What are you reading? Are you looking for something new but feeling uninspired by the bookshelves at the local big box? Too overwhelmed by the enormity of our favorite online book retailers?
uncertain where this image originated
(but conveniently found it on my desktop)
Or is it, Working to Make Space, or Making Your Space Work?
Either way, the amount of clutter around my desk always seems to coincide with how effectively I work or NOT.
Because I have a variety of activities, it is imperative that my space serves multiple functions. I am currently all of the following:
Mommy, blogger, designer, online retailer, filmmaker liaison, housing coordinator, our household’s budget planner, the housekeeper, the playdate coordinator. Basically, the domestic engineer.
So, while my blogging, retailing, liaising, housing, budget planning, and calendaring needs are minimalist and can all be done here at the keyboard, how is it that I need so much space and that it quickly devolves from esoteric and peaceful to something that looks like it was left behind at a monster truck rally?
Before Thanksgiving last year I had decided that December would be the month that I experimented with ignoring Facebook. I wasn’t crazy popular – hardly, but I had a nice collection of just under 500 friends after I had whittled out the ones that I had never even met. And I really enjoyed seeing what they were up to, getting private messages and emails, and participating in engaging threads. So what’s the problem? I wasn’t being productive. In real life. I wasn’t running, I wasn’t making art and I wasn’t socializing. I was Facebooking and I was frustrated.
So I took a break. I didn’t delete my account, but I just didn’t log on. For a month. During that month I read more than 2500 pages that included the following: The Help, The Invisible Bridge, The Social Animal, Simplicity Parenting, and My Dear Friends in America, and that’s not counting the many children’s books we are so fortunate to have.
In addition to rekindling my passion for reading, I got more organized, and dramatically more systematized. Just like my old self, when I ran an office here in the early to late 90s. I found new money management tools which I am so tickled by, but that’s for another post.
So, did I log back on? I did. After three months. But I haven’t really been there. It looks like my efforts to make change resulted in a win back of my time. I still like Facebook, but I just devote a lot less time to it.
Another good example of how sometimes saying no to something just means saying yes to yourself.
image: gena perdue@home
You squeeze 4 into a glass, top with a cup of fresh orange juice, and toss it down the hatch. For more energy in your day, do this and the recipe at the bottom. Zip!
A few days ago I was feeling quite sluggish. Was I catching something? Was I dying? I couldn’t pin it, but my body went to sleep at 5 one afternoon and wouldn’t let me reemerge until 6am the next morning. This is odd for me since I always have something to do and thirteen hours of downtime could sink the ship. It’s a luxury to be able to do so, of this I am quite aware. Have you ever had that experience where it just wasn’t a choice? Well, that’s what this was. I must have really needed the rest.
I took the cues from my body and decided change was in order. On my list of things to pick up after school were lemons or limes or both. When I arrived to pick up kids in the afternoon, I discovered we had a homework task to do at a friend’s house. And off we went. While the kids were tasking, serendipitously my fellow Mama picked a ton of meyer lemons and gave them to me. What? How’s that for an answer from the universe?
I have a ton more energy ever since I have replaced my regular coffee habit with the citrus cocktail in the morning and half hour later enjoying the following recipe:
Fill a mug to an inch from the top with boiling water. Put in a heaping teaspoon of Inka, a teaspoon of regular coffee, a splash of milk, and a swirl of agave syrup. Heaven in a mug.
Sometimes they sing sweetly, sometimes they lock horns. When they lock horns too often, it means we all need a time out. There are many ideas around what a time out is. For us, it is literally time out. For all of us. Our last excursion when the sun began to visit was Point Reyes.
Out of the house, out of the loop, out of the craziness that life has become. Off the grid and into nature is what a time out is. Point Reyes provided the perfect backdrop to be literally off the grid and unwind. Out at Drakes Beach there was a payphone: a real live analog ground line. The sign next to it was quite an amusement. I’m torn between which free call option I like best: Receive God’s Blessings, Help Finding a Job, or that Chase Bank was the option listed first.
These time outs have been the most effective medicine to unpeaceable behaviors. I am also finding that as these time outs routinely find their way into our family rhythm, the locking of horns is a less frequent form of release.
What are your habits at home that help tame the bull?
See you soon!
all images, courtesy of my iPhone.
Walking to school has become a happy activity since the rain has stopped and the sun visits regularly. When it’s a blustery morning, we’ll drive a bit and then walk through the park.
Changes have occurred with this new activity:
- kindergartener’s teacher remarks on how well she’s doing lately
- less whining
- more cooperation
- more time to share and enjoy each other during the walk to school
- more tiny requests to stop and take photos like the one above
With the health benefits of walking and the presence of mind that occurs for me, I have been inspired to take a challenge.
What are your favorite outdoor activities when spring begins to bloom?
image credit: gena perdue, santa rosa 2012
image: gena perdue @home
March is the month where I get the most energy, the most inspiration, the most done, and my least favorite, the most frustrated.
Have you ever read the children’s book, Olivia? If you have then you’ll understand if I say March is the month where I wear myself out.
My husband programs a local film festival and we are in countdown mode. Do we have all the films in? Do the visiting filmmakers need or have lodging? Have all necessary communications gone out to liaisons? Does our hospitality coordinator need anything? And the list goes on . . .but we love it.
This year, I discovered though that I usually get a surge of energy and unfortunately most of it stays in my head and on paper, but crafting often takes a backseat to the film festival. So I thought maybe, just maybe, if I can control one or two areas during this time I will feel a little less like Olivia. Last week it was my bathroom counter, this week it’s my desk. Below is the Before shot for good measure.
image: gena perdue @home, before
Just as my blog is titled: i fret, i craft, i run. But I have a confession: while I may post here things that are mostly upbeat, shiny, and with the best intent of sharing goodness, my life is by no means perfect. Simply put life is often less than glamorous. But I forgive myself for the falls I’ve taken and do my best to get up gracefully and try again. My hope is to share all of the fun, wisdom, creativity and resourcefulness that I experience as a mother and domestic engineer in hopes that it inspires others.
image credit Bacova Guild
If you’re like me, you start to wig out right around now if your clothes are still just a bit too snug from all that wintry holiday-y goodness that comes in the form of repast. So out come the running shoes and active wardrobe. The ole sturdy two-wheeled steed gets a tuneup. And the grocery lists and menus get updated.
Back to topic: what’s for breakfast? Today it was greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, a touch of grade B maple syrup (did you know it contains the same mineral content as Grade A, but 8% RDA of calcium per 1/4 cup serving, while Grade A only has 4% RDA of calcium?), sliced almonds, and raw oats.
It all added up to one heck of a delicious, filling breakfast with one health benefit after another!
So basically, a spring cleaning of eating habits gets a change up. First things first! Next up, incorporating family exercise.
What starts to change in your home with a change of seasons?
Thanks for stopping in!
image credit: gena perdue, Marin Farmer’s Market 2009