The Art of Tidying

Days at home without Ben used to feel so long. I’ve spent the morning cuddling and kissing Libby and now I’m watching Cali play with her baby dolls and listening to her sing. There is so much we want to accomplish as a family that we have to focus, be decisive and commit to the things we know make us happy, to spend our time wisely. That’s how we get our dream life and why it’s in our hands. This new year we are taking every opportunity to declutter our options, our heads, and our schedule. And it feels just as liberating and uplifting as organising the house, room by room, drawer by drawer.

It’s only a tiny bit scary to ruthlessly cleave away anything that can’t fight for its survival. Because by focusing down we are removing what could be opportunities, things that once gone may never return. But what if they’re not real options but just chaff weighing us down, limiting our potential, productivity and progress.

Case in point – Ben redefining himself as a ‘poet’ no longer as a ‘writer’

What a relief to us both to keep only the most exciting aspect of the notebooks full of scribbled ideas – the ideas themselves – that can all find life in poetry…and jettison the slog of novel writing

Case in point – Ben trusting an instinct that Philosophy is the academic discipline he belongs in

The hours of researching departmental research interests and vetting potential supervisors saved, the shortlist of universities instantly so much shorter

We’ve never had three children before, we’ve never both been self-employed working from home before, and we’ve never had a housework rota or a routine for the kids before. But now, to maintain order and to appreciate and support the efforts in cleaving, we will all really benefit from a structure to our days. Everything, even this blogging session has a place in the schedule, so that we both feel what we want to acheive in our days and weeks is possible, and in turn so that we do acheive what we want to acheive this year. It’s the first Monday on the schedule, and we’re loving it. Everyone’s cup can be filled. No one has to feel chained to the baby, or the kitchen sink, or beholden to the needs of others. We can be a 2017 dream team, now with added baby. And we’re already making so much progress and feeling so productive, for a couple of messy, chaotic, idle, last-minute, non-finishers.





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