Friday, March 11, 2011

Antidote Simplify

Saturday mornings for the past month Mari and I have been taking an Introduction to Bee Keeping class at a library nearby.  The class is great.  I've been learning a lot of incredible things about bees.  Like, did you know that the colonies are primarily female and males only serve for breeding?  If a male goes too long without fornicating, the hive will kick him out.  AND once a male does get it on, he dies shortly afterward.  What a way to go!  The bees communicate using pheromones, and by little dances, like sign language or a game a charades.  So interesting.  I've already put in our order for a package of Italian bees, bread in Georgia.
bbq for carnival
We're fixing to build a couple Warre hives for the back.  The Warre hive, also called the People's Hive, is lower maintenance than Kenyan Top Bar or Langstroth hives.  That is exactly what we need, since Mari and I tend to get a little lazy sometimes.  Not many folks sell them still, the Warre hive is pretty uncommon in the US.  But I've been doing some research, and I joined the yahoo Organic Beekeeping group as well as the Organic Homesteading Group.  Heard all good things about the Warre.  Also found this great blog, The Bee Space, with help on how to build them.  Plans are available on the internet for free.  So I'm ordering some wood off of craigslist, and we're either going to get my mom's contractor to cut the wood for us, or we're going to borrow his tools and do it ourselves.

his lego art continues to get more complex in design

So since the class is at a library, I've been perusing the isles during break time.  Found a book on simplifying your life with kids.  The book is from the 90's.  It's not exactly AP or crunchy.  But I like the size of it, only about 5" tall, and also like the chapters broken into bite size pieces.  So I can pick it up and always manage to get through at least one chapter before falling asleep or getting called to attend to something.  Nothing groundbreaking, but I am finding the little tidbits and helpful suggestions worth trying.  Like the latest one: do one thing at a time and you'll be amazed how much more you get done.  
I do pride myself on my tremendous ability to multi task.  It's something I always put on my resume, and slip into interviews, "I thrive off of high stress situations."  Well, I'm starting to believe that in our day of ADHD, speed dating, and internet and channel surfing: the new highly marketable skill will be the ability to focus on one thing to completion.  
Sometimes at work I realize that I've got 7-10 different programs open at the same time, and it takes me a few minutes to remember what I was doing and cycle through them an find the window I need.  At home, I might be dialed into a meeting, making and packing a lunch, and helping Nene go potty while finding Kaio's shoes and helping him get dressed to go out.  Take too long on one task, and Nene gets bored, gets off the toilet, Kaio runs off and ends up with even less clothes on, burn the food, and miss something important being said in the meeting.  
If I manage to make it all work, I don't feel fulfilled, I actually feel pretty spent.  If I drop the ball, well that's devastating.  So my goal this month is to try simplifying life a bit by focusing on one thing at a time.  

Or at least no more than 3 at a time.

ravenous for quail
So Wednesday I waited until my meetings was over, then got the lunch packed before I started telling the kids to get ready.  Then I helped one kid at a time.  When I put Nene on the potty, I stayed in the bathroom with her instead of running off to get myself dressed.  After they were dressed, I handed them their socks and shoes and asked them if they could put them on while I got dressed.  Amazingly, when I came back, they were ready.  
So I doubt that we were out the door any faster, but it sure felt kinder to my brain and energy.  

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