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I’m having such a good day.

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I’ve really embraced a new life philosophy.  Basically, it’s ‘don’t stress out so much.’  Sounds simple, right?  But man… it’s taken me a while to figure out how to do this, exactly.  But now that I have figured it out, I feel so free! 

 

My daily goal is ‘get one thing done.’  Just one thing.  And if I get one thing done, great!  I allow myself to feel awesome about it and don’t think about all the other one million things that I should be doing.  Does this mean my work To Do list is a mile long, I’m still wearing pajamas, I’m not sure if I’ve brushed my teeth (I think I have?), my emails are unanswered, and my kitchen is a disaster zone?  Yup.  Do I care?  Suddenly… I just don’t.  It’s weird.

 

I think I can thank Henry for this transformation.  I swear, he’s taught me more in seven months than I’ve discovered on my own in nearly 29 years. 

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Henry says, “Just chill out, Mum.”

 

What was my one goal of the day? I prepared a bunch of marketing materials for the clinic.  And now they are done, so anything else I accomplish today is icing on the cake.

 

Hey, I baked cookies!  That’s an accomplishment.

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A tasty accomplishment. By the way, that’s a Better Crocker GF mix and it’s so good.

 

And I heated up lunch.  Does microwaving a meal count as a victory?  I guess it’s better than just eating cookies all day long. Winking smile

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Here’s to chilling out.  It makes for a disorganized life, but damn – it sure feels pretty neat.

 

Are you trying to be more organized or less organized?  I never thought being less organized would be my goal!

{ 60 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Cindy January 10, 2013, 2:03 pm

    I’m trying to be more organized. My flat looks like a library tornado has gone off in it with all the books/papers/articles/research between my flatmate and I. I’m trying to move most of the books and papers of mine to my office desk on campus where I can keep track of it, and work digitally for all of the research I’m currently reading. I use my iPad to store all the research articles I’m reading/read. Now if I could get focused to read all of the articles I have stored!

    Reply
  • Ashley January 10, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Less organized, less OCD, less A-type is something I am striving for. Iam getting better and better. I used to have to make sure the dishes were done right away and things were put away etc. and it not a mess but its our home to be lived in, so magazines, my notebook, a pen and a cup CAN stay on the end table, now I dont feel like it needs to be put away when Im done with it for now.

    Reply
  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries January 10, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Awesome perspective Caitlin! I stress myself out way too easily too, so I’m constantly working on that. I have had a goal to be more organized, but it’s in an effort to keep me less stressed. If I find that my organizing is making me more stressed out, I let it go and tell myself it’s not worth it. But little things like cleaning out my pantry or clearing off the kitchen table makes me much less stressed and helps me find things so much quicker!

    Reply
  • Natalie @ will jog for food January 10, 2013, 2:10 pm

    Those enchiladas look YUMMY!

    I’m trying not to be dis-organized, haha. But with a baby coming coming in 3 months, I know I have to make organization more of a priority.

    Reply
  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat January 10, 2013, 2:17 pm

    That’s one of my favorite TJ’s frozen meals! It takes forever in my microwave though! :)

    Reply
  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 10, 2013, 2:18 pm

    Love your new life perspective. I know when I allow myself to think that way, I feel SO much better. Sometimes, it’s just hard to remember it – I’m working on it.

    Reply
  • Clare @ Fitting It All In January 10, 2013, 2:21 pm

    i looove those TJs enchiladas!! and not being stressed:) I think I’ll try the “one thing” rule too

    Reply
  • Nanette January 10, 2013, 2:22 pm

    You sure have one cute kid. I have loved your blog for awhile, but now I find myself reading each day to see if there is a new Henry picture! I have my own one year old which I thought would make me less baby crazy but actually I crave more baby pictures now.

    I agree with your goal. Spending real, quality time with my little guy is always priority number one. After that I’m happy with whatever I get done. I figure he will only “need” me for so long and I want to soak that up.

    Reply
    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 2:25 pm

      Thanks :) I think I am realizing this too. I even disabled email on my iPhone so I can only check at my computer. Before I know it, he’s going to be off to school and I’ll be wishing for this time back. Dishes can wait.

      Reply
  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action January 10, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Love this post! And am so glad to hear you’re having a great day.

