Why small success? Because that’s the only kind I know! Even the big ones come in small steps. The cupboard, the closet, and Christmas planning. Here’s my paltry offering for the week:
- Mandatory Evening Cleanup – For some reason, I’d gotten into the habit of letting the kids slide when it came to bedtime cleanup. It’s purely my fault, either being too tired or too lazy to enforce compliance. Without a playroom/family room/basement to corral the toys, the result was constant chaos in our living and dining rooms: the rooms in which we spend most of our time. By the time my husband and I sat down to relax once the kids went to bed, no relaxation could be had for the detritus scattered around us. So, I’ve resumed the nightly cleanup routine, which keeps the mess at manageable levels. I’ve already had to issue punishments for noncompliance, but I’m hanging tough.
- The plastic container cupboard – So, this one didn’t end in success, but I made a valiant effort meriting its inclusion here. The cupboard in which I keep hordes of plastic containers overfloweth. You have a drawer or a cupboard like this, don’t you? A repository for Chinese takeout containers, Tupperware, Rubbermaid and whatever else you use to store leftovers and pack lunches. It had reached the point that I couldn’t stuff everything back in after doing dishes, meaning I had to clean it out. Who knew that those cheap plastic containers (I think lids outnumbered containers 6:1) were the only things holding up the shelf above? As I removed the items, the entire shelf collapsed, dropping casserole dishes and bread baskets onto the containers. In the distance, another death knell for our wretched kitchen intoned. Bong . . . bong . . . bong.
- The front closet – I’ve increasingly been finding people’s jackets tossed on the furniture, hanging from doorknobs, and lying aimlessly near the coat closet. Our home was built in 1920, so the closets are comparably small and storing outerwear for six people who live in a four-season climate is a challenge. I sorted through the closet and removed outgrown items and those ready for the trash heap. It’s still cramped, but now there are no excuses for coats not being hung in the closet.
- Adjusted expectations – This is an ongoing project, but I disciplined myself to accept that I was not going to come anywhere near completing my National Novel Writing Month project this year. I resigned myself to adjusting priorities and doing what I could while trying to keep my family’s needs front and center. I constantly feel as if things are out of balance, and I probably get things more wrong than right, but at least in this case, I feel as if I made the right decision and have been rewarded with some post-NaNoWriMo creativity. Erin McCole Cupp wrote a great post that touches on this constant give and take between creativity and responsibility.
- Christmas planning – I’m by no means anywhere near
donestarted with Christmas preparations, but I at least took the time to jot some notes. For several years, we’ve gone with the this simple formula for the children: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. (You can find fancy pins for that on Pinterest.) I gave some thought to how to fill those slots, noted the charities I’d like to donate to, talked about Christmas card options with my husband, and selected cookie recipes with my oldest daughter. It’s a start. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten caught up with Advent. I’ve restocked the Hershey kisses that were pilfered from the Advent calendar (twice). I nagged my husband to mount the wooden calendar on the wall to help forestall a third theft of chocolate. (We’re just out of luck on the missing nativity pieces.) I resurrected our little Jesse tree, fixed its plastic base (with duct tape), and re-hung its lights. I snagged a new Advent wreath from Amazon Prime when I discovered ours was missing or had been disposed of and forgotten. It’s also a space saver on our dining room table, so, BONUS.
That’s all I’ve got. Celebrate more small successes over at CatholicMom.com.
Have you had any small successes this week?
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