Monday, January 13, 2014

40 Days of SPS ~ Day 1

“’I hate a Roman named Status Quo!’ he said to me. ‘Stuff your eyes with wonder,’ he said, ‘live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.’”

~Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Whew. It’s 9:25 pm, and I’ve made it through one day. Doesn’t seem like much, but one has to start somewhere. (And this is a very long, boring post about the details of my day.)

It feels like two days, really, considering how hard I worked yesterday to be ready to hit the floor running this morning. The boys and I worked non-stop after church until 10 pm last night cleaning, organizing, and getting everything ready for our Monday, which is our most hectic day of the week. (What a day to start a new routine, eh?)

I tried to get the boys to bed earlier, in fact I did get them in bed earlier, but two boys were still awake at 10 pm. You can lead a horse to water…

House clean(ish), check. Dishes and laundry caught up, check. Clothes laid out for everyone, check. Backpacks and notebooks packed, check. Library bag, bag of books for a friend, my bag of books, Lola’s bag, and my purse packed, check. Snack bags, water bottles, lunches ready to go, check. New morning routine notebooks with checklists ready on table for each boy, check. Storyline Productivity Schedule notebook ready to go for me, check. Alarm set, sigh.

I fell into bed a little after 10 pm (my goal), read from my book list for about a half hour, and told myself I was allowed one tap of the snooze button. Only one.

And I did it. Hit the snooze once and was out of bed by 6 am. (Some of you are laughing, but I’m being honest and vulnerable here.) Immediately made the bed so I couldn’t get back in it. Then went straight for the shower. (I don’t know why, but having my clothes out the night before is going to make a big difference.) I ate a leftover scone and brewed some tea while reading my Bible and commentary. I folded laundry and prayed over my day.

At 7 am I filled out my first daily page of the SPS. It is a completely different thing to think “oh, what a great idea” than actually doing it. I had to think of what I’d do if I could live today over again…before I had even lived it. I did well on four out of five, but the one I failed on was the most important: be cheerful with my children. More about that in a minute.

The second part I had to fill out was “things I get to enjoy today.” I really had to stretch to come up with something, which says more about me than anything else. The most enjoyable thing about my Monday was drinking a Dr. Pepper. That is so wrong. But I also had no down-time today, and I’m not sure I know where to fit that in on any day.

I haven’t yet gone through the process to figure out my life theme, and I’m not sure how to go about that. Is there a specific process? I don’t know. But I had to write down something, so I wrote “Learn more about God and his creation, create, nurture family, encourage others.” Which I suppose could be shortened to “Learn, create, nurture, and encourage.” I don’t know what a life theme is supposed to look like, but that is consistent with who I am as a person and what I want out of life. We’ll see if it changes over the next 40 days.

At this point, 7:20, I needed to wake the boys. We had talked about what I wanted from them independently first thing in the morning, and they had their checklists. I headed back into my office and closed the door.

The main project I wanted to complete this morning was the timeline from day 1 of life coaching at Storyline. This is the point when I realized that I have no idea how to make uninterrupted productive/creative time without sacrificing more sleep (which makes me irritable and spacy). I couldn’t even get 5 minutes of uninterrupted time at that point. It is clearly going to take substantial hands-on training before my boys are capable of being awake without needing me to referee or discipline. I told my boys that they were going to have to learn to be problem solvers and team players.

I did manage to jot a few things on my timeline, but it was not an easy exercise. I realized that I have very few pivotal moments (good or bad) in my life. My life is full of little things. I have many blessings, but I also fail in the little things over and over and over again.

Lola was up at 7:50, and I headed to the kitchen soon after to make breakfast, realized we were down to the wire for getting out of the house on time. Got frustrated with the kids who didn’t and wouldn’t do as they were told…realized that every time I have any sort of agenda or plan, I get angry. I feel as if I have no control (remember, control is a big issue for me) because everyone is pushing back. It feels as if I’m dragging around six times my body weight.

We did get out of the door and headed to CC. I worked in the nursery for the morning, the most relaxing part of my day. Lunch in the gym. Russ took Lola to my mom’s house, Leif stayed in the gym to play, and Levi and Luke and I went to Essentials class from 1-3:15 (during which I was frustrated with them, every single minute of the class).

I almost forgot to pick up Leif from the gym after class, but remembered him after we were buckled in the truck ready to go. I picked up a pizza and headed to my mom’s to pick up Lola. She was asleep, but I chatted with Mom for a little while since she had just arrived home from California. Then I woke Lola up and headed home with the boys. 5 pm. An hour until we needed to leave again—just enough time to unload all of our stuff from CC, put it away, bake the pizza, eat, clean up, and head out.

