This is a busy season. It's a busy season of the year criss-crossing with a busy season of life and that gives you some pure busy-ness.
This can easily become overwhelming.
Lately I've been contemplating how to simplify my life. I've come up with a few ideas.
1. Be more thankful. Sometimes just taking a breath and realizing all I have to be thankful for can be extremely calming!
2. Say "No" more. Yes, we've missed some fun things lately (an adoption meeting and a horse show are two of them) but we've had some time at home--some time to jump in the piles of leaves and watch football and eat meals together at the table--or not at the table if we choose. It has been wonderful
3. Don't stress the dinner thing. Last night, everyone was gathered around an NFL game, so I decided to serve dips for dinner. And really, besides the chips, everything is pretty healthy. Guacamole (smashed avocado, lemon juice, and salsa), black bean dip (2 cans black beans, 1 can corn, salsa, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and a little olive oil and lemon juice), greek yogurt, and lemon-lime salsa and chips. The kids had some tortillas as well for dipping.
And you know what? Even the hubby was happy as a clam with the dinner. I heard no complaints about missing meat. : )
4. Make a list. As obvious as this is, I sometimes think, "The list is in my head; I don't want to waste the time writing it down." But it has helped (a lot) to make a list. That way I'm not jumping ahead to next week's project and leaving this week's project undone until the night before. For instance this weekend I was able to check these off my to-do list:
--make a flyer about winter ballet clinics
--make the oldest's birthday invitations (blog post to come on those!)
--advertise early for Nov. homeschool meeting at our church
--plan this week's history lessons (Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, Louis IX, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic)
--make Christmas lists for the grandparents
--plan and prepare for the Coral Reef class at the Aquarium this week
5. Go to bed early. This is a busy time. It really doesn't help me if I stay up late trying to get things done. I need to work during my peak hours 8am-1pm and 4pm-8pm. Other than that, I really just get myself worked up and then I don't rest well.
6. Multi-task. My birthday is next week. For my birthday, I asked the hubby to take me to a nearby city for Christmas shopping. And thus two birds are handled with one stone. We have a day together and a nice dinner out and the Christmas shopping will hopefully be mostly done when we get home. (Oh, and btw, my wonderful Mom is coming to keep the kids.)
7. Skip a holiday. Ok, don't go crazy on me here. The kids and I are deep into our Thankfulness Project and I'm going to bake a ham and make a nice dessert, but other than that we're just going to hang out here for Thanksgiving. The hubby is going to use his days off to do a few chores in the garage and the kids and I are going to go through their room to choose what to donate before Christmas. We will miss the family get-together, but it will be so nice to be home! (This will be the second major holiday for which we have stayed home together as a family since the hubby and I were married eleven years ago!)
Ok, in the interest of saving time and not stressing, I'm going to stop there, but please (please) feel free to offer de-stressing advice in the comments.
Happy Season of Thankfulness! May it be a restful one!