posts tagged with 'productivity'

I made some things

When we started social distancing I felt like I had all the time in the world. Just think of everything I was going to get done around the house and in the garden! But actually it turns out that I still have to do my job, and help lead our homeschool group, and keep in touch with my friends... and all those things are more complicated now. Since I care about them, though, I'm hanging in there and trying to make them work by making more work for myself. Like in my job as a Kids Church pastor. How do I pastor kids when I can't see them? I started out by just putting my weekly stories online, which added maybe three minutes of work to what I was already doing anyway. Then when I got a little experience on Zoom I realized I could do Zoom meetings on Sunday mornings; the first of those was this past Sunday. That took some prep. But I was also thinking about the kids who couldn't do videoconferencing... how could I make the story engaging to them? So I made a video version. And since there's no way I can get through a six minute story without a mistake or an interruption I had to do multiple takes, and edit them together. It took about five hours overall. Take a look and tell me if you think it was worth it!

At the same time, I mentioned to the homeschool group that I was thinking of doing something around poetry with the boys for April (which is National Poetry Month, of course!). I may have used the word "curriculum" and offered to share it with them. When there was some interest I actually had to come up with something concrete for them to look at! Here that is. I have three daily activities done so far... the other 19 will come pretty easily, right?


work time

I never like getting home from work after the sun has set. Not only does it make me sad about all the time away from my family, I also really regret the chance to get some real work done! Not that I'm ever highly functional after a day of gainful employment, but I like to make at least a token effort towards the things that need to get done around here before winter sets in. It snowed yesterday morning: we're running out of time!

I had a good chat with Harvey on Monday as he begged me to play in the boat just one more time. "These are the things that need to get done," I told him. "If the house doesn't get painted the water will get in the walls and they'll fall down. If we don't get the compost and mulch on the garden we won't be able to grow vegetables next year." (See, I like spending time with my family when they also let do the things I want to do.) Happily he's a wonderful boy and even volunteered to help with the scraping; he's definitely at the age when he wants to do some real work, at least in theory and for five minutes. It's a start!

Sadly, we didn't get too much done because of Zion collapsing of tiredness and Rascal pushing open the gate and getting away into the woods (which, on the upside, gave Harvey another chance to show his helpfulness by tromping, on his own, to where I was trying to convince Rascal to come with me and adding his own powers of persuasion). So I hated to see the sun go down today when I wasn't even half-way home.

But there's still tomorrow afternoon free, and the weather for the weekend looks reasonable... all hope is not lost. Plus we have a new blackboard for organizing our to-do lists, so that'll totally help everything get done right away! Right?


why our house did not get clean on Saturday

We would like more time please. There never seems to be enough to do all the things we hope to accomplish, at least if you include sleep in the list of desirable activities. It's working that does it: I'm obviously out of the house for most of the effective non-sleeping hours, and as the only parent home Leah does wonders but still falls short of her ideal productivity. So we tend to greet weekends as wonderful expanse of open useful time stretching out in front of us—just imagine what cooking, cleaning, and even organizing we'll accomplish! Though often imagining is as far as it goes. But we have a good reason for that!

Our excuse is that, when presented with an opportunity to do something fun, we tend to take it. On Saturday, for example, the bizarrely warm weather gave Leah the idea of going to Drumlin Farm; when we invited our friends along it was revealed that they had had the same thought and were about to invite us. The outing was thus clearly divinely ordained, so off we went. Then we brought them home to dinner at our house—unplanned, un-prepared-for—so naturally, rather than getting cleaner, the kitchen (to take only one example) got almost unimaginably messier. (The fact that three of the homemade beers exploded upon opening did not help the situation.) Sure, this afternoon all was made presentable again, but theoretically I could have been cleaning other things had the kitchen already been done.

But never mind hypotheticals. Even if you assume that I could manage two days of solid cleaning, something not really borne out by evidence, what kind of existence would that be?! A clean house is easier to live in, but the real reason we want it to stay nice is so we can offer hospitality, so it would be silly to pass up an opportunity to invite folks by now because we're getting ready for some as-yet-undetermined future visit. Also if all we did was clean we'd be even grumpier when all our work was undone in scarce moments by children and food preparation, as it invariably is.

So. We want a clean house, but not at the expense of fun times. We're working on having both. So stop by any time... and we're now accepting invitations for outings next weekend.