New Year’s resolution!

My column in last week’s Catholic Weekly. Click here for more like it. One day in the week before Christmas I decide to get back to praying Morning Prayer from the Divine Office. I go to a quiet room, pull up the Universalis website on my computer and get two verses into the invitatory psalm…

Last days before Christmas

Five days out from Christmas and I’m still trying to think of myself as in my usual part-time work mode, because we have birthdays and things in late December and we’re going on a family camp in early January. I won’t get any work done until after that. But with the children now all on…

Links and other things I’ve loved this week

Two things I appreciated finding in my limited travels around the ‘net this week: Stuck for a Snack? 7 nutritionist-approved supermarket snacks from Delicious magazine. A nutritionist recommends some healthy packaged snacks, listing the amount of protein, sugar, and carbs in each compared with similar snacks. Very handy. 10 Rules to Being Happy Parents by Leane…

When getting out of bed is hard to do

A couple of months ago I read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and I get why it’s such a classic book, it applies very well to the whole of life, not art alone. One main concept in his book is that of Resistance, a powerful and pitiless force that often has the effect of preventing us…

These busy school holidays

We’re halfway through week one of the September school holidays and it feels like a lot’s been packed in already. I guess that’s bound to be the case when you have five kids. My husband and I have been tag-teaming work and parenting duties more than usual this week. I worked yesterday while he stayed…

What Mother Teresa taught me about sowing world peace

As the canonisation of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta approaches I’m reminded of one of her oft-repeated themes; the need for peace in the home. She said, often, that world peace begins within the family, that home is where we sow peace, and that love begins not with the doing of great charitable works in…

Winter plans that went well enough

    I’m a huge believer of doing things well enough and not expending too much effort getting things just-so. And yet I also struggle with perfectionism. The two probably shouldn’t go together, and yet, in my experience, they totally do. That’s how I can consider my making-winter-bearable (enough) plan  a success even though I haven’t…

A second week in hours

I’m currently tracking my time to see how I’m spending my 168 hours each week and what I can do to use them a bit better. A few of my Facebook friends are doing this at the same time. You might also like to try it for yourself and see what insights you get from…

A plan to enjoy winter and not just put up with it

The combination of the temperatures plunging over the weekend and the first official day of winter saw my mood take a dive as well. Winter has not been my friend, especially in recent years given one child’s eczema flare-ups and the extra care needed to prevent and deal with those. The related need for limited…

A week’s worth of (interrupted) hours

Last week I decided to keep a log of all my hours after reading how a time-management expert, Laura Vanderkam, kept a log of hers for a whole year. She wrote both on her blog and in a New York Times article about how tracking her time helps her to ensure that the way she spends it…

Apples and lollipops

This kid. He is the youngest of five and knows very well that his is a privileged position. We both love the days that he’s home from preschool and we hang out together. These are the days he tells me, “Mummy, it’s just you and me and a cup of tea.” He was sick with…

Lazy Sundays are the best

Last Sunday was one of those rare days when we had no plans or anything in particular we wanted or needed to do. Saturday had been a very full day so we didn’t feel the need to do much. So after Mass we just hung out at home for a while and then decided to…