It’s funny but in my house there are four Princes and a Drama Queen, as my hubbie (it sounds to odd to call him the king) says. And he’s right. It’s the beginning of the new year. There’s nothing as positive and fresh as a new beginning. Like waking up at 6:30am to the trilling birds and the morning fresh chill which is so welcome after our heat wave yesterday. It gives me new energy. And what do I do with all this new energy? I go into over drive and make long lists of things to do, and then go into panic mode as I ‘have’ so much to do, and then I can’t sleep, because I can’t relax and the Drama Queen is out in full force with the best of the Princes whining, ‘I can’t sleep’ and ‘leave me alone’.

I don’t know how many mom’s out there experience the same thing. I find it hard to balance all the practical duties, like dentist, school shoes, school supplies, school book coverings, the garden, de-cluttering a very messy play room, bedrooms etc. etc. And then I feel bad, because I know these are good problems to have. Living in Africa, I know it’s an absolute privilege to worry about ‘stuff’ and to be able to afford to buy all the never-ending school things. (Prince No. 1 and No. 2 actually laughed at me at the till as we bagged loads and loads of school supplies, they said, ‘Can you imagine what you’re going to do when Prince No. 3 is also at school.’)

I’m anxious about my time. I don’t like this feeling of my chest being pressed down by iron tongs. No one does. And I bet a lot of people’s resolutions this new year is to take it easier, stress less and enjoy more. How do I do that?

I’ve come up with a bit of a games plan, which I’ve been actioning for the last two weeks. My progress so far has been the proverbial, two steps forward one step back.

MY OWN SPACE

With lack of my own time comes lack of space. My own sacred space. As I type this I have Prince No. 4 (adorably) crawling himself into a corner, and Prince No. 1 is busy getting his school stuff together on the floor. (Does anyone remember how much fun it was to get all that sparkling, brand new school supplies ready for school and actually look forward to school.) ¬†I could rent a space, which is a fabulous idea and works well for many working women I know. They get to be out and about and have quiet time and space to do their work. But it wouldn’t work for me at this stage. Not with baby cakes 4, to take care of.

But have no fear, I won’t keep complaining, this is the year where I action my dreams so I’ve designed my own corner of the house which is MINE.

My Beautiful Space

My Beautiful Space

It’s only a table and chair. (Although I splurged, so it’s the perfect most beautiful table and chair). It’s a completely neat and clean table with nothing on it. I’ve moved my dear hubbie’s unsightly treadmill from the bay window and now I face out onto our little kitchen courtyard where there’s a quaint row of potato bushes. (It sounds Jane Austenish doesn’t it.) It’s a lovely feeling to sit in my space. So lovely that I caught my dear hubbie sitting in it last night. But I forgave him, because it’s probably the only clutter free surface in our whole house.

I’m loving my own space. I’m loving the self respect and identity that comes with it. It’s so important to have ¬†something that’s yours. It’s important for everyone in the family. I once read (or heard) Dr – Rabbi Twerski, who said that every child should have their own space, even if it’s a cupboard that they can lock, which no one else is allowed to touch. It makes sense, so that every one has a sense of their own identity.

So I’m typing from a clean space.

DIVIDE LIST

I’ve divided my fire ladder long list and do a bit each day, just like the experts recommend.

BE KIND TO SELF – HAVE FUN

And most of all I’m trying to be kind to myself. It’s okay if I don’t manage everything. And I’m making sure that on my list are to do the things I love and find relaxing. Like making the perfect, healthy, yummy muesli recipe. (So far this morning I burnt my second batch. The first batch I made last week, where I learnt you can’t roast goji berries, they burn incredibly fast. When I’ve perfected it I will be sure to post it.)

Third Batch Just Right!

Third Batch Just Right!

Life shouldn’t be one long arduous list. It should be a bit exciting, fun and adventurous. Even if it’s just in the kitchen for now.