Saturday, November 29, 2014

why did i write that last post?

I mean I dont really believe in "jinxing" things, but man, my housekeeping has taken a nosedive since that last post.  More than jinxing, its probably "pride cometh before the fall".

I felt at my rope today, seeing toys scattered and piles of papers that appear from nowhere.  I knew it was bad when my husband wondered aloud how friends of our with 6 kids have a clean house. He wasnt comparing, he was just genuinely amazed because his home growing up was messy and my house growing up was messy and it just seemed miraculous to him that a big family kept it reasonably clean.

So, I am not making any claims today, but as I clean today,  I am listening to this podcast:  "Whose Well Done are you Working For?"   I think I need to hear that in a bad way. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

scheduling myself and finding peace

It has been quiet here.  I have thought about writing several times, but I am trying something new and I wanted to really stick to it to see if it works. It may be working. . .

You see, I am not a natural housekeeper.  I like a clean house, I have ve and ry good schedules for my children's chores, and I am even a good organizer of some things.  But the house just always seems to get away from me.  I get overwhelmed, dont know where to start, dont know how to prioritize.  And it all gets dirty again so quickly.

So I tried Fly Lady this summer.  It is a cleaning system to help you get housekeeping routines.  But her routines were too much for me, even though she breaks it down into small chunks.  Looking back, summer is probably not the time to start any kind of program because life is so topsy turvy.

So I took her ideas and made myself a schedule that fits my life.  I thought about the times when I actually have two hands free and I could do something around the house.  I thought about when I have little chunks of time and when I have bigger chunks.   And I thought about what my "zones" would be in my little house.

So here is what I have been doing for almost a month.  My house doesnt look a whole lot cleaner, but I know the piles that are gone that were there a few weeks ago. And I know how much  more peaceful I feel.  If I have a minute, I look at my schedule and see what to work on right then.  If something comes up and I cant work on anything, then I dont freak out because I know I will have time tomorrow or the next day.  Mostly it has helped me not feel overwhelmed, the schedule tells me what to do next.

For those who like details, here is a sample day:
clean kitchen table (so we can homeschool there later)
kitchen cleaning
start dinner (this is chopping veggies or something I cant do with a baby in arms)
my bathroom (cleaning my bathroom all at once is almost impossible for me to get to.  So I do one thing each day- toilet, sink, mirror, tub, floor.  Should mean I clean the whole thing once a week)
15 minutes on the zone of the week (my zones are my bedroom, babys room, kitchen, bathroom and closets, living room)
5 minutes on a hot spot (this is an area where clutter collects, like where I put bills, where my purse sits, countertops, etc)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

mother nurture

The past few days, really weeks, I have needed to be fed.  I feed children, pets, a husband, and do a lot of other activities that require something of me.  And thats OK, thats an honor. 

But Charlotte Mason was onto something when she coined the phrase "Mother Nurture".  Sometimes the mother needs to be mothered.    Our hearts and minds need something to pour into us to give us some fuel to keep pour into others.

So when I heard that one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, was speaking just an hour away, a little voice started saying "Go!" 

And I did, and I was blessed.  She spoke with such grace and wisdom and warmth, I was beaming in the first 10 minutes I was there.  I didnt even take any notes, but here are a few parts I remember:

Advice to young artists:
  - Stop Smoking!  We need artists with lifetime of wisdom and experience to share with us.  (implied meaning- we dont want you to die young!)
- Live simply.  Dont move to New York to be an artist, or your life will be defined by money.  Live somewhere with low rent and living expenses so you have more time to make art.
- To students- study many subjects, not just the field of art you are working in. 

She described the writers life as ideal for an introvert.  8 hours by yourself typing is heaven to her. (Would be hard for me!)

She described the process of writing The Bean Trees as one where she had written many stories about the people she met in Tuscon and couldn't find a way they were connected to bring them together into a novel.  Then she realized the connection was her experience of meeting these people as an outsider looking in.  So that became the basis for the main character in the book. 

There is more, but that is all this tired mama mind can retain right now.