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Cheryl's Parenting Journal

Entry 41 ~ November 22, 2009
~ Pre-Holiday Happenings

It's the week before Thanksgiving and all through the house . . . Mother Butler was in a cleaning frenzy and has lost her husband's golf clubs!!!

Since last we chatted, I've been just a little busy. You see, I have a new title other than wife, mother of eight, PTO volunteer, errand girl, writer . . . you can also now call me "Clutter Bug"! Let me just fill you in on what has been happening in our already busy household for the past three weeks. Most of you know that I'm a diabetic. If you didn't know, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes three years ago. Thankfully, at the moment, it's diet controlled and I take some oral medication twice a day. My sugar levels for the past six months, however, have been sneaking up on me, instead of holding steady, so my doctor is trying to find ways that we can avoid insulin for a few more years. Keep in mind-I walk 5 miles a day, six days a week to help with this battle! Do you think I want to be up and out at 6am every morning? Not so much! I'm not considered overweight by medical standards, but "my" standards, I'd love to be able to snap up a pair of jeans without first having to move my rolls of waistline fat up and over before I actually snap. I suppose having been pregnant 7 times is part of the culprit, but since a tummy tuck isn't anywhere near in my future, I have to keep on trucking with the daily exercise and perhaps up the ante with some better abdominal work-outs along with the power walking.

Enter Hank! My new personal trainer! Hank is about 60 years old and built like a 35-year old wrestler! He doesn't have an ounce of fat on him and discipline is his middle name. Did I mention discipline is not to be found anyplace in my name or anywhere else in my house? Hank did an assessment and complimented me on how well I was doing with cardiovascular work-but thinks I could do better-a lot better! For starters, my evening glass of wine (or two) needs to go, and I'm still not eating as healthy as I should or could. After he went through my pantry and freezer with me, let's just say there wasn't much left. Despite my best efforts, I'm still getting too much sugar in my diet.

Don't you worry, though-Hank is very understanding and has a plan! His philosophy is that we can't lose a few pounds if our lives are surrounded in clutter! I know he meant that in the most loving way-I mean, we do have eight children and a feisty black lab that live in this household-and we can't forget my husband, and although Hank did compliment my overall neat housekeeping-he noticed that things were piled on counters, drawers were chock full of "stuff" and that even the closets had a few things other than skeletons hiding in them. Ouch! That hurt. So-Hank challenged me to set up a 6-month de-cluttering program for our home, and I'm here to tell you that after my initial reaction that the man was crazy, I decided to approach his theory with an open mind-so I named myself "Mama Clutter Bug" and have been sorting, purging and chucking for three weeks straight now!

I had to make a list of every single room in the house, including the shed, garage, cars and my purses-and then list each drawer, cupboard, closet etc. in those rooms and make a day by day plan to get super organized. Exhausting doesn't begin to describe it!

Believe me when I tell you, I thought I was organized! My friends and family thought I was organized too! But now that I've started this process, I see that I truly was not living as well as I thought, and I'm telling you-I'm completely addicted now. It's so freeing getting rid of things that you think you need to have but haven't really touched in months-or longer! And don't get me started on the toys in this house! I will be thinking long and hard about what we bring in here for Christmas! (My poor kids!)

Some days I tackle an entire room. Other days, it's simply the beach bags from the summer. The point is-I try to do one small or large thing each and every day . . . baby steps! We are all starting to notice a big difference. I'm realizing how "stuff" really does take over your life!

I'm not promising this will all be done anytime soon-I'm giving myself six months-but it has already been life changing and get this-I've started to lose a few pounds! That Hank! He's the kind of drill sergeant I'd expect to see in boot camp-but underneath all his gruff-he really does have a big heart.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself not so wrapped in what the holidays are bringing my way, but instead, I'm thankful that I have a new project I can be unwrapping this year! And God willing, I will find where I put my husband's golf clubs when I moved them out of the garage this week!

I wish all of you a wonderful and very blessed Thankgsiving!

Take care,
    ~ Cheryl

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