In Search Of Activity Based Friend Time

Life has changed! These past 5 years have really opened my eyes to how much they have changed. Our son graduated high school, my husband has moved up to at least an 80% desk job from being on his feet all day for well over 20 years, and I have found freedom from being a full time parent. You would think all this sounds wonderful but I can assure you it’s been a challenge at best.

Let me explain. I have a small group of friends I talk to on a fairly regular basis. Although, after dedicating my whole life to work and raising our son by being a stay at home working mom I have found it really hard to venture back out in the world and meet active people. Key word here is ACTIVE!!! I have gone to active seminars, met people on trails, and seen people in camping areas with groups of active friends all out enjoying life on the trail, waterways or just simply working out in the gym together. Where these individuals find active friends is beyond me since I have searched and searched long and hard. Plus, I have found living in WI is of no help what so ever. WI is not a very active state and that saddens me to no end.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being with my husband doing the outdoor activities we love to do. However, there are times when either he is busy or I find I just need some friend time instead of husband time. And regardless of what is offered and where it is, my small group of friends are either busy, tired, too hot, too cold, have too much to do, want to but think they can’t, are sick, are scared to try new things etc.. You name it, I have heard every excuse in the book.  Although, they never seem too “enter excuse here”  to want to go out for a meal instead of doing something active. This is nice but not always what I am looking for. It’s as if they have given up on life and I just can’t go there yet. I am not ready to sit, get old, and die. I guess maybe I am not done living yet.

IMG_20170708_0810216_rewind

All this is what led me to join a Meetup group in our area. I will admit, I am amazed by this new active outdoor meetup group that I found and I still have my doubts this will work. I suppose the only way to find out is to give it a chance and see what happens. So now I wait and hope for fun adventures to be invited to and the possibility of meeting new people that aren’t afraid of sweating, getting dirty or just having fun while not sitting on our rear ends.

IMG_9210

I scares me to think that some people are content with life with no adventure. What makes them want to get up every morning if every day looks just like the last. I understand the midwest is not all that great and there are much better areas to live adventurous. However, I live here and I do my best to make the best of a not so great situation….and when I can’t I plan a vacation to a better place. HAHA!

Anyhow, I guess you could say I have given up on asking for company to get out and enjoy life. Now I will just wait for the asking to come to me. Hopefully I will meet new people and have fun all at the same time.

Have you been a member of any Meetup group?

Did you meet like minded people who you enjoy being with?

Do you have two sets of friends…active and inactive?

How Do I Get It All Done? I Don’t!

 

I am often asked how I get it all done. It’s a question that sometimes annoys me because getting IT ALL DONE can mean so many different things to so many different people. So I really never know how to answer this question when it is asked. Although, I feel I do a pretty good job of being a wife, mother, daycare provider, barber, accountant, dishwasher, home maker, yard person, chef, first aid provider, and still have time for me. So for all my friends, family, and acquaintances who have asked me this, let me tell you how I do what I do.

First, just let me say…..I don’t get it all done. If I got it all done I would probably never sleep since it would be a full 24 hour a day job. However, I do follow a pretty strict schedule. Which is my first suggestion…make a schedule and stick to it. For instance, here at my house, I do laundry every single day except Saturday. I clean the bathrooms Tuesday, dust/scrub floors Monday, vacuum every single day(sometimes twice a day), garbage goes out on Tuesday, bills are done on Thursday, lawn gets cut once a week(sometimes twice), daycare bedding along with our bedding gets washed every two weeks unless needed before, garage gets swept once a week, dishes are done at least three times a day, ironing gets done on Wednesday, and dinner is prepared every evening except Friday. This schedule is very rarely changed up and some things are delegated to other members of my family. Lawn is typically husband or son, vacuuming is also husband or son if its the evening vacuum…..everything else is on me. All this is completed while I also work full time caring for three children all under the age of 3 yrs old. Add in a daily workout session for myself, kid cuddle time, play time, and time to eat and my days are full.

IMG_8059

How do I manage…..well I have a few other tips for everyone:

* Wake up early. Get what you can done before the kids wake up….in my instance before they arrive(6a.m.). Or if your a night owl, stay up late and get it done then.

IMG_3322

*Routine …routine…. routine. Having a schedule which becomes a routine after awhile helps me to know what the day holds in store. I know Mondays are my hardest days so dinner is typically something easy and fast.

IMG_7883

IMG_7886

*Don’t be afraid to use your kids and spouse for help. Kids as young as two can lend a hand…plus it teaches them responsibility.

