March is for re-evaluating


After a whirlwind month of finding new tenants (not planned), being sick (not planned), winter camping and family visiting (planned) and Laurent's birthday (anticipated but not so much planned) I feel, having turned the corner into March, I can finally breathe deep again. And return, if only for a couple weeks till the next set of family arrives for a visit, to my normal at-home schedule.

But my routine isn't just going back to the way it was, it's changing and moving forward.

I don't usually pick words or themes for my months, creatively or otherwise, but I definitely have a word for this month.

Re-evaluate.

Funny thing is, I had a word for last March also that I arrived at after an equally difficult February (what is it with out-of-control Februaries anyway?). The word for March 2009 was re-group.

This year I'm not just pulling things back together though, I'm re-thinking and making adjustments based on new creative directions we're moving as family.

One of our big projects is the integration of <a href ="http://www.outsideways.com/">ADVENTUREinPROGRESS</a> and FIMBY. This is an exciting undertaking with far reaching potential if we're able to carry it through to what we've dreamed.

You need not worry about content changing here. I love this little space and love the freedom to share whatever I want about my life, the Fun In My Back Yard. What I'm sharing here won't change but hopefully the audience for this blog will grow and with it the potential for my writing to support our family's endeavors.

In light of this creative undertaking and other goals we hope to accomplish I find myself in a season of re-evaluating. Although this is my word for March I'm sure this process will continue through spring and beyond.

Change takes time.

Specifically here a few things I'm re-evaluating in my life:

  • On-line "commitments".
  • I am encouraged by other mommy bloggers who are also thinking about the hours they spend on-line and re-evaluating how to better spend their precious time. This is a difficult line to walk, especially if you are trying to build a name for yourself as a writer, crafter, photographer - whatever. My own purposes in blogging have moved beyond creative expression, though that remains a large part of it. I have professional goals and using the computer as a tool and connecting with an on-line network of people is an important part of this picture.
  • Our stuff.
  • For years we've been trying simplify our lives and our belongings but now we want to take it a little further. Last month we tackled our dishes but we still have more to do in our kitchen. Q: If you only use an electric coffee maker (I use a small french press for myself) once every 6 months do you really need to own one?

    But the big project for this month is to re-evaluate children's stuff. Clearing out the girl's room so my dad could paint in there was a real eye opener. Right now the goal is to get everyone (ahem Brienne) on board. Then we purge and put back together the room with hopefully a lot less clutter under the bed and in the closet.
  • The garden.
  • With all the other creative work going on in my life right now I've had no desire to plan the garden; whereas I usually have spreadsheets and diagrams started by this time. I'm re-evaluating my gardening goals for this summer and deciding that this will be the year of mostly pretty perennials and I'll rely on our farm share and farmer's markets for our summer produce. As it was, my harvest from last year was so pitiful I have no strong desire to repeat that failed endeavor. I'll still plant some easy crops like spring peas and summer must-haves like tomatoes but I'm going to mostly enjoy the perennials beds I've built in years past and spend time maintaining instead of building. Building gardens takes a lot of creative energy that I don't have to give this time 'round.

    So that's where it's at. After a month of just trying to keep home and hearth together I'm ready this month to move forward in changes; mentally, creatively and spatially.

    What changes are you making these days?

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    • Alisha

      Alisha on March 4, 2010, 1:34 a.m.

      Well, my changes depend on work changes. But regardless, I am going to change my attitude. It's been festering again, and that's no good for anybody. So, it's gonna change. Now... to change all the other people who live here's attitudes... snorts Wish me luck on that one!

      reply

      • renee

        renee on March 4, 2010, 2:20 a.m.

        ha, ha! I too need to change my attitude. In fact, I was just having a heat to heart with Celine about that tonight. I need to be more joyful about our daily comings and goings and workings, especially.

        reply

    • exhale. return to center.

      exhale. return to center. on March 4, 2010, 3:16 a.m.

      last year we decided not to plant a garden.

      i can't even remember what was going on in the spring but one day i just looked at my husband and said...

      let's not plant a garden this year.

      we belong to a CSA (which i work at in exchange for our veggies) and we go to the farmers' market and having our own garden takes SO much time and energy.

      of course last year ended up being a terrible year for growing anything so we really didn't miss out...but we're thinking that we might not plant one (other than a few potted tomatoes and basil plants) again this year.

      it's funny since we've been on this path of conscious, simple living. i used to have so many must do's on my list and now i'm actually starting to see that sometimes doing less of the work ourselves frees up more time for us to make more big picture changes.

      anyway...i liked this post a lot (and appreciate the link love). i think march and spring in general is a great time for clearing out the old and exploring new possibilities.

      reply

      • nicola@which name?

        nicola@which name? on March 4, 2010, 5:42 a.m.

        erin, i just wanted to say how much i agree with you. right now, i am slowly stepping towards better balance and for me, that means NOT doing some things as much as it means doing things, to achieve better balance in my life.

        and i am planting a garden, but i am SO reassured by you two not planting much. my garden was a bit of a failure the last couple years (am i the only person who can't get zucchini to come in bountifully?) but i am determined this year, to at least produce some of the basics we consume a lot of, like tomatoes! nicola http://whichname.blogspot.com

        reply

        • Naomi Kilbreth

          Naomi Kilbreth on March 5, 2010, 2:11 a.m.

