Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Shake it Off

In the words of Taylor Swift I needed a good shaking this past weekend.
Everyone needs a fresh start every now and again. A reboot and a clean slate.

As you’ve noticed we’ve been a bit predisposed with the celebrations of our littles around here. I am all for their recognition and merriment but at the same time, we barely had a breather from the Christmas hustle and bustle and then we dove headfirst into the revelry. After Scout’s birthday last Thursday I felt like I could finally take a moment and get back to our normal. Whatever that really is.

Regardless, over these thirty-two years of my existence I’ve accepted the fact that I am a planner and if I don’t plan and don’t organize, I begin to freak out. I had not been keeping up with my normal day to day organization and well, was kind of starting to freak out. Thanks to a gentle nudge from my husband, this weekend began the much needed reboot. 

For starters, our bedroom was a mess. I can’t sleep in a mess. Bah. The big kids were set to go to Grandma’s for an overnight, and while I had originally planned on a night out for the husband and I, in truth we both needed to just get this stuff done so that we could both have less stress and less anxiety. He’s (almost) worse than I am when it comes to order.

Moxie dutifully took her three hour nap and so I made good use of the time in getting the bedroom back in order. He finished the bathroom renovations that we (he) have been working on and pretty much finished all of the project. Next on the list was the toy debacle. I organized the birthday loot and put it all away. Behind closed doors. So I didn’t have to look at it.

Papers get a little out of hand and that was my next task. I filed, sorted, and tossed to my heart’s content until I was left with one small pile that needed to be dealt with. You can only keep so many pages of lines and squiggles that are intended to be treasure maps. Sorry, kiddos.

Finally, meals have been less than stellar as of late and it’s because of those pesky birthday parties. I had been focusing my attention on those, and then dinners had become more of a last minute free for all. I don’t do well with this type of structure, because, well, it isn’t structure. I need it, I like it, and I thrive on it. Typically I prefer to plan a month at a time and then change where it’s needed. I knew I couldn’t plan that far out this time, and so a week would have to do. 

I meal planned for the week and gave my brother a copy of the list. This way, he wouldn’t text me every day asking me what’s for dinner. I love him but that text was beginning to give me heart palpitations. Meal planning is probably the easiest thing that I can do to prepare myself for the week, which I think is why I get so frustrated when I don’t do it. I like to know what to prepare for and what to expect, and having a set meal is easy to do. I prefer meals that I can either prepare in advance and freeze, or that can be put together at nap time and then either put into the oven or cooked as needed. I rarely cook something that needs my attention at the stove right at dinner, though my brood is getting a little older and is better at occupying themselves at that time of the day. I’m also preparing dinner for my whole family (remember that multi-generational thing?) and a short order cook I am not. We have our tried and true old faithfuls but I like to add in new recipes or new tastes to liven it up a bit. And yes, recipes – I kind of need one. The list maker in me prefers the order and the concrete instruction. Even for meals I know by heart I still like to reference the recipe and have it in front of me. You just can’t take the OCD out of the girl. 

Clothes were the other tick I checked off of my list this weekend. I sell the kids’ outgrown clothes at my son’s preschool sale both in the spring and the fall. I did a large girl purge (and no, that doesn’t mean we’re done with our ‘perfect family’ as I’ve heard repeated over and over the past week, it just means that I want to get rid of ALL the girl things) and managed to reorganize the seasons so that I have a better idea of what the kids have for the coming spring and summer. 

I am feeling so much better about a lot of things, and I realized it was because all of these issues were weighing on me. Trivial though they seem, it really helps me to focus on what’s really important (those kids of mine and that husband, too) instead of constantly having these ill-planned and messy areas looming over me. 

For the benefit of myself, these are a few of the things that I’ve come to reticently admit over the years are necessary for me to succeed:

I have to make the bed.
I have to put on shoes – even if I’m not fully dressed.
I have to meal plan for the week.
I have to do my daily bible reading plan.
I have to balance our checking account regularly and update our budget weekly.
I have to drink at least 80 ounces of water a day, and consume at least 3 cups of coffee. Seriously.

Feeling re-energized and ready for the next cycle of crazy!

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