time

time management failings

Hi beautiful readers!

I hope everyone had a great Easter, despite the social distancing making a dent in a lot of people’s plans. We had a whole lot of storms over the weekend, but still managed to have a little bit of holiday fun and dressed up the Tiny Princess just because. She was so stinking adorable in her little Easter dress.

I’m not great at time management. Or prioritizing things that need to be done, come to think of it. I’ve had less than stellar health for several years and I tend to need more rest time throughout the day than someone else my age might need to. And then I’m working through some harmful perfectionist habits that make it hard to get as much done as I would like. And now I realize that there is a lot to unpack in this paragraph already, but today is not that day.

freestocks-U25-Dy6JSlk-unsplash

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

It was slightly easier to manage my time when I was working because there was less of it to deal with. The few hours in the morning and the few hours in the evening, and once you consider making food in those hours, they dwindle down even further. I think I got a fair amount of stuff done in the little bit of time I had, but it never ever felt like enough.

And then I quit my job to stay at home and suddenly I had all the hours of the day to play with. Theoretically, of course, because baby. Before she was born, I usually set timers for myself. If I cleaned in the living room for 20 minutes, I got a rest break, or I would write for 15 minutes, or whatever. Timers are no longer as effective a strategy though because there is no telling when I’ll have to drop everything and do something for her.

Now, I try to get one chore done during each of her naps. Or I fold the laundry while we play on the floor. And I’m starting to teach her about picking up toys so that the house doesn’t get overrun. It’s a different sort of challenge.

If you google time management there will be a billion things that pop up. Everyone has a different way that they organize their day and prioritize their to-do lists. And nobody’s way is wrong. My strategies look totally different right now during quarantine because The Husband is home and that changes a lot of things around. (basically, my strategies flew out the window. help.)

This lovely post from Blessed Simplicity outlines six tips for time management as a stay at home mom and I’m doing my best to implement the ideas she lays out. We’re still in the middle of setting a good schedule for the Tiny Princess so of course that takes precedence over everything else right now, but I’m looking forward to having a little more stability and order in all of our lives once that is established. The other tips in the post are also things I’ve been trying to do. Sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t. I mentioned last week that I do try to wake up earlier so I can get a headstart (aka wake up) before she does. That’s probably the most consistent thing I do, and even that’s not all that consistent. Yesterday I got up at 6:30. Today it was 7:30. Ah well.

Maybe one of these days I’ll have more strategies that I can write about, but all I’m here to say today is that time management is HARD, especially for creative folks. And it’s okay not to be perfect with how you manage or break up your day. If you did anything at all, you’ve succeeded. And that’s that.

Maybe one of these days I’ll make some more coherent blog posts, but today is also not that day! Until that day arrives, enjoy my ramblings because I have a feeling this is what quarantine has done to my brain!


Love, light, kindness, AND happiness today and all the days!

untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, Creative Writing, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, 0 comments

An Interest in Everything

Hello beautiful dreamers!

March is actually here now and I’m still a little panicky, but my planner and I had a heart to heart last night and I’m calming down. Maybe even getting a little excited again!

Today’s post is a bit of a recycled one. Kind of.

The third post I ever wrote here on Elemental Dreamer was a post I called Multiple Interests. It was a bit of a ramble that I wanted to get out at the time about a problem I’ve struggled with for most of my life – I’m interested in EVERYTHING.

levi-bare-x034mCwtwjs-unsplash

I enjoy riding my horse. I love writing. I find it so much fun to draw and paint and maybe even sculpt? I don’t know. I want to travel and learn more about vlogging and have The Husband teach me to shoot and edit films the way he does. Etc, etc, etc.

But it’s not feasible to do a million different things every day. Or even every month. I used to make goals for a month by taking all the things I was interested in at the time and choose one small project that I was going to do each month from each interest. Yeah, that didn’t work. Halfway through the month, I was usually distracted by five NEW things. So much fun. I always felt like I was failing at everything. Now, I think I was exploring everything, which sounds much more positive.

