Right now I’m:
A childhood friend of mine recently took her daughters to New York City. As I read about their adventures on her blog, I was amazed at the things they did that wouldn’t have crossed my mind. I’d love to take my girls to NY, but I’d do completely different things. It struck me how differently people can view the same city–the things that mean New York to me are different than for my friend.
It made me wonder about my own city. I have an internal narrative about Indianapolis based on my experiences here, but other people view it through a totally different lense. It is interesting to consider what might be right here within reach that I’ve just overlooked.
…Furnishing my mind
It’s such a cliche, but I have this sense that time is slipping very quickly. Sarah lost one of her front teeth and all of a sudden she really looks six years old (which she is, having had a birthday last month). It makes me panic that I haven’t taken enough video, and I actually printed pictures from our Christmas trip to try to catch hold of what the kids look like now. One of my deliverables for 2015 (yeah, I business-ize my goals like that) is to hug everybody in the family before breakfast is over. It’s bizarre that I don’t do that anyway, but life spins madly on otherwise.
I’m reading an incredible book on language learning (review coming soon). I love to study languages, mostly because I like to understand and unravel systems and how they work, but I’ve never been overly successful at actually speaking a language. I feel like Fluent Forever might change that, but even if not I am learning a ton about memory and language and how brains work, which is a win in and of itself!
…Living the Good Life
We had a great Christmas with my parents, brother, and aunt in South Carolina. Although the kids all got a stomach virus (barf is my parenting nemesis) fortunately no one was sick on Christmas Eve OR Christmas Day. Blessings.
We took the week of Christmas off because we were visiting my parents in South Carolina, but we did go on a field trip to Biltmore Estates one day. It was great timing since we had just finished studying about daily life in a Victorian house! Since all of the kids also got a stomach virus that week and came home with some terrible respiratory sickness, we took the week of New Years off too, and then I got the stomach bug, and with one thing after another we took the first week of January off too. Now, after a three week vacation, I think we’re ready to start a new term on Monday! One of the good things about homeschooling is that as long as we get in 180 days of instruction I don’t have to adhere to any particular calendar and we can take time off as we need it. I’m grateful for that flexibility!
One thing I’ve realized about myself is that I need to have an articulable reason for goals I’m setting – and it needs to be my “why” not the general “right answer.” So I spent some time thinking about exercising. I’d like to get to my post-Sarah weight by the time Eliza turns two, but mostly I think running in the morning is a good thinking time, and Jillian workouts are good for my muscles and post-workout endorphins. So I’m trying out a new schedule of five minute warmup, 20 minute run, 30 minute Jillian (on a loop, since none of my DVDs are that length, I’ll just go until the time is up and then pick up the next day where I left off), five minute stretch. If that doesn’t take, I might need a new why.
We are having a big push-and-pull between a need for schedule and routine and the need to be flexible. Some work/life gurus advocate having very clear boundaries between roles, while others take a more blended approach. As someone who tends to choose D) All of the Above, I just tend to swing from one side of the pendulum to the other. It’s not ideal, but it might be the trade-off for having the freedom to homeschool and also to work from home.
…Building the habit
After reading The Fringe Hours (review forthcoming, but it’s excellent, and available for pre-order!) I started thinking about how gratitude and thankfulness are really the antidotes for complaining and whining. So we’re starting a new habit training for the kids (and parents!) such that when caught complaining or whining, the perpetrator has to write three sentences about things he or she is grateful for. If nothing else, it puts us in a better frame of mind and improves our handwriting!
Between our long car trip and children lying around on the floor dealing with a stomach bug, we’ve listened to nearly all of The Fellowship of the Ringon audio. Then, when I fell victim to the stomach bug, I listened to hours of the Steve Jobs biography. Audio books do help to redeem time you’d otherwise spend unable to read actual books, don’t they?
What are you bookmarking this week?
Note: Most of the links in this post are to my longer reviews, but one is to Amazon, and it’s an affiliate link, just so you know!