Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Pioneer Project

If you've ever read The Little House in the Big Woods, you might remember this little saying from Ma about the weekly chores: "Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Bake on Friday, Clean on Saturday, Rest on Sunday." There is something sweet and comforting to this litany of household chores--with all the unexpected that could happen in the time when little Laura Ingalls was growing up, there was at least this daily consistancy that was always present, grounding the family into the rhythm of life.

And while the some of the dangers that plauged Laura and her family do not affect us, or at least not as much, there is still a world out there that can, at times, feel overwhelming and throw things at us and our families that we did not quite expect.

Along those same lines, with an economy turning upside down, wars being fought overseas, and cultural wholesomeness starting to disappear (and I do not mean "wholesome" in any religious way, just there is far too much objectifying going on regarding everything), we parents are becoming pioneers (rather like the Ingalls) in our own right. We are fighting to keep consistancy and values (whatever those values) strong within our families.

So this is what I want to do. I'm going to start a project. Who knows how successful I'll be, how this will evolve (or devolve), but I feel like I need to do something to create a higher, more organized purpose to my days. It is as basic as making sure I get the toilets cleaned every day to working towards becoming a stronger and better wife and mother.

This project (as maybe you've guessed from the title of this post) is called the Pioneer Project, keeping the idea of those strong people who left everything they knew behind and ventured West to create better lives for themselves, despite the immense danger to themselves and their families.

For me, there are two components: First, I'm going to remake the saying from Ma Ingalls above to fit my own life (thankfully I don't have to dedicate a full day to ironing). goes:
Organize on Monday (get everything for the week organized) Scrub on Tuesday (bathrooms, kitchen, floors), Sew on Wednesday (make a consistent effort to sew), Wash on Thursday (bedding, curtains (if needed), excess laundry, etc.), Bake on Friday (make something tastey for the weekened), Clean on Saturday (dust, clean floors, anything else that hasn't gotten done over the course of the week, etc.), Rest on Sunday.

The next aspect goes beyond a simple outline of weekly chores, but focuses on things in my family's life in a deeper sense. This is what I will be focusing on:

Cooking/Baking - Try to cook at least one meal/item a week where you know where all the ingredients you’re using are coming from (preferrably local).

Homesteading - Do something to improve your home or yard at least once week. It can be as simple as mowing the lawn or finally getting at that dust under the couch or be as big as planting a vegetable garden or painting a new room.

Technology – Try to limit certain technologies (T.V., computer/internet, phone stuff, etc.) to just an hour or two a day. If this is too much (and it could very well be), try to pick just one thing to focus on limiting (for me, it would be my laptop).
Health - Exercise, in some way, every day. It doesn't have to be a full-blown Biggest Loser workout, but it should be something, everyday. And don't forget about mental health, too. Consider what grounds you and makes you feel happy or at peace with your life.

Spirituality - Take the time to reflect on things bigger than yourself. Go to a place of worship. Meditate. Talk to someone about the biggest questions in life. Go beyond yourself and your little piece of the world and think globally.

Family - Every day, find a small way to recognize your family and everything they do for you. This may seem small, but it adds up.

Reading - I'm a reader, so I'm inclined to include it with whatever it is I'm doing. I'm planning on going back through the Little House books over a period of time, and maybe venturing into some more adult pioneer centric reading. I also think reading anything that has to do with the above subject areas (family, spirituality, going tech free, health, homesteading, and cooking/baking) applies, too.

So, this is my plan. It's just for me--I'm not trying to start anything en masse on the internet, BUT if you find yourself inclined to do your own version, please let me know! Leave a comment, maybe even blog about it. I'm going to have a tab (at some point) that documents what I've been doing. I'm going to try to check in on the blog once a month (maybe more frequently if things roll along nicely) and share what I've done.

All right, let's load up the wagon and go! Westward, ho!


my3littlebirds said...

I loved this post!! We can all use a little motivation to make our lives better...instead of just feeling overwhelmed by it all. Summer is especially difficult for us because without the routine of a school year, we have very little structure and I find myself stressing out every day. Thanks for the inspiration and I'm excited to see how this works out for you!

Kirsten said...

Thanks! Hopefully I can stick with it! I'm pretty excited about getting started. And I totally hear you about keeping it together outside of the school year. Now that I'm home full-time (and might be for a bit), I need something to keep us all going. Thanks for the support!

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