I think what’s in your bag can be quite telling about your current season of life.
I’m at Starbucks because the internet hasn’t been set up at our new house. (Maybe it will be turned on tomorrow, I’m hoping.)
So I’m standing in line at Starbucks to order my drink, and when I reach into my tote bag to get ready to pay, I find a bag of frozen fish sticks in there. There are fish sticks in my bag! It’s not my snack. They’re not even cooked, they’re frozen! It’s just so ridiculous, and of course I can’t be subtle about it, I have to show them to the cashier who has probably seen worse but he laughs anyway.
When I sit down at my table the power cord for my computer has a piece of blue painter’s tape stuck on it from all the painting we did last week. I have to get a picture of this. What you don’t see is my purse full of receipts. It’s just a traveling file folder for this home renovation.
We haven’t moved into our house yet because of the construction; we’ve been staying in the nearby town. With all of the traveling we did this year, we’ve lived out of suitcases for most of the last nine months. It will good to get into our own home again. The movers are bringing our stuff on Thursday. There are a few things we’ve missed, and we’ll be happy to have our own kitchen where we’ll cook more than frozen fish sticks.
I’ve come to rely on basic routines so much this month as we drive back and forth between houses, storing necessary things in the trunk of the car, trying to keep some basic organization in place as school starts. School brings so many more small things to do, it’s unbelievable. Trying to remember everything such as how the school library books need to be returned on Fridays, and she needs white t-shirts for field trips. I need a place to put all the papers that come home every day. I don’t even have a table for her to do her homework.
What has helped me is the routines that I knew before but didn’t need so desperately until now. Things like:
Transferring all the information from school flyers to my personal calendar so I have a few less papers to keep up with.
The after-school routine of checking her take-home folder and starting homework right away.
Trusting my decisions to act on information instead of stacking up papers and waiting until later.
Making do with only five outfits for each of us and getting the clothes ready for the week on Sunday night.
Keeping our clothes organized in the packing cubes from our trip while we’re staying at other people’s houses.
Twice-weekly visits to the library for more kids’ books and movies.
Putting the kids to bed an hour earlier to compensate for the early wake-up call.
Night-time showers and baths so we can get out the door before seven a.m. without feeling hurried.
Knowing this won’t go on forever. Neither Doug nor I want to live in a project. We want to get it all done so we won’t have home improvement projects to do every weekend for years. We’ll unpack our stuff and have furniture and places to sit. It’s almost ready.