Just a Few Things: Dinners, Libraries, & Sick Days

When it comes to making ambitious life goals and only working towards them for 3 days, I am your girl. I am ALL hype and little follow through. It is one of my least favorite things about myself and the reason I have announced countless half marathons, new morning routines and Whole 30 stints. I once texted a friend that I was going to illustrate every story in the entire Bible. I don’t even think I made it through Genesis 1. The disconnect between my ambition and discipline is the reason my pantry cabinets are full of supplements that I bought on a whim to solve all my gut issues. I didn’t even have the discipline to take them for more than a week. Print outs of a Couch to 10k running plan, the barely used office I put together with intentions of hours and hours of writing and blogging – all evidence of my good intentions. But when the rubber meets the road and the emotion fades away, my discipline almost never gets me there.

So many dreams, so much ambition, such little follow through.

When it comes to writing, I have found that the lack of time is actually not the biggest barrier to putting my fingers to the keyboard. There are hours during the week available to write. I just don’t do it. I want to do it. But I don’t. Sure, there are genuine obstacles- naptime goes quickly and I am literally ALWAYS cleaning and/or cooking I am drained by the end of the day and sometimes I sit down to write and I just don’t even know where to begin. But often, it’s a discipline and motivation issue. It feels overwhelming to start when I have literally 150 drafts and a brain full of things to write about and little energy.

So lately I have been thinking about ways I can write without putting all this pressure on myself to create a post every time from a place of arrival, all wrapped up with a pretty bow with some profound lesson I have learned in this life stage. I have been brainstorming ideas to get me writing in new and fun ways that will hopefully create some sort of habit.

My idea is a series of posts called “Just a Few Things” to share little things going on- something I discovered, a funny story, a good book, or the best thing I ordered from a coffee shop. My thoughts are that this takes off the pressure of creating something heavy or profound every single time, but still gets me writing. My favorite part of writing is connecting with the people that read my blog, and while sometimes this will be through sharing heartache or victory, maybe sometimes it can look like connecting over something more simple.

Now remember, I am a stay at home mom that tries to limit my internet access. I don’t get out much. New to me doesn’t mean new to the world. I hope at least something I share is helpful or thought provoking or yummy or educational to you. And if not, at least entertaining.

Introducing the first and HOPEFULLY not only “Just a Few Things”:

  1. Last Minute Dinners Togethers

When did having people over for dinner become some giant thing? On the occasions I have hosted people for dinner, it is a WHOLE situation. The cooking and cleaning and shopping and stressing. Why is this? I LOVE eating and I love my friends – there is just nothing like having a real meal together, but this rarely happens. I think expectations really prevent this from happening more, and I am here to suggest a shift. A few weekends ago, a close friend and I were trying to get together around our kids’ naps. It would have been pretty late in the day, so she just asked me, “Do you guys just want to come have dinner here?” Mere HOURS before! It wasn’t planned. There wasn’t a formal invitation weeks in advance. She was planning to eat dinner with her family, as was I. I said, “um, yes. I will bring half a loaf of french bread and a salad.” We showed up a few hours later with a container of cottage cheese since that’s all my daughter will eat for dinner currently, and we had delicious chili and our half loaf of french bread and it was casual and wonderful. It wasn’t fussy. Granted, this particular friend always has a suspiciously clean house, so maybe I would need more like 2 days notice for my current house status. But man, why are we not eating together and fellowshipping casually more? It was so refreshing and easy and low pressure.

2. The Library

“The Library is AWESOME!” -Me (to a librarian). Honestly, besides Jesus, I don’t think anything has made a bigger difference in my life the last few months than the local library. I learned there are two different apps (thanks Sami- she opened my eyes to Hoopla and Libby) to borrow audiobooks easily for free and I have been absolutely devouring books while on my walks with Mila (on the 2 days it wasn’t a monsoon of rain here this October) and while cleaning around the house during naps.

Also, If you are local to Grand Rapids, the Kent District Library has something called “Perk Pass” where you simply enter your library card number on this site https://kdl.org/perkpass/ and get free tickets to a variety of places in the area. If there aren’t any left when you try, they add more each month so try again in a few weeks. My family and I had a wonderful morning at Frederick Meijer Gardens last weekend for free! I also take my daughter to the classes at the library which have been so fun and a great way for both of us to get out of the house and around other living breathing human beings. There is a “Baby Time” class we love and a “Toddler Time” class we have just started as she gets older. Mila is there for the bubble machine and runs the show.

Mila being adorable making music at Rhyme Time Music Class.
Strolling through FM Garden after using our Perk Passes. Notice Mila being carried instead of riding. Classic Mila.
There is an awesome play area at the Wyoming library. We play in there before or after the class.

3. Sick Days

I realized something interesting about sick days this week. My daughter came down with a bug after frequenting the nursery at church, and we have had a bit of a long week. One thing I realized though, on her first full day of being sick, is how much calmer and more content I was because my expectations for the day were so much lower. I sat on the couch with her more. I expected the house to be a little messier. I rested during her nap because I barely slept the night before. We had nowhere to go and I didn’t feel all of this self imposed pressure to get every single thing done. A tough thing about being a Stay at Home mom, is that you LIVE in your office. You don’t leave your job and head back the next morning. Want to take a bath? Good luck because all you will notice is the dirt in the tub tile and the hair on the floor that needs to be swept. I have almost no time off (always in negotations with the boss on this one about nap time length) but I found as hard as the sick days were, it was a bit of a nice reprieve from my internal STRIVE meter. Maybe I could meet myself somewhere in the middle? Less snot, but less constant striving to get everything done?

Afternoon, still in jammies with nothing on the docket.

Until the next few things!


One Comment Add yours

  1. Lori Barr says:

    Jenna! Your posts make me smile SOOOO big! Thankful you shared.


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