously undiscovered gift for stashing laundry in the darndest places. After cleaning out her room, I think I need to do a piece on hoarding next!!) We’re definitely going to need to get back to evening chore lists once the kids are all healthy again.

A little clutter and mess, however, is more than justified by how much more relaxed I’ve been this week. I’ve been doing my writing and cleaning right after work, so I have the night to sit and relax with the kids. I can lay down with G Money when he has a cold without stressing about all the cleaning I’m (not) doing.

Then there’s the whole “working two jobs” bid. In the past, I’ve gotten overwhelmed and fallen behind on writing projects because I would schedule too much to do each day. Then, when life happened and I wasn’t able to get it ALL done, I’d freeze up and wouldn’t get ANY of it done. It feels now like I don’t get much done, but I’m caught up on my projects and actually managed to carve out some time to write a few hundred words each day on my personal writing projects.

What do you think of that? Now if only I can get my living room shoveled out before my dad gets here tomorrow night…

Time for a Break

I have to tip my hat to working parents who manage to have kids involved in everything under the sun. Ever since I went back to working full time out of the house, trying to keep up with the kids’ homework and after school activities has been running me nuts. 

In light of the fact that we’ve missed tae kwon do more than we’ve gone this past seven weeks for one reason or another, I think we’ve officially decided it’s time to take a break. For the next seven weeks the younger two will have dance on Monday and Wednesday as usual, and we’ll spend the rest of the week squeaking in more time together.

Given that my work schedule is about to flip upside down AGAIN, with me going back to day shifts rather than overnights and working 12-8 two days a week, I think it’s going to be a good thing. The difference in behavior I’ve seen in the kids just from spending more time one-on-one rather than constantly being on the go is a little ridiculous. Less stress, happier and more willing kids, less fighting between siblings.

Definitely time to get some stress off the table and get back to the simpler things in life.

Also…and this is on a completely different tangent…I’m dabbling with the idea of homeschooling for my oldest. This year has been hard for him. He doesn’t do well in a traditional classroom environment. The younger two kids love school, while Mr. A absolutely loathes everything about it. The chance to make learning more hands-on, to take out some of the unnecessary nonsense that goes with it and to personally work with him rather than trusting teachers to find things that work for him, is tempting.

On the other hand, I work 40+ hours a week out of the house at a job I absolutely love. So maybe not. 

We’ll see. On that note, the lazy cats are reminding me that I have to work overnight tonight. Now would be a good time to sleep! 

Sigh. Three more days…