Working in the Margins

Have you ever felt like you have just too much to do? I know silly question right, of course there is too much to do. It doesn’t matter if you are a working Mom in or outside the home, stay at home mom or even a mom at all. Living in a Pinterest world, it is easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you are not doing enough or even failing. Let me tell you we can all be in that moment but it is time to let it go. I am not saying that Pinterest should go away, not at all. In fact I love using Pinterest, but as it was originally intended, as a pin board of websites. I try to be realistic about what I pin (old pins are a different matter and I am still working on cleaning it up).
I have been reading a book call The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner. In this book this Full Time working Mom, blogger and crafter explains how she works it all in. The thing I really love about this book is the author, she is really living in the midst of theoretical too much. I feel like I am reading a book I would have written. I have already implemented several of the ways she talks about fitting things in, like reading. I always have a book available so if I am ever waiting in line or find I have a few minutes I usually will pull out my book and read a few pages.

I still get caught up easily with paging through social media, but it is a habit I am trying to break. In fact a few months back I went through my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest accounts and removed my cconnections to pages I don’t need to follow anymore. There was once a time I signed up for many contests, coupons and other incentives, but I don’t really read anything from them anymore so they just take up my time as I scroll past them. Now I am more true to follow those that I want to see updates from and I find when I do check for updates it takes a lot less time to scroll through. There are still times that I get lost in the depths of the internet and become unproductive but it is a work in progress, and a daily struggle.

Reading this book has helped me see the need to better define what I enjoy doing in my “spare time” or the designated Me time. I am working to focus better on the things that really bring me joy, like puzzles. I have forgotten how much I love puzzles. My 4-year old has really gotten into puzzles recently so now I like to get an hour with him to work on puzzles. At first I made it so he does his and I do mine but the kid is so good, he helps me with mine. I love this special time with him. When we are not working on the puzzle together I have the board on my dresser in my room and I will work on it for a few minutes before bed. Like a good book though it is easy to get sucked in when I get a lot of pieces to fit. My goal is to work in more time to spend with my son to work on the puzzle because it brings me the most joy. This will allow me the joy of working on a puzzle and spending time with him, but it also helps me avoid the time warp of getting sucked in before bed. I can then focus my just before bed time on something else more important for that time of day.

It is all about what is important to you, and joy is up at the top of my list. Typical morning time for me has been spent catching up on recorded TV shows from the night before, reading and a cup of coffee, but some mornings I have something specific to do like write this post. I am often limited on the times I can actually get on my computer and put the words out there, sorry about my sporadic posts I am still working on consistency. In order to avoid a late night and lack of sleep I often write my posts as an email to myself then transfer it later, this way I can keep it as a draft until I have most of what I wanted to have written and I can work on it from anywhere. When I first started to get this blog up and running I was up late at night more nights than I every enjoyed and it made my days be off as I was not getting enough sleep. Sleep should never be sacrificed. Balance is the next important piece, you still have to be able to get the needs met.

Putting it all together, it is really okay if you don’t have a perfectly dusted and spotless house, in fact my mom always jokes that if it is time to dust it is time to pack up and move to a new house. I agree, dusting is not something that brings me joy so I avoid it whenever possible and it does not bother me if the TV stand has dust on it most of the time. The dishes do need to be washed and the clothes as well but it is rarely a must do it now situation. One this that helps me with this is the structure I have been building into my days to try to avoid a pile up of either. Sometimes they do pile up, right now there is a basket of clean clothes to be folded from yesterday’s laundry and the choice is there to put my computer down and lose the few minutes I have for this and fold the laundry or let it go that the laundry is sitting there. I am choosing to let the laundry sit for now. It is easier to fold that when the kids are around than it is to use my computer.

How do you handle your margin time, are you sucked into the things that leave you feeling less productive, or have you found a way to be productive in the time in-between?

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