Sunday, February 16, 2014

Time to Get Organized!

I have always found it difficult to accept the passage of time without regret that I haven't done more and been more.  I frequently reflect on what has been and what I've done.  More often then not, it motivates me to do differently in the future.  Sometimes I am successful; sometimes I have to try again.  And again.

2014 is now over six weeks old.  Whether one is given to setting resolutions or goals on New Year's Eve or not, there is something about a new calendar year that instills reflection and planning.  I'm not sure many people can truly escape the nostalgia that presents itself as the clock counts down on December 31.  Then that magical second between 11:59 pm and 12:00 am strikes and provides us unadulterated freedom to begin re-writing our own story.  A clean slate, if you will.  A moment is taken, whether willingly or unwillingly, to reflect upon our accomplishments, disappointments, happy and sad times.  It's a moment to speak to ourselves and make the promise of trying, once again, to do and be the best we can.

This year I determined to change my perspective even though I don't usually make resolutions.  I have always liked to be somewhat of a bohemian drifting with a come-what-may-for-the-day attitude.  However, with a large family to manage, a home that needs tending and work that has deadlines, how can I seriously continue to live in my bohemian bubble?  Oh sure, it was fine when there were mostly babies and toddlers in the house, but school has changed that.

I have spent a lot of time reflecting and have set some (ehh hmm) goals.  Aak!  I can't believe I am actually saying this!  I am NOT a goal-setter!  I'm not an organized, everything-in-its-place house manager.  I'm just not, it doesn't resonate well with me since I've never done it.  But for quite awhile now I've been looking at what is not working in my habits and our home.  It comes down to this: organization.  So, whether I like it or not, I will have to become organized.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I love the idea of organization!  My hurdle is that I don't know how to get there.  So, I've looked at the advise of what works for some fellow bloggers.  I've questioned my sister-in-law who, in my eyes, is the queen of getting it done and making it work.  I pinned anything I found online on Pinterest so I could find it again when I needed it.  And I have talked it over and over and over again with my very patient husband.

One day, not long ago, I took the plunge and started.  I actually took time to write out the many thoughts whirling through my mind to consolidate them into a list of goals.  I printed off some worksheets and guidelines I think will help keep me on track.  And to top it all off, I compiled all of these into a "household binder" so I can easily access it and use it.

Now I'm taking it one step further.  I am typing this out for others to read when they stumble upon my words either by choice or by chance.  Now I am accountable to at least attempt implementing these changes.  I have known for so long they are necessary but, due to both reluctance to change on my part and circumstances that I couldn't change, I have not yet begun. 

But what better time is there than now?  Tomorrow is a fresh new day ahead of me without any mistakes, disappointments or failed attempts written on its pages yet.  (Thank you Anne Shirley!)

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Canadian Winter

Snow!  It's definitely what winter is all about this year.  Snow and cold.  A true Canadian winter with piles of deep snow, huge snowbanks and plenty of snowstorms.

Personally, I like being storm-stayed at home when the winter winds are howling and the lake effect snow squalls are, well, squalling.  The forced isolation is a nice reprieve from the constant expectations of daily life.  It's an extra holiday from school for the boys.  Lovely wood heat makes our house cozy.  We are all tucked safely at home without anywhere to go or anyway to get there.

Near the beginning of January the first massive storm system moved through our area and shut everything down.  It extended the Christmas vacation from school for an additional three days.  The temperatures were a numbing -25º C (-13º F) with a windchill of at least -35º C (-31º F).  The snow piled up deeper and deeper.

When it finally stopped storming, it was time to dig out.  Friday afternoon Nicholas was already outside helping Daddy clear the deck when the big boys got off the bus.  Before they had time to get out of their snow clothes I sent them out to help shovel.  Under daddy's supervision, they worked hard dumping snow over the railing where a snow ramp formed from the ground below to the top of the deck railing.  Shovels were quickly abandoned to be replaced by sleds when they realized what they had constructed.  Daddy held the sleds in place while they scrambled up, over and on so they could fly down the ramp, across the backyard all the way to the edge of the trees.

Dylan and I watched through the sliding doors in the kitchen while I made applesauce pop tarts.  They were a yummy treat added to the expected cup of hot chocolate when they all finally came in. 

Although we hadn't set out to teach the boys a life lesson that day, they experienced the satisfaction and joy of playing on something built by their own hard work.  Weeks later the ramp is still there waiting to be used whenever it's not snowing too heavily, blowing too hard or just too cold to be outside playing.