June 17, 2016

Summer Bucket List

It's almost my birthday and First Official Day of Summer (June 21st).  However, this weekend marks the halfway point in my summer as far as my work is concerned.  Halfway between the last day of finals for students and the first day of August--when everything gets moving and rolling heading for Welcome Week and the first day of classes.  I feel as though I am just starting summer NOW.  The wind down from the year has been a little chaotic.  It's taken me since May 9th just to semi-catch up. And that doesn't mean I have caught up on home life.

But, truly, I have had some pretty fine summer moments in the last few weeks and plenty more to come!

Here's my summer fun bucket list--so I can let you know how we did post-August 1.

  • Catch lightning bugs--DONE!
  • Host a summer party for Madi's friends--YES, DONE!
  • Host a summer party for my friends--IN PROCESS (tonight, although my friend Bethany is hosting, it's my event too--so it counts!)
  • Read the Harry Potter series (again! but it's been awhile)--halfway thru book 2
  • Have many s-l-o-w summer evenings of park, walks, sitting outside  (in process)
  • Get to the beach!  (Oregon coast in July)
  • Get away as a family--summer VACAY!!  (Oregon in July)
  • Shakespeare at the Park--DONE! and more to come!
  • Pool trips with Kai (I am aiming for 5 pool visits)
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Make a container vegetable garden--YES
  • Go camping as a family (this is planned for late Aug or early Sept)
  • Restaurant date with Clint, sitting outside on a patio
  • Day with Madi  (TBD)
Well, that's my list and we are doing pretty good at it!  That's encouraging! What's most important to me is that is feels like summer.  Which means things have to slow down.  And in life, the feeling of "slow" is hard to capture.  

Lately, I have been thinking that balance and the "slow" life is a feeling, not something I can schedule.  I can feel peaceful, relaxed and "slow" when there is lots going on.  Or I can feel pressured, intense and stressed when I don't have anything on my calendar.  Slow is a state of mind.  

Breathing deeply these days, taking it all in.  Spending lots of time watching my three-year-old enjoy life.  Taking walks in the evenings, watching the fireflies, remembering that this is the good life.  I have so much that is abundant, for which I am grateful. 

January 30, 2016

Beyond "crazy-busy"

I am tracking time this month to get a fuller sense of where my time goes and how I use it.  It's my most precious resource and I want to be sure I am stewarding it with my priorities.

Looking back at this week, I worked about 42.5 hours.  This includes my actual work time, but also meetings and work-related events.  It is actually pretty hard for me to work as many hours as I would like.  I know that the cultural story in higher ed is that we work all the time and that the pace is very intense.  I would agree: the pace is really intense.  However, we also get times when the pace slows (summer and winter break). Even if we work year-round, we do enjoy a change of pace and less intensity during these periods of time.  But I am suspicious that we do not really work the 60+ hour weeks that we think we do. Most weeks, I don't even come close to 60 hours a week.  It's tempting to say I am "crazy busy" because I certainly feel like

December 27, 2015

What Worked for Me in 2015

Our tree!  
Some other bloggers, like Modern Mrs. Darcy and Laura Vanderkam, have inspired me to blog about what has worked in 2015. So here's what has worked for me this past year:

1.  Getting some help!
Having a college student come and help do dishes and laundry a couple of days of week was a great addition to reduce chaos in our life.  I also added a monthly cleaning service a couple of months ago.. These are a big expense in our budget…but if there is any way that I can afford it, I will keep doing it.  It helps me stay a little sane with our big jobs and 3-year-old plus teenager-family. I like to host friends and students at our house a fair amount and I can't pull that off without a little (or a lot of) help.

2.  Meal planning.
Wow, I really did some serious meal planning this year.  It’s been very helpful.  Most weekends I sat down and thought through the meals for the week. This is something I want to keep doing!  I don't always stick with the plan--but having a plan limits the amount that we go out to eat or get take out. And that's brilliant.

3.  Read it up!
My book club started in Fall 2014 has been a great part of my life this year.  It’s been my main source of social enjoyment and connecting with other women. I love it and I move all things to attend it once a month.  This month we are reading...
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