Thursday, October 15, 2015


This is day 15 in my 31 Days series on sustainable dwelling. For an introduction and more posts, head here!

The weekly reckoning...
2030. Sleeping with our window open
2031. New books in the mail - I know I ordered them, and I was expecting them, but it's still exciting to have a package ;)
2032. Having to change Tobin's 9 month wellbaby check a week before - we got moved to the doctor that I prefer (and that Adam was able to stay home with Brooklyn, so I didn't have to get her up at 6am to drive to the air base)
2033. Discovering all three seasons of Sherlock at the main library - and having them sent to the convenient one, one at a time
2034. 1980s children's books - there really were a lot of good ones
2035. A quiet writing-and-tea evening
2036. A grocery-shopping adventure with Tobin - just us two
2037. Adam grilling burgers for us - this week's dinner
2038. Evening walks at Two Rivers
2039. The way the Brooklyn matures during naps sometimes, and wakes up with new mannerisms and abilities
2040. Afternoon naps for all - including me!
2041. That Adam doesn't have to go to work tomorrow - it's nice to have a Sunday evening that's not tainted by the coming Monday
2042. Going to the State Fair all-four-together - and not having to pay to park, or to get in (our entry cash became cotton candy for us and carrots to feed the goats ;)
2043. The long, deep nap caused by a morning spent walking around outside
2044. Release from a stressful project
2045. A group prayer box
2046. and a great time studying Ephesians with some awesome ladies
2047. Having an hour between Tobin deciding to go back to bed and Brooklyn waking up, to spend praying and journaling
2048. Walking to mailbox with Brooklyn after Tobin went to bed, then snuggling on the couch and reading books
2049. Coloring together between dinner and bedtime
2050. Catching up on all of cleaning/tidying/domestic tasks that I don't like but were overdue to be done

Early in our marriage, Adam and I discovered the difference between clean and tidy. He is tidy - for example, a sink full of dishes bothers him. I am clean - the dishes being rinsed and in the dishwasher means nothing to me if there's still a spaghetti sauce crime scene all over the stove and counter. It's a good balance - I'm the Toilet Scrubber/Mirror Cleaner/Sweeper/Surface Wiper, and he's the Dish Washer/Toy Tidier/Book Straightener/Trash Taker Outer (and we both do laundry).

When there's time. Unfortunately, he's been getting home late, so I've been trying to have home be a peaceful environment for him when he gets here by going ahead and tidying up. Yesterday afternoon I was so sick of putting away the same toys, yet again, that I tackled the mountain of dishes (toys or not, it had to be done - we were out of steak knives, butter knives, and plates of all sizes - I ended up eating dinner off a tiny desert plate). I barricaded myself in the kitchen and set to work (we don't have a baby gate, and both Brooklyn and Tobin ardently desire to help empty the dishwasher, whether the dishes are clean or dirty).

Tobin played drums on the trashcan for a little while before giving up and going to find something more interesting to play with - but then Brooklyn walked by and decided to put the recycle bin and trash can where they belonged (she is almost compulsive about that - I think it's genetic). I stopped her, less gently than I should have, and she became upset.

So I stopped what I was doing and sat down on the floor. She curled up in my arms, and I told her that I didn't like doing dishes, especially lots of them when they've started to smell funny, and that it was making me cranky because I just wanted it over with - but that I had responded wrongly, that I was sorry, and that her desire to put things away was good. She hugged me and said, "Mommy needs pats!" and began carefully patting the back of my shoulder with one little hand (she learned this from when Tobin was tiny and needed to be burped - he "needed pats" to feel better, so it must work on everyone).

Untidiness is not sustainable. At some point. we will run out of plates (or I will get tired of hunting through a pile of clean laundry in quest of a matching pair of socks), and it will have to be dealt with. The same holds true for angst. I can grumble along for awhile, keeping it inside (I think) but actually making myself and everyone around me miserable, until I finally snap, work through it, and get over it - but it has to be dealt with at some point.

Last year during 31 Days, I started spending at least the first 20 minutes of Brooklyn (and then Tobin's) nap on the balcony, writing down gifts and praying. That's a practice I've slowly drifted away from over the course of the year - but it's one that I'd like to pick back up. Because a heart full of gratitude has no room left for frustration or unreasonableness.

What habitual practices have you fallen into that form a negative cycle?


Delbert Powers said...

What a wonderful list of things that you have done so far. Sustainable dwelling is not for everyone and I hope that everything works out for you. What an adventure to go on but it sounds like you are enjoying it. Let us know what your final thoughts are on it.

Delbert Powers @ Minuteman International

Alison Norman said...

Thank you for posting about this. It is so interesting to read. I have been thinking about following a similar path for our family. We just consume and waste far to much. We also live in a location that would allow us to grow our own vegetables and fruit and possibly have out own eggs. I am excited for it!

Alison Norman @ Power Boss

Rudy Swanson said...

It is the little things in life that keep us sane. Try to hold on to every precious moment because they are what lasts. The list you made was a very inspirational one and I so happy that you posted it. God bless you and yours into the future. Enjoy!

Rudy Swanson @ Haaker Equipment Company