How to Fall Without Hurting Yourself

How to fall without hurting yourself

Fall is officially off and running.  And I do mean running…roughshod…all over my simplifying and organizing efforts.  I was doing pretty well and then I didn’t have this past weekend off, so I couldn’t spend that time playing catch up around the house and with grading and class prep.  So, I’m behind on what I need to have done for work, my house looks like a dirty bomb (a bomb full of dirty, not the nuclear type) blew up in it and I am sleep deprived.  The kicker is that I don’t have a weekend at home for the next two weekends.  I know I’m not the only one feeling this way right now.  If you are in school, teach school and/or have kids in school, this is the time that everything seems to kick into full gear at once.  We had a field trip last week, our school has a fundraiser this week, my niece has a birthday party this weekend, and people keep posting these “less than 100 days until Christmas” posts on Facebook.  It is all. too. much.

So, what am I going to do about it?  What can you do about it?  Well, I’m committing to three things in the month of October to keep the Fall from injuring me!

  1. I’m going to “taper” before the big events of the holidays.  I feel like October is the month that allows us to prepare for the madness of November and December and we should take advantage of it.  I used to be a swimmer and we used to “taper” right before big swim meets.  Workouts got easier.  We were able to take any extra “drag” items off of us to make us move through the water easier, without as much resistance.  I’m going to use October as my “taper” month for the holidays.  I am going to do what I can to make my life easier, I’m going to do it.  This may mean saying no to some things.  It also could mean saying yes to some things.  I’m so looking forward to taking those extra “drag” items off the list and really making my life streamline and less resistant.  I will be talking about this all through October, so please keep reading!
  2. I’m going to “take care” for myself.  I almost wrote self-care or take care of myself.  But, I hesitated because that idea of self-care or taking care of oneself seems so focused on the doing and not the being.  So, I’ve put the quotation marks around “take care” because I view it as me telling myself that I should actually live with care – I should consider myself.  I shouldn’t just give myself a bath and consider it all better or get a massage, but not actually do anything about what drove me to the muscle tension in the first place.  So, each day, I’m going to consider myself as I would others.  I’m going to ask what I need and get it for myself.  I’m going to be nice to myself.
  3. I’m going ask “What Would Jessica Fletcher Do” (WWJFD)?  I’m really considering making up some bracelets with WWJFD on them.  Who wouldn’t love that?  If I haven’t already shared this with you, I am a HUGE Murder, She Wrote fan.  THE HUGEST.  And Jessica Fletcher is everything I want to be and more.  So, when I’m up against the wall of work, I’m going to ask what Jessica Fletcher would do and figure out how I can at least channel that behavior if not do it exactly.  After all, the correct answer is always “find a dead body”…and I want to avoid that.  But, she had a great philosophy on life, an always stylish and appropriate wardrobe, a good sense of humor, an inquiring mind and was a great friend to others.  Not a bad set of traits to aspire to.  So, we’ll see how it works out when I think about what she would do in certain situations!

So, there you have it.  My plan to keep Fall from hurting me.  Care to join me?  I would love to hear what you do to make this season of all things work for you and your family!


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Five Minute Friday – Support

Well, I’m a little late for this week’s Five Minute Friday, but I still wanted to be sure to participate.  This week was a busy one and I kind of fell off of my “stay on task” train and ended up getting run over.  But, I have hopefully climbed back on (because this next weekend I work all weekend, so there will be no pulling myself up and climbing back on. If I get run over this week, I’m pretty much laying on the tracks for the remainder of the semester.  I need to remember that this week as I get distracted or exhausted and think about not doing what needs to get done.  Now that that is out of the way, on to this week’s FMF – Support.


Support is something I feel like I DO very well, but I don’t accept as well.  I am someone who is always looking to help others in their endeavors.  This is especially true if I feel like I have some knowledge they do not.  I think this is a big reason I became a teacher.  I love advising students.  I love being able to support them in reaching their goals. Unfortunately, I often refuse or ignore or just plain miss out on support from others. Last semester, I got an email from my supervisor at work telling me she wished I would have reached out to let her know that I was unable to attend an event because of a conflict with my DD’s school events.  I had simply asked a TA to cover for me prepped the script for her and not thought much about it.  And when I received the email, I immediately got defensive.  But, as I read the message over for a third and fourth time, I began to realize that my supervisor didn’t want me to feel like I had to prep a TA to cover for me when she could have easily done it without me preparing her and writing a whole script out for her.  She was offering me support and telling me to ask for it in the future.  But, when it first was given, I could not even see the support through my defensiveness.

