This week, we embark on a journey. Actually, several journeys. And because so many things are starting or reinventing themselves recently, it feels to me as if I almost have to make "new year" resolutions. This is the week that Andrew starts school and our lives change in many ways. Some of those effects are connected to the beginning of his school career, and some are mere coincidences.
I have started a household calendar. Well, it's still in the draft stage, but it's about to be huge and in my face so I can't miss it, and it will contain all sorts of vital information, such as the monthly dinner menu, weekends we will be at the lake or home, days Andrew needs to pack his lunch because he doesn't like the lunch choices at school, and a break-down of household chores into smaller, more manageable daily jobs, not just for me, but for the boys in the house as well. (One of the MUST-DO items on specified days will be blog posts!)
Clearly, one of the things spurring this reorganization is Andrew's kindergarten beginning. After five years of NOT having to think about these things, all of a sudden, I have to worry about getting him breakfast before he leaves with me in the morning, making sure he has a morning snack packed in his backpack, paying his lunch account beforehand, and making sure there are "packables" on hand for those days the cafeteria serves Hungarian goulash and spinach, and having all of this accomplished ahead of time to ensure that WE get to my school in time for him to catch his bus to HIS school. There are already school events on the calendar that we could easily skip, except I know they'll be heavily advertised and the pressure to attend will be serious.
This new attitude has carried over to my professional world as well. My teaching partner and I decided at the end of last year to drastically rearrange our shared classrooms. Over the last week or so, we have moved desks to different places, repositioned technology, and attempted to set in place several new practices that will not only save time during the day, but also make our classroom an even more effective and accommodating place to teach and learn. And I know school hasn't started yet, but I'm organized. New binders and labels, filing cabinets within reach of my desk, and a new perspective on the landscape of the classroom all have me inspired to shake things up instructionally as well. While I'm a creature of habit and comfort zones are where I thrive, even I need a fresh outlook and inspiration, and I'm excited about the year as a result.
Through no fault of our own, we also suddenly find ourselves out of a partnership on our lake place. And while I'm still not happy about the way it "went down," and the effects of that transaction, I am becoming more and more excited about only having to worry about our messes and not someone else's, about not having to restrict our hot water use to avoid sticking someone with a suddenly cold shower, and about not having to consult someone else about doing a damn thing we want to do. Our goals there include finishing the projects we have started and were left holding (the kitchen area), painting our bedroom area (inside the camper), and eventually building an inexpensive deck to replace the fancy gravel patio area. At the very least, if we decide to sell it next year or the year after, hopefully we will turn a profit without much expenditure.
There are, as always, areas to make over in our real house, and I'm motivated and inspired to attack some of those as the weather cools and we are tied to home more and more (It feels odd to write that in the middle of August while it's still 90-something, but it's planning, folks, just planning.). It's been almost a year since the living room and bathroom were repainted, and I feel it's time to spread out to another one of the seventeen rooms in this rambling old relic. Looking toward the future, as Andrew approaches an age where he will want kids to come over and play or spend the night, the pressure is on to make sure the house isn't "that scary old place where Andrew lives." First up--the upstairs bathroom, arguably the worst place in the house right now. It is the way it is because no one ever sees it---so I have felt free to cover up the places where the little floor tiles are missing with bath mats, to start painting just to test a color and then decide against against it, to leave the bath toys in the tub between Andrew's baths. But no more. The porch will be painted a fresh, funky color, trees will be cut down and shrubs trimmed from their wild, sprawling messes, and we will finish Andrew's play area to include a slide, a tree house, and whatever else I decide I can attach to trees in the back yard. And last, but not least, the "rec room" will be rearranged so that it doesn't just include places to sit--my goal is to dig the treadmill out of the storage room and find a nook for it in the room where it's usable--right in front of the t.v. that we never watch, hopefully to make its use less of a chore. The final, and ultimate goal for the rec room this year is for Santy Claus to put a Wii in our stockings to make the rec room what it was truly intended for--a room of recreation, and not just a room to be closed off from the world and not used.
One final fresh start once again involves weight loss. A few weeks ago, I went carbless again, and was doing very well...but then things got crazy and schedules got hectic, and that went out the window (eating Chinese food three times in ten days will do that!). Hopefully the household calendar mentioned earlier will help this goal as well, with the ultimate goal of losing sixty pounds by Christmas. Oh crap, did I just say sixty? Well, that's negotiable---maybe forty is more realistic. The hubby will drag his feet, as usual, but will probably be more successful in his efforts in spite of his attitude. It can be done. I think.
Overall, I am motivated and energized. I am not sure WHY I am, but I'm not questioning it. Now if I just had a new wardrobe to go along with it...