I'm really glad I captured this moment the other day. There is this magic moment, a particularly stunning convergence of events, where both of my children find a quiet spot to read. It's been happening a lot more lately, even again this morning, where I find the two of them quietly sitting next to an enormous pile of books. It's competitive reading and I strongly encourage it. Alyce is still just learning to read, recognizing words but not quite happy to try sounding things out on her own. No matter, because who needs reading when you can stare at pictures and make up your own stories? Oh my heart. And oh my I get fifteen minutes of quiet time.
The optimism I feel on Mondays tends to have run low by Thursday, and having one fewer child in the house now that school has started doesn't seem to make a difference. It's kind of my own private
I expect that it would be a good idea to identify the things that stand in my way when it comes to the follow through of my well-intentioned to-do lists. Here are a few offenders: I'm terrible at estimating just how long it takes to accomplish a given task, my reaction to stress is withdrawal instead of action, and my attention span chokes under the chaos of my day, or if we are being honest (and we are, right?) it really just takes me a long time to get started. Give me two hours to work and I'll work exceedingly hard for the second hour. The first hour? Not my best side. I've never been very good at throwing myself into a task without warning. My brain prefers subtlety, a few first soft steps in the direction of work. I've accomplished many things in my life using this approach, but it I'm frustrated by the inefficiency of it all.
When I catch Alyce and Shira reading so effortlessly on their own I see potential. I see time. An opportunity. Now I just want to find a way to make use of that time, even if only for ten minutes. I'm in this strange place in life, where I have so much freedom in determining how I spend my time but so many competing obligations and goals (children, school, two jobs, cooking, home, writing, and our family). This is where I need your help: how do you carve out time in your day? If you write a list each morning, what practical things do you do to accomplish your tasks? Do you have a favourite approach/book/blog you can share with me? I'll be waiting right here, with a sharp pencil and paper.
Seriously, I'm actually waiting.
(Thank you from the bottom of my overwhelmed heart.)