I don’t know why I am this way.  I don’t think my students are incompetent or slacking who ask me for help with a paper or a project.  I see them as resourceful and responsible.  Why can’t I see that in myself when I need support?  Why can’t I ask for it more often instead of trying to do everything I can to not ask for it, not accept it and definitely not NEED it.  That, my friends, is exhausting.  Hiding out in the shadows of need rather than letting light shine through support is just not how I want to live my life any longer.

Ice Cream Party


As a step towards realizing where and when I need support, I am taking the Start-Up Guide for Online Writers.  I feel like I have things to say that are worthy of writing, but I don’t have much of a direction at this point.  So, I’m going to take the support and run with it!  The class is available for only $19 through the 19th and then the price goes up.  So, jump in if you’re looking to improve your skills!

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The Girlfriend’s Guide to Old Age?

Affiliate links included.

If you’ve never gone through a pregnancy, the title of this blog post may not sound familiar.  But for those of us who have had children, I’m sure most of us at least heard of, if we didn’t actually read, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy.  There are a few other Girlfriend Guides now.  An expected addition: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood. The books were supposed to deliver the “dirty truth” about pregnancy or as the subtitle says, “Things your doctor won’t tell you.”  When I saw this Washington Post story about a new book coming out, I immediately thought the description sounded like the subtitle could be “Girlfriend’s Guide to Old Age”.  And what a welcome read it is for me as I approach 50: Aging: An Apprenticeship.


The book’s premise is genius and so very needed.  And the contributors are amazing.  Judy Blume taught me how to grow up and now she can give me some advice on aging!  I personally can’t wait to read it.  And right now, it is free if you Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial!

Aging seems to mainly be dealt with in commercials.  We have the menopause commercials, well covered by this NY Times article.  We have the phone commercials, where people over 55 or 60 can’t figure out how to work iPhones so they need special, simple phones.  We have media portrayals of frail and confused older people.  Or we have media portrayals of older women playing younger women because who wants to REALLY be 50 or 60 years old?  Or, we just don’t see older women much at all.  That’s one reason I love Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel.  They have numerous older men and women on their channel.  None of them are frail or confused.

So, I look forward to reading this book and seeing what lessons I can learn as I enter my apprenticeship next year.  Anyone want to join me and have a conversation later?


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Five Minute Friday – Work

I am joining Five Minute Friday again this week.  There are some exciting things over there in the coming weeks.  Check out the teaser for those this week.  And join in writing about “Work”


Work.  It is something that I feel like I do so much of, but still not enough of.  I work at a lot of different things – teaching, keeping my house clean, keeping my daughter on track for activities and school and trying to keep up with current events.  And I do feel like I work quite a bit.  Yet, I don’t have what I want to show for that work.

For example, this week, I cleaned the kitchen and living room early on Thursday morning, during a thunderstorm (that woke me up at 4:30 a.m.).  The house looked nice when I left for work that day.  Now, both rooms are pretty messy again.  I also worked quite a bit on different projects for work.  But, I still have a long, long to-do list.  Luckily, my trip for this weekend was cancelled today, so I now have a day at home tomorrow to play some catch-up.  But, what if I didn’t have that?  I would come home and be behind, despite all the work.

The conclusion I’m coming to is that I have to stop viewing work as being able to be “completed”.  Nothing that I do is ever really complete.  It is simply done-for-now.  It will need to be done again in the future (sometimes as soon as the next day).  If I know that going in, perhaps it will not disappoint me so much when I don’t have much to show for what I’ve done.


Work. Never complete. Just done, for now.

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Taking the Challenge – Get Rid of Magazines!

At the top of WordPress Reader when I logged in today was a post from Simplify-Declutter-Organize  (which, by the way, is everything I want to do in life at this point) offering up this Daily Challenge: Get Rid of Your Least Favorite Magazine.  It was like she could see my living room and the magazines spilling over the basket I keep them in onto the floor!  The challenge, as she put it out there, is just to get rid of the least favorite of the magazines, but I think I may have to get rid of more than just one type of magazine to really clear out my stack.

I get most of the subscriptions for free through airline miles, special offers online, etc. And I always think I’m going to read them, but they never seem to be prioritized in my life.  So, they pile up.  I’ve made it a rule that I have to clear them out every time they overflow the relatively generous basket I’ve allowed myself, but I’ve fallen behind even on that requirement and there are currently magazines laying on the ground below the basket (where they’ve slid out because the magazines are piled higher than the sides of the basket), there is a magazine on the side table in the living room (because I started reading it, stopped, but had nowhere to put it), and at least one on the couch that just came in the mail.  I love the IDEA of relaxing with a cup of coffee or iced tea and perusing the pages of my favorite magazine.  But, that idea never becomes reality for me. I read mostly online and I never seem to be able to take the time to read the magazines the way I would like to.  So, I’m going to take the plunge tonight and go through the basket.  I’m going to decide what I really want to go through (for ideas, inspiration, recipes, etc.), what I really want to actually read and what can just be put up on Freecycle to go to someone who will appreciate them more.  I will report back when I’ve finished!


