Blog Archives

Stopping Traffic (not for young readers) *may trigger filters

This is directly copied from a portion of a newsletter we subscribe to. I am often surprised to find that the issue discussed here is still not well-known, but I continue to meet people that have never heard of it. I thought I’d share this letter, in case any of you haven’t heard.

“Her life used to be good. She was a star in track – leading her team to the regional championships. But that was then. Before Hurricane Katrina hit. Her life has been sad every day since.
Her family was moved to a temporary shelter… so many families crowded in a makeshift trailer park. Some of the people were friendly. One kind man in particular often helped her dad and visited with her family. He brought ice cream. He made them laugh. Read the rest of this entry

Do what you love? Really? Or die to self?

Wow. This post was challenging to me, in a scary sort of way… The way that I’m not sure if I should accept the challenge or run from it…
Do what you love | Simple Mom
So often, I’ve heard/said/thought about self-denial being a virtue in and of itself, and I’ve reveled in the “martyr feeling” of it. (Yes, I know THAT’S wrong…) But I’ve viewed the type of thing described in the link so often as a spiritualized cover for selfishness and the refusal of self-denial that I’m just plain scared of it, even though it seems to make perfect sense and something in me says “Yes!” Maybe that something saying “yes” is the Self I need to die to. Or maybe it’s the me that God created and is waiting to see bloom.
I know that no one can answer these questions for me, that it’s between Him and I. I’m interested in your thoughts though, and your journey. Let me know what you think!

How Many Hours ARE There in a Day, Anyway?

In all my planning and re-prioritzing and scheduling/routine-mapping, I’ve learned something quite surprising about myself.
I’ve been reworking a lot of things, for a lot of reasons.
We (I) have been feeling driven,
like a hamster in a wheel,
like I hit the ground running every morning,
only to fall farther behind each day…
only to see, at the end of the day, all the things I didn’t check off my to-do list.
I’ve been running our home on a routine that just doesn’t fit all the changes that we’ve made since I crafted that routine for us. A routine that was made to accomplish goals I either don’t have any more, or never really had to begin with, but felt (self-inflicted) pressure that I ought to have.
True to my own way, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about routines, schedules, priorities, planning, and the like. Not to allow others to dictate my goals, or to try to emulate someone else’s routine or schedule, but to get my mind into that gear, and to get ideas that maybe I haven’t thought of, and to learn from others’ mistakes. In my reading, I found this post:
Time Management Without A Schedule
In it was a profoundly simple concept that really should have been my beginning point in my endeavors to create a routine plan for myself. It is this:
(are you ready?)

Each day should only have 24 hours of accomplishments planned!!!

This is new thinking for me.
I really never thought about looking at the time I have and figuring out what I can do in it. I always looked at what needed to be done, what I wanted to get done, and tried to move at a speed that would accomplish as much of that as possible. I never, never, got to the end of my list.
Every single day was a failure, that ended one of two ways:
with me staying up late until my eyes were crossing and my back and feet were aching, trying to cross off as much as I could from my list, knowing that whatever was left undone would be added to tomorrow’s list.
guiltily and ashamedly quitting for the night, things undone, trying not to think about how far behind my tomorrow had just become, and, consequently my week and even my month, since all that is exponential…

So, me-fashion, I sat me down to work out a similar plan, limiting myself to 24 hours. I started out with a plan like the one one the site linked above, filling in the blanks with the way I already spent my days, sure I was going to find a lot of frittered-away, wasted time that could be put to more productive use. Here’s the link if you’d like to use it too, or see what it is I’m talking about :0)
Guess what happened.
I filled in all the little cells on the table, of things that I do (or attempt, rather), and the time I intend to spend on them. Then I added up the hours in each column (day). They were supposed to add up to 24 (hours). Mine all added up to 30 or more. Some as high as 36!
After I re-did my math several times, sure that I’d forgotten how to add double digits after teaching first grade math, I realized that I really am attempting too much!
Oh, how I laughed. It was somehow relieving, to know that the reason I was always behind wasn’t because I just move to slow, or don’t focus enough, or whatever. I just really plan too much!
Now I’m working on the gritty (and honestly, sometimes frustrating and discouraging) part. Paring away those plans/goals/priorities, weaning myself down to only expecting 24 hours in each day.
My husband graciously agreed to babysit for a few hours so that I could work on this uninterrupted (after smiling at my shocking discovery that I try to squeeze 30+ hours into 24, and telling me that he’s been trying to tell me that for a while now).
So I’ve been sitting here at Starbucks with a few documents open on my netbook, with tables and formulas and highlighted cells, and a sketchbook and some markers beside me, figuring out just what is it all that I do, and what to trim here and there, to get it to all fit onto the table.
After 2 hours, I’ve got several days out of my week down to 24 hours. I still have some over 24.

and now… I have more that I want to say, but time is up and I’m going to follow through on my decision to just hit “publish” rather than try to perfect each post..

Morning Energy!

If you follow me on Twitter or read my tweets here on this blog, you’ll occasionally see something with #hellomornings in it.
What is that all about?
SO glad you asksed. :0)
I don’t officially “do” HelloMornings, as in sign up and have a team captain and all that, it’s a little too socially organized for me. But I definitely love the inspiration in the Maximize Your Mornings free ebook that gave birth to HelloMornings, and I enjoy occasionally interacting with others who are doing the same thing. Reading the ebook made a huge impact on me, in giving me courage to try. I had the ideals and hopes, alright, but just didn’t feel like I could do it. Kat (the writer at Inspired To Action, who put together all this) is so good at breaking things down into very manageable steps, and being so uplifting and encouraging without being saccharine and without using guilt or a superiority/inferiority ploy. That’s a gift, in my book, and she exercises it well. If you haven’t ever been to her site, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Inspired to Action is well named!
I’ve started Maximizing my Mornings over again several times, either after a new baby, a series of sickness roaring through our tribe of 9, other interruptions, or simply falling off the wagon. Every single time, I wonder why I thought it would be hard to start again! I’m at the victorious wrap-up of another “restart”, and loving it all over again. I have a list of things that comprise my HelloMornings:
Read the rest of this entry

What Will They Remember? and Am I Responsible?

I've heard it both ways:

"They (children, when grown) will remember the good."

"They will remember the bad."

So which is it?
Read the rest of this entry

Where is my “To-Do” List on my Priority List?

I am a bit list addicted…
I learned a while back that the best way for me to stop that droning litany in my head of what I have to do that so often drowns out the quiet little jewel-moments that creep up like little gifts, without demanding my notice or competing with the “so much to do, so much to do” is to make a list. Then I can banish the repetition and trying-to-remember from my mind and I am free to focus on those treasures that disappear so quickly as my children grow from one beauty to the next.
But then I fall into hyper-organizing my list, trying too hard to streamline, and complicating what is simple… I try to put it in order of priority, of time required, of oldest to newest… and in reverse. Sometimes I spit on my hands and make a list of things that “I *will* get all this done today”. And again I miss the moments of joy; in misapplied efforts to serve, I fail to enjoy those I want to bless. And what they really want, what they really *need*, is to be enjoyed.
I am learning to walk the line between two things I see as important. Read the rest of this entry