Welcome to Adulting Camp: Which Side Are You On?

“Like a Boss” vs. “Adulting is Hard”: Life in the Modern World

If you believe social media, which you’ll say you don’t but you and I both know that you spend at least three hours a day on there so who are you kidding, how could you not internalize it all?, you likely fall into one of two camps.

The first is Camp Type “A,” where campers frequently shout “Like a boss!!” while fist pumping; live life by bullet journals or tidily organized To Do lists; and probably stay up all night drinking caffeinated gin while sewing their kid’s school play costume with one hand, freelancing with the other and, if they’re really good, having an orgasm at the same time.

The second is Camp Adulting is Hard, and their motto is “Nope.” They’re uncomfortably honest about their failing relationship, the fact that they have literally never gotten their kid to school on time, how early in the day they open the wine bottle, and how disgusting their bathroom is. Continue reading

Day 11 of 28 Days to Simplify My Life a la Pinterest: Set a Timer

Before I even start, let me just say that I love this one! It’s not like it’s a new idea, but it’s definitely one I should be using daily. It’s easy to get distracted or perform tasks less efficiently than you could, or just work on things (say, cleaning the bedroom. Or weeding the garden.) for a longer period of time than you need to.

This tip comes from the blog Living Well Spending Less, in a great post entitled 10 Tips for Getting More Done Every Single Day. Ruth lays out some great tips here, especially (in my opinion) for stay-at-home or work-at-home moms. So check it out!

By User:S Sepp (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Staying true to my strategy thus far, I chose one tip from the post, and it was “Set the timer.” Ruth says:

“Setting the timer can be one of the best ways to motivate yourself.  For instance, if you give yourself only 30 minutes to tidy your house, you will most likely get more cleaned in less time than if you weren’t racing against the clock.

Limiting your time on seemingly endless tasks like email and Facebook helps a lot too.  If you only have 15 minutes to sit at the computer, then you have no choice to prioritize.  Likewise, setting the timer helps accomplish tasks you might normally procrastinate, such paying the bills.  Telling yourself you only have to do it for 45 minutes is powerful motivation to get it done.”

So basically I love this strategy and I hereby endeavour to use this simple tip to help me with everything – like she says, even time-wasters like Facebook. Today I used it for work. I have estimated times for each task in my To Do list, and I used those times to set limits for myself today as I worked from home. I checked clients’ social media accounts more quickly, I gave myself half an hour to write something personal, I was super-efficient checking my email and as for the tasks where my time estimate was way off? I either gave myself a more realistic limit based on how long it had taken so far, or moved on to something else and changed the estimate in my To Do list for when I have to do that task again in the future.

And of course I LOVE this for cleaning and chores! I can clean anything for 5-10 minutes!

Tomorrow I’ll prep my smoothies for the next week. I’m a bit skeptical and there are dry goods, liquid, frozen fruit and fresh veggies that need to go in there so it’s four different things to prep, but we’ll see!

Check out the Pinterest board for this series.

Image credit: S Sepp (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Day 6 of 28 Days to Simplify My Life a la Pinterest: Do One Complete Load of Laundry a Day

Here is what The Stressed Mom has to say in her post, 10 Habits For a Well-Run Home:

Do one complete load of laundry a day. From start to finish. Build a habit of grabbing everyone’s clothes after bathtime and tossing in wash. and then toss in dryer before bed. Or in the morning when you get up. Take 5-10 minutes to fold and put away that load (or have your kids do it!) One load a day may or may not be enough for your family, but doing at least one load every day will help you stay on top of the pile.”

I actually kind of started doing this most days before the week even started. I tried to wait until today, but it appealed to me so much (it makes me feel like a real weirdo to say that) that I just did it most days for the last few days. I didn’t grab everyone’s clothes after bath time, I just grabbed the laundry from upstairs whenever I thought of it, and I usually washed a load based on a piece of clothing that one of us needed or something that should be washed right away, but then collected everything else I could find to maximize that load.

