November 12, 2009

Taking Baby Steps

I am sitting here with my morning cup of coffee and I have read the morning paper.  Before I start my housekeeping chores I wanted to post a bit about taking baby steps.

I know me.  I know what works for me and what doesn't work for me.  Making a lot of changes at once is a set up for failure for me.  However, that doesn't mean that I don't have lofty goals of getting things done in a small amount of time.  Lofty is the key word here.

While I was working I would think about what it would be like to be home all day.  I remember that I told myself that I would be up early, showered and once my family was out the door I would start cleaning my house and doing all sorts of chores and such.  I was going to keep my morning schedule of being ready to go to work by 8:00 a.m.  Well, that hasn't happened yet.  My DH is the high school cross country coach and practices start at 6:30 a.m.  We have a black lab and he always walks her early in the morning so during cross country season I get up early and walk her.  By the time I got back to the house I would make a cup of coffee and then our DS would walk in the door from cross country practice and then my DH.  Both would be hurrying to get showered and on to school and work.  By the time they got out the door it was 8:00 and I was still trying to have my cup of coffee and read the paper.

Well, cross country practice ended about 2 weeks ago and I have found myself up at 6:30 not to walk the dog but to read the paper, drink my cup of coffee and check my e-mail and such on the computer.  Now I am usually out of the shower, dressed and with makeup on (got to have it on some days) by 9:30.

This is not working and I am slowly being lulled into a schedule that is eating away my housekeeping time.  I feel as if my day is getting away from me by then so I need to obviously make a change.  However, in saying that, I also know that it was necessary for me to take some time over the past few weeks to just settle in.  I worked a highly stressful job and many times I would only get 5 hours of sleep per night.  In fact, it has taken close to 3 months of being home for me to be able to sleep through the night. 

Now that I am sleeping better and feel so much better, it is time for another change.  Change means baby steps.  It is time for me to get up and shower and get ready for my day so that I can start my house work by 8:30 in the morning.  I'm ready and I can see the big change it will make in my day.

I have made many changes over the past 6 months and I feel the reason I have been successful is that I have taken baby steps.  This works for me.  Also, I have learned not to be too hard on myself when I have not been able to get things done in the time I would like to get them done.  My decluttering took a while.  It is easy to get lost in a big project and feel defeated when you make yourself work on it all day long without taking a break and working on something fun.  My DH encouraged me when I was 3 weeks into being home full time and I told him that I couldn't believe how long it was taking me to get my house in order.  He told me that he wasn't surprised as he thought I had put too much time constraints on myself.  He wasn't saying that I was lazy or that I had done a poor job in housekeeping while I worked full time (I would say that was true, but he didn't feel so), but he was saying that I should take it slow and steady and it would get done in time. 

When I was decluttering, I worked so hard taking a room at a time.  I didn't see results for a while but then one day two weeks ago I was working upstairs and decided to take a break.  I sat down and put on a dvd for a couple of minutes.  I was watching the dvd and having a snack when I started looking around the upstairs.  It looked nice.  The rooms needed cleaned, but things were put away, there wasn't any stuff on the floor and all of a sudden I realized that I had pulled things together by working on my house a little bit at a time.

Baby steps, breaking projects into small manageable pieces, not being hard on myself, and making adjustments as needed works for me. So beginning tomorrow, I will get up, shower and start my day a little different than I have for the past few weeks.  I'm ready to get started earlier, but this doesn't mean that I won't give up that first cup of coffee in the morning and time to read that morning paper.  I will just be doing it earlier.

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