Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Add and Subtract

In trying to clarify the bigger picture of what I want my life to look like in 1, 2, 5, 10 years, I am also noticing some small changes I want to make. Notably, there are things I want LESS of and things I want MORE of; there are also, obviously, some things that are just right.

Things I want to reduce:
  •  Internet consumption (I use this word specifically to refer to "surfing" or reading things that are not impacting or influencing my life; reading and commenting on your blogs is different, as is using the internet as a source to learn or get ideas) 
  • Alcohol (I've actually done this, spurred by a nasty stomach bug 2 weeks ago...I just don't WANT the wine with dinner anymore, though I will want/have some if I'm out or being social)
  • Multi-tasking 
  • Procrastination
  • TV (I don't watch a lot, but for a while it was how G & I spent most of our limited time together)
Things I want to increase:
  • Spending time connecting with people I like (this includes my husband!)
  • Sleep
  • Making things (cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, painting---something---I'm not crafty and the final product will not be Pinterest-worthy, but I've recently realized that it is really soothing to work with my hands and occupy my brain with something other than work and worries)
  • Daydreaming---this seems strange, but I want my mind to wander when I'm waiting instead of immediately reaching for my phone. I've forgotten how to just BE with myself, its so easy to just pull out the phone and distract myself.
Things that are good and I hope to continue:
  • Reading
  • Writing here---I thought about shutting down the blog, as I way to reduce Internet time, but turns out I spend minimal time here. A few posts a week, a little back-and-forth on comments. THIS is not what is sucking my life away.
  • Exercise. I'm currently loving my high-intensity group workouts. LOVE. It is so f=ing hard that I can't even think for the 30 minutes I'm in the class. I want to continue going to 2-3 classes/week with a short run on the weekends doing intervals. 
  • Time with kids. I get a lot of time with my boys despite working full time. We have mornings, evenings and weekends to hang out. I don't want more and I don't want less.


  1. Ana, I could have written this list (with the exception of TV...not giving up at this point in time). If I find a magic sleeping potion, I'll let you know...

    1. The sleep thing is so multi-faceted right now. Partly I go to bed too late for my early AM wake up time. Partly, I am still woken up 75-80% of the time by L coming into our bed at some time in the middle of the night/very early morning. And then of course, there are the sleep issues---even if I DO go to bed early, there is no guarantee that I will fall asleep within 30 minutes or even an hour. Or I will fall asleep and then wake up randomly in the early morning and not be able to go back to sleep.UGH. I need a sleeping potion for me AND my 2 year old!
      I'm not looking to give up TV---no way! Just wanted TV to make up less than 100% of the time I spend with my husband. I'd be happy to add more solo TV watching (particularly as Gilmore Girls is coming to NetFlix and everyone tells me I MUST see it)

    2. Ana, yup.

      Gilmore Girls might be my all time favorite show.

      I'm trying a 1/4 dose of "Tired Teddies" on my toddler. Worked FANTASTIC last night. We'll see if there's a repeat. And I'm trying out 5-htp for myself...

  2. I wish you luck.

    Re: the doing something with your hands, I'd suggest investigating your local community college or technical college's continuing education class catalog. I've taken all sorts of cool classes over the years, and nearly all are for beginners. They're usually short and not that intense so it's not a huge commitment of $ or time. I am taking a 2-weekend photography class next month.

    1. we don't actually have a CC in the city! I do love the idea of classes, I'm much better with that kind of commitment. There are studios and shops that do classes and I need to spend some time looking into those.

    2. There's one 2 blocks from my house.

  3. Okay, this post made things sound less dire! There's a LOT of good stuff already there! I share the same thought about time with kids. I feel like we are 'supposed' to want more but I feel pretty happy with the amount that I have currently. Guess I will have to forfeit my gold medal in the Mothering Olympics but I have accepted that!

    1. I honestly feel like I have a LOT of time with my kids. Some days I wish I could see them a little more, but then the weekend rolls around and...I'm usually ready on Monday for a little less together-ness.

    2. @Ana - agree with this. One of the biggest things people see after keeping time logs is that they really are spending a lot of time with the kids. People can be up with their kids at 6, and leave for work at 8, and not think of that as 2 hours of mostly-on-with-the-kids time (or similar in the evening). And if the kids stay up late, whoa. My 7-year-old didn't go down until 11 last night. Woke up on his own at 7:20. This is an adult level of sleep, and so I see him a lot.
      As a side note, I'm happy to see you're blogging again. I hadn't been here in a while because I wasn't sure if you'd discontinued. I enjoy your posts.

  4. I love the title of this post, and the underlying idea. You seem to have a real handle on what you want to see change in your life, and that is so good. Now you just need to find a way to make those changes! (Ha, it sounds so easy!)

    I really appreciated this post. I'm going to start thinking of the changes I want to make in this way, as what I want to add to my life, and what I want to subtract.

  5. A good list. I like the idea of scheduling in (well, albeit loosely) daydreaming. Even if it has to take place during another task, such as waiting for water to boil.

  6. Crochet is my craft of choice. It's very portable if you're working on squares, motifs or small toys. I have projects for different stress levels (very stressed = moderately complex, slightly stressed = very complex patterns to increase my focus, not stressed/while watching TV = simple, repetitive patterns). It can be fun to play with colour. Every kid I know loves to have stuff made for them and crochet provides scope for small projects for kids - small soft toys, beanies, flowers for hair ties, glasses cases... I suggest checking out The Green Dragonfly (one of my favourite blogs) to see the sorts of stuff you can make.

    I'm entirely self taught, mostly from books but I believe there are some good YouTube videos too.