If you have 32 minutes

It was 7:44 and I had left my books-in-progress in the room where the baby had already gone to sleep. I looked at my books-not-yet-read shelf and spotted the book I hadn’t had time to read for a book club this week. By 8:16 I had finished the book, and had a whole host of things to think about.

Stitches: A Memoir is done in graphic style (that is, illustrated sort of like a comic book, but with a more serious story) and tells the story of David Small, a Caldecott-winning picture book illustrator.  Although the story is dark–Small had a terrible family life–the drawings are so full of feeling and communicate so clearly the thoughts, imagination, and perspective of a creative child caught in dreadful situations, that the book is somehow still quite hopeful.  I really wish I had been able to get to the book club meeting to hear what other people thought.

Although its format is simple, the story, characters, and themes are complex and nuanced.  The book does an excellent job of illustrating how growing up can change your perspective on your family, as you come to understand the circumstances and choices that shape people and drive their choices.  The hopeful perspective of the book comes through in the author’s willingness to accept his relatives for who they are, forgive them, and choose a different path for his own life.  Even if you had a fairly normal childhood, as I did, the book may remind you of weird ways you saw things as a child or ways adults acted that you didn’t understand or misinterpreted, and the message of redemptive forgiveness and choosing a positive direction in spite of circumstances is universal.

I’m not usually one for this style of book, but I’m glad I read Stitches and can see why it was a finalist for the National Book Award.  I’d say it’s well worth your 32 minutes and the time you’ll spend thinking about the message of the book afterward.

 

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The Long Shadow

The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century is the latest in what has become an epic foray into reading about the history and impact of the 20th century.  Flu, Typhoid Mary, the Dust Bowl, Japanese internment camps, and now the long shadow cast by World War I.

First of all, this book is amazing because it combines rigorous scholarship with readability.  So often really detailed histories are dry and drag along, but this one never did.

The author, a Cambridge professor, walks the reader through the ways in which common conceptions of World War I have artificially colored the facts, and contrasts popular knowledge with contextual data.  While it didn’t turn my view of World War I entirely on its head, it did add tremendous depth and nuance to the skeleton knowledge I had.  Starting with the lead up to the war, covering the emergence of nationalism, socialism, fascism, communism, and many other attendant issues, and tying the threads of history together in an understandable way that doesn’t compromise their complexity, the book is really a wonderful resource.

If you’re interested in history, even if you’re pretty sure you completely understand World War I, I’d really recommend The Long Shadow.

 

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Children of the Jacaranda Tree (and a recommendation for another book)

Children of the Jacaranda Tree is a novel tracing several generations of characters impacted by the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath.  As Iran is an area of particular interest to me, I was eager to read this book, and to see how it compared to others I’ve read on similar topics.

The author’s style–zooming in on different characters in different voices and then not coming back to them until decades later if at all, picking up a thread with a connection to a previous section of the book for a brief vignette, and looking at events through the eyes of characters of different ages–served to reinforce the theme of dissonance.  That is, her narrative choices underscored the broken lines of connection, severed relationships, torn families, and jagged edges of the culture in the aftermath of the Revolution and then the long war with Iraq.  Some of the stories were fascinating and compelling–such as the opening chapter, based on the author’s life, where a baby is born to a woman held in the notorious Evin Prison.  Others seemed hopeful, for example in the way that the author captured the excitement the Green Movement stirred up even in exiles and expatriates.

However, I will also say that the book suffered for many of these same features.  The narrative threads didn’t hold together securely, so some of the stories seemed jumbled rather than woven together.  Characters were often not well differentiated, the setting was sparse, and many of the chapters and even the jacaranda tree motif felt contrived, stretched, tacked on.

My biggest issue with the book was the fact that I didn’t ever get a sense of being in Iran.  The lack of setting details and almost complete lack of descriptive voice and idiom were disappointing, especially because I’ve read other pieces set in Iran that made me almost see, hear, smell and taste the country as I read.  I do realize that this is a style and preference issue.  Some writers write evocatively of place and others don’t.  I’ve noticed this in novel after novel with distinct settings and I know it’s a matter of taste.  I just prefer more descriptive storytelling.