When I wrote that post almost a year and a half ago, I had no idea I was going to have a baby so soon or what my life was going to look like. I still felt like I was figuring a lot of things out.

Now? I still don’t have most of those things figured out, but I have finagled a system that seems to be working out okay so far for my strange little brain.

One. I try to spitball all my not so amazing ideas on The Husband. And then I go see my therapist and spew all that nonsense at her too. The poor people in my life.

Two. Things certainly settled after The Princess was born. At this point, I either have energy or time. Never both at the same time, so it’s hard to just jump into whatever vague idea I have at the time.

Three. I chose priorities for the YEAR. A year is a fairly long time. I guess. So I decided that for 2020, I would choose the most important things and go from there. Which ended up being family, horses, and writing.

My mind still works almost the same way it did a year and a half ago, but I’m handling it differently now and it’s been helping me to feel a little less spread out all over the place. It’s not to say that I don’t still want to do various other things, but that I’m not giving them the same level of time or energy that I might otherwise. I still have my sketchbooks and art supplies on my bookshelf so if I feel the urge to do an art project I can pull them out for a quick project. But only for a quick project, not a week-long project. That’s been my sticking point.

So much of my life seems to be figuring out what makes my brain tick and how to work with that for the best possible outcome. It’s a challenge for sure, but I think I can say that while I’m still definitely interested in a million different things, I’ve learned not to jump on every idea that comes my way. And that works for me.


Love, light, and kindness,

untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in mental health, 0 comments

A Closer Look – February 2020

Hello beautiful dreamers!

I can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of February. And if it wasn’t a leap year, today would actually be the last day. Yikes. But that’s not important right now. The main thing is that I am so confused as to how we got here. I hadn’t bothered pulling up this post until a few days ago – to give some perspective, I got an email a while back about some paperwork that needed to be submitted by the 29th of February. And I haven’t been procrastinating, exactly, just honestly believing that I had plenty of time. And then on Tuesday I get another email saying I have four days left to complete my paperwork. I think I died a little on the inside. I mean, I’m ready for spring, but I’m NOT ready for March to be here already.

jasmine-waheed-yHZiwZqzcLk-unsplash

So… what did we get up to in the incredibly short month of February?

Here on Elemental Dreamer…

Well, we kicked off the month with this blog’s 100th post!! Which just so happened to be a ramble about how I’m attempting to continue reading more. Then we had a heart to heart about how rough it can be as a mom sometimes. I opened up a little with thirteen weird confessions that people really didn’t know about me and compared the differences between video content and the written word. Then we finished off with an update on how I’m feeling a month after leaving my job, and I offered a closer look at my personal morning routine.

All together, I had 7 blog posts in February, and 14 as the running total for 2020.

In the Books…

Last month I did better with my reading than I had in a very long while, but that all changed once I was no longer working and I’m still figuring out how to fit it in consistently. As such, I didn’t really finish anything in it’s entirety during the month of February, but I did read!

Firstly, this month I had my best streak with reading a passage of Scripture on a regular basis. Apart from a few random days here and there (weekends mostly) I sat down and read a few chapters almost every morning.

I read portions of a book on natural remedies for kids to help me get a little prepared to start my own apothecary! Not entirely kidding – I’m excited to buy some herbs and create some really cool stuff in my kitchen.

I also read part of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, a book I actually picked up way back in the early stages of my pregnancy. I don’t necessarily subscribe to all the parenting tips in it, but I consistently fall back on the ideas presented when I doubt myself as a mother.

On the Screen…

This month I was able to configure the budget and The Husband got the larger tv that he’s been wanting. That was exciting! And then I had to ask him what all we watched this month because even with the larger screen my brain still didn’t remember what it showed.

