Please vote today, Oregon.

It’s not too late to drop off your ballot.

And please consider voting for Obama.

Yes, he seems too good to be true.  He speaks so smoothly and is so convincing.  We’re used to being skeptical of people who wow us.

He could be fake.

But what if he’s not?  What if we didn’t elect him because we were afraid to trust, and we missed the greatest President since Lincoln?

Whomever you vote for, please vote, because you should be a part of shaping our future.  Please vote for Obama because we need a truly good, honorable man in the White House.

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Food for Thought

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness!”

“I’ll take better care of my things when I have nicer things to care for. Who cares? It’s crappy stuff, anyway!”

Sounds like God and I have slightly different views on stewardship…

Edit: Mom says this sounds like I disagree with God.  My point was that I tend toward the second view, when I need to be adopting the first.  KK? 

[Still] Playing to My Strengths

So, on Monday of last week, I had all these ideas floating around in my head.

It was one of those days where I wanted to do everything at once, writing out to-do lists and creating strategies for cooking, cleaning, and parenting.  I had such a hard time staying on-task as I tried to get the house clean, because I’d start thinking about something that I wanted to get done, and the next thing I knew I’d be reorganizing a drawer or looking something up online.  But the house was dirty, dang it, so I tried not to indulge myself, pushing my ideas out of my mind and fighting to focus on the [boring] task at hand.

One or two days later, I was having trouble figuring out WHAT to do to make our home run more smoothly.  I needed a strategy.  I sat down with a pen and paper, but I had nothing.  Blank stare.  I didn’t want to think creatively.  I COULDN’T think creatively.  More than anything, I just wanted to be handed an assignment, so that I could plunge ahead on some mindless task while giving myself a chance to mentally relax.

Wait a minute, thought I.  Maybe I should have done this on Monday, so that I would have a task for today!

That’s when I realized: I almost always have brainstorming days on Mondays.

How do I know this?

Well, when I’m having one of those super-energized, creative thinking type days, I try to think of fun ways to choose my housework tasks.  And one of the fun ways that I often choose a task is by seeing what chore day it is on Home Ec 101.

And it’s almost always Laundry Day.

So, in keeping with my strategy to “play to my strengths,” I decided to make this Monday a planning day.  Of course, I did some housework, but I kept a pencil and notebook handy, and I gave myself permission to stop whatever I was doing whenever I thought of something that I wanted to remember or brainstorm about.

What were the results?  A plethora of lunch ideas (we never know what to eat for lunch around here), and a relaxed, enjoyable day.

I’m gonna have to make a habit of this!

Playing to My Strengths

When I wrote this post asking for advice, Laura commented, telling me to “play to your strengths.” I took it to heart, and it has been my motto for the past week.

What have I done differently?

Well, first of all, I’ve been staying up late, and resisting the temptation to feel guilty about it. Instead, I’m trying to utilize my late-night energy to get things done. It’s easy to veg in front of the computer in the evenings, so I’ve been setting a timer – 15 minutes housekeeping, 15 minutes online, repeat. I really do get a fair amount done this way, and I enjoy it.

Am I exhausted in the mornings? You bet! But I don’t think that the amount of exhaustion that I feel is as bad as the nighttime exhilaration is good, if that makes sense. Basically, it feels like a good trade-off. I’m groggy in the morning, but I enjoy the evenings so much that I think I am coming out ahead. And going to bed when I seriously, desperately want my pillow is so much more enjoyable that trying to force myself to go to bed when my mind is racing with things to do. It eliminates the sense that doing the “right” thing is no fun.

One thing that this experience has amplified, but that I already knew, is that I can’t stand my job. I work as a childcare provider for my church on Thursday mornings, which would seem ideal, since I get to bring my daughters along.

So, what’s the problem? Well, I don’t really like children (I mean, obviously, I like my own children, but I’m not a kid person), I don’t click with my coworker, I don’t get along well with one of my supervisors, my 2-year-old doesn’t play at all with the other kids, my 6-month-old can’t nap there, and it’s freezing cold in that room! Add the fact that I’m not a morning person, and you can see why I really shouldn’t be there.

So what am I gonna do about it? Well, I’m looking into writing work, and lining up some other side work, so that hopefully I can put myself in a position financially to give notice soon. Nothing is for sure yet – in fact, everything is up in the air for us financially right now, as we work on a series of transitions – but I’m hopeful. The important thing about any other work that I acquire is that it PLAYS TO MY STRENGTHS. I don’t want to do something that I hate or perform in a mediocre way. I want to be proud of my performance.

