As I get older, I’m finding that with all the running around I’m doing with Day2Day life and a slew of appointments that seem to be hitting the calendar more and more, the more I seem to have fallen into a rut and am not looking after myself. With busy lives of having a family, working, and trying to keep that balancing act of running everywhere and trying to not let the wheels fall off, I’m letting things lapse that are important to me. A lot of people I know, or chat to as I’m running from one thing to the next and ask what I do, think it’s absolutely fabulous that I am able to work from home. And, they are not wrong! It is fabulous to be able to work from home. But, that can have its downsides. There is no real “time out” unless I create it. Sometimes the boundaries of when I am working overlap into when the rest of the family are home. If I’m honest – that means a lot of the time. Due to the nature of p2P I find as I’m getting ready to head to bed, America is waking up – and then I take a peek at the new round of emails and Facebook messages – and quite suddenly it’s close to, or after midnight – and that all important sleep that we are supposed to be getting before midnight has just slipped away in what can seem like mere moments.

Working from home also generates the feeling that I am “on call” 24/7. Taxi driving, pick-ups from school, answering questions even though I may be in the middle of of work, “Mum, I need you to come here”, “Mum, can you help me with this”, “Mum, I can’t find my jeans/socks/t-shirt/book/homework”, or the most common “Mum, there’s nothing to eat in the house” – when I’m sure we could probably live off what’s in the fridge or pantry for at least 3 weeks! It’s a balancing act that is hard for those of us who work from home. Don’t get me wrong – I love that I can work from home, but sometimes I reflect back on not long ago when I was doing some contract work for 4 months, while still doing p2P work as well, that catching the train to the city and back was like “down time” for me. Time for me to either sit and gaze out the window without really having to answer to anyone, or sit and read my book (as long as I had my headphones on so I didn’t hear all the commuters having very public (but private) conversations on their mobile phones because they just have to be talking to someone the entire commute! And, I got a lunch break, that really was a lunch break and didn’t involve eating in front of the computer!

So – now I have decided that I need to reset, refocus, replan, redistribute, rezone and redo my life a bit. I have to concentrate on me! What works for me to be the best person I can be. What makes me happy? Happy so that the happiness comes out and makes those I love happy to be around me. I need to pick myself up out of the mess I’ve made around my house – declutter, chuck way more stuff in a more concentrated effort (and by “stuff” I mean both physical & emotional things that I’ve been hanging onto for way too long). Refocus on my diet (and by that I mean eating healthily again). Oh I do hate how winter can affect what I manage to stuff into my body that I know is bad for me. With spring just around the corner, and summer just 3 months away, I need to get out more and walk, get fresh air, clear my head, and enjoy the simple things that make me happy so I can be productive when I am working, and to have fun times with my kids again, rather than just sitting in front of my laptop most of the time.

So here’s the plan:

  1. 15 minutes of sunshine every day
  2. Eat healthy – nothing processed, everything fresh and no sugar!
  3. Walk every day – and that will make little Molly happy too!
  4. Designate work time and stick to it.
  5. Don’t get distracted when working on one task – finish it, then move on to the next.
  6. Trash, donate, recycle what I don’t need and will never use – and that includes my craft stash.
  7. Plan meals.
  8. Juice fresh vegies every morning (I was so good at this, and then lost the plot, and it does make me feel good and my skin feel healthy if I do this every day).
  9. Read every day (can be combined with #1).
  10. Laugh – every day!
  11. Sleep – every night, for at least 8 hours. (I really don’t do sleep deprivation well.)
  12. Plan for a holiday – one just for me – one for the family.
  13. Don’t feel guilty about “me” time.
  14. Stop making excuses – just get on with it

So there it is. This is my plan. You might be wondering how or what made me want to write all of this down and possibly hope that someone might be interested in reading it? I have been feeling uncomfortable with myself for a while, unhealthy, lethargic, rundown. So I could have made this decision at any time – but the big prompt that has kicked my “a” into gear was the letter “Q”. The Day2Day theme for 17th – 23rd August. As I was thinking of all the things to take photos of starting with “Q” for that week, I was walking on the beach on a winter’s day with a girlfriend after a particularly rough week for her. I had a little thought, that I needed to start my “Quest for Quality”, and that it was going to be all about making a better me.



