Month 2 Progress Report

When I wrote my last progress report I had no idea I’d be working a regular job again, and my mom not being well also threw me off. Next week I’m co-chairing an author visit event at my daughter’s school, which has also taken a lot of time. I’m looking forward to things becoming less busy in the next few weeks.

Anyway. As a kid my report cards were good more often than not, but I remember the dread I felt during those ‘not’ occasions. I’m having flashbacks to seventh grade right now.

Objective 1: To create a home which contains only things we need and love.

Here’s what I did:

  • A whole lot of nothin’. Well, maybe slightly more than nothing.

Grade: D+ (the plus is for effort)

Comment: Like last month, this was my main focus, but I didn’t give it nearly as much time as I wanted. I tossed lots of random things into a box when they had the misfortune of crossing my path, but I didn’t devote any real blocks of time to getting rid of things. We still have too much stuff. Like coffee mugs. These are just some of our non-wedding china coffee mugs.


This is about half of what we own.

I’m still hoping to get at least a couple bags to a clothing drive happening in my community this weekend.

On a more positive note, I’ve realized Objective 1 is not just about getting rid of things. It also means being more mindful about what comes into the house. Since we’d been living on mostly one income I cut way back on buying things, which was good, but now that I’m making money again I find myself browsing for things I don’t need. I haven’t bought anything and I’m trying to remind myself that I haven’t missed the random spending I used to do.

Objective 2: To implement routines and habits to help us manage our time, our house and our health.

What I accomplished:

  • This is a little thing, but it meant something to me because I feel like I made so little headway this month. Yesterday Emma needed to do her homework and couldn’t find a pencil. I started looking in random places and then remembered that I’d put all my office supplied in tote. I found pencils AND the pencil sharpener. Victory.
  • I’m going to go easy on myself because I now have to get ready for work a few times a week. I always got dressed and did my hair anyway so it’s not radically different. I’m trying to choose my clothes the night before, though I got a huge blob of peanut butter on my new pants the other morning and had to put on an entirely different outfit for matching purposes. Emma is at the age where she needs minimal direction in the morning so it’s more of a mental adjustment for than anything because now I have to make an effort to look nice as opposed to my usual schlumpy suburban mom.
  • But! My kitchen drawer! It’s still neat. I took this about an hour ago.


    This might be my main barometer for success.

Grade: C+

Comment: I had another epiphany recently. I am Pigpen, but I shower. Mine is not a cloud of dust, but of papers, pens, gadgets, earrings, books, and other assorted stuff, and it settles all over the house. I find what I need when I need it, probably because everything I own is out in front of me, covering nearly every surface in the house. Until a couple hours ago, the kitchen table was covered as was the family room table, coffee table, entry table, etc. I’ve not had any problem sharing any photos of my messes, but I couldn’t bring myself to share these. I feel like I need some kind of micro-focused routine where I learn to work more neatly in a space and figure out how to deal with all the different categories of stuff that comprises the mess. And do more cleaning up as I go along. It’s making me nuts, and you know what that means.

Objective 3: To improve the quality of family mealtimes through better planning and organization.

What I accomplished:

  • I’ve been doing a better job with meal planning, which I’m glad about. I don’t feel I can say it’s a true habit yet, but it’s a definite improvement.
  • I accidentally ended up with Friday morning as my shopping time, but I am not sure how this will work if and when my work schedule evolves.

Grade: B

Comment: Because my time’s been more limited, it’s almost made it easier because I do not have time to think and obsess. I made one meal in the slow cooker this week, and it fed us for two nights. We had a make-your-own pizza night which I think will become a regular or semi-regular menu item because it was so easy.

Objective 4: To utilize free time more mindfully, individually and as a family.

What I accomplished:

  • Not much. I need to think more about what I want to do with my free time. I love to read, and finished a couple of books, but I want to branch out. Playing QuizUp is fun but it’s not really my idea of quality free time.
  • I’m going easy on myself in this area too, because the amount of free time was minimal. I’d hope to get to the city with Emma and Bob, but we weren’t able to make it work because of more important commitments.

Grade: B-

Comment: I want to think about things to do with my family, as well as things I want to do independently. There’s so much to do in my area and I feel like we overlook so much. I don’t want television to be my default because I am too tired to do anything else. I hardly read at all this week because by the time Emma went to bed I was too tired, and should have gone to bed myself at that point.

So that’s my month. Next week I’ll share my Month 3 plans.