Last night, for the first time in over eighteen months, I was able to shut the door to my bedroom. The situation being our bedroom remodel that left us, for those eighteen months, without a door at all. Sure, we haven’t matured to door handles or locks yet, but still. It felt very wonderful to be able to shut the door to, at the very least, keep our determined cat Evie from waking me up at her bidding. Perhaps by the weekend I’ll be able to lock it.
I really do hate changing in and out of workout clothes without such protections in place – sports bras are made to make one suffer. Like Spanx. One should never see another human squeezing themselves in or out of such equipment.
Yesterday, our contractor was actually able to put up two doors: one on the toilet room and one on the bedroom. That still leaves the laundry room, general bathroom, and hall closet without protection but ain’t no mother-who-has-had-four-children changing out of Spanx in the hall closet. So I think he prioritized well.
Seeing those beautiful doors in place started yet another flood of emotions and efforts from me. (Didn’t we just talk about my kitchen emotion and efforts a few days ago?).
I blame my Mother for giving me a brain that operates in this way, as it is a mirror of her own. Sometimes the smallest spark of beauty or motivation or excitement will begin a cascade of effort. For example, my Mother and I often joke of new pens. WATCH OUT for the Larson woman with a new, beautiful package of pens. She’ll be labeling, redecorating, and reorganizing faster than you can file the receipt for the catalyst (which she will have an organized and labeled receptacle for).
It may sound dramatic, but seeing those doors made me want to get my life in order.
If I can change out of my sports bra in private, I can do anything!
I know I’m not alone in this. Last year on the podcast, I shared about my chore organizational chart for my children. It eventually had so many downloads (it was a shared Google sheet) that I actually lost the original one – somehow it is now in French and is being used by a large group of Canadians.
It’s par for the course in my family. When the seasons come, we have to shift. Home school begins. Harvest on the farm is at its highest effort. Work transitions to the busiest quarter of the year. It is, deeply, a season of inspiration and effort.
While I secretly wish I was the blogger that could bring you perfectly curated content, all on time and in season, with printable this-or-thats to help you along the way, I hope you will instead settle for a scruffy list. A simple sharing of a piece of my current heart-state with you. A glimpse into the efforts I’m prioritizing and the tasks I’m pouring into. If nothing else, consider it an honest look into another homemaker/homeschooler/homesteader/entrepreneur’s life. For the sake of myself, I’ve categorized it. If you’re one of the many who have emailed or messaged to asked me “how I do it all”, may this list clearly and forever engrain in your mind that I don’t.
What I do, however, is ride that wave of inspiration when it hits. Those waves, coupled with daily discipline (unsexy, uninspiring, and unfun), are enough to keep us faithfully plotting down the road.
Here’s where our efforts will lie this season.
- Organize home office. Work through bills and paperwork that have piled up over the summer. Set bill paying day and stick to it.
- Finish remodel of basement: fireplace, trim, mini-split, stucco, etc.
- Workup new house cleaning/chore chart for family.
- Put the kitchen to bed every night without exception.
- Absolutely no screens for the kids until their entire list of chores, activities, responsibilities, and school is completed.
- Table open for fellowship, at least weekly.
- Determine if Cece (our milk cow) has been bred. If she has, bring her home and settle her in for the season. If she is open, look into sourcing a few dairy ewes.
- Close up the entire garden. Top dress all of the no-dig beds with 3” compost.
- Schedule lamb harvest
- Finish stock piling hay for the winter
- Rent tiller to till pasture. Irrigate and reseed.
- Finish stock piling firewood
- Harvest wine grapes, make wine
- Continue editing work from Italy into newsletters, art, videos, and more.
- Launch new blog design (did I tell you about this? Eek!)
- Reveal new logo (coming later this year!)
- Dream big: Italy workshops? Learn Italian…
- <Insert really exciting copper project that I can’t yet tell you about, sorry.>
- Is it time for another book?
- New framed art pieces
It’s imperfect, incomplete, and insufficient. I am grateful for God’s mercies which renew each morning, God’s forgiveness for when I stumble, and God’s strength for when mine fails. I am also grateful for God’s priorities – which always frustrate me at first, but are always exponentially better than my own. Ultimately, it is His vision and His work for us that propel us forward.
Off to buy a new pack of pens and remember, intentionally, why we chose this lifestyle in the first place. It’s beautiful, honest, and good.