This doesn’t count… The Year of Enough

Do you ever find yourself telling yourself this…

This extra chocolate biscuit (or three) doesn’t count
This work doesn’t count – because I enjoy it/ do it in my spare time/ don’t get paid for it- (I do this for my blog, my JUNO work – in fact most of my work)
Kids leftovers don’t count as calories, nor does any food destined for the rubbish bin… or eaten standing up at the fridge or in the car whilst driving
Mothering/caring/ volunteering doesn’t count (so I don’t deserve to be tired)

What don’t you count? And what effect does it have on your health and happiness? I notice when I don’t make things count I overload myself – because of all the bits which are real, in the real world, which I have struck off in my head as being “not real”.

Are you with me? Do you do this?

So my simple conclusion is, if we are aiming for enough -which we are – given that this is officially The Year of Enough and we are getting real about our energy and material inputs and out puts – then we need to count our beans properly.

So I am proposing a little experiment.

At the end of today list EVERYTHING you did. The opposite of a “to do” list, this is a done list. (See my Mothering Badge of Honour post for an example of what I’m talking about. Or see PS below!) Or if you are struggling with eating then list everything you ate and drank.

Now look at this list. Appreciate everything you have put your energy into. Don’t beat yourself up at what you haven’t done or should have done, or did badly. So, if you cooked dinner, then you cooked dinner – no qualifiers. It doesn’t matter (at this moment) if the kids/ your partner didn’t EAT it. You COOKED it. So give yourself credit. That was a use of your life energy, it counts, so acknowledge it. Be mindfully aware about how you have used your unique energy, and, even if just for today, give yourself credit.

This is step one, I will be sharing step two later in the week for making your life count, as part of the Year of Enough.  Do please share your insights and observations here with us all.

P.S My list for today…

Today I…
Woke up early with baby after a night breastfeeding a baby with a cold
Filled out my 75 things I want to do in 2012
Did a high speed local grocery shop
Made all three kids breakfast and minded three all day
Checked my email and wrote some
Finished and promoted my blog post for Dreaming Aloud, and another blog
Did JUNO correspondence
Tried to fix the printer
Created a dinosaur scrap book with Timmy using Google images
Got the kids to help me tidy their room
Played musical statues with them
Got us all dressed
Fed the chickens
Fed us all lunch
Emptied and filled the dishwasher
Did a little house tidying
Got three kids out of the house with shoes, coats and snacks
Recycled 7 bags of clothes
Took Meli to the nurse
Got clay from the pottery – made a labyrinth and a sculpture
Checked emails and Facebook – helped promote a friend’s event
Made supper for all tonight and for tomorrow
Brought in yesterdays washing and hung up in side
Did a load of washing and hung up inside
Put baby to bed
Wrote my list!

  1. little macaroon.
    little macaroon.11-14-2011

    Wow – this is a very interesting point of view, and has immediately made me realise that today I DID achieve stuff, despite feeling like we just pottered about doing nothing. I always feel like a lazy parent because I just can’t see the point in pushing my daughter in any particular direction during her preschool days. I feel guilty for not “doing” clubs and lessons and organised activities (and people are big on preschool “enrichment” where I live, ie maths and spelling aged 3+). But I’ve just written the list you suggested and realised that today we:
    – went on an underground train trip nowhere in particular, just because she likes trains
    – took my old cameras and she took lots of pictures of strange angles
    – went swimming
    – got an ancient unwanted trike from a neighbour who’s moving, and she’s been playing with it on the patio for hours

    Lightbulb moment – all of this might just have been “enough” parenting for today.

  2. Dreamingaloudnet
    Dreamingaloudnet11-14-2011

    Hurray, hurray, hurray for you! I regularly get caught in the “I should be doing more with my kids” mindset – even when I’ve done LOTS with them. Great realisation! Thanks for sharing and glad you had a light bulb!

  3. Monica
    Monica11-14-2011

    excellent.

    i’ve had to have some of this attitude with my creativity, and it has made a world of difference. that if today all i had a chance to do was arrange my markers and pens, then it’s something. tomorrow i might actually draw, and it might only be 1/100th of the drawing, but it’s something… and so on.

    my journey is not so much feeling that what i do is enough, because i do believe in the worthiness. more about acceptance of time/space available.
    but what you discuss is a big issue for many women.

  4. Rose
    Rose11-14-2011

    Quite often at work I would write a to do list at the end of the day once things were done and watch the list of tasks rack up, or not as the case may be. But on the more productive days this was a real boost.
    And in relation to mothering my children I regularly feel I ‘haven’t done enough’, so will be playing with this inspirational idea this week, thank you for sharing, will let you know how I/we get on.

    Blessings X

  5. Earthenwitch
    Earthenwitch11-14-2011

    Yup, great idea. I will be having a good ol’ think about this. I’m spending a couple of days alone with my youngest, and have been feeling like I’m not ‘doing anything’, which is clearly not true, but I have a hard time remembering that being a mother counts as work, full stop!

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