I’m constantly amazed at the satisfaction and boost it is to get simple things done. I tend to think about the things that need done so often that I’ve done them at least a hundred times in my head before I actually get the job that only takes once to be done. What a waste of energy.
I’ve been learning how much easier it is to tell my kids yes instead of no and the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. For example, a few weeks ago I was doing something when my son came to me and asked if I’d please make him his favorite cookies. My first thought was no, I’m doing something right now. But I’ve been working on retraining myself to that initial reaction by asking why not and how long will it really take, so instead I said yes. I dropped what I was working on and spent the next 15-20 minutes making him his favorite no bake, chocolate oatmeal cookies. Not only did I have a very happy boy, it saved me hours of nagging and interruptions. I went back to my previous task and completed it with a smile on my face knowing I’d taken time to do something that really mattered. If there were any doubt, my son confirmed this simple act with multiple verbal thanks that night and at bed time told me how he loved me with a hundred hearts and I was the best mom he ever had. Those moments are beyond price and they cost me only 15 minutes of readjusting my expectations. It takes so little to move mountains in the home.
Inspired with such simple successes in the kitchen I tried on a few things I’ve been putting off like baking bread from scratch and juicing fruit. I threw a new twist on my banana bread by cooking a large batch in a bunt cake pan. I’ve made several batches of homemade bread now and look forward to exploring new and different recipes. A little success goes a long way!
I grew up with a mother who did a lot of home canning and preservation of foods. I burned her homemade bread when left on watch. I learned how to do things with her tools and I’ve put off doing similar things in my own home for the excuse that I don’t have all the same tools like her steamer juicer. But last week I picked up all those guava that fell of the tree and juiced them. It’s not hard to cook the fruit until tender and create a makeshift drainer. I used my strainer over a bowl and one of my old flour sack dish towels to strain and squeeze the cooked fruit.
I have fruit in bottles in my fridge for immediate use and ice cubes for future use. I can’t tell you how this simple thing lifted my spirits compared to last year’s efforts of picking them up, keeping them on the counter for a few days and eventually throwing the spoiled fruit away.
Other tasks are easier to see and therefore procrastinate, like my floors. With a little unplanned motivation last week I steam cleaned my family room carpet which led to finishing the job on the tile. Have I mentioned how much I love my steamers? Or how much I love seeing the ‘after’ clean from the ‘before’ dirt?
This Saturday, I’ll drop off what feels like a garage full of bags and boxes from the deep clean of forbidden closets and corners of my home. It’s so nice to feel the space and organization when all the clutter is gone.
Little by little things are getting done and that’s my whole point. It doesn’t have to be a marathon event or everything done at one time. Just taking the few minutes here and there to do one thing that’s needing done or bugging you can do so much for your self esteem and motivation. I’ve only recently been let in on the great secret that it’s never done. So I’m not worrying anymore about getting everything ‘done’, I’m focusing instead on completing a few tasks when they come up. There’s much to be said for obtaining balance with this mentality from making cookies to playing a game or reading a story with your kids to clearing out that one junk drawer that’s taking over to preserving instead of throwing out the fruit you didn’t get to before it over ripened. I no longer look at my calendar to see everything I have to get done this week or this month. The lists are taking a much needed sabbatical and I’m retraining myself to keep the little things little, but important enough to get done. I wish I could put into words how amazed I constantly am at how much more I get done and how little time it takes to do most things. At the end of the day I’m learning the value of the lesson to just do it!