Monday, February 2, 2009

February Already??

How can that be?? Wasn't it just New Year's Eve? I am sitting here tonight feeling a little frustrated, a little sad. One twelfth of the year has passed. One month out of only twelve is already gone. Where did it go? What did I do with it? How did I spend my time? Tonight I sit here feeling like I must have been sleepwalking for most of January. I know I wasn't. I know that. But still.

I want to be more intentional. I want to be more focused on family life. To string our days together like a jeweler strings a pearl necklace - with care and attention. Not with to do lists and chores with a little fun thrown in on the side.

How to do that? How to spend my time, instead of watching it disappear. I would never squander my money, but I often find myself squandering my time. Often.

Of course, I want to avow a new existence. Swear an oath that will bind me to the life I want for myself and my family. Ha. I know myself better than that by now. I know what works for me. Small steps. Small steps and lists.

So. I offer these small steps. A promise, a list, and a challenge. For me. For my family. If you like, for you.
A Promise
Though the days do fly by, and life is busy, I will spend my time. I will spend it wisely; by savoring. I will spend my time at least once a week for the next eleven months. I will make a plan at the start of each month, and post it here. A plan for spending time. Spending time savoring, instead of doing. Being, instead of bustling. Laughing, instead of cleaning. Savoring.


A List

Week 1. (2/1) Library and Checkers
When we do our regular Wednesday night family special (gymnastics class, library, and take out Chinese for dinner), I won't rush Sloane. I won't be distracted. I won't do my own thing. I will wander the shelves with her. I will look at every single horse book and help her decide which is best. Then, instead of hurrying to get home, I will play a game of checkers with her using that wonderful over-sized set the library has.

Week 2. (2/8) Brownies and Valentines

Sloane and I will bake a batch of brownies. While they are in the oven, we'll make valentines. By hand. Then, we'll read funny love stories and pig out on brownies and milk.

Week 3. (2/15) Jeffrey, my love
I will spend at least 30 minutes every night this week paying attention only to my love. Not chatting while we cook and clean. Not talking about Sloane and work. More than that. Time just making him feel loved and appreciated. A back rub, a little necking, time poking around his library talking to him about his plans, time listening to opera - because he loves it. Just time.


Week 4. (2/22) Ibu and Bapak
As a family, we'll bring dinner and spend a long evening with my parents. Not rushing back home for bedtime. Not squeezing in two errands since we're in town anyway. Just an evening or a weekend afternoon doing whatever my parents would like to do.


A Challenge
Care to join me?


Both images are by Rosie Hardy.

22 comments:

It's Just Me said...

This really hits home. I just said tonight (to a checkout lady of all people!) I am not the mom I always pictured. But, I didn't/couldn't know all that comes with being a mom. The stress, emotional vacuum, the hurry and rush and wait and hurry again. The money, the lack of energy the constant pecking away at your patience. It is a challenge. At times it feels impossible. I love your idea. If you write it, make it intentional it may happen. Good Luck!

Ragamuffin Gal said...

What wonderful memories you make for everyone around you dear! Many Blessings and Lots of Love, Katie

Christina said...

These are truly thoughtful and such beautiful words. You are an inspiration to me.

smith kaich jones said...

Oh, I'm not sure I'm that disciplined, but it's a truly wonderful idea/plan, and I will give it thought. I love your promise & the thoughfulness behind your list. You are a good mom, a good wife, a good woman.

:) Debi

caren said...

That's a tough act to follow! My New Year's resolution was to just "BE". I am trying very hard but don't always succeed. I think I spend alot of time procrastinating and entirely too much time on my computer. At least I have met new friends like you!

bermudabluez said...

What a wonderful thing you are doing, not just for you, but for your whole family! You are such an inspiration to me!!

Jeanne said...

Lovely list from a lovely lady.......
If I could save time in a bottle......
Love you

paris parfait said...