If you are interested in the themes and time period covered in Children of the Jacaranda Tree, I’d recommend A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea in addition or instead.  Teaspoon also considers the effects of the Revolution and war, but in a more focused way, looking at one family and its tragedies in detail, rather than skipping between dozens of loosely related points of view.  The setting and language in Teaspoon are incredible, and beautifully done.  I don’t think  Children of the Jacaranda Tree was a terrible novel, or a waste of time, but it does pale in comparison to to Teaspoon so if you only have time for one book to give you a feeling for Iran in the 1980s and following, I’d vote for A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea.

 

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The Bookmarked Life 3

The Bookmarked Life is my take on catch-all posts–a record to help me remember this season of life.

Right now I’m:

…Considering

I recently read about a podcast titled Whose Well Done Are You Working For?  I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but even the title is proving to be an excellent thought provocation. I find myself turning to the question as I plan my schedule, consider my conversations, think about my work, and feel nervous for saying yes or no to the different obligations that crop up this time of year.

…Furnishing my mind

As it happens I am reading Shakespeare’s King Lear for the first time in preparation for our fall semester.  I’m familiar with the plot since we’ve read the Lamb and Nesbit versions, but I don’t think I’ve ever read the original. I’m looking for suitable quotations for memorization.  When it comes to furnishing the mind, Shakespeare is almost always a good bet.

…Learning about

Pickles. You can pickle so many things with such good results.  My parents make an excellent squash pickle relish, which I’ve enjoyed this week as we’re visiting the lake again for one last summer hurrah.  And, new to me, I learned that you can also pickle okra.  Y’all.  It’s incredible and I’m glad I learned of its existence in time to savor the goodness of this amazing food for the rest of my natural life and probably on into the Heavenly Feast because it’s just that delicious.

…Living the Good Life

I tried something new for the State Fair this year. As usual, we earned our tickets through our library’s summer reading program, and we went on “$2 Day” when some food items and all rides are $2. But this year we went in the afternoon (after the babysitter was here in the morning for my work time) and I gave each of the big kids an envelope containing $5.  They added some allowance they had saved up (they don’t get much allowance so they didn’t have a lot to add) and each child could decide what he or she wanted to eat or ride.  It worked fabulously!  It only took one question of the sort that usually plagues us at the Fair:

“Mama, can I get that giant inflatable blue alien? Pleeeeease!”

“I don’t know, do you have $27 in your envelope to spend on a giant inflatable blue alien?”

And then there were no more questions about $9 face painting or $15 plastic swords or deep fried hamburgers with donuts for buns.  Win!

As it turned out, we saw the things we HAVE to see at the Fair, including the World’s Largest Hog (who actually stood up on his own actual-to-goodness legs–a feat we’ve never before witnessed in an over-1000-pound porcine wonder), the horses, the goats, the World’s Largest Cheese Sculpture, the building where you can try archery, the Pioneer Village, and the Little Kids on the Farm exhibit.  In addition, the kids each rode three rides and had one $2 frozen pineapple treat each.  At the very end I caved and bought them each a $2 corndog so that I wouldn’t have to make them supper, and we arrived home in time for showers, worship, and read-aloud chapter with lights out on time!  Boom.

…Teaching

School starts for us on Monday, so I’ve got notebooks and binders ready (color-coded by child, because why not?), plans in place, and no illusions about how often we will stick to the schedule, because let’s face it, we probably won’t ever have a perfect day.  When I was looking through our school supplies for a missing notebook, I found the binder of my records from the 2009-2010 school year, when Hannah was in PreK-3. So wow, this will be our sixth year of homeschooling!

…Creating

This week I did not paint, embroider, or redecorate anything.  My creative output consisted of a variety of marketing materials, a nine page outline for a huge work project, and gluing a loose ruffle back on one of Hannah’s dresses.  Yeah, I glued it.  The dress is knit and the thought of getting out the proper foot for my sewing machine just to reattach two inches of ruffle seemed daunting compared to the allure of fabric glue.  Here’s hoping.

…Memorizing

I have the whole first chapter of Colossians in my index card ring now, although I am still kind of shaky on the end.  Still, I’m making progress and continuing to enjoy steeping myself in the same verses over time.  The kids are starting to pick up more words in their new passage, although I did notice once I put our Bible memory notebook together that we need to get a lot better at review too!  Starting next week, we’ll add some Shakespeare and poetry memory back into the mix.