    I am right now trying to stay very organized, as I’m heading into busy season with work, am organizing a trip to do my yoga teacher training, as well as trying to arrange a job for me in the UK (I live in Canada) to work there for a year. However, I’m learning to let the little things go- like not needing to do the dishes every day, or letting my boyfriend help out even if he doesn’t do a task the same way I would want it to be done.

    Reply
  • Shauna@Pleasure, not Punishment January 10, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Not being stressed is amazing. Whether you get to it from letting go of some organizational habits or creating new ones, it’s all about what feels great! Brava!

    Reply
  • Lauren Jamison @ The Barn January 10, 2013, 2:37 pm

    The other day I purchased to seemingly unnecessary items. One being an egg basket for the fridge and the other being a basket/bin for our laundry/pantry room. I was so tired of all the little pieces of onion shell littering the floor as they fell out of the bag, and seeing as we buy a ton of eggs at a time I decided I needed a better method of storing them in the fridge than just stacking up egg cartons.

    Seriously two of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time. I smile every time I open the fridge and it is so much easier (and cleaner) to just reach and grab an onion out of the bin. Organization does wonders for the soul :)

    My latest post: Is Strong The New Skinny? http://thebarnnc.blogspot.com/2013/01/is-strong-new-skinny.html

    Reply
  • Ali January 10, 2013, 2:39 pm

    I understand the idea behind the accomplish one thing a day but I just can’t see how it is practical at all. How will you be able to get anything done if you tell yourself its ok that you just brushed your teeth today??

    Reply
    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 3:04 pm

      haha well my one goal is usually larger than just brush my teeth. I think the glory of it is that when I say I only need to do one thing, it takes the pressure off and I get more done, and I don’t feel as crazy in the process. Also, as a stay-at-home mom, although I really need to help run the businesses, during the day, I should really just be focusing on henry.

      Reply
  • Kathleen Ojo @Onward; Inward January 10, 2013, 2:55 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how babies can throw your world into chaos while simultanously making everything so simple? I used to run around like a crazy person with a dozen conflicting priorities and a desperation to excel at everything. Now, things are much simpler – my 5-month-old little girl is my #1 priority, period. As long as she is well taken care of, everything else is a bonus. I still have issues with balance (I wrote this in a particularly weak moment: http://onwardinward.blogspot.com/2012/12/adjustment.html) but overall, my attitude is much more chill and my perspective less clouded than before.

    And yes, Betty Crocker GF chocolate chip cookies are the BOMB. My whole gluten-eating family has switched to these because they’re so amazing!

    Reply
  • Natalie @ Free Range Human January 10, 2013, 3:04 pm

    I love your newfound attitude. I feel like you and I have very similar personality types, and I’m always struggling to to not take life and myself too seriously. Even before you said it, I was thinking “Henry had done this for her.” Perhaps I should have a baby!

    Reply
  • Kayla @ The Best Things January 10, 2013, 3:20 pm

    Lady, that pic of your sweet Henry on the floor with the view of your SPOTLESS kitchen floor, I mean that’s a victory right there. Congratulations. I love this post!

    Reply
  • Holly January 10, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Hey Caitlin, I just wanted to thank you for this post and the silverware drawer post. I have a 2 month old (Keira) and I was definitely falling into a habit of stressing about everything I needed to get done and losing focus on what’s really important. These babies grow so fast, and after reading your silverware drawer post I really thought about how much I would be missing if I continued worrying about the dishwasher needing to be unloaded. On Sunday I decided that other than taking a shower I wasn’t going to do anything constructive the rest of the day. I actually took a nap on the couch while Keira napped, and when I woke up Monday morning my kitchen was a disaster…but I didn’t care. Keira is starting to smile a lot and I got to spend countless hours staring at her little smiling face. Dishes can wait, baby smiles can’t!

    Reply
    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 3:36 pm

      :)

      Reply
  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction.com January 10, 2013, 3:33 pm

    Sometimes we all just need to chill out. Easier said than done obviously! Babies and animals are a great source to look at for these things. Of course they don’t have responsibility, but still they literaly just “chill” all day. Wish I could do this!

