27 March 2014

Taking a break from routine, then getting back to it

I'm longing to return to a state of relaxed normality but it's been a busy few weeks here. We've all been waiting for yesterday when the book was published. Thank you so much for the warm support you've given me with your comments and emails and by purchasing the book. Those comments encourage me to continue here because I know people are reading and are connected enough to comment. It is good to have the book out and on the shelves so now I can concentrate on getting the last three written and out to you.

Tricia crocheting a jug cover.

My sister has been here for the past week, and flies home today. While she was here, she helped me organise the Mending, Repurposing and Household Linens book and she made up the cutest, sheer, patchwork kitchen curtain and a jug cover for the book. It was good to sit and talk to someone who understands what I'm trying to do with the linens. I want to encourage mending and recycling instead of buying new, as well as help develop traditional sewing and mending skills for some of the younger women and men. This is work such as replacing zippers, sewing on buttons, making dishcloths, mending rips and general maintenance of clothes and household linens. If you have these skills it allows you to keep trousers, shirts, jumpers, jeans, dresses, pyjamas, night dresses, skirts and school uniforms going for much longer, as well as save money by not buying disposable products such as dishcloths and dusters, which helps a lot with the budget.

The patchwork kitchen curtain. I saw this idea originally in Pinterest - it's on my page there.

The final reason for my busyness has been the continuation of Hanno's illness. Since early December he's had long periods of gout pain that have come every month and only let up for a week or two, only to return again. We went back to the doctor yesterday and have a referral to a new rheumatology specialist at Greenslopes, which is a large hospital in Brisbane. The GP is changing his diagnosis too, from gout to gouty arthritis, and possibly to rheumatoid arthritis. So bear with us. We're a bit slow at the moment but we're getting there.

Over the next couple of days, I'll take the opportunity to catch up on a few things not done while Tricia was here. I don't know why but I find it impossible to stick to my routine when she's here. I haven't made bread for a week, we bought bread from the local bakery and while I did continue feeding the chooks and letting them out each morning, then quickly watering the garden before going back inside, there were quite a few things I should have done but didn't. I did cook from scratch each day but we also went out for lunch twice. Once was Tricia's treat and the other was yesterday when we celebrated the book with a beer, fish and salad at the local pub. I did make the bed everyday, I did wash up but I didn't sweep the floor.  I feel like I've been on a little holiday. I'm not feeling guilty about it. It is what it is. I just have to pick up where I left off a week ago and get things done now.

So to get me back into gear and to help those of you who struggle with this sort of thing, I recommend Rose's 28 day organising challenge at the forum. These are small challenges for common household tasks that can be done in a few minutes. You can do the entire challenge or pick and choose the tasks you struggle with. Either way it's a great refresher for all of us who've fallen off the wagon, or never got on it. ;- )  

Rose's discussion thread. Look below the discussion thread for the individual day challenges. For example, this is the entry for day six:

Day 6 will essentially repeat Day 5, if you've been sticking to this challenge you may find a rhythm emerging especially with your morning and evening routines. Today, keep to those routines, do the tasks for today from your weekly routine, continue to put away dry washing, declutter at least one item and identify an undone thing that is niggling at you. You may decide to do this on the spot, if it's going to take a while then note it in your journal and break down the whole task into smaller steps.

Day 6 challenge:

  • do your morning and evening routines, keep to the essentials.
  • do today's tasks from your weekly routine.
  • put away clean dry washing.
  • declutter one item.
  • identify an undone thing that is niggling you.

I love how Rose talks about a rhythm developing when you carry out these challenges. That rhythm often comes in when you repeat these kinds of tasks and it's that rhythm that helps you get through the work. If you've been struggling with your house or yard work, I recommend this challenge to you. They are easy and quick tasks that can be slotted into most days and will keep you on target in your simple life.
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