Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 41: Maintenance

Forty-one days ago, I threw my hat into the 31 Days project ring and committed to writing about emerging from my chaos for the month. I did it. I wrote about it for thirty-one days and I emerged from my chaos (or at least I got a really good jump on it). So I thought it only appropriate, with me being 41 and this marking a nice even ten days out from the end of the project, that I give you all a little update today.

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.


The Taskers said...

This comment pretty much has nothing to do with your post, but I'm wondering about your no more coffee.

I love my morning coffee (or 4). I stop by noon and don't have any caffeine after 12, but I've been wondering about it all lately. About 18 months ago I decided to give up coffee for a month - cold turkey. Saturday was fine. By 2pm on Sunday, my headache was sooooo bad I literally couldn't move off my bed, it was unbelievable. So bad, that my husband came into the room and very quietly said "I cannot in good conscience leave you to care for the kids tomorrow in this condition. I understand your desire to go without, but I'm make you a pot of coffee right now." And I've never gone a day without since.

You mentioned that you feel amazing not being dependent on it, and until that moment I didn't really know that I WAS dependent on it. Can you elaborate - what benefits do you see/feel? How would you recommend one weans oneself of "Joe"?

I looked up your old tea vs. coffee tags and noticed you mentioned you lived in China. Where? When? I was there for 18 months from 1999 - 2000 - its where I met my Aussie hubby!

(BTW - I'm also the poster "Just Me", a personal blog that I've never done anything with).

Sherry C said...

Ok, as you can see, I've responded to your comment at length in its own post. As to the living in China thing, I didn't actually live there, but spent some time there in college, smuggling Bibles to Christians in the underground church. Why were you there?

Just Me said...

I moved to Beijing in 1999 after graduating from University - initially it was to study Mandarin, I enrolled in the foreign language department at on of the big Universities, but eventually I found work with a US Advertising Agency and gradually left school and took on full time work. However, on the side, I too got involved in the underground church, helping host home groups, handing out tracts, etc. One of my TAs, who also did private tutoring for me, was coming close to the Lord when I left school - it was amazing.

But I now realize that the biggest reason I was sent to China was to meet my now-husband, who's Australian, as there's no way we would have ever crossed paths otherwise - the "coincidences", as some would call them, are too large and elaborate to be anything other than God's making.