…Seeking balance

I have a bunch of work at the moment (for which I am thankful), and the thought of getting it all done plus adding 30 hours of homeschooling per week back in had me a little stressed this week.  I’ve planned as well as I can, we’re moving our babysitting time to two afternoons a week, I’m looking into possibly getting a mother’s helper for two more afternoons a week, and beyond that we will have to see how it goes.  I really like my work and am grateful for the provision, and I love that my flexible schedule allows me to make time for homeschooling, which is something I’m truly passionate about.  A lot of other things–even worthy things–have to drop aside to make space for our priorities, and that’s something I’m really having to accept this fall.  I’m choosing to define “doing it all” as “doing my top priorities well” rather than “doing all the things” and that’s a little freeing.

…Building the habit

I know you’re only really supposed to build one habit at a time, but the ones I’m working on this fall overlap a lot.  I started this list before my work load increased, but now I’m thankful that I had already been thinking these over.  This semester I’ll be working on the habits of Order, Focus, Grace, and Duty.  I may write more about those in upcoming posts.

…Listening to

As I write this, I’m listening to crickets.  My parents live on a lake, and the children and I are here for a few days before a family wedding.  The combination of water, sunshine, flowers, and Carolina mountains is hard to beat.

What are you bookmarking this week?

 

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The Family Worship Book

If you’ve only got time to read one book on family worship, I really recommend A Neglected Grace over The Family Worship Book: A Resource Book for Family Devotions.

That said, if you’re interested in the topic of how to set up family worship (or Bible time, or family devotions, or whatever you want to call it), The Family Worship Book may have some helpful ideas for you.  Personally, I found the tone a little less encouraging, and the suggestions seemed more black and white and less flexible.  But I did get some good ideas for components that could figure into our practice, and also a good list of hymns and Psalms that reminded me of favorites I still need to teach the kids.  I could have gotten that from a quick perusal of the hymnal and Psalter we own, but the list was a nice quick reminder.

At any rate, what we’ve settled on for a routine is to do our worship before we read the bedtime chapter of our current read-aloud.  We sing the Doxology, read a chapter of the Bible (from Acts, currently, we finished Joshua), sing a hymn or Psalm, say the Apostle’s Creed (because we’re working on memorizing so the kids can say it during our church services), work on our Bible memory, sometimes sing another hymn or Psalm, pray, and sing the Gloria Patri.  It doesn’t take very long, all told.  Some days it goes very smoothly.  Other days, the kids are wound up and it’s a tougher thing.  However, I’m keeping in mind the advice from A Neglected Grace that having the daily commitment is helpful over time, even if individual days here or there make you wonder if any of this is sinking in.  The commitment to having family worship and reading a chapter before bed has also made me more mindful of our family schedule, and what has to happen when in terms of eating dinner, doing evening chores, getting ready for bed etc, so that everything can fit between when Josh gets home from work and when the kids need to be in bed.

If you read any good books or resources on family worship, please send them my way–I’m interested in what other families do!

 

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Some books on creative work

The Accidental Creative is geared primarily to “creative workers”–that is, people who are paid not just to perform tasks for a certain number of hours, but who are paid by the value of what they create.  This perfectly describes my work, so I appreciated that the book spoke to particular issues of scheduling, managing energy, focus, and keeping creativity sharp when you’re working in a creative field.

In some sense, the book helped me by reinforcing some of the work habits I already have, and I wouldn’t say any one piece was really revolutionary or totally new to me.  However, the real value of the book, for me anyway, was in its suggestions for how to maximize creativity by tweaking normal time management advice to apply more specifically to creatives.  For example, normally time management advice assumes that to a certain extent all of your waking hours are on the table.  But with creative work, you have to factor in the fact that not every 15 minute increment is the same, and know yourself well enough to understand when you are doing your best work.  Another example is in stewarding your energy–you might be doing stuff for 15 hours a day, but you probably aren’t churning out top-notch creative work for each of those hours.  The author had good ideas for how to make sure that your best work actually happens.

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day is another book by the same author, this one purporting to have wider applicability beyond creative fields.  I guess that’s true, although I’d argue that both books would have useful tidbits for just about anyone.