          You're not the only one! Last year was the FIRST year we planted a garden together, and of course most of it failed due to rain. We had some yummy radishes though! ;0) And we look forward to trying again this year. I'm mostly looking forward to experimenting with a few herbs though, as I practice ways to prepare herbal medicines. My comfrey has been doing very well, although I keep giving it away to all my friends and haven't had much to experiment with myself! lol

          reply

    • nicola@which name?

      nicola@which name? on March 4, 2010, 6:37 a.m.

      i am chatty here, aren't i? i forgot to say....ditch the coffee pot, renee. this is coming from someone who has and uses...ummm...at least 3 different coffee making appliances. we are keeping all 3, but if we only used one, we would ditch the rest. can you set stuff aside for a garage sale, craigslist sale, or donation? nicola http://whichname.blogspot.com

      reply

      • renee

        renee on March 4, 2010, 12:16 p.m.

        You bet I am. Ditching the pot and setting it aside for a summer yard sale, along with all our extra dishes, towels, books, DVDS - lots of stuff. We have a growing yard sale pile which is encouraging the children also as we sort through their stuff. They feel better knowing they can try to sell that used-to-be favorite cabbage patch instead of just donating her to goodwill.

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    • Jenn

      Jenn on March 4, 2010, 5:13 p.m.

      this is good. i am cutting back and re-evaluating so much in my life the past few years...this year is a continuation of that...but also, i am finally doing things i've always wanted to do, like have a huge organic garden. :0)

      past years, i was too busy running a shop to garden. i can't wait!!

      reply

    • Rana

      Rana on March 4, 2010, 8:51 p.m.

      I'm still working it out with home, life, family, spiritual. Lots of things I want to do and not do. Just have to sort it out. At least you are on track.

      reply

    • Naomi Kilbreth

      Naomi Kilbreth on March 5, 2010, 2:08 a.m.

      I have found that having a baby is an excellent way to inspire moving forward! LOL As my business grows and I am nearing completion of my book, I have been looking forward to making changes this year as well. We may also very well be done with having babies, at least for a while, so I am also able to think more about my work as a midwife in the relatively near future. I know that late, broken nights are still in my future for the next year or two, but I love setting goals, accomplishing personal ambitions, and looking to the future, and Spring is an excellent time to begin!

      reply

    • kyndale

      kyndale on March 5, 2010, 3:42 a.m.

      I am right there with you on re-grouping and re-evaluating my commitments. It seems that this time of year is right for that. Including spending less time on the computer and thinking about my family. I get so much inspiration from the blog community. But just like chocolate, too much is well...too much!

      reply

    • Earth Mama

      Earth Mama on March 5, 2010, 4:58 a.m.

      I hear you about cleaning out kid's stuff. My oldest is not really on board with getting rid of anything...ever. I do cleaning out alone...and then when they are flipping through old pictures, they are like hey where's this or that...it's gotta be around here somewhere. I slink away at that point.

      :)Lisa

      reply

    • Francesca

      Francesca on March 5, 2010, 6 a.m.

      I'm looking forward to seeing what the results of your re-evaluating process are! I just can't wait for the weather to finally decide it's almost springtime, so that I can really start working on my garden. I don't really spend much or any time on the planning, I don't build beds, I save some time (and space) by buying transplants. I hoe, transplant and water. Sounds easy, doesn't it:)? Do you grow herbs Renee?

      reply

      • renee

        renee on March 10, 2010, 1:10 a.m.

        Herbs? Yes, some. Just a couple for culinary purposes and the others for medicinal/topical applications.  Most of my culinary herbs I pick at the farm where we have a share.  I have given up starting plants from seed and just use transplants also.

        reply

    • Organizing Mommy

      Organizing Mommy on March 7, 2010, 4:04 a.m.

      Coffee maker? yes, for guests. Guests like coffee, and we have a lot of guests.

      reply

      • renee

        renee on March 7, 2010, 2:17 p.m.

        Unfortunately for our guests I am getting rid of the big coffee pot. We too have lots of guests, though not in large numbers, ie: not groups over 15 or so and often most of those are kiddos. So my large french press will have to do. I'll just make multiple pots and call it good. In the meantime we bought another! coffee maker. A very small and compact stove top espresso percolator. But this we use!

        reply

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