Working out what works

Life is busy, and happy and full in the nest at the moment – even the quiet moments are things to be enjoyed.  Which is just as well, as the year feels like it is rushing past very quickly!!    We had a patch like this last year, where everything worked, and life was good, and it went for a few months!  I have learnt to enjoy these moments – sometimes they will be just a day or so, but they are little drops of peace that make the hard times easier.

My beautiful mother left us this morning to fly home to spend some time with Dad and in her normal life.  If all goes well at home she will return to us in about 11 days to look after the children while I travel to Byron Bay for Bluesfest (yes it is completely self-indulgent on my part).  Having her in the house for the last couple of weeks has provided that lift that we all needed – she has introduced a new routine for the kids with unpacking their school bags, and putting their own clothes away that sounds simple, but has made a big difference already to the smoother running of the house!

After we dropped her at the airport this morning we negotiated our way through traffic much quicker than I expected, so had enough time to ride our bikes to school and work.  I had already been to work earlier so was dressed in the black dress, heels and necklace – so stuck leggings underneath and off we went – mother duck and three little ducklings all in a row.  It was great!  The kids enjoyed it, and I was at work quicker than I would have been in the car!  The ride home was also good – although slightly warmer (not as good in a black long-sleeved work dress……) so we all had to lie on the floorboards to cool down!  Simple things.

Stopping to reflect on why we are happier is important (as is acknowledging that we aren’t necessarily unhappier normally – this just appears to be a sweet patch of life).  I have reintroduced our screen time rules – no screens between 9am and 5pm.  Despite the non-stop requests for the rules to be changed, it is working.  The children have boundaries, and have to work to find things to fill in the gaps.  All rules are flexible and this afternoon we have negotiated that they can watch some TV a bit earlier because they have ridden their bikes, and are going to martial arts classes tonight.  But overall, sticking to the rules seems to lift everyone’s behaviour and mood – including mine!

They have also all been exercising more – riding their bikes, walking the dog, bouncing on the trampoline – and all at their own request.  Once again, as life rushes along, it is the simple things of exercise, good food, and reduced time on screens that make the difference – exactly what happened last year when we had our ‘good patch’.  I am taking lots of mental notes as I write this and work through it in my mind.  There are little lightbulbs popping all over the place!

On the same vein, I have started participation in a mentoring program through my work.  I flew to Sydney for the day yesterday to participate the launch and to spend time with my mentor (who kindly also flew to Sydney despite the inconvenience it caused her).  I think that I am going to get a lot out of the program and the relationship, and have already paused to think about the importance of striking a balance with exercise.  A few things she said had me thinking about my approach to my fitness.  I tend to put it way down the list of what it is important.  I will find something new like running, or going to the gym, and enjoy it and stick at it for about 6 months.  Then as life gets complex it starts to be the first thing to get dropped – as if things for me aren’t as important as everyone else’s needs.  Hmmmmm.  So my personal goal for the next few weeks is to work out how I can prioritise time for myself to work on fitness back into the equation.  Bike riding is a good start.  Next will be how to find time for gym sessions a few times a week.  That one will take some thinking and planning, so stand by!

The other thing that I need to continue to work on is making time for my crafting  – because it does mean so much to me.  I have been slow and steady this week – I made an art folder for a friend to give her daughter for her birthday, and made a rainbow cape for my niece’s birthday.  I finished it in time to pack it in mum’s suitcase last night – and forgot to photograph it!  So I will have to ask my sister to send me a photo of the birthday girl wearing it instead!  I am itching to start some pillowcases for another friend so might try to get them started this afternoon/evening.

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Having used this as a chance to work through what is working for us right now, I am off to play a game with my kids and then do some sewing.  I hope that your week is working for you!

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