Thursday, August 12, 2010

One busy bee

Now and then we get subtle and not so subtle reminders that we just might be taking on a bit too much. This week I got 3. First was a strange dream where I was pregnant twice at the same time. Then I came down with a bit of a cold and then, probably the least subtle one came when my husband queried my interest in learning a musical instrument. Fair point actually. Where was I going to find time to learn and play the accordion if I can’t even make time to ride my nice bicycle to work? And the more I thought about it – the more I had to agree that all I do is rush around, walking too fast, cutting others off at the shops, flitting here and there trying to get everything on my to do list done. In fact on our honeymoon I had to consciously make sure I walked next to him, not dragging him along behind me. Is this the simple life? It’s definitely not easy, calming, or simple.

Considering I’ve got 5 books on the go, a half finished dress to sew and a pair of hardly started legwarmers to knit where do I think I’d get the time to dedicate to a new hobby? I have the concentration span of a little black pug and am forever thinking up ‘quick and easy’ little projects to do instead of doing what I’d originally planned. A few years ago I learned how beneficial list writing, goal setting and habit forming skills are in ensuring things get done. This is how I planned and completed my decluttering mission, and how I’m creating a cleaning routine at home (from absolutely-nonexistent to at-least-presentable).

In my effort to begin simplifying things I started with a full declutter of our house – and now I’m setting cleaning tasks which will hopefully become habitual so at least those everyday duties will soon be on autopilot and we’ll be able to enjoy a lovely clean home.

It’s clear that the next thing I need to improve is my time management – I seem to fluff around for ages before actually climbing into bed, so it ends up being 11:30 instead of 10pm and of course that doesn’t help in the morning when I’m supposed to be getting up for work. Over the next two months I’m going to aim for a 10pm bedtime on work nights and I’ll keep track on a chart on my wall (I love charts!). This won’t be easy - I’ll have to constantly watch myself as I know I’ll very easily get sidetracked with a ‘great new idea’ or I’ll start something that takes about 3 times longer than I’d thought. The other catch is that we might have up to 2 nights a week when we’re out for dinner (next week it’s 3!) so because there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ week, it’s going to take more than the average 28 days to form this new habit.
I won’t aim for anything else than getting to bed by 10pm and getting my chores done. If I want to ride my bike, I will, if I want to finish sewing that dress (in time for this summer) then I’ll do that too. I think this is going to be an excellent exercise in learning how I use my time and how I want to use it. I really enjoy ticking things off my list, but hopefully instead of ending up with a huge list of things that I’ve thought up but haven’t given myself the time to do, I’ll have a carefully considered list of just a few things that I really see benefit in, and can fit into my life. But as I find time here and there to read a few pages or knit a few rows, it won’t be because ‘I’ve got to get it out of the way’ it will be because I actually enjoy it.

And in a couple of months, if I’ve found a different pace and have been able to make the best of my time, I might then start to think about picking out my accordion – confident that I’ll have the time to dedicate to learning and that it won’t sit in a case at the bottom of the cupboard after 3 months. From what I’m seeing it might take that long to find one anyway!

I don’t want to be one of those people with 20 half finished projects – who finds it easier to drop something than to see it through to the end, and I’m looking forward to separating the ‘time issues’ from those which are due to a genuine lack of interest.

Speaking of busy bees, today I came across Queen B – run by a wonderful woman named Cate, who produces pure Australian Beeswax candles in NSW. I’m so inspired by her vision is to rid Australia of paraffin and soy based candles, one household at a time – and her mission to ensure that her candles outperform all others.

Did you know that one of the true benefits of beeswax is that it’s an instant air purifier ioniser? It cleans and freshens the air as it burns – not just masking other odours but actually filtering dust, germs and other toxic nasties out of the air! I love a multitasking product! What a perfect replacement for our ‘scented’ candles and air freshener. Australian, natural and good for you! I can’t wait to receive my candles Queen B!

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