all the things · Uncategorized

Oops (Yet Again)

So much happening. So much to process. So little writing actually getting done!

Last week, I noticed that I made a blogging error – a post was published that was still in draft form. SIGH. I wish I could say this was the first time I did that!  It’s not, and it likely won’t be the last.

Then, since realizing that error, I have also missed posting days on July 10, 21, 25, and 28. YIKES.

It does make sense that the blogging and the fiction writing have both slipped. I’d like to get back on track – as I indicated in my recent post entitled Getting Back On Track, LOL – but there are a few real things in the way:

-A few big items on my to-do list that are hanging over my head. Really trying to take care of a few big things – paperwork, household things – that have been causing me low level stress for a long time.

So much to read and learn. I’ve been reading a lot of articles and publications that I don’t usually consume. This is partly related to the antiracism resources that have been shared recently on social media, and partly related to working with my local chapter of SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice).

Some part-time work. Usually my summer is work-free but I’ve taken on a bit of part-time work from home.

SLEEP!  My sleep schedule is SO off!  It’s bonkers. I’m staying up late reading (or dealing with a four-year-old who has a LOT of things he needs to tell me at 10 p.m.) and then completely failing at waking up at 4 a.m. to write!

I have switched my mindset a little these past few days. Basically, if there’s something on my to-do list that is plaguing me – I’m trying to get it done, even if it means setting writing aside for the day. The work I’m doing with SURJ is important. Keeping my home tidy and sane is important – especially these days, when our home is our haven, our safe place, more than ever before. Spending an hour on Zoom with a friend is important. Contacting my councilman about the local Police Reform bill on the floor is important.

Spoiler Alert: it’s all important. And the writing is, too. I’m a little sad that my summer writing hasn’t been working out as I’d planned. But I also know the things that I’m doing day-to-day are extraordinarily valuable. AND these are – ahem, prepare for an overused word – unprecedented times!

So, oops. But as always – time to reset and move forward. Onward.

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all the things

What To Do During Naptime

There are no answers in this post; only questions.

The main question is this: It’s Sunday morning and the boys are both napping. What should I do with my free hour?

Here are the potential answers:

  1. Brush my teeth. I’ve been awake for five hours and my mouth feels disgusting.
  2. Get dressed and packed for the day. We are potentially attending a child’s birthday party later, meaning a) I need to change out of my pajamas and b) I need to fill my backpack with an amount of gear that you’d think was meant for two days on the Appalachian trail.
  3. Write a blog post.
  4. Read a chapter in the book I started this morning – The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams.
  5. Put laundry away. SO MUCH LAUNDRY. Always so much laundry!
  6. Work on Christmas gifts – mainly on crafty Shutterfly projects, like photo books, ornaments, magnets, etc. Things that I would like to NOT pay for overnight shipping for this year.
  7. Straighten my hair. I haven’t been able to find my straightener or my preferred hair dryer since we moved and my hair has suffered.
  8. Have Special Time with Edgar. (Because, let’s be real – I tried to lay him down for an early nap and he is NOT asleep!)
  9. Unpack some more boxes on our jam-packed guest room. Or, just spend some time in there, organizing boxes into categories – things that are going to the dump, things that will go in our shed once it’s built, things that will stay in the guest room closet.

I don’t know the answer. Not at all. For today, during the 40 minutes that Edgar remained in his bedroom not napping, I accomplished #1, #3, and approximately 30% of numbers 2 and 6.

But – there’s so much, always, pulling my attention in different directions. And I know the house will not be “in order” anytime soon.

I plan to take a little time tonight to think about when and how I want to tackle all the things that merit attention in life this week. For now – the boys are awake and it’s time for many, many wagon rides around our new backyard. Happy fall!

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all the things

Excuses

It’s November 7th as I’m writing this. We just moved into our new home. It is slowly becoming livable, though I have no idea where my winter hat is and our guest room is filled with boxes and bags.

It is exactly 3 weeks until Thanksgiving, and there is less than a month between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Every day on my morning jog, I find myself in a tizzy thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, gift giving and celebrating and all the rest of the holiday madness. When Tamara woke up this morning, I greeted her with a conversation about Christmas gifting and scheduling, which she was pretty gracious about for a 5:30 AM topic choice.

So life is still in boxes, there are one million things to do at the new house, the holidays are creeping closer and closer, and Tamara is still extremely busy with wrapping things up at the farm.

