Category Archives: Self Organization

Life is About Balance

We often encounter so many voices that say ‘do this and your life will be dramatically morphed into “HappyLand!” I am sure that is true to an extent but overall I have learned that life is about balance. Balance of your time and efforts towards things spiritually, physically, intellectually, and socially. It really is.

I remember thinking when I was a kid that if only I could just work hard enough to become the best piano player of all my teachers students, or most amazing singer in the region, or make the highest grade possible of my high school I could then be happy. Ambition is awesome but the kind of thinking in “all or nothing” terms or so that you selectively ignore other important aspects of your life actually hampers happiness. Happiness by definition is wholeness or completeness. Therefore, you can’t ignore other important spheres of your life, particularly those mentioned above. Life is about balance.

I love balance. In dance, balance is so critical. Where are you distributing your weight? Are your feet firm and yet are your stretching your head and your spine? My ballet teacher once told us, “that our legs are like steel rods piercing 5 feet into the ground while stretching our spines up, up, and up to the heavens.” Although this is not what is really happening, it’s a good visual to get the point across. What about our arms and center? How do they fit in the picture? What about the placement of the head and the delicate position of our hands? How it applies to motherhood is yes, maybe we are good at keeping a clean home and having it clutter free but how are we doing with playing with our kids, having family meals every night, or reading to them and developing your relationship with them? It is not easy. I struggle too and that is why my blog is dedicated to this- how to relish being a Mom and find the magic in its beauty.

Don’t worry this is not something to add stress to your life or cause you to put labels on our selves or feel we don’t measure up somehow. Say goodbye to any of those thoughts. They are not allowed because they are not justifiable. Just take a deep breath and believe in who you are no matter how little or much you feel like you are doing. You are amazing whether you realize it or not. Believe in what you love, and what is important to you. You are going to do great!

With that how can this actually apply to YOUR life? How do you make this “life of balance” thingy real in your life??? The answer is…. through a weekly checklist! Yes,it is so true and worth every thought-out minute of putting one together for yourself. It is so worth it. It has helped my family and I have a practical weekly game plan to get our personal goals and home goals happening. I have not always been perfect at it or am currently, but I am striving for it and and it is making a difference, a big difference. It is so worth the effort because I remind myself when it gets difficult, that I am developing something very important here – “to-be adults”.  I want them to be responsible and do great things with their lives. It starts with just a touch of order and discipline. They can either learn now while they are more teachable or have it be a whole lot harder learning later in life. The other side of the equation is that I am consistently being disciplined and hard-working myself because in the end you lead by example.  My next goal is to get my hubby on board and have him write his goals out so we can support him, too. We have these on a wall in our kitchen.

The boxes apply with different days of the week. Some rows have boxes under Monday Wed and Friday while other goals have boxes for Mon-Fri. Row 1 of boxes coordinates with row 1 goal. You can write it our by hand and or be more technical and use Microsoft Excel. 🙂

You can totally do something like this if you are not already. Start with just 10 categories of checks.  Make at least one weekly check in each category spiritual, physical/health,  intellectually challenging, and social. For example you’ll see I have a goal to read my scriptures each morning (spiritual), workout and make healthy meals for family (health or physical), practice german (intellectual), and I have goals to get out with kids and friends weekly (social).

I laminated these so we can just use them weekly and wipe them off at the end of the week. If you don’t have a laminating machine you can use small picture frames. When you write on the glass with a dry erase marker you can wipe it off with a paper towel. Here is a post of when I did this before.

Try it! Beautiful things happen when you commit to a life of balance and a life in pursuit of peace.

Marilyn

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Patience in Home Searching

 

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Well, it seems not much “Mom Magic” is happening over here with only once a month posts but I am truly working at it! Do you ever feel like this in your life?

Although it sometimes appears we are doing the same thing day in and day out,  and not much is really getting done, be patient it is. Yes, the day is framed with the routines of wake up, get the kids dressed, fed and off to school only to begin sometimes an endless list of chores, but there is more to it than that.  It is not the same because each day we are a little different from the day before. We are now accompanied by the things we’ve learned from the previous day, year, and life we’ve lived so far.  This has been my mantra as of late.

These last couple of months we’ve been looking for a house.  We are currently renting and have been renting for the last almost four years now. It is time to get our own home. With so many choices to be made with such important details, I finally decided to make a checklist to see these houses objectively.

I share this with you in hopes that maybe this can give you an idea of how to handle your own momentous task of finding a house, deciding on a career, or ha ha even finding a spouse?  Through making a checklist it has helped me define exactly what I am looking for with a prioritized weighted list. As I share my list below, keep in mind these are what is important to us and you’ll want to put in what are your preferences.

If the first 5-6 categories are not met then I won’t even go about grading the house.

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Of course the extra credit points and personal scoring of each category can make a large difference. House hunting can easily take over your life I am learning but with this it gives me a way to see it in perspective, be patient, and not be driven by the emotional aspect of it all.

How it works: Once I see a house I like and it meets the top criteria then I put a number grade for how close it gets to what I’ve written in each category below. For instance if I wrote “the main level must have 80% wood floors” and it only has a small room with a wood floor on the main level then I would grade it maybe a 3 or 2 as opposed to the full 8 points it can get. I then move on down the check list grading category against what ideally I am looking for.

 

 

 

Making Plans Amidst Unknowns

Perhaps this is a strange title but this is exactly what I want to discuss with you this week. This is ground breaking- just let me explain! Okay, so I figured out that even when you get into a pinch in life you can always have a plan. Instead of having the typical straight-forward plan you may feel most comfortable with that has zero hitches, you just need a Optional A, B, and C plan.

For instance, my husband is finishing his residency this year and we are in the process of figuring out where we want to go next. This involves lots of interviews, research, and prayer to know what is the best place for our family at this time and what we should do. Meanwhile, this can be a little stressful not knowing where we will be living in 6 months! We have an idea but things could change as we go through with more interviews and weigh the options.

So, instead of living in this state of not-knowing and trying to ignore my feelings of anxiousness and urgency to get it figured out, I have found a peaceful alternative- an A, B, and C plan.

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Checking In and Stepping Up

Okay, so I haven’t been doing as many projects lately because my husband is getting closer to finishing his Residency and it is taking a lot of time and consideration to weigh out our next steps. He wraps up this last year of residency by the end of June.  We’ve been focusing on where we should raise our family, start this career, and have been pursuing job interviews. Thus, I haven’t been in the crafting mode/thrifty mood.  I think it is also partly because of my secret desire to just buy everything in the future without a second thought and not worry about ever being thrifty again.  Okay, I know it is ridiculous but don’t we all have this sometimes? It is too much work and there are so many other things to spend time on in life, right?

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Purse Peace

PursepeaceAlthough a lot of us may downplay this subject, controlling finances are a HUGE part of success in family life! Stop, don’t click to exit with thinking oh, please I don’t have that problem.  Just give me at least 3 paragraphs! Finances are a huge part of family peace.

There is a saying that wants can always grow to match any income no matter how much one has. Wow- hard to swallow but true! Understanding this, we can see that always making more money is not the answer to peace because the wants will just keep growing.  There has to be a checkpoint from within…

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