The clothes that belong to the adults are being folded and put away the same day (only a few items a day, so it doesn’t take long), and each child’s clothes get deposited in their room for them to fold and put away (or shove under the bed, whatever). Things like towels or blankets that go in the linen area near the laundry room get folded while the kids bathe, since the big tub is right in the next room.

I’d say based on the past week or so, I like this system. The laundry never feels overwhelming and there is far less searching for the things we like to wear most often. I call this one a win! Thanks, Stressed Mom! (And I hope you’re a little less stressed now, too.)

The pin is here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/174092341821037097/

And the full board, of course.

Wednesday: Don’t Say No, Go With the Flow

This post is the fifth in a series of eight concerning Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents. For the original post and summary, click here.

Wednesday is the day of Least Effort. The message for today is, “Don’t say no—go with the flow.”

Neko and I going with the flow… sort of.

This was another day that, for this week, we didn’t do much for. That said, I don’t expect we’ll always have a big activity or lesson, but I hope more that we will keep each thought in mind as we go through the corresponding days. Some weeks, we will incorporate lessons or activities. I explained this idea to Neko in the morning before I went to work, and asked her to please try to go with the flow and think of creative solutions as she went about her day. I’m not sure whether she did as she spent the day with her dad, and then Nicole’s family!

On our drive home at the end of the day, Neko mentioned that she had spotted an eagle gliding over our neighbourhood that morning. Perfect! Eagles were one creature I immediately thought of when brainstorming themes for Wednesdays, because they go with the flow – instead of working hard to stay aloft, they glide and ride the air currents to get to where they need to go. I explained this to Neko and told her that when you see a large raptor in the sky, you can tell it’s an eagle if it is riding the wind instead of flapping its wings much. When we got home, we watched some videos on YouTube of eagles riding the wind. Neko asked a really good question: “But what if they want to go somewhere that the wind isn’t going?” I wasn’t entirely sure of the answer, and I told her as much, but also told her that I thought an eagle might try to find a higher or lower current going in the direction it wants to go.

While supper was cooking, we read The Gruffalo, because I think that the mouse in the story goes with the flow and thinks up really neat ways to solve problems and keep himself alive. Plus, we love The Gruffalo. We talked about these things and about how, if the mouse had freaked out or reacted in a different way, instead of keeping calm and thinking creatively, he might have been lunch for any of the threatening creatures along the way.

On future Wednesdays, I would like to…

a) find the game in work or a chore – we need to get Neko doing more chores around the house anyway, and I’d love to have regular chore time during the day (often things just feel too crazy and it slips by us – plus I tend to put cleaning and such things pretty low on the priority list). I’m all for finding the fun in chores! That’s a lifelong skill that won’t let you down.

b) float a boat down a stream – a toy boat, a paper boat, a boat we’ve made as a craft. This is always a fun activity anyway! We have lots of streams and rivers around us, so this is an easy one for us to access. And is there anything more fun in the spring when the snow melts? We can take the opportunity to talk about how the boat follows the current, what happens when it gets stuck, and whether different types of boats are better at “going with the flow.”

c) take responsibility for our actions – as you go about your day, try not to blame others for things that happen. Take responsibility for the things you say and do, and how those things affect others. Placing the blame on others wastes time and detracts from the opportunity to find a solution.

d) create something that feels fun to create, or do something active that doesn’t feel like work to you – when you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like work!

e) in the pool or lake, let the current move us around as we float, and see where it takes us – similar to the boat idea, only in this case, we’re the boat! You could be on an inflatable toy, or just floating on your back. Play safely, of course! Lifejackets are great.

f) have a wandering day – leave the house and just go where feels right. You could be walking or driving. See where you end up! I love the instructions in the following image (from tumblr) so I’ll leave it at that.

g) learn about how eagles float on air currents – we didn’t have a ton of luck on YouTube, but I’m sure with a bit more searching we could have found other websites with much more information. Books or DVDs from the library, or a visit to your local bird sanctuary would also be helpful!

Book ideas: The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson), But No Elephants (Jerry Smath)

Movie ideas: Winnie the Pooh, Shrek