Monday, July 25, 2011

ten things, part i.

{found via Sara Jane Elizabeth's blog}

Even though this summer has been wonderful -- delightful, really, with no Bar exam to bother us -- I find myself still struggling to get through my work week with my eyes open. I wake up tired, go to bed late. Despite my absence from Facebook, I still find myself struggling with some feelings of frustration and hurt, brought on by my own disappointment with people. (The saddest part? Sundays always seem to be the worst. It's something I'm working on, trust me.) 

So, last week, when I came across C. Jane's blog post about "ten things" -- things that make life happy and manageable, even when it's sometimes hard (because, yes, sometimes it's hard. And that's okay.) -- I decided to sit down and come up with my own list. I pondered what ten things would help me to simplify and develop good habits throughout the week, leaving my weekends a lot more free for fun and relaxation, not stress. (Who wants to spend all day Saturday cleaning and scrambling about town?) 

Ideally, I want a life that goes beyond coming home at 5:45 and absolutely crashing: no energy, no creativity, no desire to do anything but lay on the couch and watch "Swamp People." Do I love sitting and watching television with Jordan? You bet I do. And there are days I know that sometimes need to be met with nothing more than a couple of hours lounging on the couch, cuddled in blankets. But too often -- due to lack of energy or the hours I spend each day at a computer screen -- that becomes my default. That has to change, and only I can change it. 

1. Morning quiet time. This has been a year-long goal, and while I'm satisfied with my morning readings during my first five or 10 minutes at work, I know it needs to be more. Not because there's some checklist for this kind of thing, but because I know what my spirit desires and craves. Right now, it needs more Scripture. More prayer. More time to listen to the Spirit.

2. Zone duties. This one I completely stole from C. Jane, but I think it's brilliant. My own mom used to call this "blitzing." (My mom is a home management genius.) If I could just set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day (this is a house without kids, remember?) to clean a part of my home, I wouldn't have to set aside an entire Saturday each week (which, by the way, doesn't really happen that often, leaving me with a disaster of a house by the end of the month) to declutter and clean. I'm thinking my own "zones" would go something like this: 
     - Monday: laundry 
     - Tuesday: vacuum 
     - Wednesday: living room
     - Thursday: kitchen/dining
     - Friday: stairwell
     - Saturday: bedroom
     - Sunday: ironing

3. Balanced dinner. We're getting better at this, and I've come to kind of treasure our time in the kitchen, even if the meal we cook is really simple. It makes me happy to catch up on our days while we spill ingredients and check the oven. It makes me love our life. 

4. Read. I'm guilty, probably, of talking about books too much on this blog, but I can't express to you how important it is for me to have time to read. The nights when I wind up scrolling through my Google Reader or reading Twitter updates tend to feel wasted -- before I know it, I've spent two hours of my limited free time online. But the nights I get to sit and read, even briefly? I go to bed earlier, or wind up sharing some quote or another with Jordan, or just generally feel good about stretching my brain and getting lost in a plot. Reading -- a book, not a magazine or blog -- is a must for me.

5. Walk. Guys, I'm going to be honest: I quit Couch to 5k. I think I made it two weeks before I had to have stitches in my leg (a non-related procedure), and after that... I gave up. Just didn't care anymore. I hate to be that girl that hates to exercise, but I am. Don't like the gym, have no desire to Zumba. The only thing I really like to do is walk. So for now, I need to make time for that. Even if it's just to the mailbox. (Pathetic, I know.) Walking makes me feel at peace, and gets me out of doors. (Have you seen the latest Applebee's commercial, the one where the coworkers exit their office building and begin moaning, wondering what that big bright yellow thing is in the sky? Yeah, that's, sadly, the life of a desk worker.) I feel much better after I get out of work and stretch a bit, so for now, walking seems to be the most satisfactory answer. (Though I'm inclined to incorporate yoga in there too...)

Numbers six through 10 coming tomorrow. What makes you happy?


Cindy P said...

I wish I lived in Tallahassee! I'd walk and do yoga with you. I hate exercising but I do enjoy walking. And I want to try yoga out. I've done a little bit via the Wii but that's hardly anything "real".

Staley Mc said...

I always end up getting sucked into reading blogs and Twitter and then wish I was reading an actual book especially since it's summer and the only time of the year I have to just read what I want to. Last week I got a book from the library I just loved and totally just dove into it and didn't even think about doing anything else! That's my favorite when you get totally wrapped into a book!

Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

Ahh so good that you are walking! I am not a Zumba girl either..Is that even considered an exercise? haha that class cracks me up!

Alyss said...

I LOVE this and can't wait to read your next five. I may have to steal this idea and think of my own ten.

Felicia said...

I love this list! Sometimes I get overwhelmed with things that I need a reminder of the good things in life.

One of the things that makes me happy is putting aside some time (15 to 20 minutes) to do yoga. I recently re-started doing yoga and it makes me feel so good! I feel like a cat, if that makes sense. :P

Christina said...

What makes me happy: playing ball with my puppy, relaxing in the arms of my hubby, and working out (I do love zumba and step). It's important to embrace the small joys of life.

Jenny said...

I'm with you on all of these! Especially the reading one. I feel/sleep so much better when I spend 30 minutes before bed with the tv off, just reading something for me.

monster cakes said...

Annie. I swear it seems like we share the same thoughts. I relate more than you know, and I'm in a constant battle to muster enough energy after my desk day job to simply enjoy the rest of the day. I have actually never heard of zone duties, and I feel like you may have rocked my world with this post. I must try this. Every Saturday, I wonder, "why work my tush off to make it through the week only to have my one full day off be about cleaning, laundry, and errands?!" Madness! I must try this idea. Thank you thank you thank you. I hope you find your rest friend!

Betsy said...

I hear you on the blog/twitter issue! I almost get overwhelmed sometimes, because there are so many good articles and blogs that I want to read and ponder. But, you're right: nothing can take the place of reading a good book. Being a grad student in literature, believe it or not, has severely affected my love of reading for fun. Many times, the last thing I want to do during my leisure time is read! I'm trying to change that, though. I've been looking through your reading recaps for good suggestions :)

becca28 said...

The bedroom picture has completely captured the image in my mind of my dream bedroom. I was literally drooling when I saw it.

I also love the list idea. I may need to borrow it. Hope you don't mind!

Sophia Manco said...

I love books, too. You should check out my blog Strung Hearts to the Young where I do book reviews! (: