Closing out the project, my biggest concern was maintenance. I just don't have a good track record with anything, really, related to self-discipline.
I take that back. There are a couple of things I have been successful with.
- I gave up coffee and most forms of caffeine (save an occasional bit of chocolate) in 2005 and, after a few months of cravings and headaches, have never looked back. I won't get on my high horse here about how much better I feel now that my body is not dependant on caffeine, but trust me--I HAVE such a horse, and he stands a good 17 hands tall. I live in the country now, and I have a daughter who just finished an intensive semester of equine science; 17 hands is impressive.
- Last December, I gave up all varieties of soda, pop, sugary carbonated beverages--whatever you call it where you live. This one was just entirely on a whim, but I am sticking with it just because it is fun. I don't plan to drink a soda again for the rest of my life. Isn't that just so cool? I think it is. My kids think I'm looney.
So, I can exercise self-discipline, I suppose, but I'm not very good at it for sure, especially when it comes to my favorite bad habits--the kind that gradually drag me down into living in chaos.
When I shared my fears here with you, dear readers, several of you were quick to suggest ideas for how I might strategize a maintenance plan, particularly for keeping the house tidy. I listened.
I've been keeping on top of the daily things pretty well. We get up at the right time. We have a good breakfast all together at the table, followed by family Bible time. I keep the floors swept and the kitchen clean. We straighten up any clutter left behind by a busy day before heading to bed each night. I pray. I have kept up with laundry and my bed is usually made. This past Saturday, I came up with eight cleaning chores that needed to be done and the four of us each drew two of them out of a hat and finished them within an hour (that was awesome). I have been diligent about working on our upcoming adoption fundraiser event. I have even baked ahead for Christmas just a bit.
I'm doing it. Can you believe it?
If anyone wants to just pop by unannounced, you are welcome to do so. My house is fairly tidy--lived in, but not a mess. Our lives are almost orderly--in a busy sort of a way. My home is a peaceful place--down to the lit candles, tea pot on the stove, and good smells coming from the kitchen.
I think I could get used to this.
I think I have. And the more I get used to it, the more I like it, and the more I want to never return to the old ways.
Side note: Andy is gone this week, teaching a woodworking class in Oregon. The kids actually requested that we still find ways to have our morning Bible time because...they like it. This morning we met via speaker phone. Tomorrow morning we are hoping to Skype. That's so awesome I can hardly stand it.
Journey on, friends.