Friday, 9 September 2011

Bending In The Wind....

....and growing strong roots in the process :)  When you plant young tree, it's supposed to be tethered to the ground on three sides to keep it from blowing over too hard in a storm.  It's important to tether the tree loosely though, so that the trunk can bend a little bit in the wind.  This bending is what tugs on and stimulates the roots to grow strong and anchor the tree well through future storms.  

As a wife and mother I try to hold my plans loosely so that I may bend a little in the wind and still be strong :)  I am, by nature, a Type A personality through and through - loving organization and order, productivity and completed tasks.   Just typing that brings a happy smile to my face :)   How ironic then to be mother of a large "ish" family!   My preference for order has taken a back seat to flexibility, unpredictability and a general "bend with the wind" mentality.  Apparently, I needed to grow in this area of my life :)

I hold my plans loosely because plans change rapidly around here.  With 7 people's lives all under one roof, the statical "odds" of daily changes are high.  If I was to rigidly hold my plans for the day, I'd be an angry, frustrated, stressed out mess.  Instead, I choose to hold my plans "with fingertips".  I PLAN to be interrupted and I EXPECT sudden change just as I expect the earth to rotate and to see the sun each morning :)  It's a fact of life in our home that I've finally learned to let roll off my back and dare I say embrace...

What does that mean for me in my daily life?  Tasks take longer to complete (more interruptions means less time to finish things) and I need to be creative to fit my work in around the changes.  Sometimes, I need to totally scrap my daily plan and start over, and often, drop daily plans all together.  I can wake one morning thinking I'm going to be spending the day in the garden, and one phone call can change all that sending me into the city for an important task.  In order not to waste that trip to the city, I'll do a Costco run, or stop for tractor parts or some such errand while in town.  Conversely, I can plan a very busy, highly organized, much NEEDED day in the city and wake to a sick child, an urgent plumbing repair, or any number of crises that require me to be home for the day and cancel my best laid plans.  My days can and do change instantly and without warning.  

I am constantly challenged to stay organized so that I can roll with these changes as they play out from day to day.  If I am organized and have an ongoing Costco list, it's no problem to add that stop into my day.  If I keep my contact list on my phone updated, I can make and change plans easily "on the fly" without hassle and stress.  When I plan for a day in town, I always pencil in a back up "town day" in case things go sideways and I can't go as planned on my preferred day.  Staying organized and planning ahead is ironically what enables me to handle chaos and sudden changes...

Currently, as my husband is newly working out of town, this means that I'm on my own with our family for weeks at a time.  Because this job posting was unexpected, I didn't have a lot of time to prepare for this reality.  I've had to change my thinking and totally adjust my expectations of what I'm going to accomplish when Kelly is away.  I am not a Superwoman.  I can't possibly do everything I was doing, plus home educate our children AND run/maintain the house on my own.   Not without losing my health or sanity in the process!

Time for another change!  What's going to go?

1)  Extra computer time (I'll still blog and check Down To Earth) but I won't be "surfing"
2)  Extra projects in and around the home (including non essential garden tasks)
3)  Volunteering
4)  Extra organized activities outside of the home for the kids and me - we are sticking to the basics of one planned activity/sport per week for each of the 3 younger kids.

What will I ADD to my schedule?

1)  Quiet time every day (just like when my kids were younger and they napped or had quiet time in their room after lunch). I really need the quiet to recharge mid-day if I'm going to get all the way through to bedtime and beyond without Kelly here to help.
2)  An extra hour of sleep each day.  No more late nights!  I can't ever sleep in, so I'm going to bed an hour early every day.
3)  Time with a friend for a cup of tea once a week.  My older kids are more than capable of watching the younger ones for a few hours so that I can get a break and get out to visit with a girlfriend.
4)  Personal reading.  I have been really missing my winter reading time because I've been so busy in the garden.  Now, more than ever, I need that quiet rest in the evenings to relax and unwind.  No more busy evenings canning and gardening until bedtime...
5) Margin.  I've added margin into my days, in the form of pockets of free time in the day so that I can bend in the wind... in whichever direction it may blow...

All of these changes will help me cope and stay healthy during Kelly's absence.  I know that this "season" won't be forever - it's just that - a season.  He'll likely be home to work again in early Spring, and we can add a few things back into our life.  Bur for now, and for the next 6 months or so, this is the plan ~ held loosely, of course :)

Then again, another change could be right around the corner....


  1. Sounds good! I like your rearranged schedule. I hope the time passes quickly w/out your husband, and before you know it, he will be home. (let's hope!) love,andrea

  2. I also like your rearranged schedule....running a household certainly needs flexibility..I like your 'bend in the wind' attitude.

  3. I needed to read this post! I'm trying to think through my schedule and expectations for myself. Getting used to doing things with a baby around, and sometimes a toddler, is not easy. Thanks!