I Am Tired

I try to call my mama every day. I just love hearing her voice and her stories and lately I’ve been calling her from the little spaces in between here and there and where I need to be next. She typically asks me how I’m doing, and I usually say, something like all is well, I’m good, and I’m tired. She reflected back to me that I always say I’m tired, and asked, “Why is that?”

I told her,  “It’s because I’m really tired.”

She asked me, “Why are you always tired?”

I said, “Because I don’t sleep well anymore and typically stay up later than I should and am awake earlier than my alarm clock, which means I’m typically getting 5 to maybe 7 hours of sleep per night.”

My mind is always busy and that’s not necessarily a good thing nor something to brag about.

Granted, I do love to be busy but probably not like this, and yet this isn’t a complaint either. It just is the state of being right now, in my little world, with three kids in three competitive sports, and youth group activities, homework, a new job for me, an exciting and cool startup for Jeff, as well as my volunteer commitments and community building and exercising, and lots of time back and forth coordinating ride shares and driving my little lovelies from here to there.

My life is good and all is well and busy and I’m tired.  Luckily I wasn’t too tired to see the beautiful sky show tonight with shades of pinks and bright oranges cutting through the blue sky while driving across town.

Now, I just have to figure out how to be less tired. Do you know how? I am learning to regretfully say no and not to over commit, yet the days are still so long and full. Another thing to learn and practice. How do you practice slowing down in the midst of the rush that you really actually love and enjoy? Life is so interesting and tiring and wonderful.

I’m off to bed before the clock strikes midnight… goodnight and sleep well and please do share your thoughts.

nAMaste

15 Minutes of Service

I have teenagers living in my house. They are busy. They don’t have free time, so they say. I want them to help with housework and contributing to the family workload, but having scheduled chores doesn’t work for us when they have to get up early to leave for school at 7:15 am and they are hungry and tired when they come home from school and have after school activities and homework to manage, in addition to finding time to get to sleep at a decent hour.  I might be making excuses for them, but I truly believe that they have a lot to manage on their own, yet I still want them to help out and contribute.   How? How can I make this work?

We tried chore charts and we tried allowances, but these didn’t work due to luck and timing.

I came up with a new method that is working, although they did grouse a bit at first.  I think it is important for everyone to contribute to keeping the household running, clean and organized.  I don’t think one person should be responsible for it all. And when everyone pitches in, just a little bit, I feel happy.  And if the mama is happy, everyone is happy.

I used to subscribe to the FLY LADY, who taught me that we could do anything for 15 minutes. She used to tell me to set a timer for 15 minutes and pick a project and go for it! Spend the 15 minutes focused and working on one area. And every day she’d give you a new task or idea and to encourage me to set my timer. This worked!!  I was amazed and impressed and in awe. When you break tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks, they’re not so overwhelming and amazingly, stuff gets done that you never thought you’d have time for. 15 minutes can be squeezed in without feeling like it’s taking over our schedule.

So I’m practicing this with my kids. I am asking them to give me 15 minutes of service. For some reason, this seems doable and less daunting. And if they have 15 minutes to check their social media accounts, and to make food, or sit on the couch, etc, they have 15 minutes to contribute. This is not hard and it’s not too much to ask.

I am asking them to choose how they would like to be of service, and they are coming up with ideas which I love. If they can’t think of what to do, I give them suggestions of what needs to be done and they can choose. They are empowered and there isn’t a battle using this method, at least for this week.

Yesterday, Christian swept and mopped the floor. Juliana cleaned up both bathrooms. Charlie helped declutter his room and to declutter the house by putting shoes and jackets away.  Our house looks so much better and it didn’t take much effort!  I am so happy. I think they are happy too because they were industrious and gave and helped contribute to the household, which I believes makes them feel good about themselves too. Everyone has to do their part and I love that I am not the nag anymore.  I hope it lasts!!

How does your family manage and divvy up the chores? Do you have a method that works? Do share.  Or try this way and let me know how it works for you.

xo

We are THaT Family

We are perfectly imperfect with quirks and craziness, wrapped in laughter and unconditional love.

My sister said it best, summarizing our night after our dad’s birthday party:

“This is my family. It may not always be perfect, but it’s my perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. This family knows and exhibits what unconditional love is all about….We have all had our trials in life, and each member of this beautiful family has held each other up and has been the foundation for our strength since it began. ”

We always come together to celebrate life’s good moments, and to lift each other up during challenging times. We laugh and tease and argue and work together and play and best of all just love each other.

This love reaches out to our extended family and friends. We had probably 100 guests at the party and many more who couldn’t make it. I loved seeing everyone there and sharing stories throughout the evening, and missed those who couldn’t make it.

I loved getting ready for the party, almost as much as I enjoyed the party.

I loved making the flower arrangements with my sister and cousin and my kids. I loved seeing my boys work with my dad to assemble his new Traeger and then to hang out by the smoker with the guys as the tri-tips were prepared for the party. I loved that my other sister took all the kids to her house while we were getting ready for the party so the house could stay neat and the cousins could have cousin time. I love that I got to go shopping with my mom to pickup all the food for the gathering. I love that my brother and his wife made home made chicken taquitos, guacamole and salsa that we all devoured around the table. And I especially loved how happy my dad was with his special night.

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Happy birthday Pops and thanks for having another birthday so we could celebrate you! Thank you for being you and for all you do to spread love and cheer!! You are loved!!

Life is good.

I know not all families are perfect and I hope you get to celebrate life’s moments with your loved ones too.

Namaste.

Best Part of Your Day

What was the best part of your day? Was it small or magnificent?

We had such a busy day that required a checklist with times and tasks and people to keep track of all the back to back details.

My favorite part of the day was when I wasn’t busy. I was up early and got to drink coffee out on the patio with Jeff and read together before the mad dash.

I heard parrots flying over head and listened to the sprinklers spraying the grass, while feeling the light mist and warmth of the sunshine on my legs. I loved this unrushed space.

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Charlie’s baseball team had it’s closing ceremony and I hosted the team potluck party afterwards. My tennis team had a match afterwards and my doubles team won in two sets, and our entire team won the match.

Juliana and Christian both went to the movies with friends this afternoon, and Jeff grilled out for us for dinner.

Hope you had a relaxing and fun Saturday.

Life is good.