At 6 pm I left Lola with Russ and drove the boys to archery. It’s a brand new sport for them (and for Russ and me), and this is the first time I had taken them. I had no clue what I was doing or what they were supposed to be doing. All new. I’m not so great with new. Especially when I am trying to assist/monitor three boys. My boys. And there are a bunch of people I don’t know. Regardless, it went fairly smoothly until the end of class when everyone was confined to a tiny little space and I couldn’t move and I thought I was going to break out in hives. An hour and a half was enough. We left before the last round.

Home at 8:30, we started the bedtime routine. It was after 9 pm before everyone was in bed, but Lola was still awake close to 10 pm (drat that short nap this afternoon!). I quickly finished up a few chores and got a few things ready for tomorrow before starting this post. But now it’s almost 10:30 and too late to read. Sigh. And I didn’t get a chance to answer the reflection questions for today. They’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.


Also, per the instructions for the first day of life coaching, I wanted to take the DISC test. I found this free online DISC test and took it this past weekend (knowing I wouldn’t have time today). I am well-versed in the Myers-Briggs personality types and felt that the DISC test wasn’t as helpful, but it may be that I’m just not as familiar with it. I do think that understanding how you are wired (and how that is different from or similar to those in your daily interactions or relationships) is extraordinarily helpful.

You can find a free online Myers-Briggs test here. My favorite explanations of the sixteen MB types are found at The Personality Page. At the bottom of each type description are additional links covering relationships, careers, and personal growth. I am an ISFJ, The Nurturer. This is what The Personality Page has to say about ISFJ careers:

“ISFJs have two basic traits which help define their best career direction: 1) they are extremely interested and in-tune with how other people are feeling, and 2) they enjoy creating structure and order, and are extremely good at it. Ideally, the ISFJ will choose a career in which they can use their exceptional people-observation skills to determine what people want or need, and then use their excellent organizational abilities to create a structured plan or environment for achieving what people want. Their excellent sense of space and function combined with their awareness of aesthetic quality also gives them quite special abilities in the more practical artistic endeavors, such as interior decorating and clothes design.”

It also says this:

“When down on themselves or under great stress, the ISFJ begins to imagine all of the things that might go critically wrong in their life. They have strong feelings of inadequacy, and become convinced that "everything is all wrong", or "I can't do anything right."

Yeah, that.

I plan to use my ISFJ profile to answer the reflection questions tomorrow.


And a few more encouraging or interesting thoughts on “Living a Good Story”:

::  The Heroic Journey 3: The Hero’s Goals @ Write At Home

“But never let the Hero use the misfortune as something to whine about, or use as an excuse. Readers emotionally identify with characters they feel sorry for, not characters they pity or who pity themselves, or those who have brought their misery upon themselves.”

(Ha! I’ll try to get over my pity party tomorrow. It’s my own fault for bringing misery upon myself.)

::  Organizing Your New Year: The Lie of Perfection vs. Failure @ Erin Organizes

“Real change, though beautiful, is messy. It happens over time through commitment,  perseverance, and, frankly, the grace of God.

“This message may not sell as well as the bright, light, happy change portrayed in retail advertisement, but it gives us permission to rest in between that picture-perfect catalogue life and the miserable failure we may fear our life is instead. In short, it gives us permission to be human.”


Anonymous said...

I'm totally tracking with you. Reading each post and nodding my head and feeling impressed by your courage and vulnerability. Be kind to yourself. That's one phrase that keeps coming back to me.


Kellie said...

I've never done any of the personality testing before, but have been interested in it for several months. So I checked out your links, and it said I'm an ISTJ. Reading the description on the other link you posted, I was having a hard time buying that it was me, or at least until the last part when it describes what happens to the ISTJ when they fall into catastrophe mode. ; ) Did you ever repeat the test to see if you came out as the same personality type?

Thank you for this series and being so open -- great things to ponder!

Heidi said...

Kellie~ I've taken a bunch of MB tests over years. I'm almost always an ISFJ, though once or twice I've scored as an ISTJ. I can most definitely guarantee that I'm an "F". :) But I also think that some of the description is an ideal me and not always the reality. Particularly when I let stress or emotion get to me. Read some of the other descriptions to see if any of them come closer. The online tests aren't very comprehensive, and they could easily go wrong a letter or two, particularly if that trait isn't as pronounced.