Week 23: Rainbows and Reinventing the (Spinning) Wheel

This year, I set myself 22 little goals to pursue throughout the year. I call them the 22 in 22. Each Saturday, I take a few minutes to check my progress on a few of my goals.

#20 Practice Mindfulness: articulate the good moments

I actually have “mindfulness” twice on my 22 in 22. One is about eating mindfully and with pleasure, something that I have made zero headway on at all.

On the other hand, I have had several moments over the last week in which I intentionally articulated that we were “having a good moment”, because this so genuinely makes a difference in my perception of the day.

One time, it was when we came home in the midst of a rainshower. The littlest one had already come up before us, and the bigger one and I came up a few minutes later. The little one hadn’t seen it, but a gigantic rainbow had formed in the sky.

So as the bigger scalawag opened the door, he shouted, “Come here! Come here! Come here!”

Watching the two brothers–the bigger one present something entirely ephemeral that he knew his little brother would get excited about, and the little brother actually getting excited about it…well, it was a good moment. So I said the words I reserve for these kinds of moments: “This is a good moment.”

Later that night, as I sat in bed thinking through the day–about the number of times I had needed to physically separate them in the midst of an out-of-control wrestling match, or growling at one to stop saying “shut up” to the other–those things paled in comparison to watching them stand, arms around one another, watching a rainbow.

#9 Create a workflow for new projects and know how long each part takes realistically

Y’all know how I feel about new projects. I love the process of starting a new project: it feels like standing in front of a giant block of marble and imagining the first cuts that will eventually yield some kind of heavenly masterpiece.

In episode 25 of the podcast, (next week’s episode) I confess to a certain amount of “needing to reinvent the wheel” in my creative endeavors. I am just not satisfied to learn first, execute second. I need to get my hands dirty from the start and learn from trial and error.

Well, this week, I finished washing all 50kilos of wool that I inherited from Le Parc du Petit Prince. I had to make some tough choices about parts of it that I could not keep–parts too matted or filthy to make use of. It broke my little covetous heart to throw it out, sheep poop and all.

In the end, I have 7 extra extra large zippered Ikea bags full of washed wool. It is sorted by animal (which race of sheep–most of it is Valais Black Nose, but there is one other type of sheep represented, which I do not know the name of), and then vaguely by usability.

The Valais Black Nose sheep have incredibly beautiful long locks, of which I was able to preserve quite a few intact. I’m on the lookout for projects that can incorporate these locks, because wow. They are just exquisite.

My saintly brother-in-law helped me figure out the mechanics of my spinning wheel during a recent visit, so once a good quantity of the wool gets carded, I will be able to very very quickly have enough yarn for one of my knitting projects.

There are so many moving parts to this wool project, which is exactly what I need to feel just overwhelmed enough to stay excited about it.

Next up: finding just the right craft projects for 180 elementary school kids to make with all this wool, and thinking through the process of making it work.

#1 Connect better with the scalawags, according to their Love Languages

School isn’t out in France for another month–that’s right, school isn’t out until July 9. But that didn’t stop my indulgent husband and myself from getting together to start planning our summer.

We both feel a need to keep up with a little bit of “summer school” for our boys, our themes being Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Music. Each little boy will have his own summer program, each with separate goals. The one common goal is that both boys be able to read the Treble Clef by the end of summer, and be able to read a rhythm.

The Music aspect is partly because it’s extremely important to me that they know how to read music, but also because I have all kinds of wild theories about how learning rhythm can actually help unlock the mysteries of math (and fractions, notably), and how learning to decipher the “code” of music can help unlock the mysteries of reading.

While I have never been interested in homeschooling (whereas my indulgent husband is very interested in it!), I find that this kind of specific team effort with very specific goals, without the pressure of them actually having to learn anything is rather motivating. Anything they pick up this summer is bonus.

What does this have to do with Love Languages? Well, I’m convinced that Love Languages and Learning Styles are related, and I’m curious to see how that plays out. Because both my indulgent husband and I are on board with the program, we will each get one-on-one time every day this summer with our little ones, to fill them up and adapt learning to them as individuals.

It should be fun. (Should be fun.)

Episode 32: Environment and Ecology Sing With Your Feet

Talking Points: “Not on my Green Parenting Bingo Card,” LiElla is back!; Geeking out and going out green. Episode 32 is part of our series on the Ideal Life Categories, this week's theme being "Environment and Ecology." The series began back in Episode 15: The One About Our Bodies, in case you want to get caught up! Links: Learn more about LiElla Kelly, Death Doula, on her website and blog, Leaving Well…The Blog. or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leaving.well.death.doula/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=leaving%20well%20end-of-life%20planning You can contact Lily by email: lily@lilyfieldschallenge.com, or find her other work here: https://linktr.ee/lilyfieldschallenge
  1. Episode 32: Environment and Ecology
  2. Episode 31: Mental Health
  3. Episode 30: Contentment
  4. Episode 29: Commitments
  5. Episode 28: Lucidly Ever After

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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