Category Archives: At Home World

What Are We Doing With 2015?


Time Ticking Away

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope all is well in your at home world.  Well, here we are. Two weeks into 2015. Really?! Didn’t we just watch the ball drop? You know, it’s almost scary how fast time seems to go as I get older. There’s just no way I’m 47 and that this year marks 30 years since I graduated high school. Impossible! Time. That’s what’s on my mind today. Specifically, what we are doing with the time we have.

Many of you know that aside from taking care of the At Home Woman community, I also am a home educator and a small business entrepreneur.  Needless to say, between my collection of jobs as a homemaker, wife, mother, teacher, entrepreneur, author and ministry leader, my time is not my own. Seriously, not even 30 minutes a day are “just mine”. Honestly, I haven’t taken any “time off” from the business in a handful of years and we home school year round with mostly single day or short mini-breaks from lessons so I needed this reprieve badly. In December, I decided to take a few weeks off. I planned to take some of that down time to get ready for our second half of the school year and cross a few much-needed behind the scenes business missions off my list. Yep, that was the plan! What is it they say about the best laid plains? Here’s how it’s gone down, folks.

December 11, 2014 through December 28, 2014:  We took a little trip to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood (a family favorite getaway spot) to see the lights and enjoy some cold outdoor time. We relaxed and ate holiday food favorites. We watched Christmas and family movies. We played. We enjoyed being a family who actually likes each other and being together. I read….not just articles either. Oh, how I’ve missed that! I vegged out and did as little as possible.  It was wonderful!  Of course, the big mister (my husband) had a few days off for the holidays themselves and weekends but worked all days other than those. So most days were just the little mister, the dog and me doing our thing.  And then we had the quartet of family love and fun in the evenings. Ahhh! Can you say “Mama’s in pure domestic heaven.”?

We took down the tree the day after Christmas. It was a few days later that I actually began putting furniture back in its place or found a new spot for it as I rearranged for a change-up. I do that…changing my surroundings by moving furniture around. I cleaned and cooked as usual since that is a never ending must.

December 29, 2014 through January 4, 2015:  Time to get off my tushie to attack my plan. Gently, of course. Don’t want to over do it, ya’ know? So I fiddled with a new daily schedule for home, school and business. When you have so much that needs your attention, you need organization and some semblance of a plan. A while back, I had created a color coded 7 day schedule with task blocks for each area laying out what to do in each area on specific days of the week and daily or monthly task section plus a daily missions time management sheet for myself and the little mister. But it needed to be adjusted to fit where we are now since my husband changed jobs causing our schedule to change dramatically. I had good bones to work with so this shouldn’t be hard or too mentally taxing.  Right? Yes, that’s what I thought too.

I dabbled with the semester education plan and together, my son and I decided we would take on Music and Sign Language in this second half of the school year. WooHoo! OK, what next? Get our school records updated with our homeschooling umbrella, HomeLife Academy. Attendance to date for the 2014/2015 school year, grades for the fall semester, our education plan for the spring semester. An easy task and totally in line with my internal conversation to ease back into active duty.  So a few days later…….Yes, I procrastinated. Don’t judge!  I sit down to tally up our days of attendance since July.  “1, 2, 3……98 days! Over half of our required days for the year. Not to shabby. Quick, write that down in my book. Done!  I’ll enter them online with HSA later. I have until January 15th to do it so we’re good.” (All that was me talking to myself during.)

Meanwhile, business missions 1 – 12 were on my mind. Oh honey, don’t be shocked. That’s a drop in the bucket of the actual number of to-do’s for running a business every single day. My list went like this.  *Update my product formulation files. *Get my product batch records in order. *Establish a marketing plan for the year. *Do graphic design work. *Take inventory of my stock and supplies.  *Source raw materials and supplies. *Get a blogging and newsletter plan laid out. *Website revisions and updates.  *New product R & D. *Research trends and customer feedback. *Plan the  exciting new customer program that I want to launch in 2015.  Not too terribly taxing work, just time-consuming.

We finished taking down the rest of the Christmas decorations and lights, inside and out. Bye-Bye until next year! Things were back to normal in my at home world…minus the pressures of daily business demands. Life was good!

January 5, 2015 through January 12, 2015:  We started back with school lessons. Now that was interesting in so many ways. The little mister was not feeling it and neither was I. We were in a cold snap with overcast skies that made it even harder to focus. But we stumbled through that first week back and managed to actually do some of  the review I had planned for the days that lead up to the new semester. We’re still in that review, by the way. Along comes the weekend and I remember I still need to log our attendance and grades with HSA. I did that….late on Sunday afternoon. Don’t even ask what I did from Saturday morning until then because it’s unclear to me.

I touched on of the business missions. Yes, I touched my list…picked it up several times in fact. To my credit, I did go beyond the “on my mind” on a few of the tasks and initiated 3 or 4 of the missions. A good start….Yes? Oh yes, ma’am! I was easing back into things so well, don’t you think? *clears throat and gives a spunky wink*

January 13, 2015: Reality kicks in over coffee. The business offices are set to reopen next week. ACK! Oh dear! But I’m not done! I haven’t even started on some of my missions and my 7 day schedule plus the time management sheets are still “in progress”. NOOO! I’m gonna have to dive in the deep end of things and swim fast! Thankfully, school’s mostly back on track with no real smack you in the face issues. Whew! That’s at least something to cheer about.

Oh…did I forget to mention I had also planned to begin walking daily again and add some mild resistance training after the first of the year? I didn’t, huh? Well, just take a wild guess on how that’s gone. Uhh Huhh! I think I actually heard the treadmill snickering and whispering with the resistance bands yesterday. How rude! Plus, I started a daily scripture reading and Bible study discussion with my At Home Woman Sharing Room group yesterday. Hey, have you joined the group yet? Take this as your official invite. I’d love for you to come on over and get in on the study with us from the start.

