a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Come out of the Phone Booth

True or False: Telephones were originally attached to the wall and you had to stay right next to it when you wanted to talk to someone.

True or False: Telephone booths were little public enclosures on street corners and outside of gas stations----allowing privacy when you wanted to make a phone call away from home.  You have probably seen them if you have ever watched an old black and white suspense movie.

True or False: In make-believe, a phone booth is where meek and mild, normal citizen Clark Kent went to  transform into Superman.

True or False: Later, with women's equality and all, along came Superwoman.

I can't remember what enclosure she ducked into to go from ordinary to extraordinary but I do remember she, also was make-believe!

I started on this semi-diatribe in yesterday's post. I continue today because I don't want you to have to spend years of your life trying to live up to a comic book character!

For a few years I lived by the motto "It's better to reach for the stars and miss---than aim for the mud and hit it!" I'm not sure how to define what it did for me but it did speak to me.

It is important to have goals----realistic ones. Ones that are realistic for each of us individually ---- and not what some program or magazine---or whoever/whatever tells us what we can and should do.

In spite of what the clock says, I content we do not all have the same 24 hours!
As I have probably said before, I am bothered by the common phrase "Time? You have as much as anybody." That is not true! Circumstances are such that in spite of what the clock says, we do not all have the same 24 hours! Physical conditions, illnesses, commitments and responsibilities all affect us and the speed at which we accomplish.

Walking a fine line
At the same time, we must not let our limits become crutches and excuses. It can be a very fine line between knowing our limits and having proper priorities, and making excuses for our lack of progress. We need to know our personal line and be very careful not to abuse it.

Our commonality
While hopefully you agree with the above, I hope you will also agree that what we do have in common is the ability to improve our productivity. I used to hate to wash dishes so I put them off. My mom hated to wash the dishes so she did them immediately after each meal.

If I time unpleasant tasks and see how few minutes they actually take, I am much more willing to tackle them immediately. For example: our medicine cabinet needed reorganizing and I dreaded doing it. When I decided I couldn't put it off any longer I decided to time how long it took. It only took 12 minutes to clean and reorganize it. I was encouraged.

When experiencing a low-achievement day and still having much to do, I have pretended I would have visitors in 30 minutes. That's motivation! Better than a visitor panic attack, however, is basic planning so time can be used more effectively.

If you ever read women's magazines, or even just the covers when you are waiting in a check-out line, you will usually find headlines or articles on how to gain control quickly:

  • Shape up your body in just 30 minutes a day---
  • Have perfect nails in just 15 minutes per day---
  • A spotless home in just 45 minutes per day---
  • on and on, so on and so forth, etc., etc. ..... 

The article's author might even recommend you stay up a few minutes later each night or get up a few minutes earlier each morning to accomplish the goal they are pushing and you say, "Yes! I can do that!"

If you incorporate many of those plans you could soon find yourself going to bed just a few minutes before it is time to get up!

Let's Get Real!
Judge yourself by your goals---stretch yourself within your ability to stretch. Again, I am not saying that you should be content with things as they are----rather asking that you be realistic in what you can do and how much you can do.

If you sew, think of all the different types of elastics and their different abilities. One is not good or bad, rather each has its purpose. We, also, all stretch differently and probably need to stretch differently at various seasons of our lives. To very loosely paraphrase Robert Browning, "when the fight begins within herself, a woman is worth something."

Stretch within your capabilities but don't stretch so tight you snap!  That hurts.

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