Maple Alps

time

Finding the Time

Ask Amanda, BlogAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments
Ask Amanda: Finding the Time and Balance to Blog, Teach, and Have a Life | www.maplealps.com
 

Question: How do you find time to be a wife, teacher and blogger? Is that even possible? Can we have a glimpse into a day in the life of Amanda?

 

 

Honestly, I ask myself this question all of the time, so it is no wonder that it is the most common question I get! I wish I could say that I teach during the day and blog at night, but it really is not that simple. Teaching and blogging both require so much behind-the-scenes work and sometimes I wonder if I can manage it all! 

 

Learning how to say no has been the one thing that has helped me accomplish so much in these areas of my life. Choosing my priorities carefully has been important, as has to accept that both teaching and blogging are passions of mine.

 

We actually have more time than we think. A lot can be accomplished in 24 hours (including getting 7-8 hours of sleep!) when the time is used carefully and intentionally without distractions.

 

Blogging tasks are usually done over the weekend, and sometimes in the evening if I have some spare time. Long weekends and breaks are also used productively for those tasks (for example, this last summer, I queued 4 months worth of content). During periods that I have less time for blogging, I like to repurpose or update content so that I’m still keeping things fresh and up-to-date. Sometimes I’ll perfect a recipe. All of that being said, my teaching tasks always come first. Thankfully, I’ve got a knack for being productive and motivated most of the time. We all have days.

 

As for being a wife, it is sometimes hard to be intentional about that. Last year, my husband and I struggled to find enough time to even just sit down and talk (both for fun and for important things like the budget). The pastor/teacher duo is not always the best since his work starts getting even busier once I get home. There are always constantly meetings in the evenings between the two of us, and I try to go to bed early most nights to ensure I have enough energy for the next day. Also to ensure my immune system stays functioning.

 

We have started setting aside one evening a week for a “date night,” which really just means we spend the evening together. It could be playing board games, cooking together, or going out to eat, but we make sure to connect deeper than just a passing “hey!” We used to joke every Sunday, “see you next week!” We would literally not see each other for more than a few minutes a day depending on the week, so I hope to not have that as a reality this next year. I should also mention that my husband is fantastic at sharing chores around the house, which makes keeping things tidy much easier!

 

Finding time for personal and spiritual and professional growth is most important for me on top of all of the other things I do. One way I make sure to meet all of these needs is getting up extra early by 4:30 am to ensure I have time to pray and read my Bible. Another thing I like to do is to use my 40-minute driving commute to listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Sometimes on my way home, I'll call friends or family.

 

Exercising is another thing I try to find time for. Since exercising at ridiculous times in the morning is not for me, I have in the past chosen  to do it after I come home. There has never been a time where it hasn't perked me up and made me feel good - even if it's a short 30-minute walk around the neighbourhood, even if the motivation is hard to find after a long day sometimes.

 

It's all about using time wisely. I take one day per week to rest and recuperate and to focus on my relationship with God and others - one day where I do not do any work at all! It sounds counterproductive, but it truly is our original design and is a blessing!

 

If you struggle with making time for the things that matter for you, I highly recommend printing off or buying a weekly timetable and marking off all of the things you have to be at or do - including sleeping and eating! You may be surprised at the time you have left off, and the things you can fill those slots in with! Or with what you can shift to make a manageable timetable!

 

 


What are some of the ways you manage your time with tasks?


 

If you have a question, feel free to leave one below for a future segment of "Ask Amanda!"

 

Confessions of a Meal Planner

LifestyleAmanda Walter | Maple Alps36 Comments

I had attempted meal planning several times over the years, but it never stuck. It takes time and effort - two things I didn't always have. Since I stay home now, I have ample time to make good decisions. Meal planning is one of those good decisions. 

I've been meal planning for almost a year now, and though I've yet to really perfect it, I would say I'm getting there. There is such a satisfaction I find in it that I've never known before! This may come across quite strong for a topic such as meal planning, but I don't know how else to express myself right now!

Meal planning helps me with so many things. I'll let you see for yourself: 

Meal Planning

Saves Time

I aim to make two trips a month to the grocery store. Three trips max. I would do it less, but since I buy fresh produce, I need to do it more frequently. The only time an extra trip is made is if something last minute comes up. Usually I'm aware of it ahead of time so I can plan. 

 

Saves Money

Because I'm only making two trips a month to the store, I'm spending less! How? Well besides gas money, if I go to the store to pick up one thing, my eye might catch something else that I end up buying. My quick stop ends up costing more than intended, and that adds up over time. In the same way, if I forget something, I'm more likely to have to pay a visit to a convenience store where prices are much higher. This is also why I bring a shopping list with me, and why I leave my husband at home :) 

 

It Makes Up My Mind

This has to do with time, but I decided to make it an extra heading. I am extremely indecisive. You would not believe how long I could stand in the kitchen staring at nothing to decide what I should make for dinner. I am the most indecisive person I know! If I didn't meal plan, by the time I would decide on what I want to make, I would already be starving, too lazy to cook, and prone to have trail mix for dinner.

 

Related: How I Meal Plan

 

I Feel More Prepared & At Ease

As much as I love cooking, I do not feel like doing it every day of the week. Sure, I stay home most days, but that doesn't mean I want to be in the kitchen the whole time. I like to prepare freezer meals that can be put into the crock pot or in the oven on days I know I will be busy or unmotivated. I include these in my meals plans! They are also great in a pinch when life throws the occasional curve ball. 

 

I Can Make Better Food Choices

I will admit that I'm not always the most motivated person. If I didn't meal plan, it would be easier to just grab high caloric foods to satisfy my hunger, as opposed to choosing foods that also satisfy my nutritional needs. Meal planning allows me to be intentional about what I feed myself and others, making sure what I eat will benefit my body and life!

 
Confessions of a Meal Planner | www.maplealps.com
 

So there you have it: a few reasons I choose to meal plan.
What about you? Do you meal plan? Would you like to start?

In this post here, I talk a bit more about meal planning and my process.