Monday, June 10, 2013

5 Minutes for Me x 3

At the end of each day, right after both my girls have gone to bed, I kick into high gear. I spend about an hour doing as much as I can. I fold laundry, wash dishes, pack lunches, review emails and action items for work, pay bills, write a blog, or whatever else I can squeeze in.

If it sounds a little frantic and tiring, that's because it is. By the end of my spurt of productivity, I'm beat. I hit the bed or the couch in a fit of mental exhaustion. It's only been a couple of weeks since I restarted my five minute challenges, and I'm already over it. The idea was for me to feel less stressed out, not more.

So last night, I tried something different. After the girls went to bed, I sat down, and did NOTHING. No dishes. No bills. No laundry. I put my feet on the sofa and watched the first 15 or 20 minutes of the Karate Kid. (The 1984 version.)

I learned a couple of things:

1. The first 15 minutes of that movie are boring.
2. I am more productive if I allow myself to recharge first.

After watching Daniel lose his first fight, I started my evening routine. I was more relaxed while getting the work done, and for some reason, it didn't take as long. I finished in time to see Mr. Miyagi take down a group of bullies dressed like skeletons.

While Daniel was waxing Mr. Miyagi's surprisingly large car collection, I rethought the purpose of my five-minute challenges. They are not tests to see how big of a mountain I can cram into a mole hill of time. Each five-minute segment is a doorway into an experience. Sometimes, five minutes will be enough. Other times, it will be just the beginning. I just have to keep that in mind.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Five Minutes for Fashion

My morning can proceed one of two ways:

Option 1: I wake up on time. After practicing yoga (this is new), the girls and I get dressed with no drama. I make a smoothie. Mini Me has cereal, and then we leave, often with smiles. (Lil' Ma has breakfast at daycare.)

Option 2: I wake up. Maybe I'm on time, but I'm usually not. I then stand in the closet for 15 minutes pondering combinations of tops and bottoms. I try on several, and none of them work. I look at the clock, realize I'm running late, and proceed scurry around like a mad person. In the midst of this, Mini Me shows up in an frilly sundress to plant flowers at summer camp. Tears are shed as she drags herself to the closet to pick another outfit. No yoga. No smoothies. No smiles.

The difference, I've learned, is a five-minute investment on the weekend. For some reason, I'm much smarter about picking out a week's worth of clothes on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. My daughter is also better at this time, and she puts up little argument when I explain that sequins ballet flats don't work for a trip to the pool.

At 10 months old, my youngest is fine in whatever. I'm enjoying this while it lasts.

I will admit that five minutes can turn into 10 or 15 if I need to iron a item or two, but the amount of time I save each morning, and the smiles, are well worth it.