I am incredibly busy right now. Always thinking, planning, working, writing lists, my mind is spinning and always seems to be thinking ahead. In minute blocks: it’s 2.58pm which means I can get that washing in and folded before I leave for School pick up at 3.07pm. Hour blocks: I have 3 hours till school pick up which means I can get that writing done, take those shots and send those emails back before I go. Day and weekly blocks…counting down all the time. Thinking, doing, planning.

The other week I picked the girls up from School then came home to sneak some stuff in before going back up for a parent teacher interview – 45 minutes is 45 minutes! And when I got back up there I saw 3 of my mates still sitting in the afternoon sunshine while the kids were playing. I was so jealous…time to sit! And just be. Things aren’t going to be this busy forever but while they are I need to remember time to just be. Even if it’s for 10 minutes or so. Some things can wait.

Today I cooked myself an omelette for lunch and ate outside with the sun on my back, rather than at the table in front of my laptop. I left for School preschool pick up 10 minutes earlier so I could go slow and take in my surrounds.

It was worth looking up for.

IMG_8320 IMG_8322 IMG_8324 IMG_8325 IMG_8328 IMG_8329 IMG_8331 IMG_8333 IMG_8337 IMG_8339

Time waits for no one…days turn to night and seasons turn into years. This soon will pass. And all that…

What are your tips in times of extreme business/stress/planning that you use to help you stay focused and calm?
Time outside? Exercise? More lists?!


  1. Those ten minute breaks can be so good. And LOOKING around deliberately – noticing beautiful trees, shadows, washing on the line, people knitting while they walk. That’s the stuff.

  2. I hear you! A great tip I learnt is the “big rocks” theory. Place your big rocks into your calendar first – the things you MUST do like work, health, family – and then fit the other stuff around the rocks. The rocks can’t move but the little stuff can. Throw in a ‘sit in the sun’ rock πŸ™‚

  3. I have two kids at two different schools, work full time as a preschool director in a highly disadvantaged community (which has it’s own stresses that I do my best to leave at the preschool gate but it’s hard when you wonder if kids are going to be fed that night, or even turn up the next day) and my husband has 3 bars/pubs. Needless to say we have times during the week when we’re busy and stressed and stressed and busy!
    Routine and a tidy house is my answer. We all need to know what we’re doing. One wall of our kitchen is a blackboard where each Sunday we write what is going on each day and times we’re going to be home. And I try to keep the house under control.
    And I deep breathe and say fuck fuck fuck a lot in my head…….

  4. Escape! Which of course only puts off the inevitable but we’ve returned from 3 weeks in the US and the best bit was having no responsibilities for a while. On return I wasn’t letting anyone into my “holiday bubble.” It eventually burst and school, therapy for my son etc all came crashing back in but escaping it all was wonderful while it lasted.

    Sorry, I’m not help at all. Julie

    • You are a help Julie! I cannot WAIT to disconnect from so much I am so connected with right now for a few weeks…it will be BLISS. Sounds like you had a great trip!

  5. Lisa Mckenzie says

    Do the big things and don’t sweat the small things,life just seems to get busier and what you did Today have Lunch and enjoy it aim for twice a week so you have something to look forward to Beth xx

  6. Margaret Elvis says

    These days, apart from medical appointments, we have few commitments but I do remember a very busy life when we both worked full-time, he was attending part-time university, the family (2 adults and 3 kiddies) would come to dinner every Saturday night and so on.
    Take those 10 minute breaks beginning with a few deep breaths with the eyes closed and then enjoy wherever you are for the rest of the time but not in front of your computer or other paraphernalia that people have these days.
    I envy you so much those beautiful autumn colours. We see so little of them in Perth as our days are just not cold enough to bring the colours up and the leaves often drop before much change is obvious. I know they make a mess but they are so beautiful. Loved that final country scene with the iron gate etc. You live in a beautiful place. xx

    • I sure do Mimsie – I am very lucky. It’s funny I have been thinking about you over in Perth wondering if the weather has cooled down yet? Hope it has x

  7. I just yelled at my husband as he was about to board a plane because I was too busy to talk to him. Now I feel so guilty – not that anything is going to happen – but still you always think what if that was the last thing I’ll ever say to him. I’m now having a very big wine to calm my thoughts.

  8. I split my days, monday clean house, grocery shop and get on top of food prep for the week along with laundry and work in between finished with a homework afternoon, t,w,t is work and meetings friday is chores at shops with food prep for weekend and a lazy afternoon with the kids.
    Weekends is my time for mags and forcing myself to chill and i just work properly at night x

  9. Mindfulness! Even in the boring things. “I’m washing up & the water is warm, the bubbles smell like lemon, I’m seeing colours in the bubbles” etc. Being right there in the moment whenever you can helps xx

  10. No tips from me…..but if you thought that sun felt good today, imagine it warming your back in CROATIA!!!!!

  11. Beth, I just read ‘You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap)’ by Tammy Strobel, author of the Rowdy Kittens blog. It has really changed my perspective, and I think it may have changed my life! I have no intention of joining the ‘tiny house’ movement (honey, I’ve got 4 kids and a husband who spends 6 months a year interstate!!) but I think her story has a message for all of us. The light bulb moment for me was when she talks about time as a commodity. Think about how you use it because you can’t get it back.

