Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I'm moving home...please join me!

I started this blog in January and had big plans for it.  The problem is the plans just didn't fit right.  Even my husband had a hard time remembering the name!  Is it Simple Joyful Living, Simply Joyful Life?  Pretty hard to remember.

I started a blog way back in 2009 on homeschoolblogger.com called Hectic Sweetness.  I eventually bought the domain and started doing Newbery and Caldecott book reviews but tired of that quickly. I love kid-lit but I just felt like I was back in school doing book reviews and it just wasn't rewarding enough to keep up with it.

After an awesome course through Tribewriters I found that I really enjoy finding the positive in everyday situations.  I love discovering interesting and inspiring people, game changers as I call them.  I plan to highlight amazing people trying to change the world for the better and  add truth as I find it.  I will also sprinkle homeschooling and parenting posts throughout. That's the vision and I would love for you to join me.

So, after all that introduction, I am re-launching Hectic Sweetness 2.0.  It's been dusted off and cleaned up to reflect my passion of bringing truth and sweetness into this busy life.  I would be honored if you would join me over there.  Let's go change the world!

My very first post speaks to the truth that I'm sharing with the world:

Shane Koyczan. My new Hero.

I hope to see you over there!

Hectic Sweetness - savoring sweet at the speed of Life

Friday, January 18, 2013

It Isn't Enough to Love...

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Photo credit: skyler817 (Creative Commons)

“It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it”- St. Therese of Lisieux

I read this quote while reading Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Happier at Home.  It struck me at gut level.  I love my kids, yet what do I do to prove it?  Am I quick to listen and slow to get angry?  Am I fully present in my moments with them?  Do they get my best?
I fail at this--daily.  My anger flares up quickly and I snap.  My patience is worn thin by the sometimes short nights of sleep mixed with long hours of the day.  I half-listen while I get caught up in Twitter and email.
How do I prove to my kids that I love them in spite of all my distractions and flaws? 
I am aware of the problem and, if I am honest with myself, I am also aware of a few solutions.
Focus.
Getting up before the sun rises is the best way for me to focus.  I am more productive in the still of the morning.  Hours seem to be added to my day just by getting up earlier than everyone else.  When I focus on myself early in the morning it makes for a much happier and present mama throughout the day. 
Unplug.
Pulling the plug on technology is difficult in this world of constant contact and instant gratification.  Match that with my love of words and there’s a problem.  I read blogs full of wisdom, humor and inspiration like I’m parched.   Those life giving words jump off the page and grab hold of me.  Add a few quotes (I can never find too many) and I’m completely immersed in my own world.
Boundaries.

Boundaries are healthy and necessary to live a simply joyful life. We must be intentional with our time.  With boundaries, we will have the energy available to be present in the moment and take the time necessary to love on our kids.
The kids are allowed a set amount of “electronic” time during school days.  I have the same rule for myself.  While they are off playing Madden 13 and laughing at You-Tube videos, I do my daily blog reading tour guilt free.  It allows me the freedom to focus on my kids and their needs throughout the rest of the day.

It's not easy.  It takes commitment and intentionality. None of us are perfect.  It's not healthy for our kids to think that we have it all together--they need us to be real. Our kids are watching and waiting for us to lead them through this messy thing called life. Let's show them how to engage in the world by setting boundaries for ourselves.  
What boundaries work well for you?

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's all in how we see it

 
The world as seen through my five-year-old's eyes...
 
 

Oh, that I would have the same eyes.  The eyes to see what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable-- everyday.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Let's Do This Thing!

2013 already?!  I feel like I was just sitting down thinking about the new year of 2012 stretching before me.

Last year, for the first time, I chose a word that I was going to use to define my year- the word was COURAGE. Did I live up to my word?  Not as much as I envisioned. I did start to listen to myself and my needs more.  I stopped (this is a major work in progress) comparing myself to others and am learning to be OK with my imperfect self.  I make mistakes- daily.  I would say that is what makes me human.

 My heart is to live simply, creatively, and joyfully all with some sprinkling of quiet that my soul craves daily. 
 
I have started this blog, Simply Joyful Living as a journal and an experiment. It's one thing to have a desire to live simply, to nurture creativity, and to seek out joy.  It's quite another to have some accountability.  This blog will help hold me accountable and keep me focused on this journey.

My word for 2013 is BALANCE.  I struggle with balance in my daily life.  I'm a homeschooling mother of 3, recovering perfectionist, distracted by technology kind of gal, with some procrastination thrown in to keep things really exciting around here.  My goal is to wrestle this busy, distracted, unfocused bull to the ground and focus on living in the sweet victory of peace, creativity, and joy. 

It's time to conquer busyness and life life abundantly.

How will adding a blog to my already full days accomplish the task of Simply Joyful Living?  That's where the experiment comes into play.  I hit the big-40 this past year and have been struggling with the fact that, after 40 years, I still haven't really pursued the writing that I loved years ago.  I let responsibilities weigh me down and had forgotten the desire of my younger self. Over the past 4 years I have dabbled in blogging and writing but nothing has been consistent.  Then, Jeff Goins entered my world (through Joshua Becker - another awesome guy shaping the way I focus my life).  Jeff told me that I am a writer (you can get his manifesto here).  The longer I read his blog, the more I believed him. But, believing in something can only get you so far. 

It's time to walk my talk.

My goal as a parent (homeschooling or not), is for my kids to be lifelong learners.  I want them to have the desire and realization that a life well lived is about constant learning and  change. To be content with life and to accept who they are, but to always be working towards a better life and a better world.  How can I really teach them my heart's desire if I don't live it?  I want to be an example to my kids.  It won't be easy- worthwhile endeavors rarely are.

BALANCE. Living simply, joyfully, creatively.  Fighting the busyness and distractions in our constantly moving world to savor the joy we all have within reach.  Is anyone with me?
 
What's your word for 2013?