At least that’s my goal, calm in the midst of chaos. Because let’s face it, 5 kids and a constantly changing ER schedule doesn’t make the calm easy. So I’ve had to work really hard to make a calm and functional day to day schedule. And I tend to keep everything in my head and go from there which works great for me, but not so much for Clint who has to help run and manage the chaos that we call our family.
I’ve taken some steps back this year and looked hard at what we can do to simplify, make things easier, and communicate more. One thing that helped this year was starting a yearly goal setter. It helped me take big picture goals in all areas of my life and break them down to actual real daily/weekly/monthly steps. Then I can re-evaluate my goals each month and readjust and see what is going well and what isn’t. I’ve been using the goal planner by Cultivate What Matters which has been really good and early on made me stop and think about where I want to be when I’m 80 and what do I need to do now to get there and what is getting my time and attention that is not going to help me get there. I’ve learned a lot about saying no to things this year. It has helped me take everything from my financial goals (paying off my med school loan) to making our house a home of peace and joy, to investing in the kids more. And I don’t have to accomplish each goal on the first day, I figure out little steps that will help me get there and work towards those. And the goal is not perfection (which is good because I am far from that) but rather progress. And sometimes it is two steps forward and a step back….but I’m learning to give myself grace with that as well.
Another thing that has made a huge difference is having a weekly meeting with Clint. We sit down with our planners, mine on paper and his on his computer and go through each day of the upcoming week. We go over plans, what we need, what the meal plan is, and things that we need to do that week and make lists. It has helped us get on the same page tremendously.
Each month I have a monthly calendar that I fill out and then a weekly calendar and fill in the things that I need to do that week and then cross them off as they come up. One thing a friend suggested was at the end of a month look to the next month, figure out who has birthdays that you want to send a card to and fill it out and stick it in the week of the planner. So I bought a bunch of birthday cards and stamps and I have been working on that. Granted I totally forgot all of July, so sorry friends with July birthdays, the end of June was just nuts and I never got caught up, so I just started fresh for August (and for my college roommate whose birthday is July 31st because in my monthly calendar she falls under August).
In no way have I got this all figured out and everything runs smoothly or calmly. Most of the time its just chaos. And that’s ok, I feel like I just have a little more direction and plan and at least some order to the chaos. And in the meantime I’m learning to give myself grace when everything falls off the tracks and learning that really it is about progress and not perfection which has helped take a ton of pressure off my shoulders.