Monday, 7 April 2014

40 - argh! - Elizabeth Seckman

In honour of my birthday, I decided to invite some fabulous bloggers to help me celebrate.
Their task? To create a post with the theme 40. Today's guest is Elizabeth Seckman...


Turning 40 was a big deal for me.

I didn’t get a tattoo. Or a belly button ring. It didn’t spark a mid-life crisis, but it did light a fire.

Not the sort of fire that leaves nothing but ashes in its wake; the sort that reminded me if I was to accomplish everything I wanted to do (publish a book), then I needed to do things a little differently.

Pre-40 me had all these rules. At dinner, the last person barely had a chance to drop their fork on their plate before I nabbed it and started cleaning up. The laundry pile never overflowed the basket. The floors were vacuumed twice a day.

That left me with about fifteen minutes of writing time per day.

Hardly enough.

So, I had to re-organize and re-think my life and I came to this realization - there are plenty of things I can NOT do and NOT go belly up!
  1. Make the bed (it’s actually healthier…allows the sheets to dry and cuts down on microbes)
  2. Vacuum (once a day is plenty…once a week if you have no pets!)
  3. Do my hair (sloppy bun is easier if you don’t brush it out!)
  4. Wash the car (I’m certain the dust coating protects it from the UV rays)
  5. Obsessive parenting (allowing them to eat pizza for breakfast every now and then preps them for the single, bachelor life…so does doing their own laundry)
  6. Make-up (Going au natural allows my pores to breath…or so I tell myself)
  7. Laundry (The dirty clothes will be there tomorrow, trust me…I’ve checked!)
  8. Cooking (Make a double pot of whatever…voila- leftovers! Just like take out, though not as good)
  9. Farming and jeweling (whatever games are popular now…delete them. Playing games on Facebook is NOT platform building)
  10. Television (Shut off the TV. I have no clue who is dancing with what stars, but it does up the word count.)
Go ahead. Don’t do some of the things on the list…I swear, it won’t kill you.

Caleb, Cole, me, Carter, Conner
Here are my guys and me on my 40th birthday. I had to get this photo from my Facebook page, seems I deleted the file. Now my only copy of my monumental day has the Coal Miner tribute ribbon...in honor or fallen miners in West Virginia. 






About Elizabeth...
Elizabeth is a wife, a mom, and a writer. She has four wonderful boys, one dusty house,  and three published books to her credit. Feel free to check them out and buy them HERE! Erm, the books, not the kids or the house...though all things in life are negotiable ;)

You can find her here - Blog // Facebook // Twitter




104 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Annalisa! These are some great tips from Elizabeth, thank you both for sharing. I have a new baby coming soon so I know a lot of these things will not get done ;-)

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    1. Congratulations Heather!! New babies are so much fun (and work). But those were some of my funnest days of my life. Enjoy and don't worry about the small things.

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    2. Thank you Heather. Congratulations - a new baby is definitely an excuse to let other people take over the housework!

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  2. Well - a quick checklist of my own. I don't wear makeup, I leave the bed to air for several hours, we sweep and mop our tile floors when they feel gritty underfoot, and I never play online games. So I should be writing loads!!

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    1. Smart lady! So are you writing loads? :)

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    2. Sounds like you're doing everything right, Liz :-)

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  3. Love it - and agree with it all! Great post, Elizabeth! (Seriously, though, I just got a puppy. Am I now meant to vacuum EVERY DAY???)

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    1. I do have to vacuum every day. I have two dogs and a cat. That one, I can't slack on. Sorry :)

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    2. I actually like vacuuming. We have a clear cylinder machine so I can see how much gets sucked up - I find that very satisfying :-)

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  4. 40 is the new 25!! Happy birthday :) have some cake for me :)

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    1. Thank you! Cake for you, for them, for all my fellow bloggers... oh yes, I ate cake... (and we had it at breakfast time!)

