Tuesday, January 8, 2019

And Now, Back to Normal

Today, we put away the Christmas decorations. Everyone helped a little, which was absolutely lovely, and the storage area under the stairs is more organized than it's been since we moved in (this was a solo effort, but I'm not mad about it), so that made it doubly nice. The house feels less cluttered, and I am satisfied.

We are now trying to get back into our usual routine for schoolwork. It is strange how hard this is. We only had two weeks off, and yet it feels like a lot longer. Two weeks of plenty of things to do, and my kids have forgotten how to entertain themselves. I keep reminding them that they have new toys and books that they got for Christmas, and while I am working with someone else on schoolwork is exactly the right time to bust those things out and put them to good use. Today I had to threaten consequences if there were more interruptions. I am not a consequences kind of person - I prefer for my kids to understand why I am asking them to do something and then to agree to do it. This actually does happen sometimes, just not today. Threats were made. There may have been a little shouting. We will live.

The part about normal life that no one has trouble resuming is making little messes everywhere. Christmas messes are bigger messes, but I can write them off as temporary. These little messes that I'm talking about are part of the permanent state of affairs. I also have no trouble resuming getting behind on laundry and then rushing to get it all folded and put away because it is driving me crazy. The photo above illustrates our normal setting pretty well. You can see the clean, unfolded laundry lurking behind the door, and E has left two containers of breakfast foods lying haphazardly on my bed, along with the pajamas she was wearing. I said above that the house feels less cluttered, and it does. But "less cluttered" does not mean "not cluttered at all" and that just is what it is.

Truth be told, we make way bigger messes than what is pictured, and we do it regularly. We can't seem to help it. I have plans to get things more organized in the house over the next month or two, but I am not sure it will help that much. But at least if the shelves and cupboards are organized, when the rest of it goes to Hades in a handbasket, I can go look at my well organized spaces and know that order is possible - just not everywhere, all at once. And that's normal. Order or lack thereof, being back to normal feels good.

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