Category Archives: Housekeeping

What will I do today?

Something occurred to me last night. I spent all day doing stuff. Stuff needed to be done, so I just did it. Without much thinking. Do you know what that means? Yesterday I was not fatigued. Not being fatigued means I can just get up and do things and not have to wrestle with myself about it. You just get up and do it.

I have to remember this feeling, this reality, for the days that I AM fatigued. Because those days are much more common, and those days I tend to beat myself up about it. I feel guilty on those days for not folding the laundry or vacuuming the floors or cooking good meals. I feel guilty about sleeping too much. Because some ridiculous little voice inside me tells me I’m lazy and not good for much. But that’s just not true, is it? Because the fatigue really does drag me down. I guess I live there so often I forget what non-fatigue feels like. Is this what it’s like for “normal” people? Is this what it was like for me pre-MS? It’s a wonderful feeling. Not being dragged down. The ease of standing up and walking to the other room. Deciding to put away the clean dishes and then immediately getting up and doing it. That’s something I know we take for granted. I know I did, before fatigue entered my life. But no longer. Now on days fatigue decides to step aside for awhile, I look around with awe, I breathe a little easier, and I ask myself… “What will I do today?”

Thunder bolts of lightning

Get this, I woke up with a pulled muscle in my neck, and it has me in such pain. I mean, searing, sharp, throbbing pains. I’m in such flippin’ agony I’ve been whining about it on Facebook all morning. If it was just one muscle, I could deal, but this thing is connected to all these other muscles, so every time I move something – an arm, a leg, whatever – I don’t know if it’s going to be okay or if it’s going to shoot fiery bolts of lightning up through my neck. It’s a crap shoot.

I slept on a heating pad for most of the morning and then managed to fix myself some lunch – baked sweet potato with butter and cinnamon YUM – and now I’m chillin’ on the couch with a cup of coffee. Coffee on the right, because apparently I can’t reach from the left or the pain kills me, and then the coffee spills. We can’t have any of that happening, now can we?

I went upstairs to get something and by the time I got to the top of the steps, I forgot why I was up there, so I distracted myself with laundry until it came back to me. Managed to rotate some loads, with slow and careful movements of course, and sure enough, it came to me! Drugs, I went up for the drugs. Because I can’t really deal with this pain. I normally boast a high pain tolerance, mainly because surgery and needles don’t scare me, but when it gets in the way of getting things done, that pisses me off. So I took some Aleve, and hopefully that eases a little of the pressure. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to have the kids unload the dishwasher and take out the trash tonight.

Ok, I’m sorry, but that’s all I have for now. I’ve been a little neglectful of the blog so I really just wrote this to give you something, so as not to get out of the habit of writing. More will come. It always does.

The fruit go everywhere.

Have I mentioned I don’t multi-task well? Not that anyone does, really. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to do two things at the same time. So add in my clutz factor and you have a mess on your hands, literally. I was walking into the laundry room holding an empty laundry basket, a stack of clean towels, and a fruit smoothie. 

And then all of a sudden I wasn’t.

Piper was quick to lend a helping tongue.

I thought I had cleaned it all up, and even thought I had photographed the entire mess. I had not. When I proceeded to work on the laundry I discovered more fruit blend not just on the dryer to the left, but above and BEHIND it. How on earth I had managed such thorough coverage of the laundry room I’ll never know, but I’m guessing I looked like a total spaz trying to save my fruit smoothie and that image alone gave me quite a chuckle. 

I do hope I cleaned up the last of it. I guess if I didn’t, my nose will alert me sooner or later.


Introducing: The Lost and Found

My son was driving me absolutely bonkers today. For the third summer in a row, I’ve enfoced the “No Screen Time Until…” rule. It’s a set of tasks that must be completed each day prior to getting any screen time (tv, tablet, etc.). This year I’ve been getting a lot of grumbling and whining about the whole thing, and this morning I had decided on-the-fly to make a rule (something I tend to do and then later regret) that the kids must always put their things away when they are not in use. For example, don’t leave your laptop on the couch when you’re off doing something else. If they were to leave said item in it’s inappropriate spot, unattended, for more than five minutes, then I would dispose of it.

