There have been many self-help-style books that have passed through these hands without having an effect on me. I read the advice, try to implement, and fail miserably. Something about The Fringe Hours really resonated with me. Possibly because the author focused on small increments of time creating big change in our lives. Squeezing in a chapter or two while I wait on the parent pick-up line at school for fifteen minutes is easier to swallow than attempting read a book in one single weekend. Painting single coats of paint on a shelf I’m refinishing over the course of a week (or two), is way more attainable than dedicating several hours in one day to finish it. If you are a woman that finds it difficult to squeeze everything you love into 24 hours then I highly recommend this book. It has changed the way I attack every day in the following ways:
Making time for exercise: For many, many years (like 9 too many), I felt guilty taking even just a half hour for myself to exercise. I viewed it as time away from my priorities until my health became a priority I could no longer ignore. I’d like to say that getting sick was a wake up call and the catalyst to get in shape again but it wasn’t. Jessica N. Turner so eloquently writes in this book, “The reason so many women today struggle to make themselves a priority is because they are trying to be everything for everyone.” During this read I decided if I wasn’t going to put me first, no one else would. I’m not going to lie and say that it isn’t still a struggle for me, but I do try to make myself more of a priority now.
Requiring my kids to help: this may seem like a no-brainer to some of you that have already enlisted your children in completing daily chores. However, for someone like me, this was huge. You see, I had this ridiculous notion that being a stay-at-home mom meant every single inch of the house was my responsibility. I have a very unrealistic idea of what a moms role exactly is. When I was little, my mom’s house was impeccable, spotless, and without clutter. Our clothes were laundered and ironed and hung in our closets. All rooms looked like they were straight out of a magazine and there definitely weren’t any dirty dishes in the kitchen sink! Buuut, there’s a very big but! My mom was not a mom like me. She didn’t volunteer in the classroom, or with the drama club, or coach the odyssey of the mind team, or drive me to and from school, or make me breakfast every morning. I don’t say this to shame her parenting style but to remind myself how differently we spent our time. We chose for our children to have different childhoods. I am happy to report that after reading The Fringe Hours, my girls now several chores that they are responsible for completing daily. It has not only freed up sometime for me but has relieved me of some stress.
Using my creativity: This book helped me blog again! I had given up, no joke. My blog had been sitting there in the world-wide web wasteland until I read this book and realized I missed it. Once I admitted to myself I missed blogging, the flood gates of creativity burst open! That week I relaunched my blog, finished painting an antique door, organized my office, emptied unpacked moving boxes, and decluttered rooms by donating stuff we weren’t using. Working through the mental block I was having released a physical block I didn’t even know I had!