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24 Responses to Blog: Quest for Quality

  1. Justine says:

    Thanks for your honesty Janice – I know I can relate to just about all of it and am sure many others have felt in the same boat somewhere along the way. You’ve got this – you’ve done it before and you can do it again! Nothing like a bit of unrest to motivate you in the right direction 🙂

  2. Thank you, Janice, for your heartfelt post. I guess this is a worldwide mother phenomenon- making time for ourselves and sticking to it. I was in your space not too long ago, the lack of focus, the need to de-clutter and the motivation to take on the work ahead of me. I found buying a new washer and dryer to replace my 18 year old pair, new shining objects, was the start. Then I decided to do the renovations that needed doing to my home that I had put off for years because I just wasn’t sure the direction I wanted to take. I found good quality, experienced people to help me and I started slowly with the de-cluttering. The laundry room had become a catch all and that was the first to getting cleaned out so my new “toys” would have a cleaned out space to inhabit. Then in order to get ready for the sanding of the floors in the den, living room, dining room, foyer and kitchen I needed to either donate or give for auction so much dinner ware, crystal, serving pieces etc. which I no longer used. The process of de-cluttering became a goal that was doable and at my own pace. The first load of stuff to Salvation Army consisted of 16 bags and 12 boxes of clothing, kitchen items, cookware, books, shoes- it was amazing how much lighter I felt after purging all of this from my home. I was gong closet by closet and even if it took me a couple of days or a week, I stuck with each individual task. I then tackled each of the 3 bedrooms and the closets. I was a woman on a mission. By the time the sanding was scheduled, a lot of the painting of the rooms, ceilings, crown molding and trim had taken place thanks to my helpful painter. I used the kitchen as my personal project and I painted trim and moldings so I had a more contemporary look and saved myself a lot of money! The end result is I love the fresher, brighter look of my house and my mental health- clutter really weighs heavy on one’s soul! Keeping everything neat and clutter-free is an ongoing process which is so much easier now that I have gotten rid of so many unwanted items. I still have parts of the family room to work on and I am waiting until I find the proper storage cubes to replace a large trunk which takes up too much space. I still need to de-clutter more in the master closet but compared to where I was this time last year I have made great progress. The one thing I was consistent with was my green smoothies for breakfast 6 out of 7 days a week. I use a Vita Mix Blender and I have found it to be my answer to healthier eating. My cleaning and fixing up journey has been life altering in my attitude about what is important and how I want to live in my space. I feel I can just breathe more deeply knowing what I accomplished. I wish you the best of luck in getting to your de-cluttering; it is such a rewarding feeling with each “clean out” task you complete.

    • Janice says:

      You are an inspiration Barbara! Thank you so much for sharing your story/journey!! I have done a lot of trips to the op shop, but still have so much to do. Both of my children’s rooms have had make-overs, with my daughter’s being totally stripped out and repainted, carpeted and new wardrobe, desk and chair. Her room is the freshest in the house now and it looks fabulous. My son’s looked great too after repainting and clearing out – but that didn’t last so long as he is not great at keeping things off the floor!!! Now I need to focus on rooms I use and I think I need your “good quality, experienced people” to give me a hand! 🙂

      • Glad to be of service, Janice. It’s the not using the floor and getting things up higher that makes for a neater look. It is amazing how much breathing room I was able to recapture once I forced myself to not use the floor as a storage bin!
        The phrase “so much more to do” is a downer; never motivates pot get the task done. I found it better to say- next I am going to tackle the linen closet or the back bedroom, etc. Always setting a specific goal to accomplish helped me to keep going. I will admit it is challenging to keep everything absolutely clean and neat but seeing how great everything looks and knowing I did it once and I don’t want to do it again keeps me on track. Sending you happy, organizational vibes-

  3. Janice Phillips says:

    Thanks for your inspiration. Being retired falls into a similar category as working from home. It is so east for me to sit at the computer all day, because I have lots of time tomorrow. The problem is that a lot of my tomorrows are all the same, with too much time on the computer. I am not getting out to walk, not practicing harp enough and not getting out enough. I love what I am doing, I just need more balance in my life.

