My back hurt very badly when I woke up this morning. Last night I stayed up making noodles and steaming vegetables so the girls would have them for their lunches today. I felt industrious when I was doing this and that's what I've been thinking about today. It's normal to want people to think well of you, but suppose that someone else was writing about what I did last night. What if you read that there was a pile of dishes on the counter, and you saw that I left a pan of zucchini out? Would you think less of me? I think less of myself when I do things like that and it's not really about the vegetables. It's about not doing something that I know that I should because I was tired, lazy, or made some other excuse. So today's list is about bad habits that need to be replaced with better ones.
1. Hanging out my clothes saves my dryer. We have an oversized laundry rack and a standard sized one and I've never run out of creative ways to hang laundry that needs to be dried. This past week I hung out three loads which made me feel good so moving forward I want to use my dryer less. What does less look like? I would rather not dry anything. From this day I on I want to be organized and far sighted enough to hang everything out. Action plan: Go through clothes we own and get down to four or five outfits for each person. Get rid of extra bedding, towels, etc... that bog laundry day down.
2. Wasting food. We waste an incredible amount of food. Part of this stems from not having a proper menu. I'm not blaming my husband, but in the past I have been very frustrated by his not wanting to join us for meals. Also my kids need to understand that what is on the table is what we are eating. Action plan: Go through pantry and clean it out. Make a menu and stick to it. Include others in the planning process so they have responsibility, accountability, and representation. Make a point of showing the kids that I am eating an apple with a bruise or leftovers I don't care for, etc...
3. Not cleaning up around the house. If you take it out, put it away when you're done using it. I'm not sure when we gave our girls the message that it was okay to throw things on the floor, but it's a bad habit around here. The living room looked clean until I saw my daughter's socks, book, and her hat was inexplicably hanging out in a plant. This is unacceptable behavior and needs to be replaced with people putting things away right away. Action plan: Clean up the things that are lying around and find a place for them. Make the girls earn whatever they lose back. Also, set the good example for them.
4. Treating ourselves. I'm late to the party on this, but it's time to break the mold of all work and no play. I see the girls being silly and automatically get frustrated that they are cavorting while I am working. It should feel good to work hard and be able to take that well deserved respite from your labors. Action plan: sit down with the girls and divvy up what needs to be done around the house and when. Ask what treats look like to them and put together a list of small, medium, and large treats for occasions when treats have been earned.
5. The feelings journal. My therapist told me to write in my feelings journal when something is bothering me. She said that I should get each of the girls a journal so if they are upset, but don't want to talk about it with anyone else, then they can go to their journals and spend some time there. The idea is that these negative and bad feelings, or good feelings that don't get celebrated the way I think they should have a place to go. Action plan: Take the girls shopping so they can purchase a feelings journal of their own. Get one for myself and start using it by tomorrow.
My lists are usually longer, but this is a good place to start as I don't want to take on too much that isn't sustainable over a long period of time. Had I been thinking more about the actions involved, I probably would have made this post cover two or three points, but stopping at five gives me some options for future development. As embarrassing as some of these things are to have to admit, I feel strangely better about having written this. Perhaps that saying is true and the only thing we really have to fear is fear itself.
Until next time,