5 Goals for the Fall Season

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One of Mama Kat‘s prompts this week for her Writer’s Workshop is:

2.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: goals.

I have five goals that I’m working on right now – some quicker than others and none of them terribly quickly at all, to be honest. We’ve been wading in deep waters this month as we continue to adjust to all the new. I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot these days but this is where my mind is right now so…

I have a new job which has me learning a lot of new things – which is both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time – it keeps me busy one or two days a week, but which days those are varies. So I’m trying to find a rhythm in a world where everything is different every day. The rules change too often to try and find any specific schedule. On the one hand, I like having plenty of downtime to exercise, clean the house, run errands and watch bad television. But on the other hand, it’s hard to make plans when my schedule is always in the air. It’s hard to make meal plans for a week when I have no idea what my week will end up looking like. And my afternoons lately have been so hectic that I often spend my free mornings just recovering mentally from the previous afternoon.

MM has been diligently working on juggling his increased homework demands with his goal of joining the Black Belt Team at his karate school and the fall cub scout season is just around the corner as if we weren’t busy enough already. Some days I think there is no way we can fit everything in and that cuts are going to need to be made and then other days it all seems perfectly manageable – depending on how much work he gets done at school before coming home and what time karate classes are (because yeah those are at totally different times, too). I’m trying to have faith that we’ll all learn to juggle our new work loads but my outlook varies by the minute.

In addition to the new, there are still normal aspects to life that need my attention. As I mentioned, I’ve got five goals right now that I’d like to achieve – some more immediately than others. I think September tends to bring out the Goal Setting Mode in a lot of us what with the kids starting a new year of school.

Here are the five things I’d like to achieve, in addition to just juggling our crazy schedule:

  1. As we adjust to an increase in monthly expenses due to private school, we’ve been keeping a close watch on our finances and are working hard to bring down our spending so that we can make sure we’re still saving money each month.
  2. This summer really solidified the fact that I need to lose weight yesterday. I’ve been counting calories most days and trying to exercise at least every other day if not more. It’s been a struggle for me to accept that I’ve lost a lot of flexibility and endurance while I sat around and did nothing for too long. I have been able to slowly start losing weight though so I’m hopeful that I can stick with it and shed some pounds.
  3. Supposedly I’m writing a book – and I started a writing group with some friends that will meet for the first time next month. I honestly have barely written anything in weeks and though the story is still on my mind, I’ve had a hard time prioritizing it while trying to juggle all that new stuff I mentioned. So a big goal for me is to find the mental and physical time to start writing regularly.
  4. We need to declutter badly and my house keeping could use a little more attention. I guess it makes sense that while we’ve been insanely busy, I haven’t been much of a Susie Homemaker. But the clutter is closing in and I’ll only be able to put this off for so much longer if I want to hold onto my sanity.
  5. I hate to even think about the fall and winter holidays already but it’s been increasingly on my mind that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all fast approaching and I’m not remotely ready for any of them – and don’t really know where I’ll find the time and energy to plan them.

The truth is, this is just me flailing as I struggle to adjust to the changes we’ve taken on and I know that I’ll get through it, probably much quicker than I give myself credit for. But even when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it can still be discouraging to have to continue to trek through it.

What goals do you have right now?

Mama’s Losin’ It

The girl I used to be.

As a reward for making good progress with potty training, I took the kids to the bookstore this week to get BB a new book (::does happy dance::). Side note: I LOVE that the prospect of a new book excites my children as much as it does me. If there was any question about whether these kids take after their parents, this fact firmly settles the debate.

In addition to the book she chose, I wanted to get her a book about using the potty to kind of keep the momentum going – but I was having a hard time finding any so after circling the children’s section several times, I broke down and asked a sales person – a hip twenty something who knew all the books and loved all the books – you could tell just by standing near her that she loved her job. I should know. I used to be her.

me and hubby circa 2005

I met my hubby while we were both working in a bookstore during college. It was a rom/com story for the ages with an Indie Bookstore serving as the backdrop. After graduating, I managed the children’s section at said bookstore until hubby and I got married and started a family (not necessarily in that order). Point is, having worked in a bookstore for years, finding books in a book store is kind of a point of pride with me so I don’t ask for help often, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Potty training = desperate measures indeed.