    Reply
  • Brigid January 10, 2013, 3:38 pm

    I totally agree with decreasing your stress levels, and it’s something I’m constantly striving for. However — and please don’t take this as anything other than concern — lately your posts show more and more signs of you being depressed or anxious. You’ve said before that you have suffered from both in the past, and I believe you said you’ve been going to therapy, which is great. As much as I’m in favor of stress management, reducing your days to only one accomplishment is more giving up than liberating yourself. I really encourage you to talk to a professional about how overwhelmed you’ve been feeling before you just stop completing your responsibilities. I know firsthand how debilitating stress and anxiety can be, so I just wanted to reach out and encourage you to ask for help.

    Reply
    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 5:48 pm

      Thanks sweetie for your concern but I think you misread the point of this post. It’s about finding balance between work and being a stay at home mom. I actually feel better than ever with my new laid back attitude. :)

      Reply
  • Dani @ Live Lightly Everyday January 10, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I always aim to be more organized, of course, but I never hesitate to just say “Screw it!” and just give myself time to just zone out and relax. You just have to every once in a while!

    Reply
  • Katie January 10, 2013, 4:00 pm

    Yum cookies!!!
    I am so curious what type of accent Henry will have when he starts talking! Will he call you Mum or Mom?

    Reply
    • Micaela January 10, 2013, 6:26 pm

      I was just wondering this too!

      Reply
  • Barca Mama January 10, 2013, 4:10 pm

    I love the idea of just getting one thing done instead of flapping around like a crazy lady trying to get a million things done. I am always trying to be more organized. I have yet to meet any mom who has actually said they feel like they are on top of things.

    Reply
  • Mabelle @ Dance, Love, Dine January 10, 2013, 4:12 pm

    I love having a peaceful mentality and not stressing out about things. Thankfully, it is embedded in my personality. Life’s too wonderful to spend it worrying about miscellaneous! cheers!

    Reply
  • sara @ fitcupcaker January 10, 2013, 4:13 pm

    OMG everyone is blogging about cookies today! I am doing my 30 day challenge of no sweets so I cant have a cookie for a while! But im not really craving anything so thats good (until I saw this post) :)

    Reply
  • Sharisse January 10, 2013, 4:21 pm

    I’m trying to be more organized, but not overdo it. I am notorious for post-its and notes galore. But what I’m realizing is that writing all of the things I have to-do stresses me out because I don’t know when I’ll ever get it all done. Then I remember a few things: 1) my mom has this book called, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” and it says there will ALWAYS be things left in your inbox, even after you’re gone. Sounds kinda cruel to think about being gone, but it helps put things in perspective – you will almost never finish your entire to-do list! And I also remember 2) your silverware drawer! I like your thinking that there are some things we can just not do because there are way more important things we can do with our time. Good luck with staying un-stressed out!

    Reply
  • HS January 10, 2013, 4:32 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I know you are doing your whole “silverware drawer year” thing, and I think it’s great to take things easier and appreciate the little things. But at the same time, I find myself reading this and completely taken back to when I was clinically depressed several years ago. It was hard for me to do basic life functions (e.g. brushing my teeth, wearing clean clothes, etc.) everyday, and I wound up setting the bar super low for myself (You did your laundry! Great! Baby steps!) to adjust for my depression. Which was really helpful for me at the time.

    NOT saying you are depressed necessarily, but I just wanted to share my perspective and maybe some food for thought. I know you’ve gone to therapy in the past, and I’m sure a mental health check in wouldn’t hurt! Or if you _are_ going through some stuff right now, I think it would be great to share it with your readers and share your techniques for overcoming it.

    If you really feel like you are fine mental health wise, etc., I do wish you would reevaluate your permission to yourself to do only one thing all day–or at least say somewhere in the post how lucky/privileged you are to stay home with Henry and to be able to only do one thing. I’d love to tell my boss I want to do only one thing a day! :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 5:50 pm

      Brigid asked a similar question. Check out my response to her. Thanks for the concern but you definitely misread the post! Or I wrote it poorly. :)

      Reply
      • Zia January 11, 2013, 8:33 pm

        Your posts have read really sad and anxious. I hope you really are as ok as you say in the comments.