I have a tiny kid in the house, so we watch a lot of cartoons. I LOVE Disney Plus because I can put on the classic princess movies and we can dance around to all the songs. It’s awesome. She also loves the theme songs to several other cartoons like DuckTales and My Little Pony. She could care less about the actual show, but she loves theme songs!

Speaking of Disney Plus, we finally watched the live action Lion King!! It was better than I was expecting and yes, I did cry all over again. Sniff sniff.

Since the Princess was so super tiny, we didn’t get to go see Zombieland: Double Tap in the theater like we hoped/planned, so we rented it this month and got a lot of laughs out of it! Still don’t know why I enjoyed it that much, but it was really funny.

Writing Things Down…

I think I was really hoping to be much further along on rewriting my book project than I am right now, but it’s okay. Other things took precedence this month and I’ve accepted that. I’m kind of thinking that regardless of how March goes, I’m going to use Camp Nanowrimo in April to give myself a bit of a goal and see if that helps.

I’ve also been journaling a LOT more, so I’m counting that as a win, and I only missed one post on my blogging schedule, which happened the week that we were all sick so I’m not upset about that! Plus, I got my first side gig so I’ve been learning the ins and outs of different styles of writing and enjoying that!

Other Hobbies

I’ve actually been able to ride and I’m so happy! Ideally I want to get out to the farm to ride my horse three-ish times a week and it’s been a little hit or miss because of the rain, but I’ve had a lot of fun getting back to my all-time favorite hobby.

The Tiny Princess seems to like when I play the piano so I’ve done a bit more this past month. I’ve been working on a piano version of a Coldplay song and I’m starting to play around with one from Metallica.

The other week I got a little restless at home, but couldn’t come up with any kind of errands to go run, so I started baking. And guess whose house has had either cookies or something other sort of baked good around since then. It’s mine….. whoops.

Home and Family

Tiny Princess update! She rolls from her back to her tummy all. the. time. But still won’t roll from her tummy to her back, although the last few days we’ve gotten a lot closer! She is extremely busy and can be very demanding. She loves to sit up, especially if we put her in the corner of the couch so she can practice doing it on her own. I feel like she’s going to be quite independent quite quickly. Sad day. She LOVES it when daddy gets home from work and she likes going out for walks on nice days. She’s about to be six months old in a week or so and I don’t know if I can handle that…

We all ended up getting sick during February – baby’s first cold! – and I’ve definitely struggled with keeping things in order around the house, but The Husband is always very quick to remind me that being a mom is a full time job (see above where I said she is extremely busy) so I’ve gotten better about being a little flexible.

2020 Intentions

In February I really focused on my spiritual self and actually have a nice little morning routine that includes that aspect. I cooked several different meals that I hadn’t tried before and they turned out pretty great! We got a little headstart going on our house savings. And I got accepted to the college I wanted!!


Love, light, and kindness!

untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Blog Writing, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Lifestyle, mental health, 0 comments

My Morning Routine

Hello beautiful dreamers!

I can honestly say that I’m in a little bit of panic right now because I pulled up Friday’s post to work on yesterday and realized that this is the end of February. How?!? I just don’t understand where the time is going. Someone please stop it before this gets out of control.

Last week, I rambled a bit about how it’s been hard to figure out routines now that I’m staying at home, and I talked a bit about how I maintain my sanity by having a morning routine that I’m usually able to do before the Princess wakes up.

danielle-macinnes-IuLgi9PWETU-unsplash

Maybe I could use that time – usually about an hour and a half – to catch up on the chores around the house or whatever, but since I consider that to be MY time, I only do things that I want to do.

I make my coffee and spent some time reading a few chapters of Scripture and/or working on whatever other spiritual study I’m in. I take my time with this, sometimes I spend extra time meditating or journaling, or whatever I feel called to on any given day. I probably should eat breakfast too, but I’m not usually hungry at this hour in the morning, so that tends to wait until later. Depending on how well the munchkin slept, I may take a shower too – sometimes when she hasn’t slept well, I don’t like to get in the shower in case she wakes up.

