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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sometimes, I Plan for the Less in "Flawless"

The Fifth Grader took a trip to DC.
Do you ever plan to fail?  Okay, perhaps "failure" is too strong a word for the situation I am describing, but there are times when I know I will fall short of my idea of success.  Basically, I prepare for the "less" in Flawless.

Recently, we experienced a unique convergence of expected busy schedules and stretched resources compounded by some 'bonus' experiences that were earned and not planned.  Both added financial and logistical complications to our family dynamic and both were high honors for well-deserving children.  So, things got very hectic for a while around our place!

Each of us have expectations and sometimes I set mine way too idealistically.  I want to have high standards, not impossible requirements.  So, when I review the calendar I take notice if our week is busier than usual, our family going in more directions that typical, and whether there is margin for the ups and downs and bumps of normal family life.  When there is no margin, that's when I plan for the "less."

This is what it looks like in my home:

  • I incorporate a simpler meal that is not made from scratch and use paper plates.
  • We skip a scheduled, weekly activity (like gymnastics) and allow that to be time well spent on relationship-building with a friend.
  • I accept that laundry will pile up, and ask for help with the folding when it is finally washed.
  • I recruit help in advance for when guests are coming to visit our home.
  • Instead of packing lunches (during the school year), I just have the children plan to get the cafeteria meal.
  • I shop at the grocery store that is closest and where they load my groceries FOR me. 
  • I build "rest" days into my exercise routine (in other words, I SKIP it!).
  • I let the blog sit idle for a couple of weeks and hope my readers will understand.
  • I might miss Field Day, but I'll be there for awards day.  I don't have to be at every event or prove to my children how much I adore them.
  • I lower my standards for house chores and if I had the money, I would hire help for dusting, floors and bathrooms.  The world will continue to spin with dust on my mantle.
  • I am careful to continue self care, even in simple ways.  I feel strong when I take care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually.  
  • I focus on the people in my life and let go of the lists.  My default is to be task-oriented, but I want to be relationship-focused, so I remind myself of this value.  I make the most of those tuck-in moments and be sure to communicate with Mr. Wonderful as we settle for the night.
We face overwhelming schedules, work pressure, relationship demands and just the normal requirements of life.  Some weeks everything seems to converge at once.  Mostly, I hang on for the ride and make sure there is a date when things will settle down.  When I know that this isn't the way I choose to live consistently, I can make it through a hectic season.  It reminds me that I prize a slower pace over constant excitement.  My core values are reinforced and I am able to make even more insightful decisions for myself.

 


Our crazy-month wrapped up with a delightful escape for just Mr. Wonderful and me.  We celebrated his birthday, we attended a concert and met up with both family and friends from different seasons of life.  We tried new restaurants and enjoyed each other tremendously!  Thank heaven!

Ice Cream at the Park - it doesn't get more relaxed than that!
Once home, we've enjoyed summer's slower pace and even a family night out including bowling and Chinese food.  My mother was able to come for a visit this week and we get to go for family vacation soon.  We are all enjoying the deep exhale.

How do you give yourself a break during especially busy seasons or weeks? When the schedules and/or the finances tighten up, do you give yourself some grace or do you sacrifice sanity and sleep to maintain your standards.  

I wrote about other calming habits some time ago - gosh, look at that hairstyle!