Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The book that inspired it all- The Fringe Hours

I am the Mama to 3 boys. That means a lot of laundry to do, a lot of food to cook, and a lot of energy drained (for me, not the boys it seems!) Life is very busy around these parts. My boys are rambunctious and always up to something; which means Mama is always having to try and keep on top of what exactly that something is! Needless to say, my time is pretty well full time devoted to being "Mom". There isn't a lot of excess hours in the day for my own personal pursuits and,for the most part, I'm ok with that.

 The career of full time motherhood is the one I have always wanted and find great fulfillment in. Sometimes though, I do miss losing myself in a good book or creating something. Before kids, I enjoyed many creative ventures and relaxing habits to clear my mind. I loved cooking gourmet meals and kept stacks of books beside my bed (and actually got thru them!). I am a natural introvert and function best when I can have some time doing something for "myself". With the demands of a full life, taking time to do something not on the to do list feels frivolous and a little selfish even.
Enter, The Fringe Hours by Jessica N Turner. This book was like a breathe of fresh air for semi-frazzled, harried mama like myself. I am so glad I happened upon this book and have a new outlook on priorities because of it.
I really appreciate how Jessica starts her book by identifying that none of us are alone in having a lot on our plates and are striving to find the ever allusive "balance" in life. We all have good intentions and we all have finite time to work with. We have multiple roles and responsibilities in life and we don't want to fail in those. But we also are more than just the many different hats we wear. We have a unique "self" who is sparked to life by passions and pursuits that aren't exactly "necessary" to life. Jessica argues that, in fact, investing in our creative soul is necessary for us to live the fullest life.
This somewhat novel idea started to resound with me when I thought of how there have been times when stepping away from the demands of my hectic day and doing something "for me"(taking a bath, a nap, reading a little) really energized me to finish out the rest of my days work on a much better note. Taking it a step beyond that, I thought of seasons when I have felt restless and discontent and how dropping my household duties for a day to work on a home d├ęcor project or crafting something really resettled me. Those instances always felt like "fails"-times when I just couldn't keep up with the demands of life and was a little "selfish". I began to see how those times where actually gifts- to myself and those around me-by infusing myself with zeal and joy for life.
Jessica goes on to explain that we should make time for ourselves and that there is a even natural pauses in our days we can utilize as a start. Thus the phrase, "fringe hours"- snippets of time between other commitments that could be used to feed our souls, even on a daily basis. I like how Jessica describes this time as "fringe"-they may be small threads of time woven thru our day, but they embellish and enhance. This time is worth identifying or carving out for ourselves.
The book then goes on to get into the "nitty gritty" details of actually making this happen. Identifying general times of day that work well and how to prioritize your activities towards that goal. Jessica explains it's ok to say no to things and even gives some suggestions on ways to do it graciously. She addresses how to be more efficient with your time to make way for more "free" time. From intentionally multitasking and limiting tech time to asking for help when it comes to household chores, the book gives lots of very practical ideas.
I already see and appreciate little changes in my life because of this book and anticipate to reap more rewards from it in the future. In fact, I started this blog after reading this book, convinced me I did have time to do it! I think I may just start carrying a book in my purse and finally get a start on my project life scrapbook!
Also, Dayspring has an adorable collection of products designed to coordinate with "The Fringe Hours" book! I love the navy and white striped canvas pouch with the golden zipper for accent. I'm excited to throw it in my purse this summer. I am using my fun, little floral notebook as a garden notebook :)

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