On the recommendation of one of the bloggers I follow (I can't for the life of me figure out which one though) I started reading the book "Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living." It's an interesting read so far and it really has me thinking about my priorities and making time for more important things. It talks about how "stuff" can start to take over your life and make it more stressful and chaotic. By deciding what is really important to you and getting rid of or eliminating things those things that aren't as important you make room for what is a higher priority for you and your family. It talks about what it means to live simply and there are parts of the book that weren't for me - like coming up with a family purpose/mission statement in order to make simple living personal. I'm a list maker, but that just isn't my style. Instead I made a mental list of what things I wanted to do more of and what things I could do less of -
Things to Add/Increase:
quality time with Jeff
Things to Eliminate/Decrease:
mindless internet surfing
At the moment the decrease list is pretty sparse but just those 2 things eat up more time than I'm comfortable with. Take tv watching for example. I'm really good about monitoring how much tv my son watches - he gets to watch about 45 minutes in the mornings and evenings and that's it. With the warmer weather we've had this week, the morning session was skipped at least 3 times so I anticipate that we'll drop morning tv in the summer. I'm not so good at monitoring my own television habits. Lately I've fallen into the trap of watching tv during the 2-2.5 hours that Simon is napping. Add that to the tv we watch in the evenings - a half hour of world news, maybe a 30 minute sit-com, and an hour long drama and you've got roughly 4 hours a day in front of the tv. That's 20 hours in a given work week. That's 20 hours that I can be devoting to other pursuits.
I'm not saying that I'm going to cut tv out of my life. Jeff and I got rid of cable when we moved back to Ohio and we don't really miss it too much. There are times where it would be nice to have but it's not critical. What I am saying is that I want to be a bit more particular about the shows I decide to watch. There are the "can't miss, love 'em" shows like Modern Family, Happy Endings, Parenthood, Castle, Once Upon a Time, and Fringe. I'm fine with out adding any new shows. The biggest change I want to make right now is decreasing the daytime shows. I'm sure there are days that I'd just rather curl up on the couch while Simon sleeps and watch The Chew and that's fine. It can be a treat, not just something to do or have on in the background. When I was single I tended to use the tv as background noise and it can be a hard habit to break. With the time I gain in the afternoons I want to read more, blog more, listen to books on CD while knitting, and exercise. Tomorrow begins day one.