This one includes a lot of the same concepts as the previous volume, including advice on how to curate the flow of media you’re subjected to, ideas for how to have weekly and quarterly self-assessments of all of your work and life activities, and how to maximize your focus.  It does contain a bit more information about goal setting and how to leverage your focus, time, and energy to be sure you’re really being effective in the roles you identify as your priorities.

I found both of these books useful because I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient and effective in my work and more focused on my priorities rather than being fragmented.  The books are general enough to be broadly applicable, but if you don’t really do anything in a creative/idea-generating field you might not get as much out of them (but still would probably like the focus and prioritizing parts).

 

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More Flavia!

While I was painting last week I managed to listen to the audio book renderings of the latest two Flavia de Luce novels. I hadn’t previously tried them in audio form, but found the reader’s voice perfect.

It’s always hard to imagine Alan Bradley getting any better, but he continues to beat his own previous wins and  Speaking from Among the Bones and The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches are his best books so far.  I continued to love the perfect characterization, impeccable plotting, and hilarious asides, and of course I learned even more about chemistry.  These books are the perfect combination of excellent storytelling and superb writing.  Really, the series is so truly good, if you have not yet read it, I highly recommend you start at the beginning and don’t stop until you run out of titles.

The latest two books in the series deliver on Bradley’s penchant for finding fabulous titles in famous literary works, which is a small point, but just goes to show how every detail in these books is well thought out.  Speaking from Among the Bones ends with a wild cliffhanger, so I’d suggest getting both books at once if you can, so that you don’t have to wait to figure out what is going on.  The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches wraps up a lot of the recurring themes and questions of the series, so I had a moment’s panic thinking that maybe the series was over.  However, I’m relieved and pleased to note that Bradley plans to write four more Flavia books, presumably releasing one a year as he has up to this point.

If you’ve read the Flavia books (and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?!?!) do you think you’d allow a child to read them?  Since the main character is 11 and the books are remarkably clean I’ve thought about allowing Hannah to get into them.  She loves mysteries and I think she’d be fascinated by the chemistry.  But since the books aren’t billed as YA, I wonder if there’s a reason?

In any case, I highly recommend these two books, along with the rest of the series, and am looking forward to future installments!

 

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The Big Fat Surprise

In The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, author Nina Teicholz takes an exhaustive (seriously, deeply detailed and footnoted) look at the history of nutrition science and the studies that have been done to test hypotheses, to conclude that most of our modern nutrition policy is based on bad or incomplete science, ignoring more complete or up-to-date information.

This book goes into great detail and would probably be helpful if you know someone who is seriously resistant to the idea that saturated fat is not the bad guy as you’re used to hearing.  However, overall I think you’d do better to read Gary Taubes’ book Why We Get Fat–Taubes and Teicholz cover much of the same material, but Taubes is more comprehensive in terms of fat in general versus its relation to heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

That said, both books do a good job of really probing the nutritional studies and tracing the roots of why our nutritional policy is so deeply counter to what the science actually tells us.  It’s a pretty interesting topic if you’re into health.

 

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Real Learning

I’m not sure where you can purchase Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home for an affordable price–I can’t find a link on the author’s website, and the Amazon prices (linked) are prohibitively high.  However, perhaps, like me, you can find a copy in your library if you’re interested. {Updated: You can buy a new copy for $18.65 here.}

I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Foss, who writes about applying Charlotte Mason-type principles to education and family life, among other things, so when I found that the library had a copy of the book she wrote many years ago, I was eager to read it. Real Learning is primarily directed toward Catholic homeschoolers, but the majority of the topics are applicable to anyone who homeschools, or parents who take an active approach in cultivating an after-school learning environment in their homes.

I found the book helpful on a number of fronts. As usual, many of the points I noted as being applicable to my children are likewise convicting for me personally.  A few of the subjects I found most helpful were:

  • How (and why) to use narration to train the student in attention, comprehension, and analytical thought.  We already do narrations, but I liked Foss’s specific ideas for integrating narration in different ways.
  • Specific and insightful thoughts on cultivating habits.  For me, the sections on orderliness and duty (doing what is right simply because it is right, whether we want to or not) were very helpful.
  • Easy-to-emulate ideas for artist and composer study.  This is something we’ve done in a haphazard way, but something I really value and want to be more disciplined about.
  • Practical encouragement to remember charity and courtesy in our dealings with our children.  We are in authority over our children, as their parents and as their teachers, but we can exercise that authority in patience and joy.

