Monday, September 21, 2009

Turning over a New Leaf. . . .

I'm experiencing a very unusual situation in life right now. Three of my children are in school, one is safe in heaven, and one is comfy in my womb. This means that I have Quiet, Long days.

When school first started, this was NOT a good thing. I couldn't stand the fact that Hummer was no longer my constant companion as he had been for 5 1/2 years. (I even started bawling in the library when I saw the storytime room - pitiful). And I sorely missed Exacto and Fluffy, too.

So I mourned for a day or two, then realized that the harder I worked while they were gone, the more attention I could give them when they got home! YES! FOCUS!

That worked for a couple of weeks. Then, after Labor Day weekend, I was in sort of a lazy funk. The weather was making me SO CRANKY - with high humidity and high temperatures and trying. to. rain. but. just. not. quite. sort of weather, and then pouring for days on end, right when I want it to be cool, dry autumn like in normal places. The computer got WAY too convenient. And suddenly I realized that the boys had been in school for a MONTH and I had very little to show for it, in spite of my "quiet, long days."

Over the weekend I did a lot of thinking. The time I have right now makes me feel, in a way, very wealthy! :) I just need to be wiser in how I'm using what I've been given. So I sat down and "budgeted" how to allocate these golden hours.

Lest you busier people (which is probably all of you) start getting a little jealous. . . a lot of what needs to be done is a result of nearly two years of neglect. My life was so completely upside-down after Benjamin died, and DC was so busy just keeping his head above water with me out of commission, things have been in survival mode for a long, long time. Maybe I'll get brave and show you some "before" pictures and then some "after" pictures when I'm done!

Anyhoo, I'm starting anew, with very specific goals and even a schedule for my time during the day. I'm really grateful for a chance to get things back in order before the baby arrives.

The first deadline I've created for myself is to organize all the paper that is all over the house in bags and piles (so embarrassing to even admit this), and get a working system going. I want to complete this by General Conference (10/2), and I think I can do it in 10 hours, so I'm spending an hour a day.

If I meet the deadline, I will reward myself with THIS sweet little number from Old Navy for our baby girl:

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                                               Isn't it adorable? I can't wait to put it on her!!

Why am I telling you all this? Because I'm hoping you'll be like my drill sergeants! (Nice ones, but strict ones. :)

Will you please encourage me? I'll report in periodically, and let you know how I'm doing. Even if I'm not doing well--that way you can give me a verbal kick in the pants!

And in return, I will host my Very Own Giveaway!! Wow, that makes me feel like Pioneer Woman, or something, to even type that! ha! Too bad I can't give away Kitchen Aids.

But if you leave comments on my "New Leaf" posts over the next couple of weeks, you will have a chance to win something nice. I'm not sure what yet, but very likely chocolate will be involved. :)


Andre said...[Reply to comment]

I love chocolate! I know what you mean by not wanting to do things, though. I know you are up to the task of getting things in order! I thought you were a fairly organized person. I want to see bags of just paper! Just don't get overwhelmed by trying to do too much at a time.

My problem with not cleaning is I would rather do my projects or read than clean. So starting today I have designated Monday as cleaning day. No projects can be touched. Colby and I did very well today. I cleaned my shower and bathroom floor,(the girls have to do toilets and sinks HA!) and I cleaned the entire kitchen from top to bottom and did two loads of laundry and cleaned windows. After school I'll be teaching piano lessons for two hours so I think I did well today. So you can do it, too! (Music helps.)

Annie said...[Reply to comment]

Oh God bless you Michelle for working on being organized... even more so for doing it of your own volition! This year I'm afraid I'll have to be organized by necessity. :) And I definitely understand the paper problem: I keep hanging on to things on the principle that I'll need it someday, then end up having to do massive purges.

Best of luck. :)

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

You do this!
Have you heard of flylady? I have incorporated some of her ideas into our home with success.
Amanda T

little mama said...[Reply to comment]

You are awesome. I have yet to figure out a paper system that really works day-to-day, so if you discover any tips along the way, do share. And good luck! That cute dress is worth it.

Mary D said...[Reply to comment]

I am very proud of you! Take it 15 minutes at a time and you will be amazed at your progress. For 15 minutes you work hard and then take a break, it really does help keep you motivated.

snbjork said...[Reply to comment]

Michelle, you're the queen of self control, so I have no doubt at all that you will accomplish your goals! That shirt is super cute!

I hope there will be a chance for me to visit you in October or November. I'm not sure if I can make it happen, but I'm hoping to. I miss you and I want to see your beautiful pregnant self in person!

Jen-Jen said...[Reply to comment]

You can do it Michelle! I think you're doing great! Thanks for sharing your goals. I think I'm going to try to get my papers organized by General Conference too. :-) It will be fun to keep a goal with you.

Becky Rose said...[Reply to comment]

Have you heard of She's LDS and has great systems and books on how to get organized. She'll even send you weekly news letters via Email. You Can do it!

Cindy said...[Reply to comment]

What a good plan Michelle :-)
I have been guilty of letting time get away from me all too often. You can do it! I think breaking big scary tasks into small manageable ones is so helpful.
Go, Michelle, Go :-)

Stephanie Johnson said...[Reply to comment]

One thing I've done is create a notebook for each kid for each grade. I have tabs like: Report Cards, Artwork, Class Info, About Me, etc. Whatever artwork doesn't have a foot or handprint or something sentimental, then I take a digital picture of it, file it on the computer under their school year, and then throw the artwork away. Hopefully that's a way you can "declutter". Good luck! :)

Vauna said...[Reply to comment]

Good for you! I can't wait to have long quiet days; right now that seems unimaginable. I can't wait to see that aorable dress on my niece! The only paper system I have that seems to work is the shredder (but sometimes that backfires).
Best of luck with the cleaning.
Go! Michelle! Go!

Amy Kay said...[Reply to comment]

OH Michelle, I have so been feeling the same way as you. I think you may have just given me a virtual kick in the pants too. All three of mine are now in school, and while I only have one day care boy for 4 hours twice a week (I get more kids at noon each day), I should be using my time more wisely also. And yes piles of paper...hate them, and need to get them organized too. I am going to strive to work with you on this. And YES MUSIC is wonderful. Good luck! Love and Hugs, Amy.

Becky said...[Reply to comment]

Good thing you're giving away chocolate, because I was a little disappointed that the post wasn't introducing Chica Baker's name like you've been promising...

Man, maybe I should drive myself up and "make" you be productive. Of course, that might be counter-productive. Yeah. Bad idea.


Chris said...[Reply to comment]

Hey, maybe we could go through papers for a date some time. We could have a big bon-fire with the trash and roast marshmallows for a treat!

llamitanan said...[Reply to comment]

I'm afraid you might have learned your paper clutter skills from your mom. It is hard for me to throw anything away that might be needed someday. I like Stephanie's idea of having a folder on the computer for your children's papers. It would be fun to put the best ones in one folder and have that as your digital scrapbook for your children to watch. They would LOVE seeing their favorites going across the screen. Just take a picture of them with your camera. You are so ambitious. Keep up the good work! BTW, all kinds of chocolate are my favorite!!!