The Art of Homemaking: A Report and Facet No.3

Happy Easter Weekend!
Last week was week 3 of working on “Facet No. 2 Another “A”:  Ambition”.
As I said last week I made for myself a ginormous list of tasks to accomplish.
But again I didn’t complete everything on the list.
However, this time I didn’t beat myself up about it…everything that was most important got completed—including those things that just come up—stories that need to be told, toenails that need to be painted (mine are currently neon yellow as are most of my toes…thank you Grace!  They look amazing—perfect for Easter…), and late night television viewing with my husband.
I also said that I felt like if I remembered to put first things first I would be more motivated and accomplish more.  (This was true and even on a week where I had a bout with my stupid back problem!)  Some of the things I did include cleaning out the van, doing my taxes, cleaning out and changing purses, and finishing Gracie’s Easter dress.  I feel good about what I did and what I didn’t do can easily be taken care of this week.
I also this week tried a little secret experiment that goes against my usual line of thinking.
The thing is I’m a massive multi-tasker. 
At any one time I can be found in the middle of about 18 different projects.
(I can’t even handle just reading a book…one book…by itself…I’m always in the process of reading at least 3 books at any one time…Right now I’m reading “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea”, “You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don’t Need”, and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”)
But then recently something I read awhile ago has been running through my mind.  It is a small segment of the book “Simple Abundance:  A Daybook of Comfort and Joy”.  It says:
“Serene women do not become sidetracked…Today, we must start to recover our sanity.  The way we do this is to concentrate slowly on completing one task at a time, each hour of the day, until the day is over….What we will gain from this is the inner peace that comes from living fully in the present moment…
I realize, of course, that for most of us, accustomed as we are to performing six tricks simultaneously, what I’m proposing sounds ridiculous.  You wonder how you’ll get everything done if you don’t do everything at once.  But I assure you that you will accomplish all you set out to do with much more ease, efficiency, pleasure, and satisfaction when you merge, mind, body, and spirit with the task at hand.
And you will experience serenity.”
Until this past week I thought that Sarah Ban Breathnach had lost her mind ever single time I read this portion of her book.  (And I seriously think I’ve read her book at least 5 times.)
I am one of those people who is doing everything at once—dinner is cooking, the laundry is strewn around in various stages, Simon is doing his homework, I’m hot gluing something while entertaining Ruth in her Bumbo, and answering phone calls…and I KNOW THIS IS NOT JUST ME…is it? 
No, it’s not.
SO I tried it.  Just one task at a time.  It was painful.  At first.
But then all of the sudden it felt liberating.  I didn’t feel pulled in a million directions.  I didn’t have to simultaneously need to keep tack of 8 different things or timers or anything.  I just started one thing, focused on it alone, finished it, and moved it.  So simple.
And the sewing…it was glorious.
When my kids were happily settled into activities—naps, coloring, Lego’s, whatever I focused on sewing.  Without getting up 75 times to switch the laundry, sweep the floor, answer an email, whatever.
And my kids liked it to.  Everything did seem more, well, serene.  And I can not believe how much more I accomplished and it really did seem easier.  I’m not kidding.  It sounds crazy (at least to my mind set) but it’s true.
Sarah Ban Breathnach you are a genius.
And even though I’ll never give up my 85 books at once habit I’m going to continue to work on the completing one task at a time.  That helped my level of ambition as much as anything this week.
This week I’m moving on to Facet No.3 in Daryl Hoole’s “The Art of Homemaking”  book.
But since this has turned into the worlds longest post I’ll just give you the the intro and we can talk about it next week—after I try to figure out how to tackle this one.
“An ideal homemaker is devoted to the great career in which she is engaged.  She is a professional in her field by being a homemaker every day and letting her devotion and sense of duty, rather than her moods, dominate her.”
Ok…um, any thoughts?
Have a happy–and serene—weekend!

4 thoughts on “The Art of Homemaking: A Report and Facet No.3

  1. Maybe this is a sign. Several times this week “motherhood/homemaking IS your career” came up. I was given my children for a purpose. Not crafting or sewing (even if you do projects on the side to make a little money), or home schooling, or whatever else it is. Our moods,annoyances, wants etc. have to be put aside most of the time while we are raising our kids.
    Lately, my children have been pushing the limits seemingly to see when they can crack me. It’s been a rough couple of months and I am trying so, so hard to keep level-headed. This reminder to perfect my art of homemaking helps keep me focused on what I need to be doing and how I should be acting

  2. I personally try to look at my choice to have kids as a career because I try harder to learn about how to be good at it. The harder I try to improve myself as a mother, the more I feel like I’m making a difference. It’s the challenge to become a “professional mom” that gives me the fulfillment I look for in my “job.”

    As for the moods: I couldn’t go to another job and yell at everyone because I’m grumpy and tired. I shouldn’t be doing that at home.

  3. I’m so enjoying this series :)
    Yes! That’s me….one hundred and one things on the go all the time…..I just get faster and faster. Not sure that it is so good for me (or anyone really…)
    I read a book years ago that I keep forgetting about. It changed my life at the time and I have read it a few times since. It’s called Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali. I’m not a buddhist and to be fair it could hardly be called a buddhist book I don’t think. But, she talked about slowing down, one thing at a time. Buddhists call it mindfulness. I have tried it and it is just as you say – amazing. But then I forget. The funny thing I found when I was really trying was that I would think of answers to problems or really cool things to make/do, just out of nowhere. My brain was still ticking on another level – bizarre!
    Right, off to try again :)
    As for next weeks topic. Hmmmmm. Yes. It would be nice to be level headed at “work”.

  4. I’ve purchased the book and read it twice since reading your posts about it – I’m enjoying the new mindset it’s given me. I’m also enjoying the knowledge/reassurance that this is an important work! Even bloggers who are stay at home moms tend to blog about the crafting and “accomplishing” that they do – and ignore the “I’m a mom with kids all day” aspect. This is our most important work! I”m happy to be doing it.

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