Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Focusing on the task at hand...the downside

When my life was a duel between grad student and homemaker, I almost always had to just do what had to be done, one step at a time. Especially when our commute took up nearly three hours a day. THREE HOURS.

As a full-time "SAHM" now, I still use this approach for most everyday tasks. I don't really want to look at the broader view of the day and cringe at how much is full of mundane, repetitive housekeeping chores. If I just follow a rhythm of doing a few things that need to be done, then play with my children, take a break to read and have a mocha, then do a few more things that need to be done...then usually everything gets done and I don't feel overwhelmed.

The problem comes when I want (or need) to do more than just maintain the household. In Sheila Wray Gregoire's excellent blog, she asked yesterday for readers to comment on the biggest source of stress and "busy-ness" in their lives (she's getting ready to teach us how to simplify, woohoo!). This was an easy answer for me: House. Work.

I already know what I need to do to streamline housework. Mostly it involves some storage containers and a weekend of deep cleaning. But before I get storage containers, I need to paint my bookshelves. And before I paint my bookshelves I need to refinish my dining table and paint it. Which is going to require some coats of polyurethane, which means I need to clear out space in the garage (which is full of boxes of books waiting to go on freshly painted bookshelves). Before I do that, I need to spend an evening finishing up the final little details on my awesomely cute coffee table-turned chalkboard activity table.

Oops. Anyone see a problem with my (non) plan of action? If I just take care of the task at hand, I'll never actually complete the above list of projects. Fortunately, by writing out the list I was able to see that a lack of strategy won't work. And now that I type that out..."duh".

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wishful Wednesday: Video Scrapbooking

What's Wishful Wednesday? A new linky?

Nah. Just what I wanted to call this post. Since I had an idea for a product I really wish someone would develop (pun intended...wait for it) at 6am while I was up feeding Mr. Hungry Poopy Pants...and today is see how it came to be.

Anyway, wouldn't it be really cool to be able to "print" short video clips on 4x6 cards that you can put in a photo scrapbook? I guess good ol' J.K. Rowling already thought of the magical version of this. Maybe it's not so original.

But I really want it.

Because laying on the bed next to Blaise and watching him lift up his head and look out the window, listening to Jon puttering in the kitchen, smelling the coffee brewing...I wanted to capture ALL of that as my "Picture of the Day" so I can flip back to it in my Project Life kit twenty years from now.

I'm not asking for a holodeck here. Though that would be cool too, while we're busy wishing :).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The future of undervalued marriage?

I ran across an astonishing article while skimming the Wall Street Journal this morning. Haha, doesn't that make me sound intellectual? Just know that I was reading it while rolling around on the floor with a baby and while my toddler scattered sections of the paper all over the living room. Don't want to give any false impressions.

Back to the article: "Only in Japan, Real Men Go To a Hotel With Virtual Girlfriends". Basically, a former honeymoon destination in Japan is trying to find a way to survive in a country where the population is shrinking and the marriage rate is falling. So they're catering to a new idea of "couple": real men taking their video-game character girlfriends on expensive weekend vacations. In the first month of the promotion, over 1500 men brought their virtual dates to Atami for romantic walks, an afternoon kiss and an evening of fireworks. They paid for two people to stay in a room at the hotel featured in the game, adding to the "realism".

Wives, homemakers, helpmates...if you ever doubted your value, consider this as proof positive that men NEED us in order to be their best.

My husband and I married when we were still undergraduate college students, which often surprises people. In response, my husband says that if he hadn't married me when he did, he likely wouldn't have finished college. Judging by his just-prior-to-marriage student id photo and his post-marriage driver's license photo, he would have become a bum instead. And then the world would be short one brilliant scientist (not that I'm partial in my assessment or anything).

The need for a companion, the despair of loneliness, goes so deep in man's nature that when a helpmate can't be found man creates one to fill the vacuum. The idea of a a grown man spending hours playing a video game to earn "boyfriend points" so his virtual girlfriend doesn't give him the silent treatment seems crazy until it is considered in light of the power of loneliness.

Fortunately, God knew this and created a better solution than Nintendo can compete with.