In case you haven’t noticed, this post has so far been just a list of excuses for why I didn’t stick to my blogging schedule this week. It’s Thursday and there was no post on Playful + Peaceful on Tuesday.

It definitely bothers me when I get away from my blogging schedule. In a way, neglecting my blogging schedule is like a little signpost for me, a signal to let me know that life is getting a little too crazy and I’m not taking enough time to write and reflect.

My best time to write is in the morning. I’ve been waking up at around 4:30 every day and going for a short jog, which has been wonderful. I’m not running very fast, but I’m doing it consistently and that feels great.

Then, I get back from my run, and I get ready for work, and then – I get distracted.

The thing is – setting up a new household, or even just maintaining basic cleanliness in your home, is SO MUCH WORK.

I should know this already, right?  But it’s sort of new territory for me. For the last four years, we’ve lived in a two hundred year old farmhouse. It was charming and cozy, and also muddy and cobwebby and impossible to clean thoroughly. And – we lived on a farm!  Even if I did scrub everything every day, nothing ever looked clean and it would get grubby and muddy again within a day. Plus, we were full-time working parents with two kids under three. So cleaning was always a much lower priority for us than it was for other adults.

I didn’t mind the clutter and dirtiness too much, but I do think it represented a sort of low grade stress that was always present for me. At any moment, I could think to myself, I really should be washing dishes or sweeping the floor right now. So even if I intentionally chose to write instead of doing the dishes, the dishes were still taking up some mental space in my brain, and that  didn’t feel great.

Our new house is pretty freaking new. It was completely remodeled by the last owners, it has beautiful new carpet and hardwood floors, and when you clean things up, they really look clean. Tamara and I talked a lot before the move about new habits we wanted to adopt – things as simple as cleaning the kitchen after dinner. We’ve been doing a pretty decent job of sticking to our new habits – keeping areas clean, sweeping, wiping down surfaces, keeping on top of the laundry. And all of this is going to get way more manageable when Tamara is done with the farming season, because she’ll be at home with the boys and have more bandwidth for household chores and tasks. Plus, will be less of a cluster once we actually hang up bathroom cabinets and have a place for everything we own. But man – it really does take up time to keep things tidy and to clean things up when you’re done.

So sometimes, it’s five in the morning, and I could write, but I find myself unloading the dishwasher instead. And that’s been okay for these two crazy weeks since Moving Day.

But really? It’s time for that to stop.

When I wake up at 4:30 a.m., that’s my time. I want to run, and then I want to write. After those are done, and I’ve gotten dressed and ready for my day – then I will empty the dishwasher. I believe in allowing for flexibility when big transitions are happening. But I don’t want to put off my self-care indefinitely, and for me, writing is definitely self-care.

I can’t promise I won’t be late again with my blogging. But as of today, I am back in business. Let’s do this!

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all the things

Let’s Be Real

It’s Monday morning. We closed on our house on Friday, and we spent the last three days moving furniture and boxes to the new house. We’re still not done. We have lots to move and a million tasks to take care of.

So, let’s be real – there will be no new blog post tomorrow.

It’s not really about the lack of time to write. It’s the lack of mental energy. I’m exhausted, and also – I’m excited to write about the new house, new habits, and new routines, but I feel like I can’t really write about those things until we’re THERE – fully, completely, at the new house.

I am hopeful that I’ll be back on track with my blogging schedule by this coming Saturday. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition and a lot more writing headspace in the very near future!

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all the things

Oh Boy

Oh boy.

Just when I thought that this fall would be calmer and less chaotic than last fall, we made a big decision and now my to-do list is reallyreallyreally long.

There are a lot of big changes coming up. It’s all good stuff – all great news. But there are certain intentions I set for the school year – about the habits I want to build related to cleaning, organizing, and leisure time – that may be slightly more challenging to meet as we deal with the upcoming changes.

The good news is that in addition to the fresh start that I’ve gotten with the new school year, I’m going to have an addition fresh start. And I always love a fresh start – such a great opportunity to press the reset button, adjust habits and routines, and rethink the way things have been going in my life.

So, I am gearing up for a crazy four weeks, followed by a blissful (but still busy) month afterward. And I’m not quite sure how that will affect my blogging routine! But I’m staying committed to publishing two posts a week throughout the chaos. STAY TUNED.

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