Another year and another birthday. My birthday sprung up on me this year. I have no idea how the world is spinning around so fast, but clearly it is. I remember when I was a kid and the the weeks up until my birthday literally crawled, that’s if they weren’t standing still. Well I was all intentional about doing something for my birthday this year and then suddenly my birthday was past… it was lovely really and my kids spoilt me rotten. And because I didn’t plan anything specific, my friends rallied round and somehow a play date here and a coffee there, a hike and a beach walk and it all added up to time spent one on one, or as close to one on one when you have eight kids (!), with so many of my best friends. My heart was filled and the birthday came to pass. So this is my birthday post…
Se7en + 1 Things I Am Loving Right Now…
- Time with my Gang: We haven’t done any huge hikes lately, but lots of little hikes do add up to time spent together in the great outdoors. And adding a few weekly walk/runs to our schedule helps to spend time together where we can’t be distracted by all the world around us… for some of us it is literally survival of the fittest. Otherwise this year I popped games onto our list of things we have to do everyday for school and this means that at least once a week I get to play a game with each of them. Different kids choose different games, it is fun and one on one time, all under the banner of school.
- Audible Books: This is the year I have become committed to audible books, previously I may have listened to one or two books a month but right now, with driving to and from gym everyday I am powering through two or three books a week… and my word it is fantastic. One of my goals is to read through all the Sonlight books in our school library, and while I have read most of the primary school books, I do have a ways to go in the high school collection. So I have been listening to some of those on audible as well… I just listened to Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers. What a fantastic book… I loved it so much that I immediately listened to one of his other books, The Tipping Point. I thought these would be business, go getter, kind of books… but they were both really interesting. They are packed with snippets of useful information, and they are really anecdotes demonstrating the “hows and whys” of folk who have gotten ahead.
- Free Coffee: And isn’t this a good way to connect with your teenage son, who recently discovered (because I would never notice things like that), that with our medical insurance, if you gather up your exercise points for the week and maintain your goals… ten thousand steps a day or a gym visit and a park run and such like, then you get rewarded with an actual coffee. What a treat, I get to spend a few minutes of one on one time with him, I get a latte and he gets hot chocolate and we are both happy!!!
- Swimming: Two weeks ago I rediscovered swimming, in the olden days before I had children, I was a swimmer. And I love it. How could I have been going to gym for six months and not tried swimming before. Truth is actually thought I wouldn’t fit into my costume, but I do… and it is great and the laps are rolling past again.
- Rearranged Bedrooms: In my year of getting things done, rearranging our bedrooms was a top priority… the other day I realised that it was September and I hadn’t even begun that project… it took two days but the bedrooms have been shuffled and now our boys have a room and the girls have a room and it is all working.
- I Tossed My RoadBlock: My Year of Getting Things Done sort of stumbled to a halt, the problem was that I was using “getting my to do list in order” as an excuse not to do anything. I tossed the To-Do list, and I am rolling again. I know, even I am a great advocator for creating a list and writing down how long a project should take, and then getting things done whenever I have a few minutes. Turns out because the list appeared to be never ending, and because I kept thinking about more things to put on the list… I was not actually doing anything. I tossed the list, I pick a job and I tell myself to do as much as I can in fifteen minutes… once I have begun it appears to be easy enough to just keep going. Things are getting done… including LOTS of decluttering. The minimalist in me just breathes so much better when surfaces are clear.
- Our School: I never thought I would write down that I love school, but that is the truth I am loving homeschooling right now. And for those of you in the trenches of early days, and filled with the stress of getting little ones to write just one sentence and sound out a handful of words… as a veteran homeschooler with almost two graduates, I can honestly say that I just don’t stress about school anymore, it happens, work gets done and we have a lot of fun doing it. It is not perfect and I am sure my kids are avoiding things they probably should be doing, and I am encouraging them to do things that they probably needn’t do, but overall everyone is learning, making progress… and it is working.
- Sleep: I am loving sleep… I have no excuse not to, and I am fully intentional about getting to bed. I used to worry about going to bed before everyone else was safely tucked in for the night. All that is over, if my teenagers want to stay up late… well I don’t have any time for that, I head for bed with the book I am reading and after a chapter or two I am sleeping. I blog a lot less, but it is worth it for me… I always said my family comes before blogging, well it turns out that my health comes before blogging too and I have a feeling most of our readers would be all for that.