18 October 2011

Thoughts on Cleaning and Life (and Genealogy!)

I had started writing a comment to Greta over at Greta's Genealogy Blog about her response to the ongoing Geneamommy posts down the street and around the bend at The Scrappy Genealogist. (Ah, the genea-neighborhood). It got so long, I decided to shuttle my response over to this blog, so as not to hog all of Greta's screen space.

Firstly, what a great surprise to hear about Geneamommys! When I started this blog nigh four years ago, I had just had my first son, and I wasn't running into too many women who were trying to balance caring for young children with working on genealogy. My blog was going well, when, well, nature struck and I got pregnant with my daughter, who was born in January of 2010!

After a hiatus from blogging in order to accommodate myself to the new chaos of raising a toddler and a preschooler at the same time, I see that all sorts of new gals have joined the brigade, and I'm so excited about it!

But on to what Greta posted, about her dozen ways to get life in order, in order to get to life.

I particularly agree with #7 and #11. For #7 (chucking paper where digital will do), I know that since I got my Kindle two years ago I have purchased only two books in physical form... this from the person who had shipments coming in from Dover books many times per year. I cleared out the bookcases for donations to a prison reading program, keeping only the books I treasured most or knew I would read again. The bookcases are no longer groaning under the weight of a mass of modernist and victorian lit paperbacks, and I can change my mind about what I want to read in the middle of the night without having to get out of bed. How's that for improvement and making life easier?

And for #11 (sweating the small stuff so that it doesn't sweat you)... it's so true. Being in the "intense" phase of parenthood with a 4yo and 1.5 yo, the little things tend to not get done. When I walk around the house and count the chores, I get dismally tired!

To combat the stress, I scaled back my freelance work load for the rest of the year in order to get our house under control again, and it is making a huge difference. Cleaning out the fridge, defrosting the freezer in the garage, hanging up pictures that have been leaning against the wall for the better part of a year... stuff like that. It makes the world seem so much more serene when I feel like I have some semblance of control.

And that sense of serenity is what I need, what with the busy life I have tending to the kids, taking care of the house, cooking for the family, not to mention helping out my 81yo mother, visiting my father who is in assisted living, completing my freelance writing and editing work, completing the last five chapters of my first fiction novel, and shopping around my nonfiction manuscript to agents!

When my son goes into 1st grade next year, I'm hoping to place my daughter in a full-day care a few days a week, so that I can have some time to work on my projects in an uninterrupted fashion. If all goes well, in a few years, I'll have published my first two books, resurrected my now-dormant research and record retrieval services for the Bay Area, and be running my own team of writers offering editorial services to websites and blogs.

Well, a Geneamommy can dream, right?


Greta Koehl said...

Yes, a geneamommy can dream and I hope you dream big and see your dreams come true! Thank you so much for the mention; I am glad that you wrote a post on this subject, because it is fascinating to see your take on it. What has really been surprising me is finding out how many of us need a certain amount of order to be able to function more effectively and even to keep our spirits up. You certainly have a full plate right now, and I am in awe of how much you are able to do. At least as I come to the end of my "campaign," the only thing really getting between me and my research will be my "real-world job."

Jennifer said...

Thanks Greta, you are so kind! Coming home from work and getting research done can be such a bear, especially if you work at a computer all day. I totally agree that sometimes you want to do something that doesn't require ANY THINKING AT ALL! I like PBS shows like Upstairs, Downstairs when I feel like that. ;)