During the third week of January, I've been trying to get back into the routine of homeschooling; making and filling orders for Harvest Moon by Hand; taking care of the pets and horses; and taking the girls to their activities, medical appointments, and special education.
I've had to make adjustments to my schedule with Olivia being sick for part of the week and Sophia's appointment at the optometrist taking much longer than expected due to significant vision changes (the first major changes in her eyes was diagnosed in March 2011; and now in January 2012 she's had another major change with both of her eyes. She needs new glasses and contacts to address this drop in vision).
Although there were these medical and health challenges, there was some fun this week when we celebrated Olivia's 9th birthday on the 18th of January. Thanks to complimentary tickets, we were able to do a lot of fun things at the Mall of America: see the aquarium, go on rides, and play miniature golf. It was an enjoyable, educational, and memorable day.
Doing something fun in the middle of the month was a nice break and balance with the more "serious" work of these goals. This break came at exactly the right time...it is definitely what I needed. (Maybe I'll have to include a "fun day" or "break day" each month for the 3 in 30 challenge.)
So, during the third week of the 3 in 30 challenge, I made the following progress:
1. Remove photographs from all photo albums and put in photo boxes. I began this process in 2011, but never completed it. My goal was to remove all the photographs so that the photo albums wouldn't continue to damage the images. (Many of the photographs are in albums that are not acid-free.)
This week I removed photos from 8 albums. Although there are more than triple than that waiting to be completed, I felt happy that I completed 1/4 of the project this week. The old albums are in the trash, the photos are safely preserved now in acid-free/photo-safe boxes, and a lot of room is now available in the closet.
2. Thoroughly clean and repair the master bedroom. I began this process in April 2011 by cleaning the closet and donating clothing that I no longer wore. I removed the clutter from the closet and either donated or threw it away. I had all the blinds repaired so they were in working order.
During the past week, I talked with an electrician and he will be coming on Monday, January 23rd to fix and/or replace four light fixtures and the smoke detector (depending on the condition of each one).
I got paint chip samples and matched the color of the green in the master bedroom that needs repainting. In talking with the salesperson, she said that because the wall hasn't been repainted in at least 16 years, that the paint (most likely) has faded. Doing touch-ups aren't an option...repainting the entire section of the wall where there is green paint is what needs to be done. I'm planning on doing that over the weekend.
I also got paint chip samples for the white walls. Repainting the white part of the walls (the majority of it) will have to be done during another month...maybe the spring when the windows can be open and there is better air circulation.
3. Spend 15 minutes outside each day. Every day this week I've been outside - one time for over an hour; other times for 15-20 minutes; and on Thursday for about 10 minutes.
During the first part of the week, the temperature was in the 20s and 30s - so Sophia, Olivia, and I filled all the bird feeders and did some outside work to clean up the front yard. These were nice days to be outside.
Other days I've worked with the horses - feeding them, cleaning the barn, filling the heated water buckets, and tossing hay down from the loft (in the barn). I also walked around the backyard and picked up items that were left outside in the fall; picked up and stacked cut wood and branches in the pasture; and swept the porch and walkway (I have never done this in my entire life in January in Minnesota!).
Towards the end of the week, the weather nose-dived to well below zero. By Thursday, the temperature was -11 degrees with a windchill of -20. It's hard to believe that just a week ago it was 63 degrees warmer than what it was on Thursday.
When temperatures get this cold, it's not a good idea to be outside for a long time. Frostbite can happen...and at colder temperatures one's skin can literally freeze in a matter of minutes. So...15 minutes outside can be unsafe...and unhealthy.
As I look back at the week and this goal, this is the one that I feel like I came closest to meeting.
Despite getting back into a routine during the third week, trying to meet the three goals I set isn't going quite as quickly as I expected. The goals I chose for January could have happened if I had a lot of extra time and nothing difficult had happened this month. However, the reality is that these goals are ones that are in addition to what I'm trying to do on a day-to-day basis....extra challenges or not.
So, I'm thinking that in future months, I'll set one larger goal and two smaller goals. In this way, the challenge won't seem so overwhelming and will be more attainable.
Having some success - however small - each week is important. It's what will keep me motivated to continue trying to reach the goals I set at the beginning of each month.