A Reset – A Cleaning House Bootcamp of Sorts

Hello sweet moatblog friends :) Sorry for lots of silence.

May bleeding into April and a couple of graduations is probably ’nuff said. There’s that and the truth that most spare time of late has been spent on the vod/podcast front. Our little SaySomething Show

latest episode with Sandra Stanley on contentment is worth the 20 minute-view

has been a blast to put together and hopefully encouraging/informing to folks that tune in. Well those things AND I’m tossing around the notion (and wondering if I’ve got it in me) to write another book – more to come on that.

Back to blogging front: this spot on the blogosphere began because a line was drawn in the sand – and that same line is about to be drawn again (eek!). Our house needs a taming-entitlement refresher (and since tons of folks have asked), I’m going to take a deep breath and try a 6-week Cleaning House boot camp. Feel free to join in. It’s funny, because it’s not like the kids don’t have good grip on things – a couple could use some reminders. So why not?

Starting tomorrow (have I outed my issues with procrastination?!) clutter is on notice, the kitchen is getting a touch-up, handy-man is on speed-dial (especially after one of the kids came to me yesterday with “my shower is clogged”) and so much more. I’m up for sharing and am excited to test if/how our original “experiment” really did infuse the kids with independence.

Let me remind everyone, I’m still the same flaky, unorganized founding member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Organizationally-Impaired. Seriously. The best thing that happened to the kids in my house was my putting responsibility on their plates. They handle stuff so much better than I do. In fact, it has become hard for me to remember that I need to actually step in and help since they’re so self-sufficient. But there are many times that I do need to be better about staying on top of things (which is absolutely not my naturally-laid-back – or is it lazy – way.)

So welcome to a Boot-Camp version of Cleaning House. As I was inspired in 2012, may we all be inspired again by the words of the great Theodore Roosevelt from a speech he gave to the Hamilton Club in Chicago in 1899 entitled “The Strenuous Life”.

In speaking to you, men of the greatest city of the West, men of the State which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who preeminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph…

In the last analysis a healthy state can exist only when the men and women who make it up lead clean, vigorous, healthy lives; when the children are so trained that they shall endeavor, not to shirk difficulties, but to overcome them; not to seek ease, but to know how to wrest triumph from toil and risk.

Honestly, the only reason I’m familiar with TR’s notable address is because an English teacher assigned our then 7th grade kid a five minute “declamation”. The task: pick a speech/writing/something-quotable that is of interest, commit 5 minutes of it to memory, then recite it in front of the class. Well, my kid, following in his mother’s footsteps, procrastinated to the point of the teacher choosing his passage for him.

That’s when he came home with Teddy Roosevelt’s address meant to inspire a nation. To remind the people about all they can do. Really to bring back into focus healthy perspective and action – not only for the good of the nation for which he cared, but also for the individuals that were being slowly duped into believing that being served is better than being productive (something that usually involves doing for others, even when such activities produce profit.)

So with that in mind, may the Boot-Camp begin.

Over the next six weeks, our house will be tackling the following 12 tasks. Twelve isn’t a magic number, it simply coincided with the number of months in a year and I needed a game of sorts to keep us on point. And the outlined tasks were simply things that I thought accompany independence. They can be whatever you want.

So, Step 1 – Admit there’s a problem. Well, for me it occurred a couple of weeks ago when a certain young person in my home stood by the toaster with a frozen waffle in hand and said, “I don’t know how to do this.” We both knew that statement to be false, but …, well, I mean… I don’t even have a response.

Step 2 – Quit – of course, never going it alone.

That’s why I have SO loved walking this road with you guys, AS WELL AS my kids. They’re amazing. Not only do I love them, I really like them. Every Drivers-Ed class just about kills me (not only because Central Expressway with someone that has no clue is horrifying & death-defying, but also because it signals the inevitable.) And it’s like dominoes. My sweet Speed Police (named for purposes of slight anonymity when themoatblog began) is headed to Baylor in a couple of months with college-bound (or culinary school – yes, she really learned how to cook and does circles around the rest of us!) Barton right behind. (boo-hoo-hoo, wahhhh!!)

So, thanks for letting me draw the line in the sand (again!) PLEASE comment/share/whatever along the way. I’m excited to share how our intentional move toward kid-independence changed our world. I’d really like to know what works in your house.

And as always – thanks for walking the road with me.

– Kay

p.s. I’m scared to hit “publish” on this since it will require action on our part (eek!)

p.p.s. Today is national Say Something Nice Day. Maybe that’s the best place to start. And since sometimes actions speak louder than words – maybe a little talking and doing can make the first day of June extra special.

2 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Erickson says:

    I have a garden and it’s a ton of work, but I decided there years ago if we were going to make it work we needed help…. From the children. So at the time my kids were 2, 4 and 5 and I started paying a quarter for watering for my kindergartener and I paid all of them a penny a weed. I admit I’m cheap but if they make a huge pile of weeds I’m gracious:).. fast forward to today first day of summer and my girls decided while the mommies were chatting to see what would happen if you through apples on the driveway?? Crazy town😜…. Honey Crisp apples to boot it was like $15 in apples!! we were all so shocked we sent them to their rooms and then they came back to our house and worked for 30 minutes picking weeds. You know what these girls had FUN!. They knew they messed up and wasted God’s food he gives us. They knew they had to fill a bucket abd they enjoyed the work. They had fulfillment and accomplishment because they filled the bucket with weeds! This was day one of summer ask me on day 10 or 35. It may be wheels off but we are fighting the entitling fight. Hard!!

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