I largely believe balance to be a myth — I find simple living to be more plausible and less draining.
I’d much rather reduce my family’s obligations and prioritize what’s important than learn new ways to juggle.
Learning to say no to opportunities, streamlining my life, and becoming more disciplined in certain areas (ahem, housework) have been big triumphs this year. Our simple life is starting to flow, and I can’t remember the last time I had a “low day.”
We’re still figuring out routine, but we have rhythm.
I’m getting better at knowing when to stop working, and focus on connecting with the person that matters most to me.
I’m developing a more empowered and unattached relationship to possessions, while embracing true material investments for the first time. (And not resenting the initial outlay of money.)
Our home is cleaner and less cluttered than ever, though I still have a weak spot for taking notes on loose leaf sheets of paper and am still practicing adding things to my to-do list rather than leaving physical reminders out. (Like leaving a broken item on the counter, rather than putting it back and adding it to a to-do list, or leaving a bill on a messy computer desk rather than filing it and adding the amount to a journal.)
But I think the biggest triumph has been overcoming my workaholic tendencies. As as a starting entrepreneur, I sometimes feel like I need to work harder and constantly in order to make up for the lower income that my choices provide. I think many parents can feel that same way — whether a stay-at-home parent, or a parent who has given up relocations, promotions, or overtime at work in order to prioritize family time.
It is extremely hard for me to set a timer for a reasonable period of work and actually stop working when that timer goes off. It is hard to stop myself from working from my daughter’s bedtime until my eyes become bleary and my words no longer make sense. I find nothing but guilt in doing anything but work in my personal time.
We’ve been spending more money this year on things that are not exactly extravagant, but I could be more frugal about. I’m thankful to have had the freedom and flexibility to spend on those small things to make this busy season of our life easier, but I am looking forward to returning to frugality and saving that money for better things.
After three weeks of being so sick that I had to force myself to eat, April was full of bad eating habits and completely void of exercise. I would prepare and feed the kids extremely healthy meals, and then pick off what I could stomach and didn’t involve too much chewing.
My Goals for May:
1. Family Sundays, and 3 hours of Family Time every day. We’re in a wonderful season of life with both my daughter and I being home, my parents being available to help out on Saturdays, and her wanting to spend her time with me.
I’m not going to wake up when my daughter’s 10 years old and regret that I missed out on the times when I was her special person and the one she wanted to play with — I’m going to soak it all up now, and hopefully work on building the kind of relationship that has her still want to hang out with her boring, old mom even when she’s got way cooler prospects.
2. Working Smarter. Planning my work, scheduling my tasks, and setting a timer. My perfectionist tendencies make me feel like a task needs to be focused on until it’s perfect, but sometimes “done” is truly acceptable. I need to work at identifying when “done” is good enough, and stop when work time is over.
3. Returning to Frugality. I’ve been pretty good in some areas, like using the Flipp app for price matching, making nearly all meals from scratch, purchasing used clothing, and not making unnecessary purchases. But there are certain easy, frugal habits that I have let slide during this past year (like homemade bread and yogurt, or using my budget planner) that I will be implementing this month.
4. Clean home. I’ve been doing much better at the obvious clutter, but looking around my kitchen now, I’m noticing that while my counters are absurdly clean and free of clutter, I have a bit too much in the cupboards and on top of them. It’s funny the clutter you don’t notice when it’s your clutter. Tackling that this month.
5. Daily yoga and healthy eating. All I need to do is tell Miss G to make sure Mama is eating the same foods as her and to do yoga with me every morning, and that girl will keep me in check. Just don’t tell her that my coffee habit needs to be broken.
I’m curious — what are your goals this month?