Going with the Flow

This is really classic lunziness.

I started this post last week. All about starting up with routines.  That, deep down, I'm really a routine girl.  How our family really thrives with routines in our lives, though we seem to fight them. How the holidays turned our days upside down... um, over a month ago...and I needed to gain some order.

But then life got in the way again.

This time, I blame it on school.  or the lack thereof actually.  We had a teacher workday on a Friday, followed by a totally unforeseen canceled day of school on Monday, followed by a 2 hour delay on Tuesday.  Oh, and throw in a neighbor who was having a scheduled C-section on that Tuesday, so we had a few extra munchkins running around the house on those days. And did I mention that it's winter? so it's c.o.l.d. and it's been raining, so it's muddy now. which means for the most part, all indoor play for the moment. and it's really, really, cold.  I did mention that right?

So yeah.  My routine boot camp was put on the back burner. sigh. The munchkins are going stir crazy with cabin fever and I feel like this house is a never ending to-do list scattered with a selection of crackers and dirty socks. 

I need Flow. Back in college I took this General Ed class in recreation, Challenges of LeisureDoesn't that just scream Southern California college course? And something that has always stuck with me is the theory of Flow-- "a state where attention, motivation, and the situation meet, resulting in a kind of productive harmony or feedback" (from my friends at wikipedia.org)  Gotta get me some of that Flow. Structured flow, but flow, all the same.

I am moving full steam ahead. kinda.  I want our lives to run smoother. And having some sort of routine is key. I know this. I really do. But I fight it for some reason. Like suddenly everything will get done even if I don't plan it.  Like if I don't run the dishwasher at night before we go to bed, the dishes will still miraculously be clean when I need them the next day.  Or if I don't pick up something on the floor, someone else will do it for me.  Or if I move something from one inconvenient spot to another inconvenient spot, it will suddenly be a GREAT spot.  

Now I'm not going all Flylady on you again. Because, it just doesn't work for me. It's a bit too structured. I get all bent out of shape and totally throw in the towel. And the reality is my life just doesn't work that way.  Like it or not, my life is at the mercy of BigDaddy and the cursed beloved volleyball program.  Our weeks, days, minutes are always changing due to his work.  Toss in snow/flood days and we've got a non-stop party. What I CAN do is create little habits to move things along. yes. THIS is what I need to incorporate more of.  Bite sized pieces to fill in the gaps.  I really like SimpleMom's post about starting your day off with doing your least favorite to-do list item first, your "frog" of the day. It's also fun to inform everyone that you are going to "eat your frog"--be right back.  I also got out a blank weekly planner worksheet to jot down the things/appointments/activities that ARE regular and make sure BigDaddy and I are on the same page.  These are non-negotiable, in PEN! (or google calendar), and we need to plan around them.  Working out, craft time with Sassy-- stuff like that is included, as is a weekly vb meeting for us in his office.  Are we official or what?

Last weekend I spent most of the day in my jammies, totally anti-routine behavior, but I feel like I got so much done.  I finally did a meal plan again and started some of my batch cooking.  Made a big ol' pot of turkey stock from leftover holiday carcasses that have been hanging out in my freezer.  Later in the week I made tons of cream of turkey soup- a good base for lots of meals. I doubled up on pancakes and french toast, so those are ready and waiting in the freezer to go into rotation for hot breakfasts during the week.

I spent a LOT of time getting my coupons organizers, well, organized. I needed to get them up to date-- trashing expired ones, clipping my piles of newer coupon inserts, and scanning the sales circulars/ deal  blogs.  Since I had my meal plan set (based on main items already in our freezer or pantry,) it was easy to come up with what else I needed and see what items were cheap, especially with coupons.  Of course Big Daddy made fun of me since I couldn't just "run to the store" because I had no idea what items I needed to get at which store yet.  I needed my piles separated.  I still don't have my "system" for this, but it's getting easier and I'm saving enough to make it worthwhile--even if it's still a bit haphazard.

I'm also playing hardball with our budget now that the holiday frenzy is over and our spending is pretty consistent again.  I've been following the advice of SimpleMom can you tell I just love her stuff?? and using pearbudget along with a FREE checking account and multiple FREE savings accounts with INGdirect.  I cannot tell you how much I'm loving it.  I'm not a numbers person at all and I stress over doing our budget because I always feel like I'm missing something, or added something up incorrectly.  But I have to say, I'm feeling pretty good and we are already saving money, bills are paid early and even I can understand what I'm doing.  hooray!

I feel like I'm off to a good start, but the Aries in me isn't satisfied.  I want it all NOW and in perfect order. I keep reminding myself it all about the baby steps.  It's a process. blah blah blahdidy blah.  Of course I'll share what I'm doing and what I find along the way with my Loyal Seven.  If you have any tricks up your sleeve, send me a note in the comments.  It's fantastic getting comment love, just as long as it's not about some amazing work-from-home business that will make me thousands of dollars.

photo credit: anjan58 via flickr creative commons.  I found it looking for "flow" pics and just fell in love with it.  Isn't it lovely? Until it's warm enough to have my morning coffee with the horses again, I think it might be my new happy place.


Anonymous said...

I love your thoughts. I am terribly organized just naturally so I am thinking of the things that I do without effort. I make lists everyday of things to do. If they don't get done, no panic just add to tomorrow's list. I had a friend who used to list everything in her life she wanted to do and used a notebook. She crossed out those things she did and circled the leftovers. You could look thru her notebook and go back months and see everything still circled. I just have one list.
But for you I think your process is great. Just keep on keepin on.

Karey said...

Sunday is my list day - meal plan, store plan, week plan... vacation dream, luxury item dream, workout dream...

Sending you comment love <3


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