Every year in August I get very excited for fall. I’ve been over the hot weather since June and I’m sick of listening to air conditioners. Nathan’s starting kindergarten in less than 3 weeks and my work schedule is changing once again. I’m not a fan of change and I’m tired of anticipating it, I just want to get on with it. I want to put into action some ideas I have for managing my time and getting Nathan to be a more independent, contributing member of this family.
We’ve eaten more than our fair share of takeout lately and I’m tired of quick meals because of the heat. I’m ready for slow cooked food from the oven, soups and stews and chilis. Fritatas and casseroles and pasta dishes. I’m ready for freshly baked delights. I’m ready to start thinking about Thanksgiving.
I’m also ready to get this house in order. Everywhere I look there’s clutter and items we no longer need or use. I see reminders that I’m not living the minimalist lifestyle that I so desire. My home office is a dumping ground for every piece of paper that’s ever entered this house and the attic and basement are disorganized museums of forgotten things. I start thinking that September is the perfect time for a yard sale. Nathan’s room has so many toys he can’t find anything to play with and we’ve started putting things next to the things that are supposed to hold the toys. Many more yard sale items can be found here, no doubt!
We don’t budget and I wish we did. I know we waste money and I wish we didn’t. I have a bag of beans I’ve been meaning to put in the crock pot, but instead I reach for canned most nights. I use jarred sauce instead of making my own and freezing it. I should be making my own cleaners. I should be baking snack items instead of buying treats for Nathan. I should be couponing!!
But every September, reality hits. I don’t have nearly as much time as I think I do. My work schedule is only changing in that I’m working the same amount of hours over 5 days instead of 4. So while I’ll get home by 3:30 instead of 5:30, I won’t have Fridays off anymore. Sure that will help me get dinner on the table, but I lose a day for writing, cleaning, errands and personal needs like doctor visits and pedicures.
I hate couponing and I hate yard sales. The take out thing, yes, that needs to go regardless and it is likely I’ll cook more in the fall than the summer but this notion that I’ll use no convenience foods is crazy. And baking all of our baked goods? Please, I have that goal every year.
I really do have to clean the areas I mentioned, and hopefully I’ll get to them, but not this fall. And who really starts cleaning an attic at 3:30pm on a school day.
Oh, and that’s the other thing: This kid is going to have to learn how to do homework! It’s not like he’s going to come home Day 1, sit at the table and finish his assignments. I’m going to have to sit with him, teach him discipline about doing his work first so he can play later and make sure he follows his instructions. I will need to still get his lunch together for the next day, help him make sure his backpack is set up for the morning and his clothes are set out. He’s going to need a snack after school and I’m going to need to start that homemade dinner too.
Next thing I know, it will be 8pm and I will have not written, not exercised and basically not accomplished any of the things I barely have time for now.
And yet every year I set the same goals: Have a perfect house with a perfect kitchen, a perfect budget, a perfect schedule. I will lose the weight, write the book, minimize our lives and footprints. I can try to talk myself out of these goals all I want, but in the end I’m still going to try for them anyway.