Strive for Five: An Attempt at Organized Chaos

I think we can all agree that when you accomplish something within any given day you feel good. Or at least you feel better about that day. It doesn’t matter if you are married, single, with kiddos or without them…Days are hard, man! I have recently gotten into a bit of a groove after being in a bit of a rut. I needed more daily structure and goals so that I didn’t get to the end of the week with mountains of things on my to-do list. When I break things up into smaller pieces, I tend to not unleash my crazy (trust me, nobody wants my crazy unleashed!).  So I created a simple list of five daily to-do’s that I ATTEMPT (emphasis on “attempt”) to accomplish every day.

I have found that these will change, and sometimes frequently. There are no rules. I just like having something to work towards, which means I go to bed at night knowing I did something, whether big or small. I also realize some days, it’s a dang miracle that I get myself up, get the kids up and ready and out the door, and get myself to work before 8:06 (I seriously rarely make it there at 8 a.m., but I try so hard! My boss is cool). So this list thing works for me for now.  I think since I started this, there have maybe been two days that I got all five done. But hey…3 or 4 outta 5 ain’t bad, right?

My Daily 5:

  1. Quality time with my people

  2. Cook a meal

  3. Work out

  4. Clean something

  5.  Seven  Six hours of sleep

1. QUALITY TIME WITH MY PEOPLE

This is not up for swaps or grabs and is a must get done and doesn’t feel like a chore. If it means sacrificing the others then so be it. We have kind of a system that works for us right now. We get home from work and it’s kind of an hour or so of completely hang out and down time until the chaos of everything else starts. I like this time because if I don’t do this right when I get home, I feel like we are non stop moving and working towards bed time without getting to enjoy our time together. Sometimes this will include just Nick and I and the baby because Jimmer is now Mr. Cool kid who goes outside to play with his friends for a while. But we make up for this once the baby goes to bed, because then we get an hour with just Jimmer. It all evens out. And it shifts and changes. It’s not so much the when this happens, but just that it happens at some point after work and before bed that we hang out. Nick and I also always get an hour or two just us once the boys are down. This is obviously my favorite of my 5. Disclaimer: I know in your heads you see us laughing and playing and snuggling up and just having a wonderful ol time. There are nights it happens like that. Then there are evenings of crying and meltdowns and poop. Quality time isn’t always no work and all play is what I’m saying.

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2. COOK A MEAL

Man, this is a struggle for me. I love to cook and I have no problem doing so, but I happen to live with some picky eaters. My husband would eat Chicken and Eggs all day every day if he could. The smell of chicken makes me want to lose my lunch at this point. He’s healthy and has some acid reflux stuff that nobody cares to know about so his diet is pretty bland. NO THANK YOU! I want all that good stuff you see on those quick facebook videos, and all the Pinterest ideas I’ve pinned! NO ma’am. So lately, we get the kids fed, Nick eats his chicken, I make brown rice (SUPER hard, guys) and baked potatoes to go with Nick’s chicken, and then I usually have three bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (I’m pregnant, people) or a peanut butter sandwich with double stuff Oreos. Usually we all eat some baby carrots too. Getting those veggies in. Point is, this is a weird part of our lives right now with an almost 1-year-old who tends to throw a lot of his meal onto the floor for our dog Yogi, a 4-year-old who seriously only eats peanut butter sandwiches and mac-n-cheese, and a strictly bland, no-flavor-diet for my husband. This one doesn’t always get done. Most days if this one happens, #4 doesn’t. If #4 happens, this one doesn’t. Work in progress over here!

3. WORK OUT

I have to admit this is one I enjoy, maybe because of always playing sports, or because it’s the one thing that seems to defuse any amount of stress I may have. I realize it’s a good thing to love. Now, finding the time to squeeze it in is another thing. During the week when I work, I have to go over lunch or it’s not happening. So if work is super busy or I have lunch hour meetings, scratch this one. I am not one of those mamas who’s up running a 5K before the sun rises. I am so envious of you early risers who can do that. I tried it once. Aside from the dry heaving during the actual workout, the rest of the day required numerous cups of coffee, I wore mascara on one eye, and I think my husband requested I never try that again (I was not pleasant to be around). At any rate, I have a more productive and better day all around when I get 45 minutes to an hour in the gym. On the weekends if it works with our schedules, my husband and I will take turns. (Future post coming on this topic!)

 

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***Note: This is the only photo I could find that wasn’t of just my shoes, where you may or may not have been able to see my hatred of shaving. So this is pre-pregnancy x 2…I had only had one mini at this point. But you get the gist…a workout pic!)

 

4. CLEAN SOMETHING

I kept this one brief on purpose. It doesn’t have to be top to bottom cleaning or organizing of any given area. Truth be told, there are nights where I wipe one spot of makeup off the sink and fold a single shirt and am like MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I usually vacuum one night, scrub toilets/sinks another (boys pee on everything), dust… again, it varies. We usually are good about the overall picking up every night, and one room I am slightly OCD about is the kitchen. When I put all of this off until the weekend, I felt overwhelmed and it took away from way more enjoyable things we could have been doing as a family. I also am realistic and know summer activities will be starting, and life in general throws curve balls. A messy house comes with children, and life. But if MOST of the time I can do little things here and there to take away this stress, life is a bit easier.

5.  SEVEN SIX HOURS OF SLEEP

So originally this really was seven hours when I started this whole thing. It only took a few nights of monitoring my Fit Bit sleep activity to realize that was comical. The time in between when I get in bed for the night and when I get out for the day might total seven hours, but that does not mean I am sleeping for them all. I am just at a stage in my life where I realize how important sleep is, and yet I’m also at a stage where this is the most difficult of any of these to accomplish. I accept this and know that maybe in another five years, I will get to sleep past 7 am on a weekend. Until then, I will get my booty in bed earlier as often as I can, and enjoy the early morning (or middle of the night) wake-up calls from my two favorite tiny humans.

So there you have it. Nothing earth-shattering or really anything that any other person isn’t doing or attempting to do every day. I think just having them written out and in the back of my mind pushes me every day to accomplish something. And like I said, 4 outta 5 ain’t bad!

Ok let’s be honest, 3 outta 5 is still pretty darn good.

What would be in YOUR Daily Five?


 

 

 

Amanda is a planaholic, Cedar Rapidian who is a working wife and mother. She met her husband Nick while they were both playing college basketball at Upper Iowa University. They returned to Cedar Rapids after graduation and were married in 2010. They have 2 boys: Jimmer and Jordy, and a baby girl named Jerzy! Amanda is a Business Analyst with United Fire Group, where she has been since 2007. She enjoys all things sports, working out, performing in local theatre productions, and anything that involves her family and friends.