I Wish I Had the Courage

We all read the news and hear about the sex scandals, marriage failures and failures of parents.  All the time, every day!  Most of these people are “found out” and forced to share their moral failures with the world via the newspapers, magazines and even more quickly social media.  With that being the world we live in, people are constantly warned to be careful what they put on the web, send via text or even record on their personal devices.  It simply takes one click of a button now to shoot our most embarrassing, most failed moments out to the universe.

For right at a year or so, I’ve been following a blogger whom I admire greatly although we’ve never had any interaction other than my reading her personal and business blogs on a regular basis: Julie’s Fabulous Life.  Not only has she struggled with the ramifications of being raised in a ultra conservative Christian environment, but she also chose to leave her marriage and she and her ex seem to have a relationship similar to my ex and I.  They work together in all things for their children leaving the anger, jealousy, etc. in the past.

But really what I most admire about her story has been her willingness to just let it all out there…no moral cover up, no excuses, no beating around the bush, she just says…hey, this is what happened, this is why I did it, this is how it affected me and whomever else and now here’s where we go from here.

take control of thoughtsI am not that brave.  I fear the judgement, I fear the disappointment, I fear the example I set for my children and with some in my life, their temper.

I really wish I had the courage I’ve seen in others to just just kind of hold up their hand and say…this is me, this is my way, my life and I’m doing it.

I wish I had a healthy view of morality, God’s judgment and probably more importantly a healthy confidence of who I am.  I need to transform my thinking!

I Wish I Was More

be the changeRecently I read that smart people have trouble sleeping because they can’t turn their brains off. Well, if that is true in the slightest, I have to be one of the smartest people around because man, do I not sleep well. I would love to say it’s because of my kids or the stress of my current life, but really this has been going on far longer than that! For as long as I can remember…

At night I lie in bed and come up with the absolute best ideas (in my humble opinion, that is.) And during that dark, quiet time, I am able to plan them down to the tiniest detail. I can even pick out the key people to get it started and run it.

Sounds great, right!? The problem is this…1) I am trying to sleep then so I can carry on in the real world that exists outside of my brain and 2) because of these amazing plans I come up with at night, I am good for nothing during the day when I have to work, school kids, chauffeur kids, coach kids, clean house, plan and execute 3 meals a day for the five of us, feed and care for 3 dogs and a cat and the list goes on.

So while my night life is booming, I mean really booming with these great ideas, blog posts and plans…all in my head, of course, My day life, my real life, I am failing miserably! Miserably, I say!

I want to be more for my kids, I want to be more for me. So I have to figure out a way to 1) maybe get some of these ideas out of my head and into reality and 2) get some sleep so I can function otherwise.

Here’s my plan:

  1. I will keep my computer by my bed at night so when I get a brilliant post idea, I can sit up and get to it, rather than praying I will remember it for the next day.  Previously I tried just a quick note to refresh my memory in the morning, but that has failed miserably.
  2. I will keep pen and paper by my bed to jot down notes on these brilliant plans.  Maybe putting them down on paper will get them out of my head enough for me to sleep.  Although, I’m not banking on this one at this point as this has been going on for years.
  3. More exercise – I need to do this not only for my weight but maybe working up a bit of a sweat will serve twofold: get me tired enough to sleep a bit and give me time while I’m awake to sort through my thoughts.  Hey, if I can convince a kid or two to walk with me, this might help me feel like less of a failure as far as quality time with them outside of their schooling and activities.

This is my plan for now.  All I know is that something has to give as I can’t continue with my crazy night life and maintain my crazy real life simultaneously, it’s just physically impossible.

Empowerment – David Gershon and Gail Straub

I’ve never been one for book clubs and the sort.  I don’t know if it’s the time or the drama that I always associate with a group of women getting together on a regular basis.  However, I’ve recently started reading a book that I would love a discussion on:

Empowerment: The Art of Creating Your Life as You Want It by David Gershon

I’m not very far in yet, but I wanted to give you three points to ponder that might encourage you to check out this book as well. (I got it from the local library on a whim, but I’ve included links to the Amazon sale site as well for your convenience.)

So here are some points made within the first few pages that hooked me:

  1. Why is it so few people are willing to dream boldly, to reach their highest visions?
  2. Our culture’s predominant view of life is that we learn how to cope and fit in rather than excel and move out.
  3. So we need to switch from pathology of “fix us” to a vision of creating the life we want.

In those few points, it sums up exactly what I think of my life. And more importantly what I want from my life.

Can you relate?  Want to have an online book chat? Join me here over the next couple of weeks as I work through this book and discover what I’m sure will be many more points to ponder!

Review: (Not Sponsored)

I found a tool last year during work that has saved my sanity when it comes to homeschooling…  This web-based, free tool serves as the hub for our homeschool lives teaching four different grade levels.

Essentially this is a project management tool that I use for work, but we found a way to modify it’s use a bit and it serves as our school calendar and to do list.  Each child has assignments list there with due date, some of them like keyboarding practice and on-going studies are re-occuring.  From there we can communicative via notes, add attachments and mark things as complete.  I LOVE it!

My favorite features of Asana are:

  1. Super easy interface – In addition to seeing my personal tasks as well as those of the kids, I can sort them by specific projects, due dates and responsible party.  And adding a new task is as easy as clicking on a plus sign. (Did I mention that there’s an app for it as well!)
  2. Reoccurring tasks (optional) – I LOVE, LOVE this feature!  I can set a student to be reminded every day or two to practice their keyboarding, practice their JAVA or work on a more complicated project.  This way they are able to mark things as done so I can see what they are working on, and then based on the settings, they can be reminded to revisit it.
  3. Attachments – have you ever printed worksheets for your students and then had to print them again and again because they lose them or the dog eats them.  I love that I can attach worksheets to individual tasks and then the student can print it wherever they are and when they are ready to work on it.  No more “I can’t work on that because I don’t have it with me when we are traveling.” Or “Mom, I have to wait on you to print it again.”  I’m telling you, this tool is sanity saving.
  4. Projects – I can limit access to items based on project assignment or give everyone access to everything.  This has come in helpful for everyone.
  5. Personal lists – KISS (keep is simple stupid) is a standard I like to live by.  It is SO nice to be able to log in, land on my personal to do list, which pulls any task assigned to me from any project and then sort them by date.  This automatically helps me and the kids prioritize their work and helps significantly with time management.

Some additional features that we don’t use so much but are nice to have:

  1. Permissions – you control who sees the tasks, who gets emailed about tasks and so much more.
  2. Subtasks – Complicated tasks can be broken down by sub-tasks with individual assignments, due dates, etc.  For some of my students, these bit sized chunks are exactly what they need to stay on task.
  3. Tags – you can use keyword tags to create special filters and views when looking for tasks assigned to certain subjects.  I find this really helpful when I’m looking to review all school work for the week by subject.

I especially love that at any time, any place they can log on via a computer, their ipad or even a phone to look at their to do list, sorting by due date and get to work.  The other thing I like is that they can add notes, questions, etc specifically to the task which will be emailed to me so when I am not available due to work or just busy, they don’t have to wait to ask, they just drop it in.  It’s time stamped so that there is no mistaking 1) that they are getting started and/or 2) they are waiting for me for any reason.

If you are seeking a way to keep your homeschool classroom and students on track, I definitely recommend you try out Asana!

(Note: A couple of others you might be interested in checking out especially if you teach homeschool classes at all are: Edmodo and Haiku.  I have used both these programs as well when managing classroom type settings.)