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Year ahead? Birthday thoughts...

March 13th, 2016 at 09:32 am

I'm 41 today. Woot. I always get too philosophical on my birthday. It's kind of like my New Year, the day when I sit and reevaluate and try to parse out what is good and bad from life.

I shouldn't complain. I have a nice house in a good school district, two healthy kids, and a DH of 14 years. Money in the bank and a plan.

But some things are still out of control! Any ideas or helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.

1. The mess. I spend soooo much time cleaning up, and yet the house is never clean. Two little boys and a hub sure do make messes and destroy stuff. Is there a way to manage this? Is it possible to keep the house tidier without spending all my time behind a broom?

(I am in my second round of major decluttering. I figure less stuff= less to manage/clean, But I'm not sure it'll work that way)

I got angry about this yesterday. It was my first day working outside in the garden, and I realized the yard was a huge mess. Raccoons had knocked over an extra trash can--which I thought was empty because I never put anything in it. Well, hubby apparently put something in it this winter, because there was an old garbage bag of food strewn everywhere. There's a stack of wood in the driveway that hubby promised he'd chop 6 months ago, and it's still there.

Gah. I got angry because I felt like I am the only one who cares, and the only one who does the work. We have a house in a nice area, and because of stuff like this, it's the shabbiest house on the block. I want it to look nice!

I can't do it all alone. There is too much. Too many jobs, too much work, but DH doesn't seem to care, and the boys destroy destroy destroy...

2. Career. I have kind of always suspected that career was a hollow ambition. I'm thinking about this because the in-laws just left.

My inlaws were defined by their jobs, and worried constantly about career and doing 'what they were supposed to do' as far as the life script: moving up, up, up! they don't understand our casual approach to work, and my MIL is hand-wringing about my decision to let go of a lot of my freelance work. She's worried about my 'career'. She followed me around for 3 days nagging about it. Gah!

So... of course I am thinking. I have figured out a few things in the last year.

A. I don't want to work at a newspaper again. Journalism is no longer a field I want to be in.

B. I kind of want the next stage of my life/ career-wise to be a mix of fiction-writing and hobby farming. Okay okay. I know it sounds crazy. I am very realistic. It's not big money and it could flop. But I feel like I should try. It's now or never. And I don't expect to write a blockbuster, I'd be happy with eventually building up a small, but solid income from those sources.

3. Finally, I want more creation in my life. More creativity, more writing, more paintings. Now, time is the issue. The youngest isn't in school all day until fall. But I feel like my life and ambitions have been on hold for 8 years waiting for that to happen for two kids. I'm tired of being on hold. Is there a way to add more creativity into my daily life? I can't write when the kids are here. I've tried. They interrupt constantly. But maybe I could move some art supplies upstairs, so I could paint in the dining room while we're home together int he afternoons? Maybe they'd even join me.

So this is what I'm thinking about on my rainy 41st birthday. I'm not mental, I swear. Wink

10 Responses to “Year ahead? Birthday thoughts...”

  1. Beawealthywarrior Says:

    Firs off Happy Birthday!!

    Since you mentioned wanting to keep things tidy, I have to mention this book I just finished reading.Its called "The life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Knodo. It is a real easy read and I got it from my library. There are quite a few videos on YouTube on it as well. Her method involves de-cluttering or tidying as she call it by category instead of by room. She advocates keeping things that only spark joy in your life. So the categories includes clothes, books, paper, miscellaneous, and memos. For instance her method involves taking all of your clothes out and dumping them on the bed or floor. Then you touch each item, and instead of focusing on what you are discarding, focus only on keeping those items that brings you joy.

    I did this the other day with my master closet and man what a difference taking everything out of the closet and drawers made! I had stuff that I hadn't worn or seen in years! Unfortunately some even had price tag still on them. I highly recommend this book!

  2. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Happy birthday! I hope your day is as stress free as possible. I have been on both sides of the fence..career building, and now career downsizing...its such a personal choice and one that you shouldn't have to explain or validate. Follow your heart and what you believe is right for you and your family.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    I hear you on the mess. I had two little boys, too, and they got into everything. My house was never as tidy as I would have liked it to be. And I felt like I was picking up all the time. At some times of your life, you just have to settle for good enough and let it go.

  4. ThriftoRama Says:

    Ugh. CB, do you think having less stuff will make this time in life easier to bear?

    And, wealthywarrior, I have read that book. It was simple, but worthwhile.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Yes, less stuff is far easier to keep up with. Are you asking your boys to help with cleaning? Kids can pick up toys. They should know to pick up at the very least at the end of the day. Ten minutes as a family picking and putting things where they go is a great habit to get into. What tasks do you feel comfortable giving your husband? Will he do them if you ask?

    I have girls, so maybe I can't relate to boys. But I do find my husband doesn't pick up as well as I do. Some of us are more detail minded than others. Luckily he loves mowing the lawn, and is willing to clean! Kids can be taught to do some cleaning chores, too, they just need some supervision initially. And likely a reminder until the learn the routine.

  6. ThriftoRama Says:

    They boys do have chores. They are supposed to put their dirty clothes in the laundry and pick up their bedroom and toys every day. Of course, I have to tell them still, over and over. I hate the nagging!

    Hubby will do stuff, but he's just as bad as they are. I have to ask him over and over. That part frustrates me. They'll walk by a pile of dirt/clutter over and over like they don't even see it. Why don't they ever just pick it up?????

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    It's very hard to see clutter when you're not a tidier. I know because I'm the messy one in my relationship! I've taken pots and pans as my main chore because it's something I can't ignore for long; fairly soon we run out and I have to wash them. I also vacuum (not as often asi should) because grit is something else I can't ignore for long.

    To keep your sanity, maybe just set an hour in the morning to do what you can, then a half hour at night that your menfolk must participate in?

  8. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Happy Birthday! My mom is exactly the same way. I need a career and I need to be climbing the ladder. She expresses dismay that not everyone is about making as much money as possible and not working hard enough.

  9. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Happy birthday! I hope you can add a couple of tweaks to your daily routine to allow time for the changes you've been wishing for! Maybe that's the key, a couple of blocks of time specifically allocated towards the purposes you wish to accomplish

  10. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Happy birthday!

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