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  5. Love this! It really is true how our priorities shift and change when we hit certain numbers.

    Happy Birthday, Annalisa!

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  6. Hi Annalisa .. love the photo banner with pics of you, friends and family .. and so pleased you had a lovely weekend and time ..

    Elizabeth - great boys .. and oh yes we can do things we'd never do in a lifetime, except when we don't want to do something else .. can quite see it ..

    Thankfully I don't do a few of those things .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I think that's an awesome banner too.

      It is funny how inspirational work (or getting out of work) can be.

      Cheers to you too Hilary!

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    2. I had fun collecting all those photos. I'm thinking of annotating it, but worried I might not remember when and where they were taken!

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  7. Had to laugh at your reasoning for not washing the car!
    I didn't handle forty well. Eventually had to go buy a sports car.

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    1. I never would have guessed you'd go for the sports car. Bidding on the Bat Mobile on Ebay, maybe...

      Just joking, my husband wanted the Bat Mobile. No shame in having the car of your dreams. It's what you worked for, you should enjoy it.

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    2. I don't drive, so the sports car's out for me. Now the day itself has past, I'm pretty happy :-)

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  8. I've gotten more lax about a lot of things after I turned 40, too. But I think I've been going through a mid life crisis since I got out of college, LOL

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    1. That's a pre-life crisis, Lydia...that's a whole different sort of struggle ;)

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    2. I'll settle for a life crisis, I think lol!

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  9. LOL. I don't do a lot of things because on top of your daily to-do list, I'm balancing teaching lessons, coordinating art projects, correcting assignments, and preventing disasters that come from kids being home ALL DAY LONG. I've decided: pajamas are clothes, kids can fold their own laundry, and cooking should be a family chore, not a mommy chore. =) We may not be the cleanest or most organized, but the important things get done. Usually. ;)

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    1. High fives Crystal! I seriously don't know how you do it all!

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    2. I go insane. Haven't I made that clear? ;)

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    3. Crystal, yes, pyjamas ARE clothes... says the woman in her pyjamas :-)

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  10. Happy birthday at your sea. Takes me 5 seconds to make the bed, so not hard there. Car I never wash, rain can do that haha

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    1. I need to do like Annalisa and just get a duvet and not have a bunch of blankets to get all messed up.

      Rain is the best car wash!

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    2. Thank you, Pat! Liz, yes, one shake and the bed's made... it's almost too easy :-)

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  11. Happy Birthday, Annalisa!

    Yay! Someone else who doesn't make the bed. (oops, that was one of my secrets) But you are right - there're so many things which aren't really necessary (not constantly) and eat up time. Lol! That's why I hate unannounced guests - they see the normal state of my household. Ahhh!!! Great post :)

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    1. I am so lucky. I live on a hill and you have to climb about twenty steps to get to my house, so no one ever drops in. They usually call from the road and I go down.

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  12. I think it's very true how we change priorities with age - and it's a good thing too, to have that perspective. :D

    I could not stop staring at that banner at the top of the page of Annalisa's photos!!

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    1. Isn't that the best banner? I look at it every time I stop in. It's like a "this is your life in pictures". Sweet. I want one.

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    2. I loved making my banner. I've been staring at it too :-)

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    3. Ooooh, I've just had an awesome blog hop idea...!

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  13. Birthday month shall be awesome. Indeed, as you get old more and more chores drop by the wayside. Make sure to eat dessert before that meal. It's okay. Fun post from Elizabeth. I look forward to more

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    1. I like your think Joanne! I think I will do just that :)

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    2. Dessert IS the meal, surely?? :-D It has been a fantastic month.

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  14. I limited my television watching a longtime ago. Congrats on turning 40 Annalisa and pacing yourself better is great whether for writing or life. Liz is awesome, so therefore her family must be awesome too. Mining is scary.

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    1. Mining is terrifying!! I would never, could never do it. Me? Awesome? I will accept that, especially from an awesome gal like yourself!!

