What's Up?

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I have been quite busy the last couple of weeks or so. In addition to organizing, I supplement our family income by substitute teaching and occasionally working in the cafeterias of our school district. Both have been keeping me working, almost on a daily basis. The days I have not been working in our school district, I have had plenty of other things to keep me going. My younger daughter, JMW, and I spent last Saturday cleaning the house and finally decorating for Halloween/Autumn. One thing I discovered, and I am not sure why I had not used it before, is that Windex is great for cleaning the outside surfaces of the refrigerator. It now looks as good as it did when we bought it for our first home over 14 years ago! We even purged all of the refrigerator art, magnets and other "stuff" that cluttered the front of the fridge. Our calendars (one family calendar, one lunch menu calendar-extremely important!), a special frame for displaying artwork (that will be changed out periodically), magnets from businesses that we frequently call (such as the pizza shop!) and a few photos in magnet frames (I love those magnet frames!) are left to grace the fridge. It looks so much better!

One other project I undertook was building shelves for my canned goods. I canned peaches, applesauce, pickles and some preserves and jams. All I needed was a place to store all of those jars of goodies. The project took more time than I anticipated, but I ended up with plenty of shelf space and have a convenient spot at the bottom of our basement stairs to keep it. Looking at the filled jars lining the shelves is almost like looking at a work of art. The deep colors of the strawberry preserves, the bright yellow-orange of the canned peaches, the summery green of the pickles and the rest of the preserved fruits, all of those colors come together for a display that is candy for the eyes. I will post a picture sometime soon.

Before wrapping up this post today, I have to share this. This morning I woke up with this song in my head: "Jesus is a friend of mine. From now until the end of time. He is in my heart; we will never be apart. Yes, Jesus is a friend of mine." The only reason I can come up with for having that tune dancing around in my head is that maybe I needed that reminder today. I hope it doesn't mean anything for the rest of my day!

Wasting Time...

...is something I do well. For example, I awakened rather early for a Sat. (around 6:30) and was unable to go back to sleep due to a sore throat brought on by those wonderful autumn allergies. I came downstairs intending to start a writing project that I have been mulling over in my head. My first mistake was deciding to turn on the computer instead of brainstorming on paper. I know, I know, I could just start it on the computer; it is easy enough to type up what I already have in my head and then edit later. But, since the computer was on, I thought I might as well check e-mail. And maybe I will see if my sister has updated her blog. And what about the latest news? Or how about that sale at that on-line store? Or that article I have been wanting to read? Or...you get my point. Suddenly it is a couple of hours later and I have not even come close to accomplishing what I originally intended.

Well, at least it is a Sat. and I am not obligated to be anywhere at any certain time. And it is nice to be up early on a Sat. and have some time to myself before the rest of the household awakens. But, could I have used my time more efficiently? I am certain I could have. However, I chose to let myself wander around the internet and play a couple of games. What could I have done to be more productive in that quiet time I had before the day really got started? Following is a list of things to combat time stealers.

  1. Make a priority list. Write down a list of things that must be accomplished today. Then prioritize them: what must be done first, second, etc. Then do them, crossing them off as you go. Seeing your list shrink is a great motivator.
  2. Make a list of things you want to do. Order this list according to what you expect to accomplish and when. {Regarding both of these items, unless it is something such as an appointment or work or something with a deadline (or my husband is out of socks), etc., I am not going to fret if it does not get crossed off my list that day. Some days there are just not enough hours in the day to do it all. That's why I prioritize. If the items at the bottom of the list do not get done, so be it. There is always tomorrow!}
  3. Know your limits! Keep in mind what distracts you. What pulls you away from the things you really need or want to do? What must be done to avoid temptation? When my daughters were younger, I had shorter amounts of time to do what I needed or wanted. Knowing that I would need to give them my time and attention was enough motivation to use my time efficiently. Now, the computer and the television take me away from my priorities. Limiting my t.v. time to a particular show and using a timer to limit computer time help keep me focused on my needs/wants list.
  4. Listen to your body! If I am tired, hungry or bursting with energy, I am distracted from my priorities. A little snooze, not skipping meals or eating a snack and taking a long, brisk walk keep me focused. Ignoring my body's signals leaves me irritated and lethargic and most definitely unmotivated.
  5. Allow time for fun! Nothing is a better motivator than having a good time once in a while. Plan time for a bit of fun (or at least some down time) each day. All work and no play makes for a cranky Mommy!

What works for you? Share your ideas in the comments section or feel free to e-mail me (address link is on my profile page).