Yes, in the trash it would go. Harsh, I know, but I was feeling kind of desperate.

So, my son left his laptop on the couch this morning and I graciously gave him a five minute warning. When two minutes went by and nothing and nobody had moved, I let him know that he had three minutes left to clear the item. I did not realize at this time that he was in the bathroom. But he did hear my warning, and when he came out, he immediately started arguing that the “timer” should stop if and when he had to use the restroom. Knowing he loves to argue – usually only for the sake of arguing – I was hearing none of this. Yet he continued to argue his case for extra time. Which is downright laughable, because with all the time he wasted arguing, he could have put the computer away and then gone and made himself a double decker sandwich.

Pretty shortly after all this happened, I received a call from one of my best friends. The great thing about best friends is that when they ask you how you are doing, you can tell them. So I told her how frustrated I was, and she empathized. She has two boys, one who is a couple years older than mine, so she totally understands this age and behavior. She had a really great suggestion for motivating the kids to pick up after themselves, one that is far less drastic, and probably more effective at teaching them responsibility. A win-win, right? Her idea was to have a box dedicated to those toys you find lying around. When you find them lying around, you put them in the box. Then, if and when they want their toy back, they have to do a chore to earn it.

I love, love, loved this idea and implemented it right away. Now it’s evening, it’s only been a half a day, but already I’m noticing a change in my son’s behavior. We came home from his baseball game and I noticed he left his cleats in the middle of the kitchen floor. I was tempted to put them straight into the lost and found box, but decided since this is still a new concept, I would give him a little warning. I simply told him I had noticed his cleats on the kitchen floor, and without a word he got right out of his seat and put them away!! I didn’t even have to tell him to, or remind him of the rule, he remembered all on his own! He understood that it would be a lot easier to just get up and put them away NOW, than it would be to have to do a chore later to get them back. Which is totally what I am trying to get through these children’s heads!

Putting things away, right away, makes your life so much easier in the long run. This is a habit I’ve developed for myself over the years, and I would be overjoyed if my kids grew up cultivating this same habit. Their future roommates and spouses will thank me, am I right?

Oh, the days

There are some days that I feel the need to  emotionally crawl back into my safe little cave. I kind of know why this happens ever so often, and I know it always passes eventually, so I’m not worried about it. I am thankful on days like these that I’m not responsible for anything urgent or super-important. Not exactly. My responsibilities involve feeding the people and keeping things clean-ish and supplies stocked. I generally give those responsibilities my 100% effort, but I’m sure we would all survive even if I gave half that.  So on days like these when I can only muster 70%, we’re doing just fine. I’m not sure anyone will even notice. In fact, when it means processed, frozen burritos for dinner instead of my homemade beef stew, the kids are actually thankful for my slacker status. They love those burritos.

My 5k race is coming up in three whole days! I don’t think I’m nervous. It’s my first race ever, so I don’t have many expectations. If I finish on my feet I’ll be happy. I heard a song awhile back come up on my Pandora station and while it’s not the best tempo for running, the lyrics gave me some motivation. Don’t judge; it was a song by Eminem. I’m trying to hit “like” on songs that sound good to my new ears, and my musical tastes have changed quite drastically. Everything just sounds so different to me now. So I guess New Mindy enjoys some Eminem and can tolerate the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anyhoo, the song that caught my ears is called “Till I Collapse”, and after reading the lyrics online, I can honestly apply a lot of the sentiment to my philosophy on this running thing. Of course Mr. Mathers was surely rapping about something else entirely, but the nice thing about music is you can make it what you want. What it means to you is just that – what it means to you. Here is the chorus to the song:

“‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak
And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that **** out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse”

What’s kind of funny to me is that the fear that kept me from running at first was the fear of falling flat on my face. And if I do, I do. Whatever. In the song he talks about inner strength, but my strength does not come from within. My strength comes from God. He gives me the strength I need, when I need it. So when I feel like quitting, that is where I turn.  I will look to my Savior to keep me going. He has never failed me, never left my side, and together we will run this race!