    • Janice says:

      Thank you Janice! I think it’s amazing that you can play the harp, such a wonderful instrument. It’s very easy to sit at the computer all day, we do need to get up and move. I bought a stand up table/desk for my son to study at, I’m thinking I need one too!

  4. Liz Propst says:

    Blessings Janice in your quest….love the Q AND I’m putting on my tennis shoes as we speak to go for a walk on my beach!

  5. Gayneal says:

    Reading your goals I was struck by how perfectly they fit the S.M.A.R.T. criteria Alison posted on the plan2scrap page. You got this!

    • Janice says:

      Thanks for your encouragement Gayneal. No walking today, just rain, rain, rain – but yesterday was perfect weather and no wind – so 5 kms makes it a good day!

  6. moemc says:

    Thank you for writing this. Just what I needed to get me making my list for motivation. I spend way too much time at the computer scrapbooking. I’ve actually started to set an alarm in another room for every hour just to make me get up to turn it off. Fall and winter seasons are heading our way and I know I can become a “winter hermit” so your list is just what I needed today to help myself get moving.

    • Janice says:

      I know exactly what you mean about too much computer time. I like your idea of setting an alarm to remind you to go for a break, I think I’ll start doing that too.

  7. June Gauntley says:

    You always inspire me, Janice! Your list is universal for almost all women! I love the “laugh every day” one, and the walk every day one. We will encourage you as you go, and celebrate with you in February!!

    • Janice says:

      Thank you June. I love to laugh! 🙂 No walking today, hasn’t stopped raining all day – but a big walk yesterday and hopefully tomorrow. But I did get a bit of reading in today – so it was all good!

  8. Terry Vachowski says:

    I think I need to adopt your plan “as is”, but I’ll settle for more clutter control. Thanks, Janice, hang in there. You inspire me constantly.

  9. Deanna Emmert says:

    Cheering you on in your journey, Janice! Keep us posted!

    • Janice says:

      Thanks Deanna – Fell off the rails a bit last night with birthday celebrations when it came to the sugar intake – but hey – that’s what birthdays are for. Back on track today!

  10. Sue Thoenes says:

    Thanks, Janice – very inspiring. I need to do this. Thanks for sharing!!! Love my Pixies….

  11. Linda Ammons says:

    Sigh…you are so describing me right now…loved this….taking your list, tweaking it a bit to make it fit me and let’s see where we are in 6 months….Your Friend, Linda

    • Janice says:

      It’s hard to get started sometimes – I always put it off. Now I’ve made the commitment I’m pretty focused on what I need to do. I’ll mark my calendar to check back in for February 2016 (end of our summer here), and maybe I’ll blog then about what the last six months have been like!
      I’ve already added to my list since writing this – but want to keep a simple one printed and above my desk to remind me of me!

  12. Lindie says:

    Thank you for this timely reminder. As I start getting ready to go back to teaching, summer break is almost over, I need to plan similar things for myself. Can I get all of my school work done during the school day? How much extra time will I give to completing special education paperwork? Will I be able to get home to see the granddaughters before they go home? Can I continue to lose weight, exercise, scrapbook, read, etc.
    I enjoy reading all of the blogs especially from those of you that are in my (perceived) age group.
    Thanks again

    • Janice says:

      It’s so hard to make time for ourselves with our busy lives – but it is a must! I really believe the happier we are in ourselves, the happier everyone we love will be too!

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