Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Preparing for a Day Out

so, I looked for a pic of me lounging by a pool, or reading in a recliner or
getting a pedicure or something, but there was none.
This could mean one of two things...I never lounge by a pool, etc.
OR, nobody ever takes a pic of me lounging by a pool, etc.

I mentioned a while back that my hope/dream was to get in a baby sitter bi-weekly in order to free me up to do some of my regular brain activities-that are hard to accomplish with four kids banging around my ankles 24/7.

A day off, of sorts.

Well, my first day off came to fruition last week Thursday.

And I found that the key to a successful, guilt free and productive day off, was all in the preparation. It is doing what I feel are my primary responsibilities first, so I could take off guilt free.

Plus,  I wanted to make the most of this time, because I have a life philosophy of getting my money's worth. I'm not talking about my money's worth from my sitter. What I am talking about is, because I actually paid a sitter, I am not going to fritter away this golden opportunity. I am going to be prepared and ready to go. I am going to get a lot done.

I prepared my house and my life for my day off... 

I cleaned my house right before our trip to OK, on the supposition that I wouldn't clean it the week we got back. The only cleaning that happened at my house last week was BMV's vacuuming and Freckle's light dusting of the living room. I resisted my perfectionist tendencies, and let the good enough be good enough. 

I made chicken curry in the crock pot the day before my day off. We ate it Wednesday, and then had the leftovers on Thursday. Leftovers is the two birds with one stone idea. Plus I could be gone all day and know that I still had a nutritious meal ready for our dinner.

I also planted my garden last week-before my day off. I spent hours on Tuesday looking for plants, and on Wednesday weeding, turning soil, marking rows and getting things in the ground.

I hired a babysitter (duh) and told the kids I was going to be gone all day. I made my sitter a basic list because she hadn't baby sat for us before.

So, when it came to Thursday, I could have my day off guilt free. I planned my day off for later in the week. I wasn't neglecting my work and family.  Does anyone else have a hard time getting around the feeling that hiring someone to help is an extravagance? That it is somehow shirking our duties? We are so programmed into the lie... "I'm a woman, and I am supposed to do everything."


I am learning the value of good enough and can't do it all. And both are wonderful and practical ideas.

I prepared myself for my day off...

Physically and mentally.

I prepared by getting up early on Thursday and running. It woke me up, and made me feel good about the upcoming hours of studying.

I got dressed professionally-dressy top, make up, necklace, the works. I was doing business, and I wanted to look like it. Dress for the job you want and all that....

I made a very specific list of what I needed to do, and what I needed to do on the internet. I gathered the supplies I needed...notebooks, my Bible, a cookbook, chargers, etc. I didn't want to set off, and find out I was missing a vital component. That would have shot my day in the foot.

I planned my week before hand. I knew I had this day to write and study, so I didn't worry about impending deadlines. Instead, I was able to do the other things, like gardening, earlier in the week, and then face these tasks on my day off. It was incredibly freeing.

I also was able to mull and stew over my writings and lists and etc. that I was going to face on Thursday, so when I actually sat down to my tasks, I already had a clear idea of where I was going with the different things. I was able to mull and stew because I was doing rather mindless physical labor-like gardening.

I prayed about my day off, and I got others praying too. We prayed that I would get a lot accomplished, that I would have clear thoughts, and that I would be taught so I could teach. Prayer is a key component that gets forgotten in the mundane details of life. But, I don't think my day would have gone nearly as well without God's enabling and help.

I did get a ton done. I made a powerpoint and a handout for a social media session I am teaching in a couple weeks. I wrote the menu and grocery list for our guys' retreat. I revised the handout for the girls' child training session I am teaching in June, plus I looked at the schedule and the curriculum for our VBS's.

I didn't get a letter written that I was hoping to. I didn't do all the studying I was hoping to. But, this day off got me enough ahead that I am not panicked wondering when everything is going to get done.

As a matter of fact, this week is looking to be like a stereotypical summer school vacation week. Lots of time spent reading and writing and studying in the sunshine, with the offspring banging around my ankles. (And also catching up on all the cleaning and organizing that kind of got shoved to the back burner throughout the school year. Watch out closets and drawers!)

Just the way I like my summer life. 

Oh, and I am already planning my next two days off. I've been bitten by the bug. My June day off will be spent doing the business accounts for the first half of the year. And my July day off will be spent doing unit study curriculum planning for next year.

How would you use a day off? If you could hire someone to come in every couple weeks to help you out, what would you have them do? Cooking, cleaning, baby-sitting?