  12. Beth, it’s so nice to know that I’m not the only person who also thinks in these minute and hour blocks! : )
    I just try to remind myself that I’m the one who has made the decision to do all that I do, and that I’m the one who can change it if I wish.
    I also try to stick to a routine that works for me, and know what fuels me. (e.g. getting up and having some quiet time to take a shower and have breakfast before my kids are up – I’m such a ‘nicer’ person when I get that time)
    I also try to do a Weekly Review of all the tasks I need to do. This helps me to take stock of where I’m at and where I’m going. (See GTD ‘The Art of Stressfree Productivity’ – if you’re interested).
    ~ Rebecca : )

    • Thanks for that Rebecca – will check it out.

    • I find I’m much nicer to be around if I have time to myself in the mornings too. I think it might be an introvert thing, but I need more of it than other people. It took me years to figure out, but SO glad I did!

  13. My mind feels like a mess some days. Grief, to-do lists, plans, hopes and schedules of my 4 kids all battle it out in my brain for a place. I think what you did was perfect. You took a little time for you. Every now and again I go outside and stand in my tiny backyard in bare feet and enjoy the grass and the sky and the sun. Then I get on with my day. Xxx

  14. Restora Calm. Its a herbal/vitamin supplement my GP supplies, she is a GP but also practices alternative medicine. Helps me stay calm(ish) and not overload my day with things.
    And age. I have got better at this staying in the moment thing as I get older. I’m not quite a zen like chilled out person (in fact no where near it) but I am certainly better at being present than I was even 5 years ago.

  15. Keep on stopping and smelling those roses….Lovely pics. Its beautiful in these parts too. Keeps your perspective on the bigger picture for sure….

  16. I’m super shit at taking things slow. I have about 6 different income streams and it’s a delicate balance of fitting it all in.

    Mr Smaggle is away this weekend so I’ve invited a few girlfriends over. I find if I hang out with out people it forces me to relax more.

  17. Lists, lists and more lists. I find it oddly comforting to cross something off.

  18. Hey Beth, my Mum always told me to make sure the beds are made and the kitchen clean then at least your house looks organised I’ve added do a load of washing to this list (I’m a washaholic

    My newest thing is when I’m feeling over whelmed is to try and be in the “now” particularly when I’m having a shower (I’m a shower person) just to enjoy the warm running water and to try and not think of the list of to do’s

    Having said that the shower is also where I do some really deep thinking

    Oh well …..I try


    • Great tips Allyson! I’m the same – beds and kitchen done every day and the rest can just deal. Some days I curse my OCD behaviours but other times when I am feeling frazzled to see a well made bed or dishes away makes me feel in control.

  19. Lists definitely help. And an organizational chart of some sorts, so you can see your daily and weekly plannings in front of you including the little odd bits that need to be fit in like bringing the washing in (ugh!). But like you said, finding, well MAKING, time to just be is very important. Even when we are busy we must still make that time. Otherwise it’s all for nothing because we miss moments in our life that we would of otherwise seen and made memories from, and we can never get time back, especially with our kids. And it can all be for nothing when you run yourself sick because you haven’t taken care of YOU and then you’re actually losing time trying to recover… I hate that.
    Look at me rambling lol. Great autumn pics!

  20. To Do lists. Small breaks each hour (even if it’s just to get up, stretch and make a cup of tea). Getting up an hour earlier than my husband. Walking. Logging off from 9pm each night. Breathing.

  21. Autumn foliage is one of my favourite things to look at…those colours. I especially love trees I go past everyday and am able to see change slowly =). I find short term lists and long term lists helpful (and being realistic about what is a priority and what will realistically get done in the short term). I love spending time outdoors and away from ‘civilisation’ (basically places where I can’t see houses etc.). Being mindful of the things in my day, especially around eating (or I’ll mindlessly snack the day away!). Sunshine is such a mood booster, I enjoy taking my lunch outside too. I think the other big things that help are having someone who will be honest with you about your ideas of ‘realistic’ – my views can get out of proportion in my own head sometimes! Making some meals for the freezer, or at least chopping everything up ahead of time and freezing it so that meals are much less of a strain when life gets really busy. I’ll also admit to loving our slow cooker more than usual in those hectic times.
    Lastly I think being able to say ‘no’ politely but firmly, and being able to ask for help are two really valuable skills to learn.

    Most important thing I find though, is my faith. Being able to talk to God anywhere and anytime is such a huge blessing. Being able to debrief about what’s stressing me out, or asking for wisdom and guidance is a great help to my sanity.

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