I did it!  Well, not exactly.  But, I did clear out my basket, went through the magazines and took out my least favorite (which didn’t end up being many since I stopped my subscriptions to the least favorite a while back).  But, it was enough to make space for all the magazines in the basket and now I’m going to focus on reading through them and getting rid of them as I do so!  I love magazines, so I should allow myself time each week to read them.  And if I can’t, I should just get rid of them.  That’s the deal!  Thanks for the inspiration.  What about you?  Do you have some magazines to go through?


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Nothing is more simple than one thing

That title is a bit of a play on words, but I’ve found this past week that I need to focus on one thing at a time.  And really, nothing (other than nothing) is more simple than that. Let me explain.

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

I struggle with trying to implement new routines and habits.  In the past, I’ve tried to follow “plans” that included new morning routines and afternoon routines and evening routines and I could never stick with all of it.  To me, simple means easy for me to accomplish and something that doesn’t complicate my life.  So simplifying should not complicate things.  I do not need (nor will I use, realistically) a 25 item checklist for my daily routines.  So, this past week, I decided to focus on the one thing that makes me feel most stressed – my entry way/living room.

Our house has a very small entry way that leads directly to our living room.  These are the most used areas of our house (by far) and it shows. Whenever I get them clean and tidy I feel instant relief.  So, I decided that each day, I would make sure that they were just that – clean and tidy – at least once.  And so far, only one night has gone without them being so.  This singular focus has made me feel so much better about things. And because that room is clean and tidy (I literally pick up everything off the floor, vacuum and clean off the coffee table every single day), I’ve found that I have time and energy to do other rooms.  So, my dining room (which is visible from the living room) is clean and tidy.  My kitchen has been mostly clean and tidy (a couple of nights there were dishes left piled up, but they were always done the next day).  Even my bedroom is pretty clean and tidy.   None of that was on a list of to-dos for each day.  Only the living room.  But, just having that accomplishment motivated me to do more.  That and the fact that if a room is cleaned every day, it doesn’t take long to clean it.  Even my incredibly messy and dirty family can’t do that much damage in only 24 hours!  This leaves me time to clean other areas of our home.

So, if you’re struggling with keeping some long to-do list or de-cluttering 201 things this week or trying to implement a bunch of routines each day, maybe you just need to focus on One Thing for a week or two.  Pick the one that is most likely to stress you out or the one that makes you feel most exhausted thinking about it and then make a commitment to do that one thing and only that one thing.  Maybe it is laundry for you.  Make a commitment to do a load of laundry from start to finish each day.  Maybe it is doing the dishes and then keeping your sink clean all day.  Get those dishes done and put away each night (or early in the morning).  And maybe you too will see that spill over into other areas.  But, even if you don’t, you’ll have done the thing that will give you the most relief emotionally.  And I think most of this simplifying thing is all about emotion.  We want to feel the burden lifted and be able to breathe in our own spaces.

See Sue Simplifywith Only One Thing


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Five Minute Friday – Neighbor

I am joining the Five Minute Friday community this week. If you’re unfamiliar with them, check it out! It is a supportive, friendly writing Link-up that happens each week on Friday. The goal is to write for five minutes without editing or censoring yourself. Let’s do this!

The prompt this week is “Neighbor” – here goes…

Neighbors are everywhere nowadays.  We have the traditional next-door neighbors, but we also have online “neighbors” who are near our space online, even if not in person. But, neighbor means more than physical or virtual nearness.  To me, neighbor means someone who is willing to help, provides a friendly smile, chats with you when you are out cleaning out your car (this happened to me this morning).  They are those individuals who play a “supporting role” in the drama that is your life.  We don’t necessarily hang out with them often (although some do have neighbors like this).  We don’t think of them as the first ones to call in an emergency (although again, some do have neighbors like this).  But we do depend on them to keep a look out, to let us know if things are going wrong (like when our neighbor let us know their backyard was flooding daily due to a leaky sprinkler we had no idea was in our backyard), to keep an eye on our kids when they are out playing, etc.

I have always wanted to live in one of those neighborhoods where everyone knows each other and has block parties.  But, I also like having some anonymity in my home space. Neighbors can be like family.  Everyone wants a close knit family until it starts getting itchy from the close-knittedness.  I would like to have a closer relationship with some of my neighbors.  At least know them by name, etc.  So, I may try to make getting to know my neighbors a bit more a goal for this Fall.

___________________________________________________________And the buzzer rings!

That’s it.  Five minutes.  Writing without judgment.  Enjoy!

Let's build gates, not fences.



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