June 28, 2013

Keep It Simple...Routine

Routine.
Used to be, this was a dirty word to me.  I don't think of myself as a rebel, but there's just enough in me that I don't care to be told what to do. I will make a schedule, but not follow it even if the list is my own creation.
But children seem to like routine.  And I'm finding that since my early retirement (ha!) that I'm feeling somewhat lost without knowing that there is something unique to do each day.
As a joke, I'm pretty sure, when I was pregnant with my baby (see, isn't he cute!)
Chase in the tubby!

a friend sent me a copy of Large Family Logistics.  I have made fun of this book for years and even had my own plan called Small Family Slackers, just so us with the little families wouldn't feel left out.
I initially had my daughter read thru LFL, and report if it needed my attention.  She hit the highlights, but recently I found myself sitting down with it to see what I might learn.
Now please don't think that I've abandoned my cargo shorts, tank tops and general slacker attitude, but there is generally something of value to be found in most books.  I think it is ignorant to not be able to learn from most things, and wondered what I might learn from this book and its philosophy?

I'm not going to write a book report as I really don't have time for that, and this is supposed to be 'keep it simple', but I will say that the book underscored that I was letting things go too much.  I don't have a huge family of small people and can get by with less organization overall, but I do think that giving each day a purpose and having goals is a good thing.  And that it's alright if I do laundry on the same day each week as well. I don't think I'll lose my status as a slacker if I wash on Tuesdays and Saturdays (though sometimes I change it to Wednesday and Saturday just because).
Large Family Logistics gives each day a theme.  I can do themes.  Themes make it sound a bit more like entertainment?  Well, not really, but it makes it sound less rigid in my mind.
I know what activities I want to get done each week.  We need to eat as well, and I'm finding that if I know I'm supposed to sit down on Wednesday afternoon and make out a menu and a grocery list then it makes life run more smoothly, and that lovely feeling of walking into the kitchen at meal time and not knowing what were going to eat or what I have on hand won't happen quite as often.
I also find that having a list of "Stuff that needs to get done today" posted in the main part of the house helps me, because I'm not the only one here who can read and complete this list.  There are some perks to having big kids and teens along with a baby, you know.
I also take some days completely off, mainly, because I can, and I usually plan to do big projects on those days.... though right now Chase is my main big project along with getting school schedules set for the coming weeks.

For me, not having a plan of action puts me into a mindset where it seems I get absolutely nothing done.  I need a plan, and that is my take home point from the book.
I don't believe I need a binder, or master plan,or zones.  That just leads to more stuff in a life that I'd really like to further declutter.
I like to keep a calendar posted on the wall that I can scribble on and the kids can write things that need to be put on the grocery list.  I never fill in the whole thing, but just a couple of weeks so that I have room for notes at the bottom.
I keep a piece of paper folded in half that I write down a list of stuff to do each day.  That way I can get 4 days worth of things I need to do or remember on 1 sheet, or 3 days and a grocery list or menu.
I usually start each day making this list, and I cross things off as I do them (I like the crossing off part).
This works for me.  It's about consciously making the decision to have a plan, get done what needs doing, and then enjoying life.
Or maybe it's just the small family slacker plan after all?
Calendar with stuff that needs doing, start of grocery list, and our family Catan winnings (I'm the one  who is clearing the champion for the year)




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