More on this later!

Sunday: A Day of Rest?

I’m thinking that on Sundays, maybe I will just show you something awesome that I’ve found online.

Maybe not every Sunday, because I might have something that I’m excited to say on Sunday, and I don’t want to wait.  But this Sunday, at least.

So, how awesome is this?

Almost makes me wish I had an interview coming up!

Now if only I had known about this site a couple years ago…

Wavering

So, I need all y’all’s opinions.

I’m starting to consider NOT becoming an early riser.  Here’s the thing:

It seems like my productive times are nearly always at night.  I mean, I’m not productive EVERY night, but on the days that I am productive, I usually peak at around 9 or 9:30 pm.

When I get up earlier, I get tired before I ever hit my stride.

Does anybody know where I’m coming from?  Is my “peak” time likely to move up as my wake time does?  Am I wasting my time by trying to become something I’m not?  Or is getting up early a life skill that will pay dividends in the long run?

Do tell.

Revisiting My Resolutions

What were they, again?

Oh, yeah!

  • Become an early riser
  • Get Felicity to sleep in her crib at night
  • Keep my kitchen cleaner than I did this year
  • Flatten my stomach
  • Blog every day

So, how am I doing, you ask?

Well, I can’t say that I’ve become an early riser, although my average wake time is earlier than it was before. I’ve only gotten up at six maybe 3 times, probably 4 or 5 times at 6:30, but almost always before 8, which wasn’t true before. However, I’ve only practiced getting up to my alarm one day, so I’m probably capable of more if I just get my rear in gear.

I have a cold, though, so I’ll get my rear in gear later.

As I mentioned a while back, we got rid of Felicity’s swing, and she is now sleeping in her crib every night. Check! We put her down between 8 and 8:30pm, and she usually wakes up sometime between 6 and 7. The thing is, it was hard for me to realize that this really is “sleeping through the night,” because Ariel has been sleeping 8 to 8 for so long. But compared to the average 6-month-old, I’m thinking she’s doing pretty well!

Keep my kitchen cleaner than I did last year, eh? Well, on average, it probably has been a little cleaner, but that’s not saying much. I need to buckle down with this one – it’s so easy to get it all clean and then tell myself that I don’t need to worry about it for awhile. Of course, then it gets gross again. Repeat.

However, one thing that’s been helpful for keeping it clean is my new DIY kitchen cleaner. I love that I don’t have to make sure that everything is out of the way before I spray – no fear of ingesting this stuff! Even if my counters are cluttered, I can still spray down the clear spots, whereas before I would have hesitated to get cleaner mist all over everything on my counters. So much better!

The “Flatten My Stomach” resolution is coming along quite well, but only because it doesn’t require any effort. With a 6-month-old breastfeeding, my body is still in that natural postpartum shrinking mode, and the pants that fit me perfectly and looked sharp in November now make me look sloppy, what with their extra room in the seat.

It feels good to look in the mirror and see the improvement, but I really can’t take credit for it. And with Felicity being almost 6 months, it probably won’t keep going for long. Sometime in the next couple months, I’ll pull out the exercise ball and start actively working on my abs. Right now, though, it really isn’t on the top of my priority list.

“Blog Every Day” was my only unforgiving resolution, and so far I’m right on track! I joined Blog365 at the end of last year, and I have posted every day this year, whether here, at Makeshift Meals, Ellie and Fiffy Ann, or Budget Hippies. And I have enjoyed it so much! It’s great to get your thoughts and information out there and to get feedback and know that people’s lives are being enriched, be it ever-so-slightly, by what you write.

Oh, and remember all my I-suck drama and my decision to start living more consciously? Sorry I haven’t kept you all updated on that, but it’s hard to think of things at the end of the day. However, I can tell you that I HAVE been living more consciously, and feeling better about myself for it.

I don’t make the right choice every time, but often when I end up in a situation where I know that I can either do the right thing and feel deprived or do the wrong thing and feel bad about myself, I recognize the situation, step back and look at it, and then do the right thing. And it has been empowering.

So, now what?

Well, I don’t know. Obviously, I need to put more effort into the early riser resolution, although, as I mentioned, I need to get well first. I want to start on another one of my resolutions, too, but I haven’t decided which one yet. I’ll post again about it in the next couple weeks, and we’ll pick back up on the topic, ok?

Great! Enjoy the Super Bowl! And be sure to link me any funny commercials, because I’m stuck in our TV-free home with this stupid cold…