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    2. I write in front of the TV. I find it helps to have the noise in the background, and it doesn't distract me. Although, sometimes I feel an intense urge to buy a house at auction and renovate it :-(

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  15. Happy Birthday, Annalisa! Sorry, but there's no way I'll believe Elizabeth is over 40....nuh uh! Great advice, Elizabeth :)

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    1. Ah Mark, my favorite blogger ever...I am 44. (I am going to assume it's my shunning of the sun and flawless skin that makes you think I'm not over 40 and not my immature nature ;)

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  16. Funny how all of that stuff will still be there tomorrow?

    Facebook games aren't platform building???? Drats.

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    1. I once tried to convince myself that playing solitaire was building my concentration/determination, but Annalisa called me on it, so I deleted the app. :(

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    2. I gave up solitaire when I started dreaming about cards being dealt!

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  17. Happy Birthday Annalisa, I love Elizabeth's list of things that can be skipped. I may or may not be guilty of a number of those things.

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    1. I may be guilty of quite a few more...

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    2. I plan to follow the list to the letter, Rena :-)

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  18. What a great pic of you and your family, Elizabeth. Turning 40 lit a fire for me as well.

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  19. Happy birthday to Annalisa! I worried and worried about turning 40, but when it happened, the world didn't end and things carried on as usual. I've also learned to be easier on myself with the little things and make more of my time.

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    1. I'm a bit too easy on myself at times, LOL. But you're right. There are so many real problems in this world...no need to create drama.

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    2. Thanks Christine. You're right, life is pretty similar on this side :-)

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  20. Happy birthday, Annalisa.

    I enjoyed reading this post, because I've made many changes. Around the time when I was close to getting and right after getting my first book contract, I made a lot of changes. Less TV, less makeup, more organization, and so on. My life is easier, plus I have more time to write.

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    1. I am just starting to work on the organization aspect. I have a big family and with big family comes big drama, so that's a monkey wrench I have to get under control.

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    2. Hmm, organisation? Not sure that will ever happen in this house.

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  21. It's all about the priorities, that's for sure. Just FYI as a car nerd, a dirty car actually gets worse fuel economy (dirt isn't as aerodynamic as a good coat of wax). But yes, it's all about priorities!

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    1. Ah Steve!! Why'd you have to go and ruin my justifications? Though, I'll tell the hubs this one...he's the penny pincher in the family. I may be getting a clean car after all ;)

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  22. Happy Birthday, they say 40 is a great age for us women :)q

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    1. I think it's a pretty good age, though if I could pick...I'd be thirty forever, but no one is letting me choose, so 40 rocks!

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    2. Thank you, I still feel 17 though!

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  23. Hi Elizabeth and of course, the lovely Annalisa,

    My poor paws managed to click on the link on your site, Elizabeth. Now I'm here. My dear human friend, Elizabeth, sorry but I'm not having this. No way are you over forty. If you wished to purchase alcoholic beverages, I would ask you for picture ID!

    And a great birthday to Annalisa :)

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Sweet Penny, you are too kind. In dog years, I am...well, unable to do the math. But I appreciate the thought so much. Lately I have felt like I just look tired. Good to know I could still get carded, if I tried to buy alcohol from a pooch ;)

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  24. Happy b'day!!! You have the right attitude. :)

    I didn't do most of that stuff you stopped don't anyway :P I pay a cleaner, and sure, I do prepare some sort of food, but usually it's not much different to what I had the night before. Very rarely I do get adventurous.

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    1. I'm rarely adventurous either. I could survive on peanut butter sandwiches and never be bothered. Oh well, I'd want the occasional chocolate every now and then, but that's all it'd take to keep me happy.

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  25. Happy Birthday!
    I sure love that list - and the really good excuses with each one. I'm totally stealing it. I do have one thing to add. If you have a broken vacuum, you can go weeks without using it. Just a little hint there...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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    1. Breaking the vacuum...marvelous thinking. I love people who think outside the box!