Anyway, the sales girl helped me quickly and I found exactly what I was looking for. While I had her time, I decided to ask about good chapter books for boys. I know a lot of good ones but not being “in the game” anymore, I figured there was a good chance I was out of the loop and she did have some great suggestions for some newer titles I hadn’t heard of yet (Galaxy Zack is officially on MM’s wish list).

Of course like any good bookseller, we spent awhile chatting about books and general likes and dislikes (somehow we started talking about Doctor Who, because, well, have you met me?) and standing there talking to her and watching her get so passionate about book recommendations reminded me of my years working her exact job. Oh, I miss it.

Those were some of the best years of my young adult life and I LOVED that job – I loved my co-workers and my customers, the smell of strong coffee and the creeky old floors. I loved giving book recommendations and making displays of books I thought would sell well. Of course the job I had was a little different from hers – I worked at an independent book store in a building that used to be a factory that had a restaurant inside with a glass dessert case and a New Age section that sold tarot cards and jewelry. The Indie Bookstore is a dying breed – a magical retail world where you can make your own displays and change your mind about the store layout without getting approval from corporate (though you might need to ask Gloria). From what I’ve heard, the Big Box Stores (also now a dying breed) don’t have that kind of flexibility and freedom. Displays come from corporate and the coffee is from Starbucks.

But still. There are books. And book lovers. And coffee. Some of my favorite things. I sometimes talk about going to work in a bookstore again and being that girl again. But I wouldn’t be QUITE that girl. That girl that I was had the flexibility of working long and varying hours and her boyfriend worked at the store so it kind of was her social life. This girl will want Mothers Hours and won’t budge on that matter. This girl may love and live and breathe books, but she loves her family more.

This girl also has a lot of varying dreams and ideas for the future. I may get a job in a bookstore. I may try to write full time. I may get a job copy editing or try and get a job at the kids’ schools. I may do something else entirely that I haven’t had a chance to dream about.

But if I can find a job where I am surrounded by book lovers, where I can feel a little bit like that girl again, I will be a happy woman indeed.

I like to plan really far in advance.

job

SAHM seeks part time job with “Mother’s Hours”: Available Tues. – Fri. from 8:30am – 2pm.

Not available weekends, evenings, when the kids are sick, holidays or during school vacations.

Skills include: writing about herself in the third person, making cute graphics on picmonkey, taking pictures of small children and puppies, cutting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in half (straight down or diagonal). Currently at level 136 on Candy Crush Saga. Relative success with potty training and making pancakes, really good at typing one-handed and translating toddler speak.

Available September 2014.

Did you go back to work after the kids started school?

What kind of jobs did you look for? What would be your dream job?

Tuesday10: I wish I was a…

This week’s Tuesday10 theme is Professions I Wish I Had. Being a SAHM this is something I actually think about often. If I wasn’t doing this wonderful, amazing, mothering thing, what would I be doing with my life? Surely I’d have some traditional type job in which I am compensated for my time and energy with something other than sticky kisses and manic hugs.