IMG_1403

*Don’t forget time for yourself. Sometimes we become so involved in life matters that our needs get pushed to the back of the line. Don’t let this happen. Schedule time for you just like time for laundry,dishes, and meal prep.

IMG_5030

*Organization is key. I am a very organized person and it helps so much to know exactly where things are when I need them. Even my daycare kids are taught from very young….things go back where we got them. They know exactly what is going to happen when. And having a routine is truly priceless when it comes to living a crazy, busy life here in our house.

IMG_7809

*Make a list. If you find it hard to stay on track try making a list. I am a professional list maker and have noticed my son is catching on now that he is an adult. I have lists every where. I have a weekly menu which then helps me make my weekly grocery list so food is not bought that may be wasted. I have a packing list for when we travel, lists for where I want to vacation, and lists for daily chores. You name it…. I have a list.

IMG_7856

Pre prep if you can. For me timing is everything. Many people may think I relax at nap time if I am so lucky to get everyone on the same napping schedule. This is not true….I typically exercise first and pre prep dinner during nap time. This way when my last child is picked up I can switch gears back to wife and mother and quickly throw together dinner before I hit the gym or my nightly exercise of choice. I find chopping veggies for the week on the weekends is helpful and taking things like sun dried tomatoes and pureeing them and then freezing them makes for a fast sauce additive with very little prep during the week.

IMG_1772

IMG_7847

IMG_7849

There is never a day where I feel like I got everything done. Although, there are days where I feel I have accomplished a lot and I am happy with the day. I used to stress over the fact that not everything got done but I quickly learned it never really changed anything. For me, I prioritize and the things that need attention get it…. from a chore around the house, to a particular person, or to simply myself. You need to have priorities. My family knows, if mom is not happy no one will be happy. Thankfully, I have a marriage where if either of us needs time apart we can simply say so and it’s not a problem. If we need some couple time we can also just say so and it happens. If I need help my husband is typically ready and waiting to lend a hand.

After all this is said, I will never say I don’t at times need an afternoon pick me up. My days are long and often exhausting, especially in the summer months where it is hot and we spend all day outside enjoying summer. When these days happen I will often turn to a afternoon chilled latte…..but believe me it is never in a fancy glass with ice cubes to keep it chilled while I sit on the front porch and enjoy it during nap time. Nope….never. Instead, it is straight from the frig, with a splash of almond milk added right to to container it was stored in, and gulped down withing minutes so I have time to workout before my first child decides they are not going to sleep on this particular day for whatever reason.

IMG_8152

Plus, in all honesty…..a fancy glass would just be one more dish I would need to wash and put away later on. It tastes the same from the storage container as it would from a fancy glass…..right?

I learned along time ago, what does not get done today will still be there tomorrow. I no longer sweat the small stuff….it’s just not worth the stress.

 

 

 

 

My Job Title: The Boss

I have been what most people consider a “stay at home mom and wife” for 19 years of my life. Ultimately, that means I have handled just about everything that can go right, go wrong, and everything in between for many, many years. If I was handed this job title with a description of duties 19 years ago, I would have probably laughed at the person making me this offer and walked out. Clearly, I did not do this then and this is where I am today.

My Job Title: The Boss

Job Description:

mom

wife

financial advisor

maid

bill payer

chef/meal planner

appointment scheduler

medical assistant

taxi driver

dishwasher

teacher

travel agent

landscaper

activity coordinator

I think you get the picture, although I am sure I have missed something in this list. In addition to all this, I also work from my home 75 hours a week for an actual income that contributes to our household a little bit.

Despite everything I have handled in the past or will handle in my future I have been pretty happy to hold this position for the past 19 years. Yes, call me crazy but I really am happy.

That being said, after last weeks events I was completely ready to apply for a desk job in a cubicle where I would see nobody for my entire day.Thankfully, my husband who is typically very calm and never deals with conflict in our life took over. I am normally the one that handles conflict but last week he made me proud. I just stood back and let him handle it all and wow was it nice.

I may be known as “the boss” by everyone we know. He has me in his phone contact list as “the boss”. His friends know when he says he needs to check with “the boss” exactly what he means. Members of our family’s will even call our house asking for “the boss”. However, once in a while it’s nice to know that he can and will take over the reigns and let me watch from the sidelines.

Will I ever get to retire from this position? Probably not. However, it’s nice to know I have an assistant that can get the job done when “the boss” just needs a day off once in awhile.