In an effort to promote transparency, or full-disclosure, or whatever the newest buzzword is for such things, I have composed a list of things that I don’t do, unless absolutely necessary. I am often told “I can’t believe how much you get done” or “wow, you how do you accomplish all you do?” Most times, I respond by saying, “It’s an illusion.” But as schooling the boys, preparing meals or snacks, or other responsibilities have required more time, some chores or pleasures have had to go so I could focus on specific chores or pleasures. So in an effort to keep my sanity, I carefully made this list and discussed it with JD.
1. Iron. Yep, that’s the first thing on the list. I do iron, some. I am fortunate that JD works in a very relaxed environment. He’s found a favorite golf shirt at Kohls. I am thrilled it comes in long and short sleeves. He has them in many colors. Many colors. Throw in a few polos, sweaters or pullovers. When he has to wear a dress shirt, that’s fine because it usually takes about 30 minutes a month to catch up with the ironing. What an improvement from our early years of marriage when he wore dress shirts and slacks every day!
2. Get Up Early/Stay Up Late. I’ve tried both. God has made my body to require nine hours of sleep. I can survive pleasantly on eight. After years of trying to get up before the crack of dawn, trying to be in the 5 a.m. club, I finally asked JD if he liked me trying to get up early so I could have my quiet time, shower, and exercise finished when he and the boys awoke. He said no. Remember, those nine hours I need? It is all a trade-off. If I get up early, I go to bed early. JD didn’t like me going to bed at 9 p.m. every night. I know some who do this but take naps every afternoon, but that just didn’t work for me either! Also, I very, very rarely stay up past 10 p.m. My brain shuts down around 9 p.m. anyway, so unless I am chatting with friends or actively doing something, I’m falling asleep!
3. Formal Exercise. I know, I know, supposedly one can always find time to do what one wants to do. I don’t want to exercise. There, I said it. I do like being active though. The boys and I go to the park with the dog three times a week and walk 1.4 miles around our little local lake. I jog with JD when the weather is good. I am continually going up and down the stairs. Continually. I am outside moving on our 40 acres often. But do I do 45-60 minutes of continual aerobic exercise daily. NOPE.
4. Watch Television/Movies. I used to really love down time with my DVR, after the kids were in bed. But even then, I felt as if I was wasting time. Plus, I would stay up too late, then sleep too late…. you know the cycle. Thus for now, no TV. I don’t miss it. At all. It was easy in the summer when it is light out and we stayed outdoors later. I did think it would be harder in the winter, but it hasn’t been.
5. Talk On The Phone. No one calls me anyway because all my friends are busy homeschooling their little ones, or working at their jobs.
6. Grocery Shop. My mother-in-law lives with us. She grocery shops. I don’t. I do plan the meals and prepare the list, but she shops for a household of nine each week. Eventually this will be too much for her, but by then, the boys will be old enough to stay home alone. Since we live 20 miles from the grocery store, this saves me a great deal of time!
7. Keep Organized Drawers. Well, this one is probably a matter of perspective. I don’t put the boys’ clothes away, so I only look in their drawers every six months when I switch out clothes. I don’t have many clothes, so my drawers can’t be messy! But if you compared my drawers to my hubby’s drawers, you’d understand where I was trying to go with this one. I learned early in our marriage that it is better if I fold the clothes and he puts his own away.
8. Multiple Pleasures. I take photographs. I digi-scrap. I cook. And I do a little knitting now-and-then. But that’s it. I would love to quilt. In fact, you should see the fabrics and patterns I have collected. I would love to write more. I would love to have a milk goat. I would love to attempt about anything on Pinterest. *sigh*
9. Home Improvement Projects. If you visit my home, please don’t let me catch you looking at where the wall-paper is peeling from the wall in the kitchen. Or study.
10. Go. I stay home. It is good for my soul, my children, my gasoline budget. Between Sunday and Thursday, the only time I leave my little forty acres is to go to the park with the boys. Thursday afternoon is errand time, with trips to the library, drum lessons, ASL class, or other stops. I guard this time. Evenings are similar. JD and I limit ourselves to one evening out a week. If I have dinner with a friend, I say no to another opportunity that would take me out another night. This means I have to plan in advance how I spend my time. Some weeks are harder than others. And of course, there are times when we have to be flexible.
What things do you not do?