I try to avoid using the word "busy" to describe my days. It seems like a cop-out word. Everyone in modern American society seems to be busy. I don't believe I'm as busy as I seem to be. I think I just need to better manage my time. I often replay my days and weeks in my head, wondering what I do with all of the hours. I don't know what makes everyone else so busy, but for me it seems to be projects. Particularly troublesome are the projects that fail to come to a satisfying conclusion. The projects I begin seem to have a way of developing into unfinished symphonies (or novels, as the case may be).
My family did a little "move" in August when my eldest was preparing to leave for college. The other three children switched bedrooms and my office was bumped to the basement. It has been almost two months since we moved everyone, but things are still not organized the way I'd like.
The timing was fairly horrible for a room shift--it was the week before school started. I teach an online freshman composition class at a community college and homeschool my two youngest children. We totally switched our curriculum for our homeschool this year, so we are still getting used to things. In addition to the regular things, we've had extra projects and mini emergencies. My husband spent a couple weekends repairing cracks and cleaning the driveway to seal it before winter. My car broke down twice, requiring extra trips to the shop and a complete upheaval of my schedule for those days. I acquired a large load of wood chips which are being distributed throughout my garden beds--and it's taking a lot longer than I had anticipated to tackle the pile (which is sitting in my front yard). Our washing machine also needed repairing, but the repairman said it would cost as much as a new machine--so we repaired the four-year-old large-capacity, high-efficiancy machine ourselves for $200. Now the washing machine is working like it did when it was new--nice and quiet! In any case, time has been at a premium, and certain things have gotten pushed aside, like finishing the paper decluttering that should have happened before the rooms were swtiched two months ago.
I actually started to write this post back in September, before the car broke down the first time, just as school was starting. At that time, I was thinking "I still owe you an overview of the garage project." I laughed when I saw the draft of my blog post that said, "Next weekend, we hope to hang the shovels and do some finishing touches, and then I'll recap the adventure." Hmmm. Maybe we'll get to the shovels and finishing touches after Halloween....
For now, though, I would like to wrap up the untimely move. I said yes to the idea early last summer, but I went into a panic thinking about actually executing the shift which involved moving large furniture (dressers, beds, desks, a bookshelf, and a china cabinet). We rearranged furniture between three bedrooms, the mudroom, and the kitchen. Basically, it was like "moving" but staying in the same house since everyone except my husband and I would be sleeping in a new space. In some ways it was more difficult than an actual moving day because we weren't moving into an empty house. Every space was already full in our fairly small house, so choreographing the adventure wasn't as peaceful and smooth as I would have liked.
Nobody slept well the first night in the new rooms, including me! However, now that the new rooms are set up, the move seems to have been an excellent idea. All of the children are comfortable and happy in their new spaces.
Besides the physical moving of furniture, the "room move" renewed my focus to declutter, particularly kid stuff and paperwork. The "kid stuff" is under control, except the constant outgrowing of clothes for the boys. The bigger issue, of course, is paper clutter. The file cabinet that had been in the former office space was the final piece of furniture to move downstairs. Since it was full and heavy, it sat in the kitchen for almost two months.
I have been intending to purge the files for about a year now, but it's an easy project to put off in favor of other things, like baking cookies or picking tomatoes. I know in my mind that if I would simply do a few file folders each day, the job would be done rather quickly. For some reason, though, the thought of the task overwhelms me. I sometimes don't know what to save and what to shred. In this digital age where more and more bills are delivered online, how many past copies of bills do we really need to maintain on hand? USA.gov has a useful webpage for Managing Household Records that I'm planning to use to get things in order this month!
I know that you are all good. I know you have given me many good gifts. Help me to eliminate the clutter in my life and to be a better steward of my possessions and especially of my time. Please bless and guard those who suffer from depression, particularly as the darkness of fall and winter sets in. Thank you for all of the readers of this blog. Bless them and draw them close to your Sacred Heart.