  1. When I was a tween I saw Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter is Dead and I desperately wanted to be a fashion designer and marry Josh Charles. I loved the idea of having a job that was fun and creative and totally ignored the fact that I cannot draw or sew and I’m not really super fashionable.
  2. In high school Under 21 clubs were all the rage and I believe for a couple of weeks I decided I was going to open a night club, probably prompted by that Full House episode when Uncle Jessie opens a family friendly night club and Stephanie has a hard time dating. I’m so glad I never did this because the idea of being in the same room with a bunch of teenagers high on energy drinks and newly discovered hormones listening to awful music sounds, well, awful. Just because I did all those things myself at their age, does not mean that I want to do them again.
  3. In college I worked at an independent bookstore where I met my husband. The store was run by a husband and wife duo that I idolized. I decided that what I desperately wanted more than anything was to open my own bookstore someday. Possibly a coffee shop / bookstore (before that became trendy) or maybe a coffee shop with a lending library. These ideas still sound sort of fun to me except the owning and being entirely responsible for part  – but I often think about getting a job at a used book store someday and if coffee is involved I’ll be one happy camper.
  4. I also worked for the school paper in college and for a couple of years it seemed very likely that I would become a journalist of some kind, either working for a daily paper or perhaps a cool magazine. I seemed to burn out on the whole journalism thing before I even graduated though and the idea of starting from the ground up at a paper now sounds awful – I was the managing editor when I graduated, so going to get a job writing obituaries or reporting town meetings just does not really hold much appeal anymore – not to mention the constant deadlines in the world of journalism – doesn’t really mesh very well with my parenting style.
  5. My grandmother thinks I should be a teacher and while I do sometimes think it would be fun to teach creative writing or perhaps become an elementary school teacher or a crazy college professor and wear tweed jackets… I am not the most patient person out there and I’m not sure if I have the personality traits that make a great teacher. That said, I am a giant nerd and making a curriculum and designing bulletin boards and decorating the classroom… that all sounds weirdly fun to me.
  6. I love to read. Like a lot. And I often think that I would love to be paid to read – to perhaps become an editor at a publishing company or that person who reads the book and decides if it should be published. If this opportunity ever arose, I think I’d snatch it up in an instant. Hopefully I’d enjoy it and not come to loathe reading because I have to do it.
  7. I also often like to call myself a writer and talk about how I’m writing a novel or I write poetry or maybe someday I’ll turn my blog into a memoir or something. People would totally pay to read this in book form, right???
  8. My husband thinks that I should try writing children’s books because apparently my improv bedtime story telling skills are some kind of amazing, or he’s really sweet and supportive. I have thought about doing this but have found that writing children’s books is actually really hard and you’d think it wouldn’t be – but then I look at the amazing children’s books out there and then the plethora of okay children’s books and I worry about which side of the line I’d find myself on…
  9. Sometimes I take pictures of flowers or babies and think I should become a professional photographer. Then I try to remember what aperture is again and how to adjust white balance and where should I stand when the sun is bright again? And oh my god, I’d have to deal with taxes and figuring out what to charge people and buy fancy equipment and ohmygodIjustwanttotakeapictureofflowersleavemealone!!!!
  10. So where does that leave me today? If I weren’t a SAHM and I could have any job I wanted, what would I do? I honestly have no idea. A lot of those ideas up there ^ sound pretty sweet but it would honestly depend on the time commitment, salary, location, etc. because even if I’m not staying at home with the kids, being a mother will always be the most important job for me.

What about you? What jobs did you dream about having when you were a kid? A young adult? Today?

LenaBActually

I’m flying solo this week

Did I mention that my husband is going to NYC this week for a training class? He left this afternoon for the airport and won’t be home until late Friday night. Of course I already miss him like crazy but I guess we’re doing alright so far. I’m trying to keep myself feeling positive about this by thinking about things like having the whole bed to myself, catching up on my reading and watching tv shows he doesn’t like… I’ve plotted out a week of easy dinners and I’m trying to keep busy but also take it easy. I have been looking over our budget, looking for areas we can trim and I’m planning to get the gift wrapping done for Christmas. Hopefully our Christmas Cards come this week so I can get them addressed and mailed, too.

This trip has been a long time coming. It’s the only thing left in his training that stands between us and a regular employee status (and a bump in pay) so we’ve been eager for him to take the course, even though it means he’ll be gone for a week. He’s been trying to take the course for months but it kept getting postponed. And now he’s gone. But when he gets back – it will be the last weekend before Christmas… and my 27th birthday. And that’s pretty exciting.

How was your weekend?