Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Life Aims Part 1

What are my biggest needs and difficulties at the moment?
My biggest need is money - money to pay the bills, money to buy groceries and pocket money for me to spend on things like clothing, magazines and other treats. I must use the money coming in more wisely...I often don´t think about my money until it´s gone - usually around the 3rd week of the month and then I have all these great saving and thrift ideas. I remember a time when I always had enough money, it was back in Australia -I know I was living a completely different life then BUT I was getting a pay check once a week - now I get paid once a month and I think that´s the key. I am going to put what comes in into my account and every Monday I will pay myself a weekly amount - not forgetting some pocket money for myself, not just for the kids - and keep track of my finances weekly so it will be more controlled.
We also have heaps of things that we no longer need like children´s toys and clothing, books, dishes and other junk (I think this is one reason behind my biggest difficulty - see next point). Spring is when the flea market season begins so I will try to sell as much as possible on Ebay this next month and then take the rest to local flea markets - I just have to be careful not to buy more than I sell!

My biggest difficulty is keeping the house clean and organised, making sure everyone has the clothing and food they need and still finding enough time for myself. I MUST LEARN TO DELEGATE!!!!! Erich helps me around the house a lot but we do often fall into the trap of leaving it to Mum. I told the kids this morning that their rooms will be undergoing a thorough clean-up this week. I usually clean the house every Friday but often the children´s rooms have so much stuff on the floor, making it impossible to vacuum. Also, they will be learning to clean their own rooms - change the bed linen, dust their shelves, vacuum etc. Of-course they protested but I will think of a way to motivate them. Maybe have a deadline for the work to be done and when it´s reached maybe have a pizza and video night or a games night - any suggestions?

What impairs my day to day life the most?
At the moment it´s the snow. It´s everywhere and the novelty has worn off after 4 months of shoveling it out of the driveway, battling slippery roads and needing a coat, gloves and a scarf even to go to the mail box. The climate in Austria is basically 6 months winter, 2 months spring, 2 months summer, 2 months autumn. This is something I have to come to terms with OR move to somewhere with a warmer climate.

What hinders my joy of life the most?
Again - the climate. BUT a bigger hindrance is not having a real group of friends here where I feel accepted, like I really belong, I WISH ALL OF YOU READING THIS LIVED CLOSER!!! Many friendships ended when my marraige ended - the reactions of some people were so startling for me that I can never be around them again without feeling my throat tighten. I must take matters into my own hands and begin inviting people over again for dinner or coffee on weekends, some new and some old aquaintances. I do have some very good friends here and I haven´t made enough effort to spend quality time with them. And of-course my lack of confidence hinders my joy of life. Often I would rather be sitting comfortably at home in my old jeans and t-shirt rather than dressing up to go socialising. This comes partly from my weight issues and partly from my not having the right clothing. I have written about this before so I won´t go on about it too much. I should combine all these points and ask friends to walk and exercise with me and also to go shopping with me, an honest opinion and a nudge to try some new colours and styles of clothing may be just what I need.

Under which do I suffer the most ?
This is a really hard question to answer because I don´t feel like I really "suffer" from anything. I should change the question to "what brings you to tears?" and that would have to be seeing my children sad or treated unfairly. It breaks my heart when teachers or other children are unfair and my children can´t defend themselves. Naturally my first reaction is to jump in the car and pay a visit to whoever is concerned but my children won´t let me. I must help them to be strong, understanding and tolerant human beings but it´s often difficult to find an explanation for behaviour I can´t relate to.

Reading through my answers above I realise that it´s a lot of little things that need changing in order for things to run smoothly. So that´s my challenge for the next week, to take the steps mentioned above in order for things to run more smoothly and then I´ll tackle the next set of questions. I´ll keep you posted!


megg said...

Oh Claudia - I WISH WE ALL LIVED CLOSER TOO!! I'd come over in my comfy clothes and we could make stuff and giggle and just be ourselves. I loved reading this - you are so open and honest and real about what you are going through. I LOVE it. I'm so proud of you for taking these steps. And I'll be here to listen as you take them!! xoxo

Anonymous said...

Good luck, and YES, I wish we all lived closer--I don't know a soul where I live and I am SOOO lonely! I like the idea of your life inventory--I'll have to try that.

jorth said...

You're doing so well! Honest self-analysis is always hard, and often much easier to put into the too difficult basket.

Voicing the opinions of others, I wished we lived closer, too - I'd love to catch up for a lazy coffee!

Laini said...

Claudia -- I can relate to so much of what you've said -- except for your life is much more complex with the addition of children, and more joyful too for it -- I found myself feeling really wistful thinking of you and the boys sitting down to post-room-cleaning pizza and videos -- kind of... longing. Honestly, reading the blogs of women with children has really made me think so much more seriously about my own near-future plans for my uterus. (I think I want to have a baby! Oh my god!! WOW!) But, what you were saying about not putting the effort into friendships, prefering to be comfy at home in jeans, I am so THERE with you. But then I really crave a "tribe" of girlfriends, and I really do wish you and Meg and Liz and Melba and everyone lived on my street. Ah, the coffee and the wine we would drink! (And I wish I could have just a LITTLE bit of your snow -- but not for 6 months. egad!)

pyglet said...

I love this post! You could have written it just for me. I am so there with you. We sound like we would get along great over a cuppa on the weekend. Oh yeah! I forgot I can't afford the flight...
keep smilin' ;)

Jamie said...

These are really interesting questions. Along with the "what brings you to tears" question, I'd love to add in "what makes your heart soar?"

And as for the cleaning and suggestions and stuff, have you ever heard of FlyLady? Her site is at I know so many people who have tried out her program (it's free) and found it really, really helpful. She's changed the way I think about a lot of things. I hope that's helpful.

It's so clear how motivated you are to create a life of joy and fulfillment for yourself. We're all here with you and just lovin' you to pieces!

HoBess said...

Such an honest post! And who let you into my kids' rooms? When I think of this subject in our house, I am the eraser at the end of the pencil and the three of them are giants, holding the pencil together, grinding me down to a nub! But it is getting better.

As far as deadlines, what works for us is this: If it is still on the floor at (time here) then I'll have to pick it up and keep it for a week. (I have never had to do this.) As far as rewards, when they keep it clean they don't have to hear me go on about it! I also have left thank you notes telling them how great it was to walk in and be done. For Mr. 5, because he's doing better his room is getting a fresh coat of paint in his favorite color. (He always complains about his "stupid ol' white walls.")

How brave of you to share your answers to these questions, which I'm jotting in my journal so I can mull them over this weekend. And yes, it would be lovely to live closer together. What a scene we'd be at the local coffee shop!

Alexandra G said...

I loved every word of this post ! Wonderful brave questions and answers. I am taking them to my journal now as I go to bed. I've missed your blog!

Alexandra G said...

Oh I forgot to add that I wish too we all lived close enough to one another to bring over a pot of warm soup and a basket of bread. How amazing it would be to have such a community as ours all in the same neighborhood. Can you imagine what such close support and nourishment we would have at our fingertips? Still, I am so grateful we have all crossed paths. You're a treasure.

liz elayne said...

oh i know what you mean about wishing people were closer. yes, yes, i know what you mean. i love blogging because of the connections i have made but i am a little wistfully sad at times because people are not closer to me.
you have written with such honesty here. the idea of taking inventory is so good...maybe i should "allow" myself to do this in the morning pages (maybe this would jump start me into writing them daily again).
and I second Jamie's suggestion about fly lady. i have been checking thier site out for a while now but have not incorporated as much as i would like - it takes tome to start a new routine but i think this site IS the answer to taking control of the house stuff...