The Waiting Place

Joining in on Week 17 of Simplify Your Life at Home Life Simplified.

You’d think it would be easy to pick which takeaway to have for dinner. Which outside lights to install. What to buy mum for her birthday.

I manage to make each of these decisions into agonising choices. Overthinking each option until it feels like an insurmountable obstacle that I need to overcome before I can move on with my life. I manage to convince myself that if I don’t come up with the perfect solution it’s going to lead to devastating results for all parties involved.

And then I get over it and go with my first instinct.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who has trouble making decisions. There’s a part in one of the Dr Seuss books I read to my kids about the ‘waiting place’

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a
Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for
Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

There’s me sitting around in the Waiting Place, waiting for a whole free day to sort out the craft cupboard, or a new house with perfect storage, or new carpet or a sunny day or…

My best most productive days happen when I realise that even five minutes can be an opportunity to make a quick decision. Five minutes is enough time to sort a pile of papers. It’s enough time to go through a drawer and chuck away five things. It’s enough time to RSVP to an invitation or order a present online.

Unfortunately five minutes is also a good amount of time to check Facebook, Twitter and my email, or play my turn on Scramble with Friends or make a coffee… Which isn’t always bad – a girl needs a break – but a girl doesn’t need a break every half an hour.

Time to get nasty on these little piles of clutter in my house. Time to turn all these five minutes into little pockets of clutter busting time. Time to move out of the Waiting Place and into the focus zone.

What can you do in five minutes? Will you do it with me?

P.S. This is my last official post at this blog. From tomorrow I’ll be blogging at my new home:

Please join me, update your readers, like the Facebook page or follow me on Twitter.  I so appreciate everyone who reads, who comments and connects with me here.  And I would love you to come with me.  I’m sure we’ll have some fun.

Life lately

It was a slow photo week this week; mostly due to a nasty cold that has done the rounds of the family.  We are slowly recovering but naps have been required (and only some of us got them).

My big boy sitting at his table for breakfast (one step closer to getting rid of the high chair – hooray!)  |  It was a rainy, rainy week in Melbourne this week but we caught a little hint of a rainbow at sunset one night  |  Loving cuddles with my smallest  |  We got adopted by some strays (two days later and one keeps coming back – can we keep him?)  |  I escaped yesterday for some crafty time with friends  |  This is pretty much what we all felt like doing this week.

Time to move on

There comes a time in every blog’s life where it outgrows its little corner of the world. It has to find a new space; a bigger slice of the world wide web where it can spread its wings and have room to grow.

This little blog is about to move. Firstly for the reasons above – to give it room for more flexibility and personality. But I also wanted to change the domain name. Well, that’s not entirely true. I didn’t want to change it again, because I don’t want to lose anyone along the way. But with kids coming up to the age where their friends are going to learn how to Google, I wanted to take my surname out of the address.

I don’t ever want to blog anything that would embarrass or humiliate my boys, but kids can be cruel. I don’t want to make it easy for my kids to be ‘found’ on the net. I don’t really mind about myself, but I know what it’s like to be bullied, and anything I can do to protect my boys from that, I’ll do.

So, as of May 1, this humble blog will have a new address. A new home. An updated design. A few new bells and whistles. But the same stuff; the same commentary on a life lived with honesty. The same tips from a mum learning as she goes. Some recipes, some photography, some stories.

I hope you’ll all update your feed readers, resubscribe by email and follow me over to my new home. I so value the comments you leave, and even if you don’t comment, I love that you pop by to read.  Come by on Tuesday for the details!

P.S. If you like the blog’s Facebook page, you might score an early peek of the new site.

How to dump your brain

I quite often feel completely overwhelmed with the things I need to do, even when my to-do list is fairly reasonable. Often it’s at the end of an unproductive day when I’ve faffed around achieving nothing but feeling stressed out. It’s at these times I do a brain dump, or mind map, to help me get everything out of my frazzled head and onto paper. It helps a lot.

There are probably tonnes of different ways to attack a brain dump. The simplest is just to write a long list of everything that you think of that needs to be done. I tend to do a mind map, just because it looks prettier, and it allows your mind to think a little more logically.

I start out by listing either big projects that need doing, or categories e.g. housework, business stuff, blogging. Each of these is circled.  Then I sit and quickly scribble everything that comes to my mind on the paper – attaching it to a category or starting a new category if I need to. Sometimes new ideas branch off old ones. The main thing is to keep scribbling, and get all the stuff in my brain out on the paper. I save expanding things into more detail for later, together with ordering everything into lists.

This is tonight’s effort. I’m obviously not feeling overwhelmed tonight – it was a stretch coming up with things, and this is fairly neat, not my usual scrawl to keep up with my brain.

mind map brain dumpI’ll often do this right before bedtime, and then keep it beside the bed, just in case things start swirling around my head as I’m going to sleep. It’s easy, then, to quickly add them to the mind map and stop worrying that I’ll forget them.

In the morning, I can start to prioritise the tasks; making to-do lists and working out what my three MITs will be for the day.

Do you dump? How do you get all the *things* out of your head? Or do you work better if they just stay in there?