Right now I’m:
“Routine is one of the most powerful tools for removing obstacles.” –Greg McKeown in Essentialism
I’m filing this under things that are easy to agree with, but harder to implement.
…Furnishing my mind
For some reason, my children believe that finding the bay leaf in the dinner is a stroke of luck. The fortunate bay leaf finder must, naturally, make a wish. You should see the joy on the face of the kid who snags the leaf.
It’s the little things in life, right?
I never took a class on poetry analysis, so I’ve always wondered if I was missing something. I was! Part of Hannah’s language arts this year (more on that soon, we are ADORING a new curriculum) involves close study of poetry, and I’m learning a ton. To supplement, I also checked out a book for adults called How to Read a Poem and Fall In Love With Poetry and am finding out more about how to appreciate poetry more deeply. Language is such a fascinating thing.
…Living the Good Life
I love sitting on the couch and reading to the kids as they are piled up trying to be sure they can see. It is one of my most favorite things about life. Eliza is into everything, so we are firmly in the old how-to-keep-baby-from-ripping-books phase. Yes, that post link is from 2010, back when I was so knowledgeable about motherhood. :)
We started our school year! A third grader, second grader, Kindergartener, and one active baby–so far it is working out well. As usual, different stages means differences in our schooling, which I’ll post about eventually.
One thing I really love is to have fresh flowers around. Recently we were in North Carolina for my cousin’s wedding, and she had chosen to use wildflowers for the table arrangements. My aunt did the flowers and sent me home with some she had left over. I had so much fun arranging them for our school room table, the kitchen counter, the mantel, and my desk. Another fun thing is rearranging every few days as things die or children bring new sprigs of Queen Anne’s Lace or weeds found ’round the neighborhood!
This week in a post-bedtime mad dash to the grocery store I happened to find FIVE packets of various flowers marked down to $1 each! So now our table, mantel, and my desk have a whole different look. This particular grocery store has a fabulous tendency to mark flowers down when they are yet full of life–I don’t know why they do it, but I love them for it.
Y’all I can NOT get the last section of Colossians 1 nailed down. I’m thinking I need to go back to the idea from the book I read and really focus on one verse per day. I was trying to do larger sections and now I can’t keep the end straight. At this rate it’s going to take me all year to get through the book, but I figure there is value to going over the text again and again!
I am keeping mornings for school, and moved my work time and our babysitter time to afternoons. We have our fabulous babysitter for two long afternoons per week, and a dear family friend has been coming over to sit with the baby after nap times an additional afternoon a week as I’m trying to get through a lot of work. It’s working out so much better to stick to a morning routine with school, and I’m trying to stay focused during work time so I can cram a full workload into a part-time schedule. So far this still means I’m working at night after bedtime a lot and for much of the weekend, but I feel like we’re settling in and finding space.
…Building the habit
I promised to write more about the four habits I’m focusing on this Fall (order, focus, grace, duty). The words I chose are broad. It’s hard to write them on a checklist and confidently draw a line through it at the end of the day! But they do remind me of tasks. For example, order. I like Gretchen Rubin’s line that “outer order contributes to inner calm” and find that to be true for me. I tend to be more orderly in some areas than others–I don’t have trouble keeping my bedroom picked up, I keep my work files very organized, and I abhor and shun clutter in our main living spaces. However, in other areas I have not been so orderly. Some concrete ways I’m building a habit of order are:
- Making a meal rotation for dinners and printing out recipes (many unusual ones for crockpots like crock pot chicken tikka masala and crockpot bulgogi, since our tastes don’t run to the cream-of-soup-type standbys, but I need the time savings in the kitchen right now) to keep together and ready rather than last minute rushing about with my laptop open on the counter.
- Forcing myself to stick to an order of events with school work. I am prone to spontaneity in the school day, but the kids like to know what’s coming when, so I’m sticking to the plan even though it pains me when it’s less efficient.
- Keeping all of my notes in one place. I have a love/hate relationship with sticky notes. They can be super helpful, but I tend to write notes on them and then have them scattered all over the desk on every available surface, where they look messy and make me feel pulled in too many directions. My new order habit is to keep all of my notes on one legal pad. I divide it into three columns, and use it to collect all of my notes for the week. Usually I have to redo it halfway through the week so it isn’t messy, but that too helps me gather my thoughts.
Podcasts. I told my husband that I downloaded an app for podcasts and he looked at me like “where have you been for the past decade?” That’s ok. If you like podcasts, I recommend Read Aloud Revival – I’ve listened to all of the episodes while driving here and there and found them interesting and inspiring.
What are you bookmarking this week?