Where to begin? 2 years and 4 months has passed.
I decided to begin again and resurface my creativity that has been stirring as of late. Why should I need to rediscover it? It has been buried under life.
We had a third baby in 2017, so when I stopped posting, it was a sort of survival mode. I have decided all of parenting is a type of survival mode. And though I figured the dust would settle in 2018, it was a new life. Some things similar or carried over from the past, but all rearranged and jumbled up.
And even with my mind tossing and turning with a million to-dos a day, I have a certain restlessness. With that, I am beginning again.
I am now a homeschool mom to two elementary students and a wrangler of a toddler.
My goals for the first half of this year have been to walk daily, journal and spend quiet time reading. And now I have added blogging, Codecademy and Kahn Academy to the list (maybe Skillcrush or a bachelor degree, if time and resources allow).
I am sure it will take at least the next 6 months to get into a regular routine of doing these things, though I wish making habits while juggling responsibilities happened much quicker.
Here's to new beginnings, conquering chaos and establishing order to create space to breathe.
In my last post, I laid out all the things I had recently started doing.
Most of them are still current.
I am slowly moving through what was supposed to be a 30 day workout program, almost 2 months after starting it. I am not allowing myself to give up on it yet.
I am enjoying the flexibility of the new job I have contracted for until June. It has taken a little while to carve out time to get the work done, though.
I am still working on the article writing and scripture writing. Creating routine and carving out time for focus are still on my never-ending to-do list.
So, why on earth did I start this blog and call it "Relaxed Simple Life"? Relaxed and simple don't seem to fill my days. Lately chaos, frustration and utter exhaustion from unfulfilled expectations have filled my mind and thoughts.
But I have a goal and an end in sight.
Recently a friend mentioned minimalism to me. I had dabbled in thoughts of it last year, and I used it for motivation while packing up our old house to let go of some of the clutter instead of adding it to another box.
Now, I have a goal for minimalism in my life, not just pertaining to stuff, but my mindset. My surroundings, my routine, my day-to-day. I want to weed out things that are stealing my time and energy from what is precious and sacred in my life.
Thank God our new home is in a peaceful area. I need that peace to come fill the house and my heart completely.
Hopefully with time and attention to weeding out the unnecessary, it will.
In my last post I ended with longings for making progress. I think I have begun down this path.
New things started recently:
December 25, 2016--new exercise program.
Volunteered to write an article for a church publication for teens.
Attempting to complete training for a work from home job grading elementary school essays.
Writing scripture as I read it.
The exercise program is a cardio/dance program, and I am really loving it because it is the correct intensity for these lack-of-motivation grey days. I am working on 3 to 4 days per week though the enclosed calendar says 6.
The article writing is kind of a test of skill. I had a person close to me suggest to me to try my hand at it. I have been researching and brainstorming my topic. Work on the first draft will come soon.
The training for work at home jobs is very time consuming. I have tried my hand at skill tests for web search evaluation and transcription in the past and could not hack it, so this scholastic area is a new pursuit.
And writing scripture has by far been my most enjoyable addition, besides my exercise. Somehow it helps me to have the verses stick a little longer for meditation. Hopefully, mulling over the words will help my actions gradually improve.
Self-improvement is proving to be a strong focus right now.
The organization of home and homeschool will come with time, I think. The more I stress about it, the more I feel paralyzed.
I did go through some boxes of books this past week, though. That counts for a checkmark on progress as well.
Maybe I should review books or recommend them.
Homeschool would probably be the place I would start.
Let me know if you would like me to write more about that...
The Make Over Your Mornings course is still on the to do list, but as I type, I am opening a tab to go check it out again. Lots of ideas for getting priorities set. Valuable resource. Go check it out.
We moved into our new place at the end of the October. Even earlier than expected!
But the whirlwind of moving didn't even set in until I started trying to put together the puzzle pieces of life that had been put on hold.
Things are not all ideally put away, but we have lights, internet, stove, refrigerator, heat, water. All the things for living in a modern home.
And now I am trying to focus on living again instead of surviving.
I am still researching college. No easy decisions there.
Homeschool kind of waxes and wanes as routines have crumbled from a few months ago.
I am working on getting into exercising again, pursuing personal development, building skill sets, making priority daily Bible study and prayer. And here I am trying to write out my thoughts.
I am listening to a webinar highlighting the connecting of mind and body in health, weight loss, anxiety and depression. Not only the foods we are consuming but the thoughts of our mind affect our bodies' physical processes. Interesting.
What I can't get rid of is the stirring. The stirring to learn, to move, to go. But life says stand still now. Frustration sets in.
Taking care of our family's physical needs seems mundane, and yet, I know it is a blessing to have a family to care for.
We cannot have everything we want in this life.
It is difficult to decide what to hang on to, what to fight for, and what to let go.
I think I am going to go through the Make Over Your Mornings course by Crystal Paine that I had gone through at the beginning of this year.
