The fact I have not updated you on my fall season and goals is telling of how things have changed in my life. School and working outside my home definitely impacts how I can use my time. We are just busier people between activities, school, church and so on. I knew during the Summer of ME, life was easier because I did not “work”, meaning I did not teach. Trust me, I still did plenty of work, actually some days I worked much harder than I ever do at school. Or maybe it is just a different kind of work. Either way, fall has brought more challenges when trying to focus a small amount of time on me. But the Summer of ME was eye-opening as to what I need to be better for everyone around me. Finding balance in this life is something many people struggle with, some all year-long, some just during certain seasons. But I have found reminding myself of some values to emphasize has helped me stay balanced. ME Fall was driven by three guiding areas: Purpose, Organization, and Patience.
During ME Fall, purpose meant I was focused and being efficient with my activities and time. If I was using the time given to me and making the most of it, I would be able to relax at some point during the day. While I may not get the opportunity to relax every day, I have been much more purposeful in planning my life to fit in some things I enjoy. For example, when I had to take the girls to volleyball practice one night, instead of going home, I went to the walking track. I jammed to my 90s music and got in some steps. It felt good, I just needed to breathe for a few minutes and walking is something I enjoy and miss from the summer months. Plus, driving home to turn around again twenty minutes later, is not a good use of time or gas money. I have also done a better job of doing one small chore each day so my weekends are not so jam-packed with chores. I can quickly sweep the floors, clean the bathrooms or do the mirrors. It does not take very many minutes. Purposeful activities during the week, so I get a payoff when we are all home together on the weekends. I still fall asleep at 9 o’clock, my husband is still irritated with my going to bed early, but at least then we can go out for date night on the weekend.
Organization was less of a challenge. As soon as school starts my mind goes into hyper-organization mode. Not a day goes by where I am not planning, budgeting, calendaring, etc. It seems new stuff pops up almost every day, whether it is a birthday party, meeting, event, practice, whatever. The biggest aspect of organization keeping me focused is meal planning. I am not even joking. If you have never done any meal planning, you need to jump onto Pinterest, search meal planning and get started. There have been many nights when I know the plan, can make supper or have it already planned the night before, throw it in the crockpot and bam….done. There have also been nights when I have not done the meal plan and it bites me every time!!! I am running to the store to get something quick, we are eating out or getting fast food. Expensive and unhealthy. I know better. Keeping myself organized helps everyone around me. I never allow my classroom to be unorganized or not have a plan for the day, so why do I allow such for my house? A question to be answered a different time, I guess…….
Patience……(huge sigh)…..For anyone that knows me, I have a very Type A personality. (Yes, probably an understatement for some of you reading this….) I want things done, when I say them, which means right now. Too bad my time-table and the time-table of everyone else around me is not always the same. Patience is the one area of ME Fall I struggle with the most. Surprisingly enough I have gotten better, even if it is just a minuscule change. I am trying to be more patient in the morning and at bedtime because those are typically my two worst times of the day. I have been known to get excited and yell because I did not feel as if my children were moving fast enough or doing what I asked of them. I have figured out a morning routine. I can get my middle child going first, get her breakfast, while the older one is in the shower. I can then focus on the youngest, who is the most tired. She can be dressed and to the table eating and then I can go back to getting the older one breakfast. It certainly helps as my children get older they can do more on their own. The number one thing helping us in the morning to get out the door is to pick out clothes the night before when we go to bed. Otherwise, we are standing in front of the closet, usually for minutes on end, with Harper and I trying to agree on an outfit. Since she has no concept of matching clothes, this can go on forever and cause me to lose it pretty quick.
I have days when I feel like I have got it all together and am rocking this thing called life. Then I feel like there are days when I don’t have any idea what I am doing…….none…… Most of the time it is the very next day and you wonder how it could change so fast. But I am sure as busy people and parents, giving yourself a few moments of time helps you be better. I am convinced of this more than ever.
Challenge Time!! What was your area to focus on during fall? How are you doing? Let us know so we can support each other. Going through this life feeling alone in your world is no way to live. Help us, help each other. Leave your comments below or on our Facebook page, Speaking Jelinese. Every time you like, comment or share these posts they reach more people and we can build a stronger community of people trying to find balance!!
Talk to you soon,