Great ideas, Relyn (and those images are marvelous!). Like you, I wonder what happened to January? It seemed to vanish in a blur and I didn't accomplish what I'd hoped - or even enjoy - much of it. You're absolutely right about savouring the moment - really living, rather than racing from one task to the next. You've inspired me to abandon my keyboard for the moment and take my camera outdoors, even though it's cold - the sun is shining and that doesn't happen very often in winter in Paris.

Gina said...

One month gon, won't come again!
http://www.ginanews05.blogspot.com/

Happy February

ELK said...

what a wonderful list! yours is so different than mine...my parents are gone, only one daughter at home and she is 17...but still the same in that there is a need to be "intentional"..in the moment...thanks for the great post R!

beth said...

you have inspired me !!....oh how you've inspired me !! and so I'm sitting back and making a plan that includes some changing and some focusing for the really important things in life !

dutchbaby said...

You are a marvel, Relyn! My January slipped by without notice. It may not have been the most productive but it was a very enjoyable one for many reasons. I look forward to an enjoyable February, but I intend it to be a little more productive.

Your intentions are beautifully and bravely written, please don't forget to intend to do something for Relyn.

Jaime said...

Oh this post really speaks to me!
When I sit back and think about how quickly the time is passing, I can't tell you I have spent it in a mindful way. I can't remember much of January..how scary is that?

I am like Debi...don't know if I could be as wonderfully disciplined as you, but you have inspired me to be much more conscious of how I spend my precious time.

Love to you
xo

Relyn said...

Jaime, I am not very disciplined. At all. That's why I have to make a plan and make it public. I teach goal setting in my school district. It's the how and why of teaching students to set goals. It's pretty awesome, actually. Did you know that students who set goals are five times as likely to graduate than students who do not? Oh, I could go on and on. In fact, I think I feel another post coming on. Anyway, what I was going to say is that I made it public so that I am more likely to accomplish it. More of an enforced self-discipline than anything else. I am so glad that you feel inspired, though. I feel like I am returning the favor, as your every single post inspires me.

Relyn said...

It's Just Me, Your descriptions of parenting were astoundingly accurate. The phrase, "constantly pecking away at your patience describes me exactly." I am hoping this plan will make it a little better for me family. And me, too.

Jessica said...

I love, LOVE your list. It is so perfect and a wonderful way to celebrate and enjoy this long/short month.

Patti said...

Hi! I love that you put your list out there! It's such an inspiration. I sit and the time just ticks away. I feel like I could be such a better mother, wife, sister, friend,...and I'm really going to try....after Annual Reviews. Have a great day!

Suvarna said...

what a wonderful and inspiring list, not sure if I will post mine but i will make it.
xo
S

tangobaby said...

What a lovely list of to-do's. I normally don't make lists because they stress me out when I don't do what's on them, but this is a fun list. I hope you achieve your goals and then some. I'm sure you'll let us know how it worked out.

Derrick said...

Hello Relyn,

I wish you success with your list. Even if things don't quite go as you would like, we know you have a good heart.

Life is often hectic and unplanned. But, if nothing else, that makes any special moment that does come along even more special. And if we can appreciate that, it's a good thing.

My Castle in Spain said...

oh i loved reading this Relyn...it's true, where is january gone now that we're hitting february...

i especially love reading that you intend to spend more time on your lovely hubby. Just today i realized i was talking to my boyfriend while i'm translating and he, baking in the kitchen...not very romantic but well..

love your to-do list !

Maithri said...

You speak to my heart my friend,

What deep beauty you have shared here...

With these intentions, with this cup of light distilled from your own heart...you have created a rich loam of love... whereupon your future can rest...

I feel it deeply....

That this is what i need to hear right now...

That it is 'The savouring' , the being here now...that i am called to...

How often is that which we call 'living' only a string of moments...barely inhabited...

It is time that we all heed your challenge, your call...

To awaken to the gift that is this day, this hour,

this jewelled moment,

Sending you love,

in half heard whispers,
in symphonies of colour,

in the touch of a leaf
upon your shoulder
in the rain,

Maithri

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