Although I’m not precisely in the target audience for this book, I got a lot out of it in both vision and practical tips I can put into practice in my family.  If you’re interested in Charlotte Mason education or homeschooling in general, I’d recommend checking your library for Real Learning.

As an aside, if you are a classical and/or Charlotte Mason educator, have you checked out Schole Sisters?  It’s a new site geared toward thoughtful and excellent education.  I’ve enjoyed their posts so far–you might want to check it out!

 

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The Bookmarked Life 2

The Bookmarked Life is my take on catch-all posts–a record to help me remember this season of life.

Right now I’m:

…Considering

I’m thinking about which artists and composers to choose for our school year.  We’re studying the 1800s, which is a fabulous century for the arts, so I’m trying to narrow it down.  If you had to choose four to six artists and four to six composers to represent the nineteenth century, who would you pick?

…Furnishing my mind

A book I’m reading about how to structure work when you’re a “creative” has me thinking about the things I furnish my mind with and how they influence what I write.  A lot of my work involves branding and marketing, so I try to be mindful about what advertisements I take in so that I’m not subconsciously influenced–I figure if I’m paying close attention, I will be less likely to inadvertently use the same phrasing or idea.  But it’s interesting to consider how everything we see, hear, and read influences our thinking and creating.  It’s sobering really, and a good reminder to be a careful consumer.

…Learning about

One thing I love about history is connecting eras.  I think in school it’s easy to see history as a series of discrete events, but really it flows into itself and each time period or major happening influences the future and is influenced by the past.  Right now I’m learning about World War I, and love how what I’m reading dovetails with what I previously read about the Great Influenza and the Dust Bowl.

…Living the Good Life

My parents took the big kids to stay with them and do fun lake things for a week and a half leaving us with only Eliza.  Y’all.  The last time I only had one 14 month old child around, I was about eight months pregnant with Jack.  Not the same thing.  I love my big noisy crew, but I can’t even tell you how delightful it was to have a week of greater mobility and quiet, with lots of date nights out (taking one baby somewhere seems so much more doable than it did when we had our first baby), time to take long walks, the chance to take care of some house projects, get work done, sweep the floor without it needing to be swept again four minutes later…it was a perfect break–just long enough to help me feel rested but they came back before I started to get bored.

…Teaching

We have one last week of summer term before taking our last summer trip (my cousin is getting married so we’re hauling back east again!) and then the school year will commence in earnest.  I’m solidifying goals, purchasing the last pieces of curriculum, and laying out plans.  The nice thing about this year is that, other than Spanish, I didn’t have to choose anything new.  We are in a great groove with curriculum and it feels good to continue with what’s working rather than scrambling to find alternatives.  Hopefully those do not become my famous last words.

…Creating

While the big kids were away, I undertook a complete and massive overhaul of their bedrooms.  It’s the sort of thing you just can’t do while kids are actually living in their rooms (at least not on this scale!).  I painted walls and furniture, moved furniture from room to room, switched out mattresses, sorted all the toys and whatnot, and purged edited contents heavily.  I’m hoping that by making the rooms more beautiful and organized, they will be easier to keep clean.  Because I’m not a design blogger, I didn’t think to take before pictures, but here are the afters:

I mentioned last time how I had painted some of Eliza’s furniture.  The dresser and bookshelf on the left were from Josh’s room growing up (although they were a lovely 1980s brown then!) and the changing table dresser on the right was in my nursery when I was a baby (it was yellow then) and still has vintage 1978 wrapping paper lining the drawers!

Here is the rest of the room–including a Peter Rabbit rug that my dad hooked for my nursery before I was born.  If you know my dad, that will probably strike you as funny.  Also, note the reading baby!  That’s my child!

Sarah asked for a “purple princess” room, so I did my best.  The paint color she chose was “Lavender Sparkle” because she liked the idea of glitter paint.  In real life the paint does not glitter (I have to draw the line somewhere).  I painted her dresser and the top of her desk/art table pink from a free sample paint can I picked up a couple of years ago, and made the canopy out of some super cheap Ikea net curtains and a wire hanger.  She has some other art prints on the wall, her castle dollhouse (which happens to the be exact coordinating shades of pink and purple!), and a new bin organizer (Aldi, $15) that are not pictured.  Her existing sheets are pink with pink and purple princess fairies on them, so it all goes together nicely, if you’re into pink and purple princess fairy themes like Sarah.

