Friday, November 30, 2018

Quiet time- holiday life saver

My mom taught me a life enriching practice when I was little.
At the time she was a young wife, with 3 young kids.  I imagine she was feeling overwhelmed. To save her sanity my mom instilled what came to be known as quiet time.   After lunch, we all had to be quiet for 1 hour. My older brothers and I could pretty much could do anything we wanted, if we were quiet.  The only rules were: be quiet, stay inside and be safe. We didn't have to nap or do anything specific.   We were free to play and be.

My mom tells me, that first summer, we all balked at quiet time, but the next summer we asked for it.  Beyond, saving my mom's sanity, she says we were all happier and more at ease.  There was less bickering and irritable kids.

I'm all grown up and then some and yet I still crave quiet time.  Time to wonder, ponder, play, nap, run, sit and just be.  As we head into the holidays, you might like to add quiet time, the freedom to do nothing into your day too.  I usually give myself quiet time, first thing in the morning when the house is quiet and day hasn't got legs.

From our family to yours, may your holidays be happy, healthy and easy


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Thanksgiving day celebration for busy families

 Thanksgiving comes early at our house- we call it fake turkey day.  The second Saturday of November is our big day.  Three 8 foot folding tables and one ping pong table transform our living, kitchen into a giant eating space. Last Saturday, November 10th, we celebrated with 28 two legged family members and 2 four legged.

Since this holiday is still fresh in my thoughts, I thought I would reflect a bit and share those 20-20 hindsight tips to you

Reflecting on Thanksgiving a week later...

     Naps are beneficial no matter how old you are
     Go outside, walk or run around the neighborhood before company arrives
              Breathe! enjoy nature, look for beauty, get out of your own brain
     Welcoming your guest with warmth and happiness is better than a perfect house!
     Pre cooking the turkey and deboning it the day before turkey day is a huge de-stressor
             I would rather spend time chatting than messing with a turkey when I'm tired
     Having 28 people coming to your house is highly motivating to do extra cleaning and organizing
             ride this wave and get things done... hint: look at your home as if you are a guess
     Sharing the cooking around: Many hands make quick and easy work
     Eat dessert first, finish with tea and light foods
     Take a walk after dinner- it helps you unwind and improves your digestion
     A good nap, fresh air and light eating the next day is priceless!
And finally, consider scheduling your holidays on offbeat days.  More people can join you, there is less stress and more freedom in your celebrations.  We started this early tradition to help our family who was in retail. We continue it because it is brilliant!!!

From our home to yours- Happy Thanksgiving,


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Prune your chores = Increased Happiness

Cooking, cleaning, shopping, errands etc... our chores will expand in our lives until we start pruning. Without a bit of clutter clearing our freedom is squished and smashed.  Our chores and habits are closely related they silently and quietly move into our lives talking up our time and energy until we are exhausted and bogged down by life..

    The laws of money say your expenses will match and exceed your income unless you create intentional boundaries and awareness to stop the over spending.    The same is true of our chores.  Our in boxes, to do lists and daily chores can become time clutter.   Our lists of daily, weekly  and seasonal responsibilities needs periodic pruning.  Before the holidays appear, downsize your chores, giving yourself breathing room to play and celebrate.

This week I came across a study... How buying time promotes happiness  The study tested the hypothesis of how spending money on material goods would compare to spending money on activities that saved time on our chores.  It turns our we are significantly happier spending money on saving time on our chores than on new stuff.

5 tips to Pruning your Autumn Chores
 Start slashing, cutting and simplifying your chores- get your knife sharp and mind clear 

    1)  Become aware...Pay attention to what you are doing each day- how much time and energy you spend on chores??

    2)  Unclutter your self imposed work!  How have your chores expanded over time?
            How many grocery stores do you go to each week?
            Do you have more stuff to dust around.
            Can your meals be simplified?  Can you use fewer dishes?

    3)  DelegateHire! Buy!  Sometimes all you have to do is ask for help.
             Other times you might want to hire out.  A housecleaner, an decluttering coach, dinner out
                Help to the rescue!!  Get help!!!!!  Lighten your load!!

     4)  Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!
              Cook less but bigger batches,  Eat simply, enjoy left overs
              Downsize your possessions- less is more free time
              Shop less, shop fewer places, shop with a clear list

     5)  Just do it- Decide to reduce!   Open up your creative juices to see how many "required" chores can be simplified, downsized, reduced and deleted!

  This last quarter of 2019 sets the stage for next year.  Start by following our seasonal cues.  Let go of your leaves, let plants die away, harvest and prune your chores.  Less is more in our lives.  We don't need to go on vacation for freedom.  Freedom can be found everyday of our lives.  Breathing space is a gift it is the best gift you can ever give yourself and those you love.  Chores are there to support us in our lives...we were not created to mark off our daily chore lists

As always, I wish you great joy in your daily travels,
              Denise Frakes
    Personal and home coach... at your service