Week 36: Shades of Progress

This year, I set myself 22 little goals to pursue throughout the year. I call them the 22 in 22. Once a week (or there abouts), I take a few minutes to check my progress on a few of my goals.

#4 Complete and update our home binder info

Although this is far from being complete, tiny shades of progress have been made.

I’m depending on the indulgent husband for some of this info, and am trying not to push…but I’ve done what I can and that’s progress.

#12 Set aside “unplugged” hours of the day

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but I’m guessing maybe I just wasn’t ready to make this kind of radical decision.

I decided, during the approximately 80 minutes that my boys are home for lunch on school days, that I would turn off my devices.

I decided to call this “Cinderella Time”, meaning, I turn off the devices, put on an apron, and become Cinderella for 80 minutes each day. No podcasts to distract me, no notifications, no Twitter.

My first full week of Cinderella Time had one exquisite consequence: by the time we left to go back to school, after which I went to the university library to work, all the dishes were washed and put away, the laundry was folded and put away, and freshly washed laundry was hung out to dry.

Before walking out the door, I made sure everyone put their toys away, inciting one of our famous “five minute pickups” during which my boys pretend to be my robots and take things where they belong. (And…FYI…the robot thing was their idea.)

The effect of this was that when the three of us stumbled back in the door at 4:30 after school, everything was tidy, like when you arrive back in a hotel room after room service has passed. It felt amazing (for the five seconds before little boys got everything out again.)

It meant that I could play a board game or two with a little boy after school, because there was space on the floor or on the table. Or get out the poster paints and let the littlest go nuts on a canvas.

So the unexpected consequence of turning off my devices for 80 minutes at lunchtime was feeling closer to my kids and like a better mom after school.

Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of pigs flying.

#16 Improve my posture

Hahahahahaha! Ha hahahahahaha!

This is back on the forefront because since I have been taking refuge at the university library again in the afternoons, my back has been aching like the dickens. It reminds me of when the indulgent husband was in law school, and he got terrible headaches those first few weeks of school from leaning over his text books.

I’m pretty sure my back hurts because I am taking fifty pounds of books and notebooks and electronic devices with me and there is an uphill 10 minute walk to get to the library. This is the price of having a “mobile office.”

So yes, I just need to suck it up and get used to it. Also, I need to pack better. Also, I need to improve my posture.

I switched from an over the shoulder computer bag to a backpack, thinking that I would more evenly distribute the weight (brilliant idea because it does help for that), but the backpack is super uncomfortable and I feel like I am leaning forward like a hiker.

In any case, this made me all the more aware, as I sat in a meeting last night, of how I sit and hold myself. I don’t want to be that person who can’t act normal and sit like a normal person. But I also don’t want to be that person who complains about back pain.

‘Cause those are my choices right now. Be the stuck-up looking person who is actually doing something about her back pain, or be a person who complains about having back pain. I see no middle ground here.

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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