I feel like I am trying to hit this physical and spiritual slump with everything I have and make it a restart and refresh in my life.
With God's help, I will make progress. Progress in discerning, wisdom and understanding. Progress in peace.
The end of September has arrived, and so has the chilly weather.
With the change in seasons, the change in life seasons is coming as well.
We are now set to be in our house by early November, which we are happy about, but that means one more month of craziness, and I am wracking my brain to see how to cope better this second month.
I have been considering going to college again. Most applications for spring need to be in by late fall.
But many career paths are not suited for working at home.
The tides are changing and technology is making way for more flexible job opportunities.
Everyday I am reminded, though, that I have a full-time job. Raising and teaching children.
I would say mentoring, but with my frustrations and lack of outlets for stress-relief, my attitudes have not set the best example.
Now, I am trying to work through what has worked and what has not thus far. Working out helps me feel better, I know. Finding time to de-stress enough just to get going on pushing play is another story.
And, yet, I am reminded that these feelings are the same ones that led me to start this blog.
The feeling of wanting to speed up, get things done, stick to a plan.
But being reminded that there are times to slow down, tend to the here and now, and breathe.
Plan for the unexpected.
Note to self: Remember to breathe.
I have spent half a day paying up bills that ended with our move and changing billing addresses with many companies.
Not exactly what I call a fun or educational morning.
And now that the midday slump has rolled around, I have to catch up on schoolwork with my oldest and get some semblance of order to the day before dinner time is gone and the bedtime bell tolls. Also, I need a shower. After a semi-enthusiastic attempt at a 30 min. workout routine, I hope.
Living with family is a blessing and also a little difficult. I am trying to make the best of it with my introvert sensitivities. The worst parts of myself have been peeking through between stress and lack of alone time.
In order to cope, I have been drinking lots of decaf coffee and allowing myself to watch HGTV design shows in the middle of the day.
I have thrown out my 9:30 AM school start time, am sleeping in, staying up late, and generally just living in the moment each day.
I have taken our children out to coffee shops for lunch because I would really like to go alone, but it is the next best thing to go with kids and get weird looks from all the single Millennials.
My mind and body are craving order and routine, but this moment of transition is like a wave, ebbing and flowing, almost overtaking me scattering my thoughts with all the things I need to do, then giving me a break, for a moment, to watch a movie complete with popcorn and ice cream.
As someone told me yesterday, this moment in time will be a blip on our radar soon enough. That could be said about life stages, transition to motherhood, watching children grow, getting done with school. Really, a million things.
But as we live through it, it feels all consuming. Funny how life works that way.
Well, it shouldn't be a surprise, but in and among all this transition, I got sick.
And my kids got sick.
And my husband got sick, very slightly, for a day or two.
So, I am trying to get my wind in my sails again after being down for about a week.
Funny how getting sick makes you push the immediate STOP button and just attend to the most important things.
I am familiar with this feeling after motherhood. The running along as things work well, the wheels not squeaking, until STOP, the whole train is off track, and all everyone wants is for it to be back on track again.
But in those moments of STOP, I find some solace now. And some much needed rest that otherwise would have not happened.
I am still taking the liberty to sleep in and take a nap when my body needs it.
I know, stay at home moms, especially homeschool moms, do nothing but sleep all day... Ha!
Homeschool has still taken precedence, along with showers, eating, getting clothed and washing laundry.
Hopefully the workout routine will start up again soon, once this congestion in my chest finally leaves. Any bit of overexertion leaves me in a coughing fit.
Here is to breathing again in this new month. Happy September!
I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog since the beginning of this year.
I also toyed with other ideas in terms of the future, such as going back to college and moving.
The process for college was started.
I applied, set up financial aid, even started to pick classes, then, it just didn't seem like the right time.
At the same time I was trying to find the order in my life for schoolwork and the degree path I wanted to take, selling our house started to seem really appealing.
And, so, on a quickly made decision, planning to pull out of the process if it got to seem like it wasn't right, we started looking into the selling/ buying process.
Today, I am now writing as I look at the sale of our house closing this week, and I am feeling that familiar nudge to do something productive while waiting.
We are in temporary housing with family.
Everything seems turned upside down.
I am stressed.
And, yet, I want to be present in this moment, because this is the first time in 7 years that I have moved, and I don't plan to again.
I want to pay attention to my children at this time and make sure their fears and questions are addressed and answered.
Spending time with them has been less of a chore as when it was routine. I am enjoying spending time with them in the sense that they are the root of what has NOT changed in our lives now.
In this time of transition, I am working on physically decluttering the endless store of boxes in our storage area. This physical process is prompting me to try to simplify my mind as well, and dream of what I would like life to look like in the next few years.
So, here I am, starting this journey and this blog.
Sabbath-keeping Christian. Wife. Homeschool mom. Lifelong learner. Amateur chef. Thrift shopper. Lover of hot drinks and design shows.