Rhythm & Routine

Hi Everyone!

Yes, I’m back and hopefully will be back on my weekly schedule now. No guarantees, but the near future looks promising!

I had a lovely visit with my daughter and son-in-law last week. I will fill in details of their visit next week, but it also included getting a brief visit with my son who was house and pet sitting for my sister and brother-in-law. I have to squeeze in every opportunity since they do not live close. 

Summer is winding down here. This morning the air had a hint of Fall. I am NEVER ready for cold weather so I am trying to soak in all the heat I can. Yes, people think I’m crazy, but it is not unusual for me to be wearing a long sleeve shirt in the air conditioning. 

School starts back in two weeks. Woo hoo! I am ready to get back into a routine around here. Miss L. cannot complaint about her summer. I’m pretty sure she has only spent a total of three weeks at home. After next week, one month. We have packed, unpacked and packed again. 

Speaking of routine, I thought I would share some info that might help some of you out there. I feel like I blab every week about the crazy stuff out here and bless you, you keep reading. But in the spirit of giving and sharing I really should pass along useful stuff occasionally.

By nature I am an organized person though it might not always look like it to the causal observer. There are times life is organized chaos. When I moved out here to The Middle of Nowhere in 2016 I left a totally different life that I had lived for almost 20 years. I had virtually every convenience within a ten minute drive. I had daily interaction with other human beings. Now I have moved many times over the years, but this move was not just a location change, but a lifestyle change. One that I had no way of preparing for. The nearest grocery store is now a 30 minute drive. I now go DAYS where I only have the company of my husband, niece and various and assorted animals of the domesticated and wild variety. Let’s just say that the transition has not necessarily been easy or pleasant all the time.

For two winters now I have struggled through my usual winter blues but with the addition of a lack of routine that left me unmotivated and rather disheveled. Winter One I was just out of my element and hadn’t found my rhythm yet. Winter Two was spent recovering from the high level stress of eight months of a family crisis. My almost daily uniform consisted of yoga pants and a t shirt or pjs. I work from home and just couldn’t find the motivation to get properly dressed unless I had to go out in the world. Add to this state of affairs, Winter One, D. and I had combined 30 years of household stuff and were sorting out what to keep and what to get rid of, then Winter Two we were buried in family stuff that landed on us in literally trailer loads. It was all just freaking overwhelming and depressing! 

Blessed Summer 2018! Spring always makes me happy and this year as the rhythm of the season settled into my bones, I started to make some progress out of the confusion.  My first hour of work has been in the garden and with the animals each day. The sunlight and sounds of just nature and the company of goofy, loveable critters has been wonderful. It has been slow progress, but the house is beginning to rid itself of boxes and piles. The yard, though fringed along the outskirts with weeds from the over abundance of rain, does not have the look of a jungle that it did last summer when we barely had time to eat or clean. I no longer want to cry when I pull into the driveway. 


I have begun to find a routine again for the domestic affairs that have to happen daily and my biggest goal is to get regular hours for my artwork once school is back in and the garden is put to bed or at least down to manageable Fall levels. If you happen to be in the Land Of Overwhelmed, let me suggest the Flylady.net website. YEARS ago I found her when I was juggling a family business, four bedroom house and yard and two non-stop kids. She had a manageable and sensible way to keep house that my ADD squirrel brain could handle. I did not osmosis the domestic gene from my Mom because I much preferred to help my Dad with the outside chores. I needed help. I never got all the routines down pat, but learned enough to keep house reasonably well. 

Recently I found both “A Better Life With Flylady Kat” and “Diane In Denmark” on YouTube that refreshed my memory about the routines and I am back on board. I have only been at it for two weeks but can already see a difference in the house and my schedule and my squirrel brain. The two HUGE boxes of paperwork that piled up last year is cut in half and I will soon have all that filed and put away.  I suggest watching Kat for very detailed instructions on how the system work and Diane if you need some wardrobe improvement (I will not ever be as well dressed as she is, but I have upped my game to decent shorts, tshirt, mascara and earrings!) and want to see what life is like in Denmark. 


One more important tool for Life Reboot is my new planner from my daughter and SIL. I needed to go back to paper and they did so good. It’s cute but not too froufrou and has STICKERS. It makes those daily lists much more fun. 

