School has started!! Yay!!! The kids might be sad, but I could not be more elated!!! My life is broken into two seasons and the main one has just begun. I would be lying if I said I did not love school. My curriculum, students and especially my coworkers make everyday pretty awesome.
The fall season brings with it crisp air, apples, and football. Some of my favorite things, especially football!! You need me on Sunday, I will be grading papers on the couch, watching football. There might be some yelling, I am a Vikings fan, what can I say….. And who doesn’t love a homemade apple crisp??
I learned during the Summer of ME, how much happier I was when I devoted a small amount of time each day to myself. It is definitely something busy people and parents don’t often allow themselves. We feel guilty wanting a few minutes to breathe and find balance in the chaos. Doesn’t that sound silly……Taking a few minutes for yourself makes you feel guilty!! However, I have tasted what it is like to give myself a break each day and I don’t feel like I can go back. Additionally, those around me get a better version of myself when I get this time. So really it is helping them out in the long run…….right??
ME Fall comes with a slogan if you will. A saying makes it easier to keep your priorities out there and in your brain. Think about all of the companies with slogans, you can name the company based on the slogan……Just do it……..see……you know which one I am talking about……..
The slogan for ME Fall is POP!!! Purpose, Organization, and Patience…..POP!!!
Today I talked with my AVID students about taking notes. Taking notes for them is something they do not always see value in doing. However, we talked about changing their mindset and understanding how note-taking and college success are related. By the end of our discussion (even though we have had it before), I felt like as seniors, they were finally starting to understand what I have been saying (for three years…….). I was thinking about this conversation on my drive home today, and how it might apply to my own life.
Finding purpose is sometimes a struggle. It is easy to focus on negatives when you are constantly running kids to and from activities, cleaning the house, doing your job and then doing everything over again the next day. Purpose to me is similar to focus. When I slow down and focus on myself, it is easier to find purpose in even the small things, I usually hate doing. Being purposeful and using the time given to me during the day to be with my students or family helps me be more efficient. If I am efficient, it leaves more time during the day to relax.
As a teacher, my classroom is always organized. Always……..(well pretty much always, except my storage room). I put the time and effort into making it that way. When my house stresses me out, it is because I have not put the time and effort into making it organized. By putting in a little bit of effort ahead of time, or at the beginning of each month, makes my world much happier. Here are a couple of examples or tips:
- Meal Plan. The worst time of the day is from 5 to 6 pm. Everyone is crabby from a long day at school and they are hungry. It is by far my worst time of the day for eating. I get home from school and I want to eat snacks!! Chips and salsa, yes please!! If I do not have a plan when I get home, I have to ask people what they would like for dinner. Which means I am going to get five different answers from the five people in my house and no matter what I make someone is going to be mad. However, if they ask and I can tell them what the plan is, they just sort of go with it. My budget also appreciates meal planning because I am not running to the store everyday or night for ingredients. I can combine ingredients to try not to waste as much food. This is the same idea behind companies like Hello Fresh. They only send you what you need, so there is less waste. (Has anyone tried this yet??)
- Budget or Bill Paying Checklist. One of my favorite searches on Pinterest, okay not my favorite, but I search for budget ideas all the time. I have tried a couple of different ones but they don’t ever stick. The easiest one for me, is to make a simple list of all of our normal expenses per month and how much money we owe to each. I can cross them off once I have paid them or add to the list if I need to as things arise. I know there are many apps out there to help you track your spending and bills, but I am a simple paper and pencil girl. If I want to make a list of how much spending I have done at the grocery story or gas station, I can, but my bank account does that for me on my spending report. I have actually started making an interactive notebook for my household, but we will get into that more later. (I know I am such a geek!!!)
- Ask your children to help. I am not sure where you stand on allowances, but we don’t give our children one. Our expectation is they help when they are asked to and we provide them with what they need and want. Our children don’t usually want for very much. We do fun things, we treat them when it is called for, and provide them everything else. But having my children help with age appropriate chores, helps me. Why do you think families had like 12 kids back in the farming days?? They needed help!! Unpacking the dishwasher can take the girls three minutes if they don’t fight about it and just do it. They can give me three minutes of their time and it is one less thing I have to accomplish.
The one I struggle with the most……
I feel, as most of you do, like every minute is accounted for during my day. I want things to happen, when I want them to happen, and in a timely fashion. So when Harper is supposed to be getting dressed after her bath and she comes out butt-naked pretending to be a shark in her shark towel, I need to be able to keep it together and laugh at my five year old. Or when she spilled an entire glass of milk at the dinner table……again…….tonight……. I need to be able to shake it off, clean it up and not freak out on her. She did not try to spill the milk, it just happened; yelling at her isn’t going to help anybody. It will only make her and I feel worse about the situation. But my students and work take a lot of my patience and my family often gets the worst version of me. The one that is tired and can not do much more in a day before getting to do it all again the next day. This is when I need to remember my slogan, take a breath, remember my circle, and deal with the situation.
POP!! What do you think??!! The Summer of ME was awesome and having a central focus helped me accomplish so much!! More than I ever have in a summer both personally and in my house.
Challenge time!!! What are your areas of focus for Fall?? What would help to make a better version of you? Share your ideas with our community so others know they are not alone. You can comment here or on Facebook at Speaking Jelinese. Your support and connections help me accomplish so much, why not get the same feeling from others. Hit those like, comment and sharing buttons!! I hope your ME Fall is amazing!!!
Talk to you soon,