        Reply
  • Kattrina January 10, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Haha – that’s funny because I just wrote a post about how I needed to be more organized. I feel like I waste so much time thinking about doing things or wondering whether I should do something rather than just doing it (i.e. thinking about what to have for dinner, looking in the fridge and seeing what we have, deciding to make something, needing to run to the store to get an ingredient, etc.). If I were more organized I wouldn’t waste as much time – I’d already know what we were having and I just fix it already. And I wouldn’t let things pile up – like laundry and dirty bathrooms and other household chores. My goal is to plan and do a little bit each day (menu plan, assign one or two chores a night, etc.). That way, I can get things done and have more time to play with my son. We’ll see how that goes!

    Reply
  • Andrea January 10, 2013, 4:52 pm

    I am definitely the type of person that wants everything in it’s place, dishes done right away and the house spotless. BUT living with roommates has totally made me realize I need to chill out! If they don’t do their dishes right away, the world will not end. Nor will it end if I don’t do mine. Sort of like having a baby…alright, not really.

    Reply
  • Kerin January 10, 2013, 5:00 pm

    Thanks for the reminder. :)

    Reply
  • Sam January 10, 2013, 5:14 pm

    Love that you’re a ‘mum’ rather than a ‘mom’! Or was that just a typo?!

    Reply
    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 5:46 pm

      Naw I’m a mum!

      Reply
  • Kristi January 10, 2013, 5:35 pm

    I have a five week old – today we went for a walk and I pulled the trash cans in from the street. I also brushed my teeth and ate lunch!! Nothing like having a baby to cure Type A-ness!

    Reply
  • Emily January 10, 2013, 5:42 pm

    Love your new perspective! I discovered this and adopted it when my twins were 3 years or so (and stopped napping so I was suddenly getting much less done!). Much more relaxing and simplistic! Sometimes my 1 goal is work related, sometimes an errand, or sometimes an activity completed devoted to my boys (like the museum of science yesterday!) and somehow other stuff gets done in the process, but with less stress. Sometimes I’m left with 5 loads of laundry to run and fold in a day, but oh well!

    Reply
  • Verna January 10, 2013, 5:58 pm

    I’m in love with Henry’s hair! He’s adorable!

    Reply
  • Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin January 10, 2013, 6:55 pm

    That’s awesome you are way less stressed. I have definitely eased up a little the past year and it feels way better not constantly feeling like I have to be go,go,go. I love those enchiladas from Trader’s too!

    Reply
  • Lacey January 10, 2013, 7:10 pm

    I love your new perspective on life! I was also wondering (since I just moved into a new house with very similar floors to yours); what do you use to clean them? Your floors always look so clean and sparkling!

    Reply
    • Caitlin January 10, 2013, 8:12 pm

      You have got to get the Shark vac. It uses steamed water to clean so there are no chemicals.

      Reply
      • Lacey January 13, 2013, 10:45 pm

        Thanks!

        Reply
  • emma January 10, 2013, 7:27 pm

    I AM RIGHT HERE WITH YOU!!!! I had my little Leo 3 and a 1/2 months ago and he’s taught me the exact same lesson! I had lunch today that involved chopping some veggies – victory! I went to the post office and collected passport forms – huge victory! I also managed to brush my teeth – victory!! (and I am a dentist!!) Being a mum is amazingly challenging but you learn the best lessons….don’t stress about the stuff that doesn’t matter ;-) xx

    Reply
  • lea January 10, 2013, 8:28 pm

    I am completely also having one of those days of clarity and joy. I would wish for all days to be like this,but then how would I know the difference between a blah day and a really great day.

    Reply
  • Lauren January 10, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Ah, I too have embraced this perspective recently and you are right, it’s entirely freeing! Life is so much better this way!

    Reply
  • Jillian January 10, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Love this!

    It’s weird I have been thinking a lot about trying to live in the moment and to stop worrying everything else I have going on. It was taking away valuable time from my baby. I didn’t realize it until very recently and now I am trying to stick with the “do the best you can” attitude and I have to be honest, I feel much MUCH better. If the dishes don’t get done…so what!?

