One of my best girls, Erin, and I often talk about how to stay in touch with the people we were before we had our beloved boys, Van and Max. It’s not the staying out late and bar-hopping that we miss (ok, once in a while it is); it’s reading novels and having long, uninterrupted conversations with friends about anything and everything. Most days we feel lucky if we’ve gotten a shower and three decent meals on the table.
The other day, however, I had eight long hours all to myself. Granted, I was driving four hours each way to and from New Jersey, but still, it was time with which I was able to catch up on phone calls with friends (hands-free talking, of course) and listen to podcasts. I spent most of the time listening to the Simple Mom podcast and I’m inspired by what this totally not-simple mom has created – a whole network of information at our fingertips, shared by relatable moms, most of whom are also entrepreneurs. When I got home, I downloaded her e-book, One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler. I’m a total sucker for products like this, but I can honestly tell I’ll gain a lot from this one.
I’ve already been inspired to streamline my daily to-do lists: in the evening, I make a list of ten things that I’d like to accomplish the next day, but choose three as the most important items. I’m happy if I complete those three items, which I did today. Three is an attainable number of obligations to conquer and then there are seven more items to work on if the opportunities arise. Today, those seven items will move on to tomorrow’s list, and that’s OK. I also made the time to take a leisurely hot bath tonight and that feels like a major accomplishment all on its own.
Life with little ones can be overwhelming, to say the least — days crash on top of one another, your feet sink into waterlogged sand, stuck in place. As I often say to Jef, it’s hard enough keeping up with the day-to-day stuff; the motivation for that long-term agenda is but a whisper as I fall into bed at night. There’s no doubt that the amazing changes you see in your children and the precious moments you share together are invaluable and the propulsion from those daily occurences is mighty powerful, but there’s also great satisfaction to be found in taking steps to move forward with your personal goals and dreams as well. I’d love to hear about the things you do just for you.