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    2. Thanks Tina. I've suffered a broken vacuum before - it's not as much fun as it sounds :-(

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  26. Happy 40th Annalisa! Contrary to popular belief, there is life after 40! Ha. Trust me. It's all good. Age is just a number.

    Elizabeth I LOVE your Facebook picture. You are beautiful with your sons all around you. And what a great list! I'm all about that obsessive parenting... a little pizza for breakfast never hurt anyone. **Coughs with pizza in her hand**

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    1. Thanks Jay! My guys are good eye candy to hang out with...they make me look good. I can be a little obsessive too (good thing no one who knows me in real life reads me on the web or they'd call me out...a little?!)

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    2. Who-hoo! I'm looking forward to a fantastic year!

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  27. You've made some good choices about how to organize your life. Turing off that TV was a great choice. Write. Write. Write.

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    1. I really don't miss it, though when I am out and about and everyone is talking about tv shows...I'm the dork left out of the loop, but I can deal with that.

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    2. I know exactly what you mean. I'm mute at gatherings when talk turns to TV, but then I can people watch. Great for an author, right? So you and I can sit together and talk over coffee because I haven't had TV in years. We cut it off when our son was in high school. It made all of our lives so much richer and easier. Of course, I didn't have the "not until you do your homework" to say every night.

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    3. You're so right Lee! Yep, if anyone wants to talk to me about TV, they either need go back about a decade or pick one of the shows I watch once they come out on video.

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  28. Happy birthday, Annalisa (love your name!), and thanks for the tips Elizabeth.
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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  29. Happy Birthday Annalisa!

    Elizabeth, love your post! You are so right! The laundry will still be there, the house doesn't need to sparkle, and really, making the bed is a lost art (and a big waste of time!) Ever since I got serious about writing, the TV has gone off. It has been amazing what I'm now able to accomplish once the kids are in bed. That's my inspiration time.

    Love the picture of you and your boys on your 40th! :)

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    1. I've decided the only way to have sparkle and kids in the same house is to invoke martial law, and quite frankly, I'd never make a good general. Life is too short, I don't want my eulogy to only say...her house was really clean when she died.

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  30. You are TOTALLY giving me permission to NOT be so perfect around the house. I love this - and your reasoning!! :)

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    1. You're welcome. Your word count will thank me :)

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  31. Happy Birthday Annalisa! These are some great tips from Elizabeth, thank you both for sharing. I remember how I was so upset when I was about the reach the big four oh. Then I sort of got a new life!

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    1. You're right. It's the age when we can start doing some stuff for ourselves without guilt...or at least without as much guilt!

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  32. Now that is what I call a list! ;)

    Happy Birthday, Annalisa!

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  33. I turned a decade older than that this year, and yes, a lot of things can wait. To take life by the horns for what matters, yes, the can wait. I'd rather say I've published another book than the laundry is done. :)

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    1. High fives Mary! I love how smart you are :)

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  34. LOL! This is fantastic! And so true! I know I worry too much about whether or not my house is clean... FYI... it never is! But when I get 5 seconds, I always try to get caught up on it. I just need to get these little minions of mine trained better :) hehehe. Fab post!
    And Happy Birthday Annalisa!

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    1. I wish I had trained my minions better! And yes, when I get a few spare minutes, I try to get something done. I'm very busy, but can honestly say, I am never bored!

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  35. Definitely a great post and a reminder that sometimes we have to stop sweating the small things! I can remember the days with kids around and how I always felt busy. Today all my kids are gone from the nest and on some days I miss some of it, but I still enjoy the peacefulness too! Great post!

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    1. I remind myself when I get really busy that this stage of my life won;t last forever and soon (much too soon!) I will have a lot more free time.

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Please comment - I love a good chat!