Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fire Drills

Stressful situations will always come up, but what about the ones that are preventable?

- In the process of taking out a colander, DH knocks over the precarious tower of tupperware. Lids and bowls (thousands of them?) clatter onto the floor, and before we are able to gather them, the children and the dogs (lured by the noise) run through, scattering them hither and yon. Looks like we're washing more dishes.

- DS asks to watch a different Veggie Tales DVD. I search through the "Children's DVD" bin to no avail. With trepidation, I glance at the less-than-steady stack of loose DVDs, CDs, computer back-ups, and blank CDs. I attempt to divert him, "How about Mickey Mouse?" But his heart is set on Jr. Asparagus. I carefully flip through the stack, hoping to find the DVD before all the disks end up on the floor. Meanwhile, little brother has taken the dogs' water into the laundry room and soaked the clothes in the "clean" basket. Yes, the basket has been sitting there for several days, and we've been digging through it to find socks and kitchen towels, but now I was going to have to wash it all over again.

- I go to Kroger to take advantage of the Mega Sale. Coupon binder, sale paper, shopping list, price list, and pen in hand, I go in knowing I'm prepared. Without kids, I am able to make the most of my time and money. Eighty-three dollars later, I head out to to my car with my over-flowing buggy. I open my trunk and freeze. My trunk is already full! I can't fit a cart-load of groceries in there with the booster seat, unused shopping bags, emergency blankets and clothes, the extra diaper bag and snacks, the "out and about" toy bag, the Easter baskets that mom bought for the boys... I won't go on, but it just wasn't happening. I had to load the groceries (a good bit of it was raw meat) into the back seat and into the boys' carseats. Ugh. Thankfully, nothing leaked!

- I open the fridge to get out a tortilla. We keep the opened packages in a bin with the cheese and lunchmeat. I couldn't see any, so I pulled out the bin and put it on the counter top. As I started removing bread, jelly, and grapes, I realized why I couldn't see the tortillas. Eventually, I found 3, yes THREE, open packages of tortillas. And I had been about to open another since I couldn't find any.

Kitchen cabinets, entertainment center, laundry room, car, fridge - these, along with several other areas, are on my weekly list of "hot spots." I'm the type of person who forgets to take care of things until the situation is desperate. Six years ago, a friend pointed me to FlyLady, and it has helped me so much. Though I'm not an active FlyBaby anymore, I still continue to use some of her methods. I have a list of daily, weekly, and monthly "chores" posted on my fridge. I use the timer for most everything, including my frequent organizational "fire drills". I try to make sure that my sink and counter tops, if not shiny, are at least free of dirty dishes and dish towels. Using a list helps me stay on top of things so that I don't have stressful, preventable situations come up... at least, not very often. I don't always get to everything (the four examples from the top all happened in the last week!) but every bit helps. What are your "hot spots"? How do they interrupt your life, your time with your family, and your relationship with God? What would it take to turn your hot spots into useable areas of peace?

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