Sunday, April 25, 2010

There are more hours in my day

Well, I haven't missed a day yet. Only 5 days to go until I meet my goal of earning $240 for Operation Smile. It is 3:45 in the afternoon but I have a new goal for my self discipline. It has been HARD to stay away from the computer when I've been bored in the afternoon, but I have done it and have found more productive ways to pass the time.

So I'm going to update my goal to:
  1. no surfing the internet between 2 and 8 p.m., but I can take 10 minutes to check email/Facebook if I haven't been on much that day. Everything in moderation, right?
  2. keep getting up by 7:45 a.m. I even did it on Saturday! I know you're rolling your eyes, butt remember: BABY steps!
  3. NEW GOAL for this week: say morning prayers every day. I'll be a monk in NO time!
Awesome. I'm so excited I'm lizzing (30Rock)!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The seeds have been planted

The seeds of my self-discipline have been planted! I have successfully completed one week of no web surfing, no Facebook visiting, and no email writing between the hours of 2 and 8 p.m. And as an added bonus, the time that I DID spend doing those things was greatly reduced (As my neighbour will attest to: she was quite concerned when I didn't answer her email immediately. Haha.). What I did accomplish was planning my monthly meals for the first time in too long, did so much laundry that my dryer conked out, put away all the winter wear and got out the flip flops, made granola for the first time in too long, gave my husband a break from putting the kids to bed, among other things.

$80.01 earned for Operation Smile.

So I am adding a new challenge for myself this week: to get up at 7:45 a.m. every weekday. This is where I'm grateful that this blog has brilliantly light traffic so that few people will know my secret: my husband gets the kids ready for school. Once he's done, has kissed me good bye and is out the door, I get up. Don't tell anyone. He's pretty happy to do it primarily because then he doesn't have to deal with me in the morning and he likes to protect the children. . . from me in the morning. I'm not a morning person. Butt if I get up at 7:45 I could have breakfast with them and then get myself ready and they still wouldn't really have to deal with me, but I'd get an earlier start to my day.

[ Here's my enabler, taken with my new Canon 70-200mm f/4L USM Lens. Yippee!! ]

[ I have a zoom lens, prairie boy. Beware. ]

Wish me (and everything in my path at 7:45 Monday morning) luck!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Planting seeds of hope

Gardening is what I planned for April. I've already weeded and cleaned up the beds around the 'courtyard'. Half are south facing and the tulips and daffodils are 2 decimeters tall, in some cases. Yes, decimeter. haha. There is rain (or snow) in the forecast for today, but if the forecast is wrong...maybe I should phrase it as: IF the forecast is RIGHT, I won't have to water. Our May day tree is starting to bud which brings me hope.

In keeping with this year's tradition of  loosely interpreting my professional goals, I'm going to work on CULTIVATING myself, as well as my garden. I've done a couple Septembers of being a professional monk in an attempt to develop to self-discipline. It didn't work. HELLO! I lack the self-discipline to develop self-discipline!

Yesterday, while sick, I watched a program promoting Operation Smile. For $240 a volunteer medical team, using donated materials, can repair a cleft lip and palate in 45 minutes. In poor countries, these children have no hope of affording the operation and their disfigured faces prevent them from going to school because they get mistreated and often can't communicate clearly. The parents' sacrifice to bring their children to the clinic and then their gratitude was so touching. The idea that I could pay myself for developing self-discipline and donate the money to Operation Smile popped into my noggin. So my goal is to pay for 4 children's smiles this year. Now to figure out where to start so that I can achieve this lofty self-discipline goal with my self-discipline-less brain. Baby steps! (click to link to "What About Bob" clip - love it!). My original thought was to pay myself for doing housework but that is really too lofty (sorry, DH) so I am going to start by denying myself screen time from 2 to 8 pm. Every. Day. For the month of April. There are 3 weeks left in April so I'll pay myself $11.43 a day. I can't miss a day or else I won't earn enough to buy a smile this month. Hmmmm, I feel good about this. The thing I like about this first baby step is that it just creates a void in my day that I can fill with the good things that I should be doing instead of killing time in front of one screen or another. And once I start doing good things, I'll feel more hopeful that I can make a habit out of doing good things.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My most popular tradition: procrastination!

I have not done a traditions book. More about that later.

I mentioned the "celebration plate" when I was writing about cheerleading. Now that I'm writing about traditions, I thought I'd include a pic. Our last initial is a G so I wrote G words around the edge: great, good, gregarious, etc. I don't know why it is so . . . fancy. I went into the ceramics studio with a plan to use bold colors, maybe put a funky star in the middle but somehow got sucked in by the muted oatmeal glaze and before I knew it the stars were growing off of elegant leaves. NEXT time, a fun plate. Anyway, this is the plate that comes out for every birthday, when someone gets straight A's on their report cards (kinda awkward when they all do - have I mentioned that my DH has a huge brain?), when swimming levels get passed or someone is just crazy considerate to their sibling.

So I downloaded Picaboo with the plan to make this traditions book, but the Picaboo shows me all of my pictures with this hideous blue cast like they are from the 70's and I'm having a hard time believing that they are going to print normally (scapegoat alert) so I've decided just to include tradition pages in with my children's regular scrapbook. I already have some traditions scrapbooked, and my last brilliant thought was to include a few recipes. Like of this perfect sugar cookie recipe that I use for Valentine's Day and snowflake cookies. We melt Jolly Ranchers or Werthers butter scotches in the middle.

And I recognized that the Mentos/pop rocket launch has become a family vacation tradition whenever we are at a snowy destination.

[2009 and then 2010 - but the sense of danger that is written on DH's face makes me giggle. See the rocket that was launched in the top of the screen?]

It was fun focusing on traditions last month. We had a family discussion on the topic and K decided that eating tuna fish for Sunday lunches would be a good tradition, so he made sure that happened every Sunday in March. G suggested that we go out to a restaurant on the Saturday evenings before Fast Sunday to help us remember, which I thought was a great idea. And there were 3 great tradition comments left on my last post which were great. Please add your favorite tradition, too.