My fourth and final objective was to utilize free time more mindfully, individually and as a family.
Final grade: Incomplete
Of all my goals for this past year, this objective fell by the wayside in favor of the other three. And so I find it hard to issue myself an honest assessment of my progress.
I can attribute some of my lack of headway to the fact that much of my free time was devoted to working on my project. It’s only recently that I’m finding myself with more free time; I don’t need as much time as I used to straighten the house. And I’m not devoting large blocks of time to ripping spaces apart, putting them back together, and writing about it.
While we didn’t put family time on the back burner, I didn’t get to pursue my individual interests as much as I wanted. Granted, my reading time did not suffer at all, but I’ve missed sewing and jewelry making and little miscellaneous craft projects. When I cleaned out the closets and attic, I came across a lot of supplies and I was torn about keeping many of them. I did give some away, and organized the things I kept which has made my recent sewing projects easier. In a few months I’ll go through everything again and get rid of anything I still haven’t used.
Recently I made new curtains for the kitchen, which was a project I’d put off for a long time.
While my Simple Year project definitely didn’t occupy every single moment of free time, when I did have an afternoon open I found I preferred to get out of the house. We definitely did not put family fun on the back burner during the past year. But going forward, I want to spend my individual time better. Too often I find myself mindlessly surfing the internet, which doesn’t add anything to my life.
I’m also seeing that this objective called a big change in mindset which I haven’t successfully made. While decluttering also required a definite rethinking of how I did things, but it was an easier change. When I feel tempted to bring something new into the house, something not consumable like groceries, reminding myself that I don’t really need something or have space for something goes a long way. But when I have some time on my hands, I automatically feel I should be doing something productive. Even though I made a conscious choice not to sweat small messes and the stuff of daily life, I always feel like I should be cleaning. I’m sure this struggle is one I share with most women.
The end of my project comes at a good time, because summer is coming and camp planning is in full swing, along with registration for fall dance classes. Emma wants to go to art camp for two weeks, we’ll be away for a week, and then we’ll be relaxing at home. Today I entered a giveaway on Goodreads for this book, which I’m going to read regardless of whether or not I win.
I like the idea of this book, and it comes at a good time because Emma told me she doesn’t want to take dance in the fall, and I immediately felt like she needed to replace it with another activity. But there’s really nothing else she wants to do, so I’m going to leave it alone. Lately I do feel she’s spending too much time with her iPad- she loves Minecraft, and watching videos about Minecraft. She shows me the buildings she’s designed which are pretty impressive, so I don’t think it’s without benefit, but I do want to cut back on her screen time.
And so I’m taking my incomplete grade. I looked through my old posts as I thought about this objective, and we did have some fun times and great memories. I love when the three of us spend time together, and I love when Emma and I spend one-on-one time together, which I think will be my main goal for the future. It’s really not hard for me to carve out a little time here and there to sew or read, but I need to set aside specific periods of time to spend with her. And ultimately, everything I’ve done with this project, even if it was indirect, was done so I could make a better life for her.