Happy belated New Year! (Can you relate?)
Happy New Year! I know I’m a little late in sending out this greeting, but these days I feel like I’m always a little late (except for appointments and movies). Dinner is getting to the table later and later, cards and birthday wishes barely make it on time, laundry piles up and gets done on the weekends (I prefer to do it through the week in small batches), shopping trips are delayed until we really NEED particular items. I just feel like I’m short on time and there is only ONE me. No matter what the division of chores is around the house there is still more of my share than I have time for. Well, unless I give up opportunities to spend time with the kids or try and relax by watching a movie with the family. Work is stressful and non-stop but it’s a great job and I’m well treated. But still, something has to give.
Can you relate? Between work, household chores, holidays, kids, kid’s and adult’s extra-curricular activities, PTA/PTO meetings, birthday parties, general things like shopping, oil changes, cooking, yard maintenance and pet care – do you feel like you have more work than you can fit into one day, week or even year? Even with the help of your family or au pair? I know I do and I feel like I need to figure out some way to get it all done but not exhaust myself physically and emotionally in the process.
Someone told me to make some New Year’s Resolutions. I was like “Uh… no”. You see, a resolution is a commitment and a “resolve” to accomplish something. Then, if you fall short of that goal, you feel worse, you feel like you failed. Maybe I’m the only one that feels that way, but still, I won’t make a resolution to do something better (or at all). But I do need to inspire myself someway.
Back when I did make resolutions I used to choose things like “learn a language” or “play the violin” or “get to the gym” but those all require the one thing that I’m trying to solve for – TIME. If I don’t resolve my lack of time, I can’t try any of those new things. Heck, if I don’t resolve my lack of time I can’t even get back to doing some of the old things, like reading a book.
So I am reviewing my schedule and asking myself “Do I truly lack time or am I inefficient with the time I have?” If I truly lack time then I have to give something up. If I’m inefficient with time then I need to figure out where I can tighten up, multi-task, delegate or alter the way I do something. Can I take advantage of delivery services for things like groceries and household goods? Would I even want to (I find my Target runs and grocery shopping to be somewhat therapeutic “me” time and I’m not sure that giving them up will ultimately help me)? Can I afford a little help around the house with cleaning? Can the other family members take on a little more?
I haven’t figured it all out yet, but I’m open to suggestions if you have any for me. I’m already looking at a chore chart to figure out what I do, what everyone else does and where we can better disseminate the household work (I’m already seeing that what people are supposed to be doing and what I often end up doing FOR them is a problem area that we can improve upon). I also think that if my family pre-sorts laundry, turns everything the right side out, un-balls socks and actually uses the different hampers for darks, whites and linens then I could save a few hours of laundry focused time a week (I wish I were kidding). I may also delve into this whole meal planning thing and see if it is something I can do and stick to (it may help with my time and my budget at the same time, since we often end up grabbing take out when I haven’t had time to cook a meal).
I also truly need to do some organizing around here and that may ultimately help me recoup some time since I surely lose some in the search for things that I can’t find. That may also result in stress reduction.
And what would I do with time I free up by becoming better organized and more efficient? Spend more time with my family, get back to getting a monthly pedicure (1.5 hours in a month should be doable, right?) and find at least 2 hours each week to read. To clarify, read for myself, because I do spend 30 minutes each day reading bedtime stories. See? I dream manageably. The big stuff can come later.
So I think I will have to make one big sacrifice to get started on this. PTO time. I think I need to schedule some time off when everyone else is at work or school (of course, I still have to drop off and pick up at school and one of them gets home at 2:45 every day so I still won’t have an abundance of time) and just GET STUFF DONE. My way. Without interference or interruptions. Time to get all of the laundry done and caught up for once so I can start with a clean slate (of course, unless you are naked the laundry is never truly done). Time to make those meal plans… and not just for a week…for an entire month so that spices and non-perishables can be stocked up and on-hand. Time to GET RID OF THE STUFF THAT IS ALWAYS IN MY WAY. Make a family schedule so I keep abreast of where everyone needs to be and when. Yeah. This sounds good. And I feel like it has to be now, at the beginning of the year, to set the tone for moving forward.
If you have ideas for being efficient with time, keeping a house clean, engaging other household members in the effort, please share with me. I’d love to hear them!
I’m ready to make this a VERY Happy New Year indeed.
By Kim Wunderlich-Cady