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January has a reputation for being a recovery month. Coming off several large holidays, one may find they are feeling a bit down, are having a rough time with cabin fever due to colder weather, or perhaps feeling overwhelmed by their goals for the upcoming year. While January was, personally, an odd month, I did not find myself struggling through it.
My slump came during the last half of February and the beginning of March.
I suddenly felt like I was spinning my wheels in a spot of slick mud, not gaining ground yet exerting a lot of energy. My actions were taking me this way and that without a clear direction. Looking back I realized that I was heading in a direction, that it took working on a bit of this and that and trying different things to find the firmer ground. Or so I hope.
My main focus so far this year has been on homemaking, personally following routines and habits to help me run our home better and feel a certain way. While I want to have the kitchen picked up before bed, that does not mean I need to spend all my waking hours at the sink waiting for a dirty dish to appear. Instead, I also can work on something else. Some of the areas I have been tackling are:
- finding a new rhythm for grocery shopping
- trying a few new ways of saving money, and joining online groups to help in learning
- sticking to a laundry routine
- keeping the house picked up, or picking it up once at minimum
- focusing on one main garden activity each month (compost tumbler, rain barrel, new flower bed)
- finding a bedtime routine which works for everyone, and writing it down to post on the wall
- participating in one or two home school playgroups each week
- offering to help others, in general being a friend who actually thinks about others and acts on it
- having music playing throughout the day
- clearing out unneeded items – donate to others, give away, recycle, reuse, or throw away
- compare insurance quotes before renewing
- encouraging kids to take along a book, instead of an electronic, when running quick-ish errands
- make small changes in how I approach and plan our school week/month
- begin to think about school over the summer, implement some of the routines now
- send the kids outside to play, “and don’t come in till supper”
A lot of small things, which add up to a larger, hopefully positive, change in the feel of our home. It is not perfect, far from it. What it is is better. I may spin my wheels more than I like, but I am heading in the right direction.
My mother-in-law was also able to come for a week long visit. Jack enjoyed having her here all day. She would chat online with her sisters in the morning, Jack sitting right beside her doing whatever it is Jack could get away with doing because “Grandma is here and we should not have school”. Let’s just say that picking up his room was not high on his list of priorities.
We also took a few days to get away to a city we had never visited before. While there was nothing wrong with the trip or the location, the timing was not the best. It took us all a few days to identify what we had all been feeling, we just wanted to be home. The last day we cut short possible plans and headed home, all sleeping better that night.
The next few weeks might see my husband traveling some. Or perhaps not. It is all up in the air.
What I have decided to do is set a goal for myself and tell you all what I plan to accomplish. When I did this a few years ago I was amazed at how much I was able to accomplish. Not only then, but in the time following. Momentum begets momentum. I have been lacking momentum as of late and am starting to feel like I will never get unstuck from where I am.
While I am not ready to share it all right now, it will be coming soon. As in the next week or two soon. If I delay too long I wouldn’t be surprised if a few seasons pass before I gain motivation again. 🙂
Something I have been working on a bit each day, which has paid for my compost tumbler and rain barrel, is Swagbucks. This is another area I have been trying out a few new things, as well as joining an online group in hopes of increased learning and earning. So far it has worked well, though I did ease up a bit this past week as my focus needed to be elsewhere during those early morning hours.
Every little bit helps
Want some extra boost for your budget this month?
If you haven’t tried Swagbucks before, you can get a bonus $3 for signing up as my referral in March. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.
When you sign up through me, you can earn an additional $3 bonus! Here’s how:
2. Earn 300 SB total before 4/1/18. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!
3. If you want even more bonuses, you’ll get a $10 (1000 SB rebate) bonus for making your first shop purchase! That’s in addition to the SB you earn for every dollar you spend.
My earnings for this month are a bit shy of 1,200 points called SB. That is equivalent to $12. This time around I am working toward reducing the cost of building a flower bed and purchasing seeds. While my costs may not be covered completely, every little bit helps.
The same goes for compost – “every little bit helps.” This is how I was able to turn shredded documents, coffee ground, kitchen scraps, and other compostable items into something that resembled black gold. No one part was large, often I doubted if I was even making a difference. As I added the not yet fully composted mix on top of cardboard for a new flower bed, I no longer had my doubts – I was thrilled with “free” organic matter to utilize.
What are you working toward currently? Do you have a plan to accomplish it? A timeline?