Life

The Office

Yesterday I sat in my half-completed office, the new floor tiled and clean. Empty of all but the relics of construction detritus. I pulled a chair in from the nearby deck and just sat and envisioned the room as I see it Friday afternoon which I’m pretty sure will be the day it’s all put back together. I cannot tell you how good this feels after nearly six weeks of slow progress. There is still so much more but for now, this is everything.

For the past 15 years I have been in our house, this is the only room that remained untouched, bearing the scars of wallpaper hung sometime in the 90’s. The furniture is mish-mash and the room has served as a dumping ground for all things brought into the house – bookbags, ski paraphernalia, lacrosse gear, stuff we didn’t know what else to do with. I have tried to organize it and make it nice but it rarely looks better than a forgotten space. We decided a couple of years ago to finally redo the room we could never quite bring ourselves to call “the office”. Wainscotting was purchased in a moment of optimism but has languished in the basement for two years. One vision had us adding a fireplace but we found the cost, done right, was exorbitant for the size of the room and the use we’d get out of it.

Currently, it serves as a mudroom, office, dog feeding station, maildrop, command center, quiet reading area, shoe repository, recycling center and holder of random household things. I have my work cut out to change its image among our household members as a more refined place, a place of respect that deserves better than our cast-off coats and shoes. Our contractor caught me sizing up an area of the room yesterday and mistook it for displeasure in the work they’d done. Really, I was deep in thought about how to make this room really sing and work for us and I quickly assured him that wasn’t the case.

I have an old, old glassed-door (ugly green lining hides the contents) bookcase that has served as a centerpiece for organizing the room and it was a hand me down from my grandfather’s office of the 1950’s. When I was a child I  used it to house my library of books and I was our household’s self-appointed librarian and even put library card slots in all the books. I had a small table that served as the checkout desk. I’ve been thinking of letting the piece go because it doesn’t fit my new decor scheme, but I’m definitely struggling with this.

There is also the light colored desk that was a hand me down from an aunt and has a black leather top and old-fashioned drawer nobs. There is a sturdy, dark wood bookcase. The comfortable love seat was a new addition last year. None of it matches or looks right in that bespoke way of homes filled with old treasures that don’t match. I still have work to do in the envisioning of it as a whole. I’m just happy to be a little closer to that day.

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productivity

Cracks in the foundation of productivity

Order Or Chaos Directions On A Signpost

I wasn’t planning on writing a post so soon as a follow up to my productivity post. Launching into a new system has been an abrupt awakening about our lack of organization that has been going on far too long. Only three days in and the cracks in the foundation of productivity are readily apparent.  I’m using the hack of throwing all my to do’s for the week on a running list, highlighting what I have to do today in yellow and then crossing off what I complete in green. I also have the full list of my May schedule to refer to. I like to see the green!

One of my to do’s for yesterday was to pay for summer camp since my husband said he signed him up. I got right on it early since the gym was open and guess what? They didn’t have his registration. I keep bumping up against this thing with my husband where he says he *thinks* he took care of something and then I find out he didn’t. Either that or he thought I was going to do it, without cluing me in to what I was supposed to do.  I am not going toss all the blame on my husband because I am just as guilty of this.

This week alone we thought the other was taking care of several important tasks. Sign up and pay for a dinner dance Liam has for Friday (the RSVP has been on the fridge for a month). I had the foresight to order Liam a new pair of khaki’s, oxford shirt and dress shoes for the dance which arrived last week, though. Do I get any points for that? Neither of us had ordered  Liam’s yearbook (weekly emails have been going out for the past three weeks). We have no signed a permission slip for a field trip to the book store (due yesterday). Also not done: find a sitter for Saturday and a dog sitter for the following weekend.  These are the tasks that fall through the cracks!

I wonder to myself how we’ve managed nearly fifteen years of marriage without fixing this grave deficit in communication. We have definitely been running on chaos. All this is further proof a system is needed. The good news is most of these things have now been taken care of and I can breathe a little easier. The sense of accomplishment is motivation to keep going.

MC

 

productivity

Solving my productivity problems

Productivity has been a buzz word for quite some time because I rarely meet someone who does not want to be more productive. I cannot resist clicking on any headline that has the words productivity or organization in them because I want to do better. I am a sucker for trying new things and have attempted online calendars, Outlook, pen and paper calendars, writing to do lists, etc, etc. I have yet to be successful at any of it. I have been toying with bullet journaling for some time but I fear that would require bringing a new notebook into my life. Plus, I don’t see myself as artistically creative like I see when I Google “bullet journal” and scroll through the images. I don’t think it’s so much the systems as it is my personal style of getting easily bored with these methods.

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Life

Making a plan for dinner

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I’m going to have to pass on undulate guys. My brain is just not clicking today.  What I want to talk about instead is meal planning. This is something I used to do several years ago and I thought since I’m trying to cut back on foods that are overly processed and sugary, this would be the best way to go about it.

Back in the early days of motherhood and when I was planning to go back to work after maternity leave, I knew it was time to get organized. Liam was turning one at the time and as I think back now, those were the easy days of juggling family calendars. But I knew meal planning was going to be important if I wanted to get a meal on the table every most nights.

Continue reading “Making a plan for dinner”