Permission to purge

“To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Kondo, Marie
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KK0PICK

I am loving loving loving this book and what it is teaching me. I am gaining some really fresh insight about what things to keep, what to discard, and why. I have done a great deal of de-cluttering around the house that turned out making our move to this new home much easier. I started the purging process long before we even knew we would be moving, but I’m so glad I did. The packing and unpacking would have been a major cluster****. However, I am still frustrated on a fairly regular basis as I come across things that lack a home and/or take up space. But this woman who has mastered the art I strive for has given a beautiful explanation for my frustration. Why am I so irritated? Because these things don’t bring me joy. They have served their purpose and it’s okay to let them go.

It’s okay! Goodbye to the labelmaker that no longer connects to my computer. I made plenty of labels with it. I can say goodbye to that tailored green jacket. I wore it when it fit post-pregnancy and I don’t plan to be that heavy again. I can even say goodbye to the clown afghan my grandmother crocheted for me when I was a little girl. I enjoyed it, loved it nearly to pieces, but it’s time to let it go. The memories will remain. Ah, this is such a freeing feeling for me. I can discard things and forget about feeling guilty. I can’t wait to get to it.

But for now, I’m honestly still recovering from having the kids home for Christmas break, so I’m tired. And it’s flipping cold, so that doesn’t help. My legs are not cooperating, because the extreme temperatures and MS do not get along. So well just have to table this discussion for later. Such is my life, and we keep moving on. Walk on, my friends, walk on.

Type A Confessions

I’ve kind of been on a mission to de-clutter my home, one tiny area at a time. I’ve written about involving the kids recently, but it’s been going on for much longer than that. And now that we are buying a house, it’s time to kick it up a notch.

As a woman with a type-A personality, my problem is not so much with figuring out where to start as it is with learning where and when to END. Because once I get started, I get so thrilled with the progress I’m making and I fear that if I stop when the timer goes off, that I’ll never get the motivation or time to start again. Have I mentioned I’m home all summer with two young children and a dog? The dog is the least of my worries, actually. She doesn’t interrupt me every 3 minutes to ask a question. Or tell me something, or show me something she made. Yes, I love my kids, and I know one day I’ll look back fondly at these pestering moments. I’m just saying they infringe on my inner need to GET THINGS DONE.

So I’m looking for balance. For a realistic plan to accomplish my de-cluttering goals. How can I be sure I’m doing the best I can, with what I’ve got, to get this place ready to pack up and move? I’ve started by listing the areas that need attention, and I think I’m just going to make it a daily ritual. Each day I’ll just work on the area I feel most like doing that day. Which totally goes against my planner mentality, but attempting to plan it all down to the last detail just seems too overwhelming. And unrealistic, as I need to be flexible enough to work around whatever is going on that day here at the house. Will the kids be at Grandpa’s today, playing outside, or playing video games? What kind of moods will they be in? Are they cranky & defiant or are they cooperative and willing to play together without screaming bloody murder every 30 seconds? Because some days they require closer supervision, and that affects the type of work I can get done that day.

I’m guessing if you are still reading, either you share in this type-A personality or you have run out of good reading material. Either way, I thank you 🙂 I think I’m done with this subject for now. Oh, wait, no. I just had an idea; let me know what you think of this… what if every day I blogged (briefly, I promise) about what I have de-cluttered that day. Some days I could even make it interesting. It would be a sort of accountability to keep motivated, and if I come across some interesting junk, it might be fun to write about it before I ditch it. In a way it may be easier to let go of certain things, because if some things had a story, I could post a picture, write the story, and be able to preserve the memory. Because you know that’s why we hoarders like to keep things – it’s the memory attached to the thing – and it’s often super hard to let go. Yes, that’s what I will do. This will be my pre-moving project, to rid our lives of unnecessary clutter, and to share it here on the blog. Who’s with me?!?