Saturday, September 25, 2010


I had the opportunity to attend a work/life balance seminar earlier this week. You know, every time I attend something like this I keep thinking that I'll be given a magic bullet so that I miraculously have balance in my life - doesn't happen! While there were no big revelations (it's like dieting, I know what I need to do I just don't do it) she did put up on the screen in big letters the word "discipline".

What's so hard about being disciplined? There are so many places in my life where I am that it frustrates me that there are areas where I am not. I am disciplined enough to get myself and my daughter up, dressed and to work/school on time. I am disciplined in filling up my gas tank before it runs out of gas - most of the time :) Why can't I be disciplined enough to leave work early enough for family dinners or to not completely crash on the couch every night when I could be organizing/cleaning/cooking ahead/exercising.

This is really where my not being wonder women complex comes in to play. Why can't I do it all? For the record, I have realized a long time ago I can't do it all but it still bugs me that I can't :) Some women seem to pull it off so easily and I always wonder why I can't. Lack of personal discpline really seems to be at the root of it (and the fact that I'm on the go so much that I'm completely exhausted by the end of the day)

Enough with the excuses! I have decided to make a few small changes to my life (I like to do things in small changes since I tend to do a little better) that will add some discipline.

-Modify my e-mail folders. I have known that Outlook has the 'rules' where you can tell your e-mails where to go but I don't utilize it to it's fullest extent. One of the women that I work with shared her style of prioritizing and I'm going to give it a try. Right now I get sooooo many e-mails a day and they mostly go into one bucket. Things tend to get buried and I don't respond as quickly to the important ones as I'd like. I'm going to set up folders by groups of senders so that the e-mails directly there. E-mails from other directors/VP's as well as my staff will have priority over the reports/audits and other miscellaneous reports. Hopefully this will work.

-Schedule family dinners on my work calendar. Due to our family schedule (dance, confirmation, son's work & social schedule, etc) we don't have a lot of days during the week to sit down together as a family for dinner. We do tend to have at least a day or two where we could make it work but I don't always manage to get home from work in time. I've decided to block out time on my calendar so I can leave on those days and get home to eat. I truly do believe eating together as a family is important so I'm hoping this will work. Now I'll just need to get disciplined about planning a meal!

-Make time for myself. As with all busy mothers I tend to be last on the list. This year I have really paid for it with weight gain. Last year I did so good with diet and exercise I felt like a million bucks. This year I've completely fallen by the wayside (or is that weighside?!?) so I'm hoping to be a little more disciplined in my 'selfishness'. I need to eat better, get regular massages (I know, a little extravagent but they really help me relax) and try to get some exercises.

As the speaker said, I'm the only one who can make my life be balanced. I'm hoping by trying to add more discipline to my life I'll be able to make this work. Life is to short to be stressed out and not enjoying those we care about.

Any tips?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Best Laid Plans

This morning I had my day all planned out. My daughter wanted to work the church bazaar, I was going to get some work done from my job, make a pot a chili that didn't get made the week before, do some cleaning, grocery shop and do my school work. You know what they say about the best laid plans....

I hopped in the shower about 7am to get ready to get my daughter to church by 8am. While I was in there I was thinking about the bazaar and I have to say I really felt a need to ditch my morning plans and help out at church. I can honestly say I don't get those strong of feelings very often but I definitely felt the calling this morning. Nothing exciting happened but they sure did need an extra pair of hands. Even though I still have a ton of stuff to do it really felt good to help out where I was needed and get to know some of the other woman. One thing I did get out of the day is there was a pile of Abercrombie clothes in the rummage sales. I don't typically do rummage sales because I don't feel like I get enough of it for my time, but we ended up with two pairs of sweats, two t-shirts and three pairs of jeans for $6 - quite a find especially since my daughter doesn't fit into anything from last year so we need to completely replace her wardrobe for winter!

I guess God's plans trumped mine. Now I just have to figure out how to get the rest of my stuff done :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Freezer Cooking

One of my goals this year was to get more food into the freezer to make it easier to have family dinners. Unfortunately I've failed pretty miserably so far this year until this weekend. I decided Sunday was going to be my cooking day. Here was my plan:

3-4 pans of meatloaf
Bake and shred four chickens
1-2 pots of chili

Unfortunately I completely forgot that instead of going to my mother-in-laws after church like we normally do we were suppose to go to my sister-in-laws for a birthday party later in the day! We didn't realize our mistake until we showed up at my mother-in-laws house. We hastily shopped for a present and then spent the afternoon with the family.

Even with my faux paus I did manage to get some of the stuff done. Final result:
  • 3 pans of meatloaf, two of which made it into the freezer (we had the other one for dinner). I need to give some kudos to my husband who knows how much I hate mixing the meatloaf. I had about 12 pounds of meat (what can I say, my husband and son are big eaters) which he mixed up so I didn't have to.
  • 4 chickens baked and shredded - I like to shred my own chicken and then just freeze and use it for a variety of dishes (chicken tacos, quesadillas, chicken & broccali ring).

The chili didn't get made because I forgot to buy garlic at the store. I'm planning on leaving work early tomorrow so I can get that made up and in the freezer before the meat goes bad.

I know this doesn't seem like a lot in comparison to what some other families do, but I feel pretty good about what I accomplished. Every journey begins with a small step and this was mine =:)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Time Capsules of our Lives

After a year long break I'm starting back to school this month. I chose not to go to college right after high school due to the fact that I really didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I accepted a full time job upon graduation at the company where I did my high school internship with the intention of going back to school within a year or two. Little did I realize that life happens and it would take a lot longer than I anticipated to get my degree.

For my first class back I really wanted to take one I would find interesting and enjoyable instead of one that was 'required'. The class I'm taking is a values and cultures class studying ancient civilizations. One of our first assignments is to create a time capsule of our lives, showing who we are in five pictures.

Boy - did you ever try to sum up who you are in five pictures? The assignment isn't due for a week and I must say that I've been struggling a little. Who would have thought that telling someone who I am would be so difficult but I do have to say it's causing me some angst.

The simple answer is I'm a wife, mother, employee, daughter and sister but that doesn't really sum up who I really am. What makes me tick and how do I want my dash to read? I've bounced this off of a good friend of mine who really helped me expand my thinking so I do have some ideas as to what I'm going to do.

Once I'm finished with the assignment I'll share it with you. In the meantime I'd love to know what your time capsules would look like.