Posted by: Shel | March 18, 2010

Time for a change

It’s time for a change.  A positive change.  As our family has grown, and as our circumstances have been reconstructed,  I’ve needed to reevaluate what works and what doesn’t work.  I’m really excited about some changes that I’m implementing for my family.  Without going into too much detail about the struggles we’ve been having, let me just say these changes have been born out of necessity.  

  1.  Limited TV viewing.  And by limited, I mean REALLY limited.  Cliff and I have one show we like to watch .  We’ll watch that once a week, and that’s it.    For the kids, no TV.  They’ve gotten used to watching TV every day, because, when I was working from home, it was the only way I could get them to stop fighting while I worked.  Without it, they were constantly interrupting me to tattle on each other for hurting one another.  See?  This is where the part about different circumstances comes in.  I’m not working anymore; the TV has served its purpose, and now it has outstayed its welcome.  My kids are picking up bad attitudes and rude behaviors from the characters they see on TV (Hannah Montana-inspired sarcasm, anyone?). 
  2. Limited computer time.  This one applies primarily to me.  I find that the more time I spend on social networking sites and message boards, the more restless and agitated my kids become.  I’ve decided to limit my online time to one or two Facebook status updates a day, and one blog every few days to a week or so . . . more on that in a bit.
  3. More time with the kids.  If we’ve got no TV time and no computer time and no time shackled to the computer doing transcription, I’ve got plenty of time to involve them in my daily activities.  I’m hoping to foster more of a sense of cooperation and consideration for one another.  When they’re left to their own devices, it just doesn’t go well.  Time to face the facts:  I’ve got four young kids, and that’s a lot of work.  Time to put on the big girl panties (har!) and accept the fact that I can’t ignore them while I get my own stuff done; they all, especially the younger ones, still need a lot of my time and energy.  Time to accept that what other people do in 15 minutes I need 45 minutes to do because I’m doing it with the kids and I typically don’t have someone to tend to their needs while I cook/clean/surf the web.  We need to simplify our lives enough to make room for what is really important, and cut out the time-wasting activities.
  4. Healthier meals.  I’m not doing TOO badly in this area, but I rely on a lot of pre-prepared stuff, because when you’ve got four littles, and no one is watching them while you cook, you need to be FAST!  I’m hoping, though, that the time I save by not working/watching TV/being online will allow me a little more time in the kitchen.  We’ll see.
  5. More sleep.  My sleep habits are horrible.  I’m good about getting the kids to bed, but I am so used to staying up late working on my transcription until all hours of the morning, I’m still staying up past midnight every night.  Time to go to bed at a decent hour.
  6. More physical activity.  Since we won’t be watching TV, surfing the web, or working in the evenings, I’m implementing an evening walk for me and the kids.  When Cliff is home in the evenings, I hope he’ll join us!  I need to work in activity for myself, because all these pregnancies and c-sections have really taken a toll on my body – and now my gym has discontinued their child-care!  So we’ll be walking in the evenings, and since I’ll be going to bed earlier (!!) I’ll be getting up earlier to exercise before the kids are up. 
  7. Simplify, simplify, simplify.  Really, instead of all those other points, I could have just written this.  (But then who would reap the benefit of all my verbosity? LOL!)  I’m giving lots of stuff to charity, so we have less stuff – less stuff to clean, less stuff to deal with, less stuff to clutter up our lives.  Simplifying and getting rid of the excess, both in terms of physical possessions and in terms of the things that clutter our lives and zap our time and energy. 
  8. I’m blogging about it.  I won’t be updating every day; that would defeat the purpose.  I’m spending less time online, remember?  But maybe once a week or so, I’ll post about what is working and what is not working, and what needs to be “tweaked” as Cliff would say. 

My mother was only about six years older than I am when she died of cancer.  She never saw any of her grandchildren.  I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know that I want to make the most of what time I do have.    I want to spend it on what really matters.  I want to be present and joyful and healthy and hopefully live to see my grandchildren – hey, I’ve got the potential here for lots of grandkids to enjoy!  I don’t want to screw that all up by dying! 

But even if I were to leave this world tomorrow, I want to know that I spent today on what really matters.  Today I lived in the moment and noticed every smile, every ray of sunshine; that I built sandcastles and listened to the leaves in the trees; that I held the hand of someone I love while watching the sunset.  And I want to know my children reaped the benefit of my being there.

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Responses

  1. Good for you! I wish you the best of luck. Your kids are very lucky.

  2. This was beautifully written, Michelle. You are such a great mom!


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