Proof positive: I cleaned out my pantry. I stressed just thinking about it, and wanted to quit after one shelf - a good start, right? I persevered. I filled up my trash can with half used craft kits and dried out paint from the kids' craft shelf. I reminded myself over and over that if all the same junk goes back in, it won't be long until the pantry looks just the same as usual. Last night I got on the computer to load all my pictures and couldn't get on my blog. As I was downloading them I noticed, down in the bottom right corner of the top photo, the wadded up, purple tablecloth we use for crafts. Hmmm...much as I would love to blame the Curse, the culprit is the seven year old who had been painting a solar system poster. And she's a blessing, a rich blessing.
I've been struggling a bit with the "Six Most Important Things" list. After all these years of homeschooling, and all the failed schedules I've tried, I've learned there are a few basic things that must happen every day to keep us afloat. So I've made a mental list, and used it until these have become habits rather than tasks to check off a piece of paper:
1. Read my Bible
2. Homeschool the kids
3. Wash a load of laundry
4. Make dinner
5. Do one house cleaning chore
See my problem? I already have five things, really the most important things I need to accomplish each day. If I add a shopping trip, or doctor's visit (we were there this week for a fractured wrist), or a sport practice, I have six. These are non-negotiable. Okay, I can skip laundry and cleaning, but not for long. I can't say, "Sorry honey, we didn't get to school today, but you'll be at the top of my list tomorrow." And I think it's redundant to write these out each day.
Instead I'm trying to have a "Six Other Things List." They're all things I need to accomplish. Many of them are tasks I've been putting off for months, because there's no time limit. My husband is wondering how long we'll have a towel hanging in the upstairs bathroom window. Soon, soon, I'll put "sew bathroom curtain" on my list. He'll be pleased. I would say surprised, but I bought the fabric a month ago and he's been waiting. These are important things. Here is my list from today:
1. mop kitchen floor
2. type ham recipe
3. type Cilantro Ranch Dressing recipe (these were jotted down on scratch paper, sitting on the kitchen counter for...um...a while. I'm also working on my dump spot.)
4. wash table linens
5. wash living room curtains
6. sunny? wash comforter (but it rained, so I was off the hook)
I finished the first four. I also finished four tasks on Thursday. So I am thinking six may be more than I really have time to complete, after all the important jobs of the day are scheduled. Maybe five? I'm wondering how other moms have dealt with this, looking forward to reading some links. I ran it by my husband (always a good idea) and he is highly in favor of lists. He uses a list at work every day, which I never knew, but like I have not for the tasks that are no-brainers. He uses a list to keep himself moving in a forward direction. So although I was tempted to quit, I'm not a list person, with his encouragement I'll keep tweaking my list and make it work. Tweaking and working and God gives more grace, more grace.