Basically, I’m using this portion of my time to ground myself and mentally prepare myself to handle the day. Not saying it always works to get me through the day in a good mood, but it sure does help!

I try to have all that done before 7am, so that I can spend the next little while working on blog posts!! Doing this is really the only way I’ve been able to keep up with the blog while taking care of the Princess – I would never get it done consistently throughout the day and my evenings are too unpredictable most of the time. I try to write or edit at least one post per day and that usually gets done.

Some days the Princess wakes up at 7:45 so my blogging time gets cut a little short, and other days she sleeps till almost 8:30. Those days I usually do a little extra on a post and then try to get the dishwasher emptied or tidy up from the day before if I didn’t do it before going to bed.

The most important thing is that I get some time alone to spend with my thoughts and enjoy some of my favorite things without the added layer of stress.

How do you keep your sanity on a day to day basis?  I know it’s a definite necessity for me!!


Love, light, and loads of kindness,

untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Creative Writing, General, Life in 2020, Lifestyle, mental health, Setting Goals, 0 comments

routines at home

Hey there wonderful dreamers!

Today marks four weeks – basically a month since I left my full time job to stay home with the Tiny Princess. it’s been a huge blessing and a pretty big shift in our lives. but it’s been really really good, despite everything.

There’s a lot i could talk about on this subject, and I have shared some on social media, but today I wanted to talk about some of the things I’ve been doing to help schedule out my time at home so that I can feel the most productive and take care of both Adaline AND myself in the best way possible.

Note that I said the goal was to FEEL more productive, not necessarily BE more productive. This is an important note. Mental attitude is everything. I am awful at minimizing the things I do get done in favor of stressing over all the things I didn’t. My therapist and I have talked at length about this and it’s something I have a hard time with, but it’s slowly getting better. I’m learning to see each day as it’s own unit instead of comparing it to yesterday or last week or whatever.

Sometimes, when I look at the last few weeks, it seems like it’s just been one thing after the other. First I had to decompress a little from the stress of my previous routine. Then the teething switched into overdrive meaning I could hardly set the poor girl down for very long at one time. Then one by one we all got some variation of a cold and in the middle of that, it felt like nobody slept for at least a week – in reality it was probably about four or five days where she refused to sleep anywhere that wasn’t upright on my shoulder. So that was fun. The Husband and I are kind of almost recovered now and the Princess is feeling much better too.

At first, it felt like I was still playing catch-up with the house. Just could not get to everything in one day. Now, everything actually feels more or less in order and I can do little things throughout the day to keep the place clean and tidy. That in and of itself is a huge stress reliever for me – I’m not exactly a neat person, but chaos annoys me to no end.

Anyways, most days I’m able to get up by 6:30am and I have a pretty good morning routine going on – something that I’m going to explore in more depth next week! – that I can usually get done before the kid wakes up. That 1-2 hours in the morning is my sanity right there. Maybe some moms can do it, but I just can’t handle never ever being alone. The Husband leaves before 6 and she usually doesn’t get up until at least 7:30, usually later, and that window of time is MINE.

That morning routine, though, is probably the only consistent part of the day. Her naps are a little all over the place because I think we’re in some sort of transition period, and everything else is usually all up in the air. But that’s just the way life is right now, I suppose!

How is your life going right now? Hopefully a little less chaotic-feeling than mine!


Love, light, and loads of kindness!

untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Anxiety, General, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, mental health, Parenting, Setting Goals, 0 comments

the importance of words

Hello lovely dreamers!

So far my blogging content has been a bit all over the place this month. The way I planned out this first quarter of the year was a bit random for that reason. Well, not random… maybe exploratory would be a better word. I’ve been making little notes on which content takes the most work to put out, what people seem to read the most of, what I enjoy writing the most, etc, etc.

