My No-Resolution Resolution

We have been flung full-force into real life once again. I made no resolutions this year because I’m pretty darned perfect! (I kid, people. I kid.) I made no resolutions this year because I’m honest enough with myself to know that unless they involve books, I’m probably not going to keep them, and in all honestly, my bad book habits probably aren’t going to change either. (I’m talking about my piles of unread books from years ago, but can’t walk past a bookstore or book table habit.)

We started the new year sunkissed and refreshed. I had a few very brief day-dreamy moments where I considered the possibility that maybe life would slow down a little in 2020. (Hard no.) And yet, I’m already yearning for a slightly slower pace of life. I contemplate the far off reality of retirement with eager anticipation, but I’m in no rush to get there – just rushing in general.

Today on Facebook I read this beautiful post by The Life on Purpose Movement. It struck a chord. Then I commented “Goals.” right below it, and didn’t see the dichotomy of the image and my statement until later this afternoon to much amusement. Maybe it resonated so deeply because it’s such a deep seated need in so many of our lives.

This week we jumped back into life full swing. We’ve dealt with miscommunication, misspending, and mistakes. We’ve prepared to do lists, we’ve ticked off items, we’ve created (and veered from) meal plans. We’ve tried to balance family time, chauffeuring, volunteer commitments, friendships, household routine, and when we’re tired and frazzled and empty, our relationship and our alone time.

We’re no different than anyone else, but this frenetic, constant pace of life has left me empty. Not a soul-deep, heart shattering emptiness – but after giving (and biting my tongue and just listening) and living, even though our tanks started out so full, I’m running on fumes and it’s literally been a week. I need a moment to feel, to breathe, to find my feet again.

So, no, I haven’t made resolutions on a calendar – no weight goals, no lists, no accomplishments. Instead, I resolve to continue to strive to find a healthy balance. I continue to try to see more than a list of things to be done. I will continue to prioritize faith, family, and friendships. I will learn to speak up for myself (oh the value of “no” and “no, thank you!”) I will keep my ears open to listen to others and practice the pause before responding. (I’m sorry if I fail on this one and you get the sharp edge of my temper or my tongue.)

I will find grace to forgive myself in my mistakes. I will humbly apologize when I’ve messed up. I will grow. I will change. No doubt, I will generally stay the same, but hopefully improve each day by small interactions, little blessings, and finding quiet peace in cherished quiet moments.

So what’s my view for 2020? Here’s to a happier, healthier, still-the-same-at-heart me.

Engineering, Empty Water Bottles, and A Boring Afternoon

I will be the first to admit we have a problem when it comes to using plastic water bottles here. They do get recycled and we legitimately have been advised not to drink our water because of the sodium content and other TDS in our well water. It’s safe, so we use it for cooking, but because some of us are watching sodium intake for health reasons, it’s been recommended that we avoid downing glass after glass.

This means we always have bottles lying around waiting for recycling day. Our oldest (13) – affectionately known s basement troll or basement goat (his voice is cracking!) came up when I got home from the office on Friday and was on the hunt.

One single bottle. Fill it with water. Disappear downstairs. Back 10 minutes later. Repeat. Three or four times.

By now I’m remarkably curious and a little bit concerned because what on earth could he be doing? Elaborate water fountain? Crazy water cannon? Some kind of booby trap? (Is that a politically correct term?) The random thoughts racing through my mind are epic and I’m imagining a flooded mess across his little corner of the basement. (Only 4 water bottles. I didn’t say they were rational thoughts.)

Turns out the boy – the bored and incredibly lazy boy – was building a weighted automatic door closer. Who said you can’t learn something from YouTube? Through some trial and error – some experimenting with various tensile ropes, adjusting the number of bottles, and replacing pushpins with nails – he found a system that works.

I’m at turns both strangely proud and absolutely befuddled. It’s not like it’s hard to close a door behind you… but the other perspective is that an afternoon of creativity and engineering always wins!

His next project involved pliers and a fork. I may have just played ignorant and hoped no one lost an eye…

Snow Day Sanity

We’ve had three snow days – AKA inclement weather days – in the last week and a bit. I’ll admit that with the drama of yesterday, when I heard bus transport was canceled again, the thought of having them underfoot made me quiver.

Fortunately, we’ve had heat and hydro and haven’t been truly snowed in. One day the roads were a bit slick. We weren’t truly stuck at home, but who wants to head out when the weather is icky?!

Since my boys started at this school, in JK and Grade 1, they’ve been bussed. There was a period of time that I would drive in as I helped with the breakfast program and they would bus home. Our policy has always been that if the bus is cancelled, they can stay home.

This has been easier for us than for others due to the flexibility of being self-employed with tasks I could do from home. Childcare has not been an issue. Boredom, however, can be a big one.

So how do we bust the snow day boredom? We become a bit more lenient with the screen time with movies, game systems, and YouTube. Not wanting to zombify the boys, however, we try to balance the electronics with other activities.

Here are some of our tried and true boredom busters:

  • Puzzles – the bigger, the better!
  • Board games
  • Books (they don’t love this one, but I still make them do it.)
  • Play outside or go explore in the woods (weather permitting)
  • Baking
  • Chores (another one they don’t love!)
  • Lego (not as popular anymore)
  • Cooking shows or wildlife shows (yes, it’s screentime but it isn’t superheroes or Spongebob.)
  • crafts or painting

I don’t think parents need to entertain their children every second of the day and boredom is great for spurring creative. I don’t see a problem with offering a list of suggestions though and spending some time interacting and making memories.

What are your go-to snowy day activities? What activities do you enjoy doing together? How do you survive snow day madness?