    It feels good!! You inspired me by sharing your new year’s resolutions! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Amber K January 10, 2013, 9:43 pm

    I think some people are missing your point a bit. It’s not that you check one thing off of your list and then say “yup, that’s good for today” and stay on the couch all day long. It’s about making sure to get at least one thing done and not stressing if that does end up being it. But, just like with exercise, we just have to start working and we’ll end up doing so much more than anticipated.

    Reply
  • Katie January 10, 2013, 11:26 pm

    Yay! I am so happy for you! I think the “one thing” approach is a good idea. Also that trader joe meal looks awesome!

    Reply
  • LSandoe January 11, 2013, 12:25 am

    So proud of you! My mantra for 2013 is, “The work can wait” and boy it feels great to have fun. 2013 is about living more and about worrying less. Feels good to truly be living!

    Keep it up :)

    Reply
  • Gloria January 11, 2013, 1:06 am

    I’m glad to hear about your new perspective! It reminds me of a tip I read on one of my favorite blogs a while ago, which suggested making short to-do lists with just the most important goals for the day/week. I found that I really do get more done this way, because once I accomplish my main goal I feel good about my effort and not so weighed down – which oddly enough inspires me to take care of some smaller tasks. It also helps me accomplish things quicker, because I don’t procrastinate as much, thinking about ALL the things that I want to get done in one day. I think that’s the point you were trying to make too. One of his other tips that I like a lot and use to motivate myself to do my dishes after dinner is to tell myself that I only have to do a task for two minutes and that at the end of the two minutes, I can stop and finish later if I want. Anytime I do this, I of course want to just finish them and then it’s done and over with :-)

    I think you would enjoy the blog, here’s one post that I was able to find where he talks about keeping a shorter to-do list: http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2011/09/21/less-stress/

    Hope some of it is helpful! Don’t feel bad for letting chores fall to the wayside to spend more time with your child :-)

    Reply
  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 11, 2013, 6:55 am

    Oh my goodness yes I totally get what you are saying in this post. I have been feeling the SAME WAY recently. Motherhood is slowly peeling back my control freakish/organized personality one day at a time. Ha! I am just now starting to relax and go with the flow. Only taken 8 months of mommy hood to realize that stressing over every freaking detail gets me absolutely no where. :)

    Reply
  • Kara January 11, 2013, 9:29 am

    I definitely know how you feel! I have the type of personality that likes to be in control all of the time. Having a baby makes you realise that is definitely not possible/sustainable. It’s so much easier when you “let go”- your perspective on things changes. I know what you mean about the one thing every day…it’s not that you ONLY necessarily do one thing, it’s just that you feel you can do more if you’ve managed the first step.
    Kara
    PS. You said “mum” instead of “mom”! We’ll make an English person out of you yet! haha!

    Reply
  • Melissa January 11, 2013, 9:50 am

    My boys are 4 and 7 and I finally feel like my life is starting to get organized, again. No one tells you that when you’re kids are little, it’s pretty impossible to stay on top of it all. It gets better when they are older. I’m tackling organizational projects around the house now. I seriously think the under 4 age group is all about survival mode. What gets done at given day is what gets done!

    Reply
  • Sara January 11, 2013, 9:53 am

    Less in some ways; more so in others. I stopped caring a long time ago if my house was always perfectly clean and picked up. With five pets and a baby on the way, it’s an accomplishment just if the carpets and floors are fur-free!

    Reply
  • Sarah January 11, 2013, 9:54 am

    i LOVE that goal! I have also been trying to de stress as much as possible, really is so hard and especially in the beginning! I also have a strong desire to bake cookies right now :

    Reply
  • Charise January 11, 2013, 10:10 am

    To me, “being organized” and “stressing out” are two different things. :) I actually am much LESS stressed about life if I’ve got things in order. I follow a lot of Gretchen Rubin’s tips – things like, if it’ll take less than 5 min to do, just do it so it stops hanging over your head.

    But, yes, over the last few years (even being child-free), I’ve learned that I don’t need to get everything on the to-do list done before I can relax, and am A-OK with letting the dishes sit or laundry remain undone and am sure to get plenty of me time and fun time in. It’s great!

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) January 11, 2013, 5:04 pm

    The older I get the more I realize what matters and what doesn’t matter, and I’ve stopped stressing about a lot of things and have learned to just chill out and relax. It does feel good!

    Reply

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