In Pursuit of an Organized Life

. . . putting life in order

Mundane Joys

I had wanted to make the most of this weekend and do something special. Go for a hike, pick apples, hang out with friends, etc.

Instead, this weekend was a weekend of simple pleasures. Go to the gym, prepping food for the week, watching football, and baking cookies.

If I could do this more, I would probably be more productive. I’m not sure I’ll ever find a time when sweeping is joyful. I’m hoping I can find a way to reduce stress and take an effective break in a shorter period of time.

For instance, I’m starting to exercise more at home. I’m figuring out what exercises I can do and the amount of weight I need. That way I can get some exercise in when getting to the gym is more difficult. It also gives be a short mental and physical break.

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Cleaning Award

Today I won a medal for cleaning!

Before you get too excited, it was from my 4 year old daughter. At least, she noticed.

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Trading Cards

Time management sometimes seems like a grade school recess activity. I remember negotiating for trading stickers in about 2nd or 3rd grade. I’ll trade you two animal stickers for the sparkly smelly one.

“I’ll trade you two relaxations for one work”
“I’ll trade you one family time for 2 chores”
“I’ll trade you one relaxation for one sleep”

It comes with the same joy and regret that trading stickers had. Sometimes I’d treasure my new additions to my collection and sometimes I’d miss my original stickers.

“Why did I give up spending time with my family to get chores done?”
“Why aren’t I in bed yet?”

Now off to sleep. I think I might regret staying up this late in the morning. No fear though, I have the coffee ready in the coffee maker and the clothes, breakfast, and lunches laid out for the kids and me. I think I’ll make it. Enjoy your mid-week!

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Productive Afternoon

After a slow start to the morning (moody, long grocery trip, ¬†forget items, didn’t find what I wanted, spilled good apple cider down the driveway), I had a productive afternoon.

Below is the list of what I accomplished (in no particular order):

  • Vaacuumed floor
  • Planned Mon and Tuesday for work
  • Designed work “To Do List” template
  • Completed Guided Meditation
  • Left phone message for friend’s birthday
  • Ate lunch outside
  • Drank Irish coffee
  • Put away the girl’s and my summer clothes
  • Started laundry (which I have to transfer now)
  • Loaded dishwasher
  • Blogged ūüôā

Nothing earth-shattering or done perfectly, but I’m pleased.¬† Off to figure out dinner and who knows what else.

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Weekend Work

Trying to decide how much work work I want to do on the weekend. I spend the majority of the weekdays with most of my energy going towards my job. Do I do some of that on the weekend so that it makes work week run smoother? Do I focus on getting stuff done on the house so I get a break from the job and make home stuff more relaxing during the week?

This weekend, I didn’t do much of either. I did get in a much overdue workout which felt so good. I suppose there is still time to get something done or surrender and do some hard core relaxing. First, lunch.

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Start where I’m at

I’m trying to be realistic with my starting point. I’ve had times in the past where I’ve tried to clean the whole house in a week or run 2 miles after not running.

I tend to start where I want to be not where I’m at. Then I get frustrated and feel its not worth it and give up until I have surplus of enthusiasum. Then the process starts again. It happens with me especially when I knew I was doing it before and got out of the habit.

I think it is the difference between long term and short term goals.¬† The other factor is not wanting to ignore any area.¬†¬† I’ve¬† focused my efforts on one area of my life—fitness, work, house, personal, etc—only to have the other areas slip.

So I’m trying to be kind to myself and accept where I’m at and find one baby step I can do.

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No Goals to Baby Goals

I survived the first few weeks and am now trying to re-intergrate what I want to fit in. This week, I am trying to pick one priority task and plan the evening around that and whatever else happens happens. I’ve been picking the goals the night before so it’s flexible. They aren’t big goals, but a start in the right direction.

Monday—-Clean Toliets (not the whole bathroom, just toliets) (2/4 toliets cleaned)
Tuesday—-Go to the gym (went to gym, set up personal training appointment, LIGHT workout)
Tommorrow—–Find the kitchen counters ūüėõ

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Adaptability vs Routine

I have transitioned past the point where I feel like I can survive ¬†returning back to work. ¬†I’m still trying to figure out how I can get everything I want to get done at home and at work, but it doesn’t seem like some un-achievable task anymore.

I’m trying to find the balance between planning and routine and flexibility and adaptability. ¬† On one hand, ¬†I know that if I don’t plan when I will get tasks done, the tasks won’t get done. ¬† The other part of me says that I have to take it day by day and be gentle with myself and do what I can. ¬†I want to make a¬†commitment¬†to exercise, get the house clean, and spend quality time with the girls and my husband. ¬†I also know that there are days when I need to focus on self care.

I haven’t found a system ¬†to get that balance. ¬†I know I like having the house at a basic level of cleanliness. ¬†I can relax better if I don’t have to see a pile of clutter and a list of chores I should do. ¬†I know I feel better when I work out. ¬†I know I want to spend quality time with my girls. ¬†I know I will have to take some work home since I can’t stay late or arrive early.

It’s just how to plan and schedule. ¬†Do I do a task from each category daily? ¬†Do I schedule vertically and have Mondays be workout, Tuesdays family, etc?
Do I not schedule and just let the mood and situations of the day guide my actions? ¬†How do I not place pressure on myself while still head in the direction I want to go? ¬†Having a schedule can make you feel accountable and takes out some decision making, but it also can lead to rigidity of doing something even if it doesn’t make sense for that day. ¬†I could plan and then life happens and I have to real plan. ¬†Or I can not plan and regret choices I made because they are the easiest, but not¬†necessarily¬†the best long term decision. ¬† Ah, life. ¬†If you have the answer, let me know.

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Lowering Standards

This week is all about survival. All of us changed our schedules and responsibilities. New class, school year, and job. My husband is working second shift so we are two ships passing each other at supper and at night. We are all adjusting to getting less sleep than we are used to and going to bed and waking up at different times.

Luckily this time, I lowered my expectations. Often I’d plan to accomplish a huge list and be bummed when it didn’t happen. This time I set my sights low and aimed at making it through in one piece. I planned basic meals—the most complex being recipe free crock pot chili. I had plenty of left overs from the weekend for lunches. I didn’t make it to the gym this week, but that too shall come.

So tired. Sadly, I’m contemplating going to bed now (8:30). At least I know I will have earned my weekend.

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September Goals

I liked having August goals.¬† It kept me focused and helped me feel successful.¬† I didn’t run as much as I had hoped, but I¬†am okay with that.¬† I also had an unofficial goal of keeping the peninsula in the kitchen clear.¬†¬†¬† The September goals are more low-key since the month is busier and involves a lot of changes.

Unofficial goals (not as measurable):

  • Keep kitchen peninsula clear
  • Drink four glasses of water or tea outside of meals

Goals (can be crossed off)

  • Go to gym¬† 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
  • Get together with a friend
  • Journal/Audio Meditation¬†1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  • Finish reading a Book
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