You all know by now that I consider September my New Year, right? It’s the time I set goals, make changes, reminisce about the past and look to the future! I mentioned this at work the other day. The office was full for the first time in a long time after summer vacations, and working from home cause kids are there, and all of the other things that July and August bring. Everyone seemed to agree that September feels new and fresh and next time we should decorate with banners and noise makers! My kind of people!
I know some people choose words for their year (something I’ve never been intuitive enough to do) and others make grand goals. I know myself well enough to know that none of these are a good idea.
If I choose a word I’ll want to change it mid-stream or I’ll taint everything that happens against it or for it. Neither of which is healthy, obviously.
Say I choose “brave” for example. I’ll do everything. Every. dang. thing. Thinking that this is how one is brave. Or, if I do nothing I’ll be mad at myself for not living up to the word. It’s just too much pressure, people.
Plus, I tend to buck against trends and this whole word thing has just gotten out of hand.
What I do along with my fam is look back at the last year. We talk about the things that were awesome and we keep at those. We talk about the places we lacked and how we might adjust to make them better. We talk about character traits we need to work on (patience has been mine for 4 years running and I’m pleased to announced it’s finally moved on and kindness, bless its heart, has taken its place!)
These are the things we’re adjusting around our home this New Year. Most of them aren’t lofty, because we know better. They’re doable, fit with our life and yet challenge just enough to keep us moving forward!
Get Back to Better Eating: After a summer of s’mores it’s a good time to reign in the sugar consumption and meals on the fly and get back to well rounded dinners and sitting together at the table. I love the spontaneity and simpleness of summer meals but I’m also excited to get back to real cooking and chatter around the table.
Fall Cleaning: I know most of you get at this in the spring but we’re such summer lovers around here that by the end of it the house is chaos, rooms are disastrous and sand is everywhere! I wish I’d taken a picture because I didn’t tell my kids to clean their room once this summer. It was a nightmare. So I committed to going through every closet, cupboard, and drawer. Getting rid of what’s no longer needed, no longer fits or was just a dumb purchase. (Hey – it happens!) I wiped everything out, vacuumed all the corners and got all rooms back to where they should be – with the help of my family, of course!
Keep Momentum towards Safe Products: You all know that it’s important to me to know what’s in our food, what we clean our house with and what we put on our bodies. It seems like just when I get to where I want to be with it all, I learn something new! But I love that. It means that we don’t ever get stagnant but keep learning and growing and changing our ways to be better and smarter. I’m thankful for the friends around me who are further along on this path than I am (you know who you are!) and I’d encourage you to find one too! If you’re just starting to make changes to safer products it can feel overwhelming and a friend is sure to help you keep it less daunting. My motto has always been change what you can – even one thing can make a difference. One thing this year, one thing next – over time adds up to a lot of changes and healthier, safer living! (If this interests you and you want to make changes you can find my all-purpose cleaning recipe here, how we changed the way we eat here and the beauty products I use here)
Create Space for Non-hectic Homework time: We generally start out strong in September but somewhere around November life gets a little crazy and we forget about the important things. Somehow I find myself barking out on the way to bed, “Does anyone have homework?” Of course if they do, it’s the worst time to start it and generally everyone is frustrated and near tears by the end. My kids hate coming straight home and doing it after being in school all day and I agree! They need to get outside, get some air and destress after their days. But we also need not wait until the very end of our days. I’m not sure what this will look like just yet but I’d love your suggestions! In the meantime, we’re working on an office revamp to create more space for my hubs working from home, and also a quiet space for homework. More on that once it’s done!
Work on Voice Tones: From the time my kids could speak we’ve been talking about voice tones in our house. We left zero room for whining as it made my mind want to explode. As they got older we had to work on angry tones and sarcastic tones and disrespectful tones – so this is nothing new to our home. It turns out, however, that I have a tone that my kids don’t like. It was brought to my attention recently that a certain tone makes them feel belittled. *ouch* It’s not what I meant them to feel, but I can see that it was a bit of a persuasive and commanding tone that questioned their motives and intentions. I don’t know where they got belittling from. (ahem) So, I’m working to change it. I’m thankful they could express it to me and I never want them to feel like I’m shaming them or making them feel less than human.
What are you changing, shifting or adjusting this season? Tell me, tell me, tell me!!