The Husband is a filmmaker and he’s always dragging me into his various projects. I actually really enjoy it, even if I am absolutely not comfortable in front of the camera. At all – it makes me nervous and weird and just really awkward all around. But being a writer means we can collaborate in all kinds of ways on projects, so I try to get over the awkwardness sometimes to help him out.

Many, many online platforms – blogs, social media, whatever – have turned to video as their main source of content and I completely understand why. Our culture has quickly latched onto videos as the ideal method of online communication. Like, if The Husband has something he needs to look up, I guarantee you he’s not going to pull up an article and read it, looking for what he wants. He’s on Youtube, clicking around between videos and finding the one he likes best.

But I still don’t work that way. I still prefer to type my query into Google and find a nice, detailed informative article about my topic. I only really started actually watching those Facebook videos a year or so ago.

So the society, the people who are taking in the content we produce, does have a strong tendency towards video.

But I’m not entirely sure whether this blog is the place to carry video content, although it’s something I’ve considered a lot in the past.

Do I have some ideas in mind for video projects surrounding this blog? Absolutely and I hope to start on a few of them this year yet! But this isn’t ever going to become a video-centric blog because hello! words! that’s the whole reason I’m here at all.

Sometimes it makes me a little sad that blogging seems to be fading a little, but I have to remember just how many blogs I personally read and follow and maybe, even though it’s not necessarily the height of online content creation anymore, it is still a very valued piece of the internet and it’s never going away.

This is why, even though I love my Kindle and use it more often than not, I still insist on collecting real, physical books. Because writers and books are the reasons we know what we do about the past. Without books and poems and blogs and everything in between, we lost some of that connection to the previous generation.

Working with The Husband on all these video projects has really given me such a fascination for the art that he creates, but my first love is still words on paper (sorry, love!) and I will keep writing down my thoughts and ideas and teaching my daughter to love the special stories and adventures that can found only between the covers of a book.

What are your thoughts on the way the world is with media these days?


Love, light, kindness, and adventures galore!

untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Blog Writing, Books & Writing, Creative Writing, General, Life of a Writer, 0 comments

an attempt to read more

hi folks,

First off, this is my 100th post on Elemental Dreamer! I’m so excited that we made it this far! Since I started this particular blog in September of 2018, I have not missed posting for a single month. I have to say that this is my favorite space of all the ones I’ve posted on in my history of blogging and I’m so happy you all are along for the ride. It can only get better, right??

So last week, in my January recap, I went over the books I had read during the month. And, actually, I’m quite proud of myself because it has been a challenge in the last few years to really find the time to read more. I have a massive collection of books but I really don’t read like I want to. i think that’s just about everyone’s complaint, isn’t it?

ed-robertson-eeSdJfLfx1A-unsplash

Photo by Ed Robertson on Unsplash

Part of what happened, is that I committed to reading on my breaks at work. Since I was pumping, I couldn’t leave or do just anything on my lunch. I actually had to sit down and stay put, so I read. And there are a fair amount of words you can read on a thirty minute break twice a day! But already, in the week and a half that I’ve been staying home, it’s become a lot harder to read like I was. I’ve managed to keep up with my writing, but that’s hard too!

So I’m working on a plan to make the reading a priority in my day to day life now that it looks so different.

The main thing I can think of is that I could read instead of mindlessly watching tv in the evenings. The Husband and I spend some time together once The Princess is in bed, but he also works on his film editing and sometimes I’m trying to scramble and get the last few things done around the house, even though I know I need to take that time to relax.

So I present this question to you all – how do you fit reading into your daily life, if you do at all? 

I love how much more creative my mind is when I read on a regular basis, so it’s something I definitely want to spend more time on.


Love, light, and much kindness. Happy 100 posts, Elemental Dreamers!

untitled

Posted by katharine_marie in Blog Writing, Books & Writing, Life in 2020, Life of a Writer, Setting Goals, 0 comments