That’s what I’ve been doing with 2015 so far.  Notice I said “with” and not “in”. Two very different words with very different meanings.  I’ve been dabbling, getting distracted and making lots of plans but no real progress for the most part. But that is gonna change…TODAY!  Alright, I’ve taken enough of your time and I really must get my rear in gear on tackling my mission list. I am determined to manage my time more wisely and take a more proactive and positive approach to my days. Not so much flying by the seat of my pants. No ma’am! I’m gonna do much better with my time because once time is gone, it’s gone. There’s no getting it back. EVER!  Will you pray for me as I climb this habit changing mountain and kick it into over-drive to make up for my procrastination these last few weeks. Please and thank you!

So …..what are you doing with 2015?  Do you need to make positive changes too? I’d love to hear from you on the subject of time and time management.  I invite you to comment or come to the AHW Facebook page to talk about it. 

Until we chat again…enjoy your at home world!

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HELP! My Brain Has Fallen And It Won’t Get Up!


OK y’all…I’ve got to admit, sitting down to write a blog post has been a booger to nail down.  In fact, I can’t say that I’ve come anywhere near nailing it. Here’s what’s going on and where I’m at.  My hope is that not only am I not an odd duck out on this but that somewhere, someone will have insight and inspiration to share.

Have you ever thought about how you think?  No this isn’t a trick question. It’s not some mental evaluation or a deeply insightful ideology either.  It’s just me getting real about what I often experience in my at home world.  Here’s an example of how my thought streams often take shape.

 Just today, it went something like……

“I need to get an At Home Woman blog post written and ready to post.  How can I possible add anything new, fresh, unexplored?  What hasn’t been covered by anyone or anywhere?  What could I expand on from another perspective?  All those fabulous woman’s life and homeschool bloggers I follow offer so much in the way of motivation and inspiring content.  I don’t have as much to offer because I don’t have as much experience in (fill in the blank).  I’ll troll the internet to see what jumps out at me.  When did that cobweb get there? *Achoo* I need to dust….and vacuum.  Gosh, is that a Cheerio under the couch?  Ewww….what is that hairy thing under the table?  Goodness gracious!  Miss Dottie sure does shed a lot for this time of year! I need to do some major cleaning and like….uhhh….YESTERDAY.  I really need to get more work on my new website done so my designer can do what she does.  WOOHOO! More thinking that has to be done! Uhhh….NOT!?!   Oh look at that a cute pic (insert friend’s name here) posted on Facebook!  Wow….She sure is looking good!  Oh, I wish I had known about that show earlier.  I bet it would have been a good one.  LOL! He’s more of a drama queen than most teen girls!  Dang it! I’ve been sucked into the Facebook Vortex!  I should clear all these notes and clutter off my ottoman.  Oh dear! I have so many files to transfer to this new laptop that the sweetest At Home Man ever born bought me for Valentine’s Day.  GEEZ!  Writer’s block sucks and blows all at the same time!  My idea bank is just completely empty.  Oh, I should reply to that tweet.  I need to get my bookwork done.  I really need to reformulate that product.  I want to get those new graphics and designs done soon.  I better check emails while I’m on here.  Oh, I really want to paint this room.  A nice green would be pretty!  That’s a good article.  Maybe there’s some potential there.  What should I make for supper?  Hey that looks like another really good article.  I’ll click the link to check it out.  “Honey, go check on Little Man.  He’s being awfully quiet.” What in the world can I write about this time?  Crap! This link is taking forever to load. Hit the stop and refresh buttons!  Yes!  That made it load right up. Oh, I need to go put sour cream on the grocery list. ”

BRAIN OVERLOAD

A WOMAN’S BRAIN IS LIKE A COMPUTER WITH 20 WINDOWS OR TABS OPEN ALL AT ONCE.

 

UGH! I need an intervention….or a brain defragmenting!

Seem vaguely familiar to you?  Do you see the problem?  SCATTERED THINKING!  In every are of my life and on every level….and all at once it seems!  I have been going back and forth between professional and personal when I sit down or stand up to do anything these last few days.  That is just part of being an at home woman, right?

Seems like the more I have to do, the more my thinking gets scattered about and I lose focus. The more pressures I feel and tentacles there are pulling on me, the more it tends to happen.  Oh….I see you nodding your head over there.  It happens to you too, doesn’t it?  I thought so.  It’s not unusual when you think about it.  You have a busy life with responsibilities to attend to with home, family, business, school, extra-curricular activities and just  life in general.

Truth is we are inundated with information and responsibilities from all sides.  For me, the list just seems to grow and grow…like the blob creature from outer space. There’s articles to read, social media to do, local events to attend, lessons to prepare and teach, family situations to tend to, home life to live (laundry, cleaning, meals, finances, pets, etc.). There’s friends to engage with, company needs and entrepreneur tasks that need to to be dealt with (that list is just too long to even try to write here), ministry and church to focus on, local-national-world news to at least have an inkling about.  All this can make for BRAIN OVERLOAD, which often results in scattered thinking.  And it is not easy to deal with or overcome.  What to do about it, is the question.

Instead of giving out instructions and assignments in today’s article, I want you all to lend your expertise to this at home woman.  Oh….you thought I had some clever, insightful and meaningful words for you, huh?  LOL…remember….I’m experiencing brain overload and scattered thinking right now.

So tell us…At Home Woman.  How do you overcome scattered thinking?  What ways have you found to be effective when you need to refresh your brain?  Do you close out some open windows to decrease information downloads?  Do you step away and let time be on your side? Do you prioritize? Make lists or schedules?

Just what can you share that will help all of us with brain overload and scattered thinking?  The platform is yours.  Ready – GO!

 

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