Friday, March 7, 2014

34: The Year of Efficiency

Last year, I made a big ol' list of resolutions for the year.  I made that big ol' list, and then I didn't look at it again until recently, when I was reading some of my old blog posts to find out where exactly I left things last spring.  When I read my resolutions, I realized that it's silly to make a list that you don't look back at throughout the year.  It was also interesting to see that while I made progress in many of my list points, I didn't really 'cross' anything off the list which is a little frustrating since I'm a 'cross things off the list' kind of girl.  (Last week, Bill even caught me writing something on my list for the weekend after I had already accomplished it, just so I could cross it off:).)

In addition to reading my 2013 resolutions, my birthday this week caused me to pause for some reflection on the years that have passed, and the year that lies ahead.  (This reflection may have taken place in early January, had I not been adjusting to life with a brand new baby and dealing with surgery recovery, but I kind of like the idea of reflecting when my age changes instead of when the calendar changes.  It seems more personal and hopefully, it's something I will continue to do going forward.)  My thoughts can be summarized like this: 2012 was the year of simplifying, 2013 was the year of connections, and if life is a highway, then I just turned onto Hwy 34, also known as, Efficiency Street.

This 'one word' resolution trend is really nice because it no longer is about crossing off tasks.  Instead, I'm focusing on one part of me that I'd like to improve upon.  I probably never will be done simplifying, and I want to continue forming and developing connections with others forever.  Likewise, I don't expect to create an super efficient household in one single year, but I would love to focus on this area more so that instead of living with inefficient systems, I ask the questions like, why do we accumulate so much paper that important things get lost in the piles on our office desk and our counter?  I want to identify problem areas, figure out what isn't working and then fix the problems.  Additionally, I don't want to waste time on matters that aren't really important.  Things like, should I get a white lamp or a silver lamp for our master bedroom?  Or should we host a Superbowl Party or a Valentine's Gathering?  Decisions can be tricky, but the ones that aren't that important shouldn't require much time to work through.

Accordingly, my goal of correcting inefficient household systems and making decisions more efficiently has not been made so that our family can accomplish more, but rather so our family can enjoy more quality time together.  Life gets so busy, especially now that my big kids are school age.  We have less time together as a family, so I want to make the most of the time we do share.  If we can streamline anything, from our 'leaving the house' routine, to our bill paying, to our laundry system, I want to do it.  It will require more simplifying I'm sure, more time up front to learn the new systems, and some expense as we invest in time saving applications or materials, but the ultimate goal of more quality family and individual time makes our efforts worthwhile.  Here's hoping for some good progress throughout the next twelve months!

And with that, while I can't predict what life may throw at me during my thirty-fourth year, my plan for the year is to get through the 'have to do's' more efficiently, so I can spend more time on the 'love to do's'.

Have a lovely weekend!  Our temperatures are expected to be in the upper thirties on Sunday, which is so exciting!  It's amazing how a 30 degree high can raise your spirits after months of subzero cold!

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