Monday, February 13, 2017

Better Than Before Book Club Week 8

Well hello there!

I was in Florida all last week for the Florida College Lectures. We were able to visit friends from Jimmy's medical school days on our way in Dothan, Alabama. Vicki and Tim were such gracious hostesses, and we enjoyed our time with them so much. We spent the rest of the week with Olivia and Julie plus many other friends. Olivia is student teaching this semester so we did not see her as much as we did Julie. But it was so good spending time with my girls!

We drove the 12.5 hour drive home last Friday, and I spent Saturday doing loads of laundry and catching up after being gone for almost a week. Saturday night we attended Family Bible Study at Kelly and Lynn's house. It was so good to be back among our own church family.

Last night, our friends Michael and Beverly were traveling through Tupelo on their way home from Alabama, and they attended evening church services with us, and then we all (along with Leanna and Joe and their family) enjoyed a delicious dinner together at Fairpark Grill.

So today was back to normal. Well almost. I had the bright idea this morning to make homemade Pop Tarts. My normal morning routine includes running a few miles either outside or on my treadmill while the kids are getting up, eating breakfast, and doing their chores. Sometimes I finish before I wake them up, sometimes I don't start until after they are awake, and sometimes I run a little bit--stop to wake them up--and then finish running while they get ready for school. Our goal is to begin our school day at 8:00 AM. This morning I began the pop-tart project at 6:50. I figured I would whip them up, wake the kids, and then run while the pop-tarts were baking.

Wrong. It was 8:05 before the pop tarts were ready. I never ran, and my kitchen was a mess!
But they were delicious!  Here is a link to the recipe I used.

So on to our book club. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.

How is your reading coming along? Are you applying any lessons or ideas to your daily life?

I really like this chapter, It's Enough to Begin. First Steps. Begin now is such good advice. There will never be the perfect time to begin any habit or project, so just do it now. I am going to apply this advice to myself. Leah's and Sam's closets (well, actually Sam's entire room) need major purging and reorganizing. I mean I need to take every single thing out of Leah's closet and just start over! Most of the clothes and shoes in her closet do not even fit her or are not her style. That's because of two reasons. 1. She is growing like a weed--already taller than me! and 2. Many of her clothes are hand-me-downs from her college-aged sisters and they just don't look right on her. I guess styles do change over time, even though I try to avoid trendy clothes.

 So. To apply the best time to begin is now advice to myself, I plan to work for 30 minutes in Leah's closet tonight. This will also use the advice of small steps (Rubin 105).  Leah's closet certainly seems overwhelming, and I have put it off for some time now waiting for the perfect huge block of time. Hopefully over the next week or two I can get Leah's room completely cleaned out and then move onto Sam's. Which will be a monumental task. Can I just say two words? Legos and stuffed animals. Both have multiplied out of control in Sam's room!

What are your thoughts on transition rituals? (Rubin 108-109)
I like my transition from sleep to kids. I also like my transition from kids to sleep. When my babies (and toddlers and even pre-school aged children...and even older) needed me to rock them to sleep or lie down with them until they fell asleep, I happily did that. I did not even mind if they woke up in the night and wanted to sleep in our bed. In fact, I encouraged that. But I had to have my transition time (even though I did not have a name for it). After I got all the children to bed, I needed a few minutes to just lie in my bed with a book. No precious children, just Jimmy and me. Even if a baby or toddler needed me within an hour or two, as long as I could go to sleep by myself (well, with my husband too), I was refreshed enough to handle whatever my babies needed at night.

The morning transition from sleep to kids is a sanity saver for me as well. This one took longer for me to achieve, however. My kids all had some sort of built in sensor. As soon as my feet hit the floor, they would wake up! It did not matter what time it was. Someone was crying or calling out to me before I could even get to the coffee pot!
Now, they all sleep until I wake them on most mornings. I treasure the hour or two I have in the mornings before my work day begins. I read my Bible, pray, fix Jimmy's lunch, start the laundry, and run on most days.

Ok. So this post has gotten super long, and I have not even discussed stopping. 
I think I will continue this chapter tomorrow.

Chime in! Do you like to begin a task or new habit with a small step or a big step?
What transitions do you use?
What about stopping your habits? Do you stop when on vacation? When you get overwhelmed by sicknesses?

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