Monday, March 10, 2014

Doing the best you can at the time

A little while back I wrote a post about all the lifestyle changes that we've made on our little journey to a simple life.  All those who are on this path realize that "simple" does not necessarily mean "easy or quick" and in fact is quite the opposite.  One thing that you have to be is "organized" and over the last few weeks I haven't been organized and things have fallen by the way side so much so that I've purchased rubbish treat food more so than normal, some take away bakery treats for lunch like a sausage roll over a healthy bread roll with ham and salad because it was easy and I couldn't be bothered.

The veggie garden is nearly bare with only tomatoes left and some capsicums that are very small and will take a little longer before they are edible.  The corn and cucumbers are finished also so in a nutshell the wheels have fallen off everything.  During the last month our family has faced a serious health issue with my sister Lisa who is with Sienna in the picture below and last week we were told to expect the worse.  There were tears, endless worry and lots of chocolate and basically I am worried sick and not able to relax and get myself organized to do anything.  She has a long year ahead of her surrounded by her family.

So whilst I'm really proud of things I have changed and/or tried which I wrote about, sometimes life does not make things easy for you and for now everything has fallen into a big heap.  It even got to the point that I washed the same clothes in the washing machine 3 times because I had left them in the machine way to long.  I was doing the best I could under the circumstances.

There are going to be times in our lives when things run smoothly and times in our life when things fall by the wayside and folks, this is called "REAL LIFE".

Family life is always busy and my kids don't actually do a lot of extra activities after school.  We only have AFL training one night a week for James and the football season hasn't started yet on Saturday's however there are always birthday party invites to respond to, presents to be purchased and driving them to parties during peak hour on the other side of town.  There are sports clothes to be sourced for school and permission slips to be filled in.  The school photo forms that payment is required on line first and then the forms back to school which was done on my iPad about midnight one night, in fact the last day that they could be returned.  Swimming twice a week at school requires washing of togs, towel twice during the week and repacked into the swimming bag for school and remembered on the two correct days.  There's school library days and homework and family birthday presents to be sent to interstate relatives, the list is endless.  I'm exhausted and I only have 2 kids with one extra activity after school.  I suppose because it's just me 24/7 that there's never anyone else to take up the slack so you just solider on.   I don't go out in the evenings however there is a local community meeting that I would love to attend this week however my two free babysitters (my Mum and my sister) won't be available so I cannot attend the meeting.

The house feels like a mess and everywhere I look something needs to be done, in the car, in the garage, in the backyard, in the study, in the toy room, in my room, in the hallway, the list goes on and on and I never seem to get on top of it all even though I'm doing the best I can at the moment.  Sometimes my best is just doing what I can and other times my best is going the extra mile.  At the moment "I'm doing my best" and my sister is going through way more than just a messy house and so whilst I would love for my house to be filled with home baked goods and be organized right now there's doing the best you can when you can.

Yesterday I had all the family over to celebrate Sienna's 8th Birthday as the week of her birthday Mum was away and my sister was in hospital so I baked a birthday cake, tidied the house and hosted 10 people.  I was tossing up whether to buy the Freddo Ice Cream Cake for Sienna because (i) she likes it and (ii) it's easy and "easy" was appealing to me yesterday morning however I had bought the chocolate bits for the top and Sienna wanted a home made cake and I was just being lazy if I'm really honest with myself because I still had to buy the food, clean the house, get dressed all before 11.30 am.  I did end up making the cake and it was delicious.  It's the chocolate cake recipe of my sisters that is so easy.  Everything in the bowl and let the mixer mix it for 5 minutes and then pour it into whatever cake tins you want.  It took over an hour to bake as it's a big recipe which meant I couldn't leave the house to get to the shops until that had finished cooking so that's why I was thinking "Freddo Ice Cream Cake".  My Mum can't eat store bought ice cream because she has a bad reaction to the chemicals so I decided to make the cake so Mum could also celebrate.

At the end of the day any improvements in our lives is for these two precious people.  Yes, they can drive me crazy with fighting or leave stuff all over the house but my path towards a simpler life is to show them how much happiness comes from things we can do like baking a loaf of bread or picking a cucumber from the veggie garden.  So much happiness comes from those things that money can't buy.  They may not be quick and easy things like actually growing a cucumber and waiting for it to be ready vs buying one from the shops however we end up with such joy and satisfaction from these simple things that it's all worth while.

So at the moment, I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances but at least I'm aware of the path I want to lead my children down.  One day I'll feel like my house is completely cleaned and decluttered and everything in it's place but that is not this month.  For now I'm doing the best I can at the time and that has to be good enough.


  1. Hi can be tricky at times...always remember you are doing a fantastic job...and as you say "simple" is not always that sorry to hear that your sister is not in good health. It certainly puts an untidy lounge room into perspective. Don't be hard on yourself.....sending you best wishes and take it easy.

  2. Kathy, continue to be strong and courageous...We'll remember you and your special family in our prayers. I do admire you and how you live a normal life. All day today, I also kept telling myself the sun will come out tomorrow:) and it will:)

    1. Just taking one day at a time. Kathy

  3. Simple living is very labour intensive!

    You are giving your children and yourself the priceless gift of living a simple and meaningful life.

    When I get overwhelmed, I lie down and meditate on this thought. It helps me work through the messy bits.

  4. You're doing a great job - it's hard enough to keep a house and look after kids at the best of times let alone when the rug gets pulled out from under you - just try to keep your head above water and know that you're doing your best

  5. Hey Kathy,
    What a beautiful honest post. I just loved the photo of your lounge room "real life" with kids! Try not to be too overwhelmed with chores and it sounds like you need to go the easy road for awhile. In the big scheme of things you are doing a wonderful job and I'm sure you are a great support for your sister. Let the mess stay there, it's not going anywhere and will just find you again tomorrow! Be gentle on yourself. I'm sending you a virtual bag of home made treats, dinners and warm hugs, Jan x

    1. thanks Jan, send some of that wonderful virtual home made bread too...that looks awesome.

  6. Your total honesty shines through all these words, and also your despair that maybe your 'best' isn't good enough. IT IS. If we do our best in any circumstances we have given all that we have to give. No more can be asked nor expected from us. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies for thinking what we have to offer isn't enough..

    You made a wonderful cake that your daughter will remember forever - just look at that smile on the photo .... absolutely priceless. We really do have to learn to savour the special moments, the smile the touch of a hand, the hug we can give or receive from someone we love.

    You have so much going on with family and worry over your sister, the very least you can do is to be good to yourself.

  7. Hi Kathy,
    It WILL get tidy and all organised one day, try to just get the important things done (which it sounds like you are concentrating on anyway). If it helps, we've all been there at some time/s before!

  8. Oh Kathy, life gets messy sometimes. Our best is always, always good enough. You are enough.
    Be kind to yourself.
    Take care
    cheers Kate