Once upon a time I was a list person. I loved having lists. They always made me feel organised, like I was getting stuff done. But somewhere in the midst of early motherhood, I must have forgotten what sort of person I was. I stopped writing lists, and one of the busiest times of my life almost buried me. From the outside I’m sure things didn’t look all that bad, but the internal chaos of being disorganised really took its toll.
Not that long ago I painted a blackboard on one of our kitchen walls. I’d always wanted one, but didn’t realise until I’d done it that it would help me reconnect with my list loving past. My partner was absolutely horrified when I started the blackboard project, because I literally just drew it on the wall with a lead pencil and a 30cm ruler, then painted it free hand. It’s tall, but not very wide, I was a bit limited with the choice of walls, but it’s fantastic. It has completely changed my life.
It’s not my only place for lists now, but it was the starting point for me to launch into my current phase of trying to map out and organise every part of my life as a homesteader, housekeeper, mother and writer. It’s a work in progress, as there are so many aspects of all these ‘bits’ of my life which can become overwhelming if there’s no structure or plan. Even though I was a list maker, I was never a planner, not on the home front anyway.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the systems my Mum had in place when we were growing up, which to be perfectly honest I’d looked at with disdain in the past. Shopping on a set day, meal planning, bulk buying, a cleaning schedule, a washing schedule, an ironing schedule. Well the ironing schedule is never going to happen, but the rest of it is starting to make perfect sense to me. Mum worked full-time, had 4 kids and ran a very tight ship. She didn’t have a whole lot of down time, or ‘her’ time, but she did have some really strong slow living values. These elements were really apparent in the way she ran our family, and that’s obviously influenced me. She made a really big deal about simple family activities, she connected deeply with each of us, she created family rituals and traditions and she helped create beautiful memories for all of us.
I look at how organised she was, and I think about how much simpler my life would be if I followed in her footsteps. The disorganised route intrinsically carries with it the side effects of chaos and stress. The simple, organised path offers everything which slow living stands for. It creates the mental space for slowness. That’s the whole point. Any resistance I may have had to domestic organisation in the past is slipping from me. I’m pursuing my planning path, and drawing up vision boards for every aspect of my life…one element at a time. It’s an instantly calming process.
Shared with Essentially Jess for IBOT