It was really sunny when I took these pictures; the wall does not really look as reflective as pictured in real life.  Jack’s Star Wars room includes some Pottery Barn pillowcases and shams purchased on super sale last year, cut outs of his Star Wars drawings mounted on poster board, and a cool framed print of R2D2 that my parents gave him for his birthday.  This room is also our guest room, so when visiting us you are, sleeping with Yoda will you be.

Jack’s friend Adam’s dad made this awesome Jedi Jack sign for Jack’s birthday.  I’m hoping that his new organizer shelf thing (also from Aldi) will help Jack keep his room clean.  He has so many Legos and other building toys that it’s often overwhelming for him to keep things picked up.  Maybe having them easily visible and sortable will help.  A mother can dream.

Last, but not least, here is Hannah’s new room.  I painted the desk and chair (also from Josh’s childhood room) and headboard a fun coral color left over from when I painted the backs of the bookcases in my office.  Her “new” bedding was from Pottery Barn when I was in college.  Not pictured is her toychest, which is sort of like a bench and is full of doll clothes and accessories.  I lined the inside of her closet with some bookcases left over from other areas of the house, because Hannah loves to play “worlds,” which is kind of like dollhouse mixed with fairy house mixed with bits and pieces of assorted whatnot repurposed for imagination play.  I used to play like that too as a child so I want to encourage her, but previously it was a huge mess all over her room so now she can keep the worlds contained on the shelves and shut the closet door on the whole thing!  This may also cut down on messy room issues as well as keep the baby out of the tiny bits of tinfoil and acorn cups and whatnot.

It was a lot of work, but I’m so happy with the results!

…Memorizing

I’m almost through the first chapter of Colossians and it really is helping me to think more deeply about this piece of scripture.  The kids are starting a new passage next week–Philippians 2: 1-18.  I’ve been working on a new system for organizing and reviewing our memory work, based on this post from Sarah Mackenzie (scroll down to see her memory notebook system).  I’m doing one notebook for our poetry and Shakespeare memory work, and another one that we’ll keep upstairs where we do family worship that will hold the hymns, Psalms, and Bible memory.  Hopefully this will help me stay organized about review.

…Seeking balance

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to cultivating a calm and happy home this fall (and yes, I do realize that “calm” is an elusive goal with four children, but I think I mean calm in the sense of the opposite of frenzied and frazzled, not calm in the sense of pin-drop quiet).  Some of that comes down to order–having a routine, leaving margin–but I think it also has to do with choosing for beauty and relationships rather than more activities or a more packed schedule.  I’m a fairly driven person, and it’s easy for me to take on too much.  That works sometimes, but often it results in having to hurry and play sheepdog snapping at everyone’s heels to move through the day rather than being loving and mindful.  As I mentioned in my review of Essentialism, when things are crazy it is helpful to pause and ask, “What is the most important thing this very minute?”  I guess if I were a person given to being snuggly and whatnot, asking that question might result in more disciplined learning or routine, but in my case I think it probably means loosening the tight ship and refocusing on ultimate goals (that my children would be well educated, love learning, and value beauty) rather than immediate tasks.

…Building the habit

I’ve been thinking about the habit of orderliness.  Keeping things in order helps my mental state, and I think it also helps the kids to feel less stressed when everything is in place.  As part of my huge upstairs overhaul, I spent a lot of time sorting and organizing their things, and coming up with systems that might be easier to keep in place.  I’m hoping that this fall we can all work on order–keeping the kids’ rooms clean, getting through our chores, and even keeping our schedule orderly.  I don’t want to be rigid about it, but I think Gretchen Rubin has it right about how outer order contributes to inner calm.

…Listening to

I listened to three entire audio books while painting bedrooms, and found it a great way to get my mind off of my aching muscles and redeem the time.  My husband figured out how I can play things off of my phone through our in-house speaker system so now I can listen to audio books or Pandora stations  or whatever else whenever I’m on the main floor or in the basement.  Technology can be amazing.

What are you bookmarking this week?

 

 

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