my life

This year I am trialling something new and old for my newsletters – still going with the same provider who I started with last year, but returning to my old ways with posting the newsletter here at whipup as well. That way you can read it online here or via email – easy for you and easy for me. I would be interested in your feedback – if you are receiving this via email already — let me know how you like (or don’t like) it.

Today I want to talk about slow. This year I am going to concentrate on not rushing, not hurrying, not stressing about rushing and hurrying, and in doing so I am sure I will get more done.

I have started off the year by taking it slowly, easing my way into the routine, cooking slow dinners, relaxing in the evening with a snack and then cooking together with a relaxing glass of wine. I am not going to worry about the perfect meal, not going to rush to the shops to pick up something, instead I am going to eat half an hour later if necessary, or I am going to make omelettes for dinner or allow myself to declare cheese and crackers a perfectly acceptable meal. And then on weekends I will put on a casserole to cook quietly in the corner — emitting delicious aromas — while I get on with the business of life.

I am going to take this slow idea and ease myself effortlessly into housework by not rushing, not yelling, not stressing about a little mess and dirt here and there. I am going to declutter and throw things out or give them away if they don’t have a home. And then I am going to do the laundry only once a week – not every day – yes you heard me not every day! Let them wear yesterday’s clothes for another day if they are desperate. And then I am going to delegate tasks — the boys can clean the toilets! But in delegating I am not going to fuss if it is not done to my exacting standards, I am going to let it be (maybe give some advice here and there — that’s allowed), and let them get on with it with some trial and error. And while we are on the subject of housework, I am going to give myself permission to laze about on the weekends — yes, the dirty cups can stay dirty for a few more hours, I am not going to be cleaning the kitchen for the whole of the weekend — I am going to read my book . on the couch . maybe getting up for a cup of tea . or to update my twitter . so there!

Slow is also my mantra for work, for emails, for this blog and for crafting. I am going to take things one step at a time, write lists to help me get organised, and on those lists I am going to include some fun activities that I never seem to be able to fit in anywhere of late — like spending time in the garden or going for an evening walk, having lunch with an old friend, or starting to make that new pattern I have had bookmarked over on ravelry — lists will become my friend and slow will become my mantra. Will you join me on a quest for slow in 2012?

On whipup this week you might want to read about Sayraphim Lothian’s project Gilding the City or a read about a new book – Soul to soul parenting, make a sleep mask, or perhaps get into some crafty recycling. All good things to start the year off slowly.

If you would like to read whipup in your email, then you can subscribe to this weekly email here.


Welcome 2012

by kath_red on 01/01/2012

in my life

[pics above – a selection from our year that was]

The start of a fresh year brings a need to reflect on what was and what will be.

Do you stop and have some reflection time at this time of year?

On reflection 2011 was a pretty good year professionally for me — on the personal/family front it has been good too – nothing bad happened (quick touch wood), we went on a really good family holiday, read some great books, made some cool things, started at the gym, the kids all did well at school, I learned some new skills, made new friends and drank some good wine.

I love to plan, reflect and write lists all year round, but this time of year is a particularly good time to really get to the nitty gritty of what you want to do differently – what needs changing. I am not talking about resolutions like getting fit etc. (as they inevitably get broken pretty quickly) but rather some big but achievable goals that you can work towards during the year.

My goals for the year:

  • Spend less time online but be more productive with my online time: – use schedules and lists.
  • Make a few changes to Action Pack (my e-magazine for kids), it was a good year but I think I worked too hard: – pull back a little.
  • I’ll be working on some books and freelance writing projects this year so I need to really manage my time well: – get familiar with time management tools.
  • Simplifying the clutter in my life by getting rid of stuff – not buying a lot of new stuff too: – be ruthless and clear out – don’t buy new crap to fill the gaps.
  • Being eco friendly is important to us as a family – but I fear I have slipped this past year: the solution: – don’t buy stuff with lots of packaging, only buy clothes second hand or make them – and continue to shop at the farmers market.
  • On the more personal front – take better care of myself: – continue to go to the gym, make more effort to avoid sugar and get a hair cut every once in a while.

Please tell me your goals – do these resonate with you or do you have a few different goals?

I have kick started the year by clearing out the old in my life and home — I have chucked out all old and unflattering clothing (for myself and everyone else too!), toys and books that the kids have outgrown, never used kitchen utensils, vases and lampshades that clutter, excess linen that is clogging up the storage spaces… This is what I have been doing in the first day of the new year…

  • Did I use or wear this at all in the past 12 months? Is it taking up valuable storage space? Do we really need all that stuff … it just collects dust, doesn’t get used and makes a mess.
  • What then do I do with all this stuff: Some of it I am not quite ready to throw out .. vacpac it and store it on the top cupboard, give to a family member who might dispose of it / or put it to use for you — advertise some of the better quality goods for sale, but because I can’t be bothered with this I will be giving it all to charity or to friends — is there anyone out there (who lives near me) who would like a treadle singer sewing machine?. I have bundled up bags of unwanted clothing for the charity shop but I may consider later in the year hosting a clothes/white elephant swap day with friends.
  • For all the stuff I am keeping – it needs a home – and if I can’t put it away then I’ll be throwing it away. Kids toys – out of the living room, books – on books shelves, craft supplies – in a box (or two) on a shelf or under a bed, linen – folded and sorted in the linen cupboard. (You might need more storage – get some under bed roller boxes or put up some bookshelves). Then I’ll be making a pact to not store things on the dining table or the kitchen bench or on the couch – if I can keep these areas clear then I am winning the battle!

Once you have a clear space to live in – you will be better positioned to clear your head and think about the bigger picture that is your life. We are making plans this year to make some changes — less work, more play — more travel and adventure in our lives. I am planning for more books, a big trip and a location change — it’s going to be a big and exciting year … I hope you have some grand plans for your year too!