Summer is fun, but it’s busy. It always is, with kids and work and summer things to do.
Housework has been let lapse (I’m pretending it’s ever up to date). Paperwork hasn’t been filed (ditto, blame summer). It’s all in an admirable cause, everything tossed to one side in favour of outdoor pursuits and time spent with the kids while they’re on their school holidays.
I’ve eaten with abandon, icecream, glasses of wine (accompanied by crisps), and my clothes have been feeling tighter.
It’s been great in the moment and lots of happy memories have been made, but looking around at the mayhem after the kids have gone to bed and I’ve done the essential “getting ready for the next day” I admit that I’m feeling the stress.
As a friend put it, it’s all the little things that add up together to tip the balance, and it’s been tipped.
So now, as the return to school approaches and the air has that cooler tinge it’s time for me to take control again. I’m feeling positive, excited to get a handle on things and spend my time wiser.
It’s time to start looking after everything. Not just the kids, but the house too and myself.
So here’s the plan:
1. I’m revising my Happiness Project lessons learned and putting these ones back into active practice- the one minute rule, Say “No” only when it really matters, and toss, restore, organise. I’ve been doing a lot of clearing out and there’s more to do, but it always feels so satisfying to open a cupboard and having nothing fall out and hit you in the head, or to be able to find an item of clothing that fits and is in season. It’s worth the effort.
2. I’m going to spend less time passively online, so online time will be actively, consciously doing something, not browsing aimlessly and refreshing timelines. (Every little helps, right? I’m not ready for a full detox.)
3. I’m going to read. Not timelines, not emails, not articles, books. I’ve been falling behind on our bookclub books and I am determined to catch up. I read a book, Donal Ryan’s Spinning Heart on holidays and I loved the feeling that being stuck in a book gave me.
4. I’m going to concentrate my time and energy on things that I can control or influence (and not those that I can’t) and put my energy into them bit by bit. There’s no point in getting caught up in the things that I can do nothing to change. It’s good to remember this sometimes, take a step back and see what I can do about things that are bothering me. (apart from rant about them, although sometimes that’s healthy too).
5. I’m going to go to bed earlier and get enough sleep. When I am tired I am cranky and end up shouting at the kids which makes me feel guilty which adds to my crankiness. It’s an endless cycle that I seem reluctant to change. If you see me on twitter or facebook late remind me that my alarm will be going off at 5.45am and PLEASE send me to bed. It’s a team effort!
6. I’m going to start some type of meal planning. Yes, the time has finally come for me to admit I need to think in advance about what we are going to eat. I’ve started on this already, there’s a batch of Chicken and Broccoli Bake and a couple of Shepherd’s Pies gone into the freezer and I have plans to make a big pot of meatballs and something else mince based later in the week. I’ve great intentions to make lots of lists about what we’ll eat BEFORE I do the shopping at the weekend, we’ll see how that goes.
7.I’m going to find three slow cooker recipes that are tasty. I currently have one. Anything I’ve tried just tastes the same, or requires so much pre-cooking that it’s easier to cook it there and then. Please share your favourites if you have any.
8. I’m going to grab the small opportunities to get some exercise– a walk around the block at lunchtime or a quick walk in the evening gives not just exercise but headspace. I signed up to the Irish Independent #100fitdays challenge, and while I’m not following it to the letter I think it’s definitely inspiring me to stay more on track than I have been about what I eat. I’m a few weeks into this now, and am really feeling the benefits already, and I’ve set my sights not on numbers on the scales but on clothes that I want to be able to comfortably wear.
9. Follow my own advice. My husband suggested this when I read him my list of eight things. He was joking but that makes a lot of sense to me, he’s often wise.
I’m sort of cheating in that this list has been in my head for a couple of weeks and I’m consciously trying to act out my to do list, and I am definitely feeling the benefit already. Now, if only I could find an extra few hours in the day to fit them all in.
I’m ready to take on the world. Or the kids at least.
Want to join me?
(In other news, the voting continues for best blogpost, I’ve dipped out of the top 10, and I have to stay in the top 10 to get to the judges’ round. Did you know that you can vote weekly? Every vote counts so if you have time for three clicks I’d really, really appreciate a vote – just click here. If you’ve already voted, thanks a million!)