On the Bookshelf: The Fringe Hours

I love reading. And I in the past I have still found time to read for pleasure. The more kids we’ve gotten the less time I have found to do it. Although when my babies are just new I do a lot of reading while breastfeeding. That’s all done (and has been for a while) and this year I have found less time to focus on my huge list of to read books! One that I did make time for and love recently is this one called the Fringe Hours.

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I really really loved this book. Essentially she is talking about find time to do things. Making time for ourselves in our busy lives. I’ve been asked LOTS of times about getting it all done. Which to me is such a funny concept. If you’ve been in my home and around me a lot you’d know I don’t get it all done. I’m just choosing what I want to get done (as I think we all are doing even if we are unaware of our choices).

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This book has a section about finding the time to do these things. She calls them the Fringe hours; which are the little pockets of time when you can do something you are choosing. In the early morning (which really doesn’t work at our house unless I want to get up at 4am. Which for the record I don’t.) For me personally my pockets of time or “fringe hours” are sometimes in the morning (but my kids are awake if I am doing in then – and I would only really bake or do a blog post then) nap time (which is like gold for me – I get a lot of done in the two hours that Norah naps), night time (after the kids go to bed I try and accomplish things) and I find little pockets during the day. Like let’s say my kids are playing at the kitchen counter happily, then I will mix down  a batch of buns. Or bring something to the counter to work on too. Or set up painting at the kitchen table with Oliver so he can paint while I do while Norah naps.

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I think often women feel like they can’t choose those things they love. Like they have too much of their REAL responsibilities to do. But I choose to do things I love. She has a whole section in the book on guilt and how that often prevents women from choosing to do things they love. I don’t know if it was because my mom was always involved in creative things or what but I leave my laundry and choose to paint or to bake or to scrapbook. And I think doing that makes me a better mom. Now I don’t mean I always choose fun things. I still try and keep a relatively clean house and keep up on my laundry. Although my laundry is often way behind because I’m choosing to do other things. Sometimes that means I’m choosing to play with my kids or watch them play or baking cookies with them. But sometimes it’s because I’m choosing to do something I want to do too.

When someone asks me how I “get it all done” I usually have these  three things run through my head:

  1. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. You should come over and see the laundry pile at my house right now.
  2. or try and find pair or socks! hahahahahahaha
  3. How do you use your fringe hours?

I think you just have to have a conscious choice that this week I want to find time to work on my project life album. Then one day when i have 15 minutes free I am going to print all my pictures for 2 weeks of my album. So I do that. And that fills up all my time. Then the next day I might get 15 minutes to slip the filler cards in. Then that night or at nap time I might get time to add in my journalling. That is how I get a spread done. Or anything else that I want to do. My hobbies and passions. Finding small blocks of time in the middle of the day. Just like I try and do with my laundry or tidying up the kitchen or anything else. Because of that i usually have a few things on the go. Books, projects, etc. And then I just fit them in where there are my little pockets of time or fringe hours. I usually try and accomplish something big on the evenings that Regan is on call. He’s gone and the kids are in bed and so if I am focused I can have a good 3-4 hours of time to do something. When we first had Alden a mother older than me told me that she never did housework when her kids were in bed. And I do the same thing. Laundry and ironing are the only things I’ll do when my kids are in bed and that’s only because I watch TV while I do those!

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One part in the book kind of made me laugh. That was the section on finding your passions. Maybe that’s because I have a million. I could use a whole other lifetime just for the things I’d love to try. I have to work on balance in the other way. Seriously there are oh so many neat things in the world I’d love to try! Jessica has a list in the book to help you narrow down what you love to do. I could have circled most of them. Because for two weeks I’d love to try one and then I’d want to move on to another one. It’s how my mind is and how my personality is. There are a few things that I have loved for a long time (cooking, baking, photography, memory keeping) but then other  things my interest comes and goes. Like painting or pottery or calligraphy or gardening or a million other things.

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This book is encouraging and an easy read. If you live near me and want to borrow it, I’d lend it to you. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know your thoughts about it!

Just Rhonda Footer

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  • March 24, 2015 - 1:37 pm

    Brooke snow - I just finished this book a few weeks ago 🙂 TOTALLY GREAT! I’m with you, I have pretty much always found time for things I love and people ask me how I get it all done too (which I too–don’t get it all done 😉 books, quilting, photos, home decorating, all happen around here in fring hours. I love that she came up with a name for it. So good 🙂 It really is amazing what you can accomplish in 15 min. increments–especially if it’s not wasted on the internet or smart phone. Those moments are gold mines.

  • March 24, 2015 - 8:18 pm

    KRISTIN - I’ve heard many great reviews about this book – I’m waiting to borrow it from a friend that just bought it, but if yours is ready for the lending now… ha!
    It sounds like just the thing i should be reading. I KNOW I could be utilizing my time better. I have many dreams/aspirations that I want to do – to show my kids how to live. (and live well I might add. Not there yet! – it’s part of my 5 year plan. haha!)

  • March 24, 2015 - 10:15 pm

    Kinsey - Add me to your borrowing list – it sounds like I would love to read it! I have guilt but there are so many things I want to do for me!

  • March 25, 2015 - 8:21 am

    alex - Thank you for this post! I guess we all make time for what we feel is important and it’s a good reminder to do things for ourselves 🙂 I am totally going to read that book!

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