Friday, March 9, 2012

Settling Down to a More Organized Season

Things are settling down to a new normal. I'm finding out that things aren't quite as exciting as they were this winter, but I kind of like it.

So now, instead of running from one crisis to another, I'm able to start to get my life, my house, my homeschool in order again. I'm able to enjoy my family and friends. I had a great time babysitting for Grandson last night. It was so fun to play, put him to bed, and learn his little bedtime routine. I'm enjoying life. Instead of reflecting on the past year and planning for the next in January, I'm doing it in March.

It took three overdue library books to remind me that I need to be more deliberate in organization. See, I used to check the library website every week or two to make sure I didn't have overdue books hiding in the kids' rooms. Any homeschoolers you ask can tell you that overdue fines can be a real budget buster when you check out so many books. But during the winter, we rarely went to the library so I stopped checking the website. So when I returned the books last week, I overlooked three books and didn't realize it until after a few days worth of fines. It wasn't much, but it could have been prevented.

I realized that the library book situation was just a symptom of general disorganization due to my personality and the different crises of the past year. And though I can't change everything, I can start to change a few things, make them a habit, and go in the right direction. The saying, a stitch in time saves nine, is so true. When I get too overwhelmed and disorganized, I forget to pay a bill here, buy something that I already have but can't find there, and it all adds up. If I'm to save money and have a neater house, if I'm going to teach my kids well, I need to do a little planning and take care of things before they get out of hand. Of course it can be pretty overwhelming when I look at the whole picture. But if I tackle an area one at a time, regularly, then the job isn't so overwhelming.

So this week I'm paying bills, doing paperwork, cleaning the house, mending clothes, and in general, getting a bit more organized. I finally submitted some adoption paperwork this week that was due the end of December. I'm tackling some projects that I've been procrastinating.

Now getting the rest of the family to start new habits will be a trick, but I think if I work on my stuff, they will come on board a little easier. The kids are slowly ramping up on the schoolwork again. It's not like we stopped altogether, but we did the minimum these past few months. And it's hard to get them to realize that we can't do the minimum all the time. But this week we've done a little more. Next week I'll add something else. And hopefully they will get used to the new workload.

The same goes for the housework. For some reason, when the house is neater, the kids don't trash the place as quickly. I'm hoping to get them to the point where they pick up after their spills without me riding them. But until that time, things need to be organized enough that I see it right away. It's a lot easier to catch them in the act of spilling juice on the floor than to later notice that there are spots all over the kitchen and wonder how they got there. Because the kids ALWAYS deny making a mess, even when caught in the act.

So I'm settling down to a new normal, at least I hope is a new normal. I never know what will come next, but I need to be prepared. I am working on taking care of the little things before they become big things. And I'm doing it a bit at a time so I don't get overwhelmed.


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