Ok, there are my tips for the week. I have to get going and finish laundry and tomato canning today. Get out of the grungy sweatpants and rock your week! 

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Overwhelmed

I’m wondering if writing a blog is like Facebook.  Is it supposed to be all “perfect world” posts?  The fact that I have started this at 4:45 am might be a clue that this one will not be one of those posts.

You don’t have to stop reading.  I promise not to be Debbie Downer, but if I’m going to write this every week I have to be honest that every week is not sunshine and roses.

For several mornings in a row I have been wide awake at 4 am.  Historically that means my poor brain is trying to cope with some overload and the fact that I get up and start work means I manage to accomplish something before exhaustion sets in around noon.  I figured out about a decade ago that tossing and turning in bed for hours accomplishes nothing and I’m still exhausted by noon.

So what exactly is going on?  1) I have some big changes on the horizon and I’m working through that transition.  2) I’m having some time management problems.  3) I’m just dealing with general life aggravations like we all do.

I’m going to work through these backwards.  If you have suggestions, I am happy to hear them.

money jar

#3 – Life aggravations.  It’s the end of October.  The holidays are looming.  It’s pathetic, but I do not enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas insanity.  I do not enjoy shopping. I don’t really enjoy cooking either.  So here I am at the end of the year with my gift lists and my budget and never the twain shall meet.  I just bought new tires for my car two weeks ago which was a hit to the saving but not dreadful.  My son calls yesterday and his truck (my truck actually) needs over $800 in repairs.  If you noticed an odd repeated “thud, thud, thud” sound yesterday, that was me banging my head on the wall.

This is NOT my desk! All my unfiled papers are neatly stacked inside two large boxes.
This is NOT my desk! All my unfiled papers are neatly stacked inside two large boxes.

#2 – Time management. Overall I am decent with my time management skills, but I have a couple of problem areas.  First, I have a tendency to be a workaholic IF I have work I enjoy.  Give me a project that excites me and I will work through meals, meetings, date nights, etc. You caught that right?  My kids will tell you as will my fiancé that if I’m into something I have no clue what is going on around me.  The dogs will be banging their water bowls and I don’t hear a thing.  I resent being interrupted and they all resent being ignored.  It’s a problem.

On the other end of the spectrum, if there is something I hate to do, I become the Queen of Procrastination.  Three months of filing that needs to be done?  Darn, there is something I need to go research on Pinterest right now!  My patient readers, please pray that I will find the intestinal fortitude to face the two large boxes full of filing that must be done so that I do not have to spend a week of sleepless nights doing taxes this year.  Have I mentioned that my accounting is about two months behind as well?

This is not my stuff, but it's an accurate depiction of my stuff.
This is not my stuff, but it’s an accurate depiction of my stuff.

#1- Life changes.  I believe the saying goes “There are only two things you can count on in life, death and taxes.”  I would add “change” to that list.  This coming Spring I am getting married.  That is a big, YEAH!  But, I have been a divorced, single parent for 13 years living in a suburban area.  Come summer I will be a married, empty nester living in a very rural area.  I’m beginning to believe that adjusting to being married will be the easy part. The logistics of moving my storage unit and all my stuff, beginning to remodel his house, finding my way around a new area, having a 25 minute drive to the nearest grocery store, merging two of EVERYTHING and deciding what stays and goes, adjusting to an hour commute to work from an 8 minute commute, and making my business fit all this without losing customers is making me lose some sleep.

It’s just life.  Messy, inconvenient, overwhelming.  I’m not complaining. These are normal, even good things.  I just need to feel a little more in CONTROL.  That is what it usually comes down to, right?  We need to feel we have some control over what is happening in life.  My conclusion is that we don’t have much control over anything, but what we do have we need to embrace.  I’m going to go make my coffee and breakfast, set the timer and tackle some of that filing and accounting before I start back on my recent fun project which I will show you next week.

Have a wonderful week!

 

 

messy desk photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31437555@N00/1950409800″>World’s Messiest Office Cubicle Discovered in Colorado</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

money jar photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/7027604401″>Money</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

moving photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/97321205@N00/2885703454″>Moving (2)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;