ForeverJoy Designs

Math Skills and Magic Tricks

Things have been busy here.  Back to school, back to reality.  My older guy is in his second year of high school.  This is code for: “Mom is starting to collect everything she can about the college application process”.  I have just ordered “College Planning for Dummies” and have a pretty little folder set up for all the articles I rip out of magazines like a frenzied scavenger. Yep.  It’s what I do- I am the hunter/gatherer of all information in my home.  And from what I can gather- things have changed just a bit from when I applied to higher education decades ago.  Then, there’s the little guy in second grade. Helping him with homework should be a cake walk for me- but there is something new in our school. Something that shakes the credibility an adult places in their own understanding of addition and subtraction: Common Core Curriculum.  My little guy doesn’t do math the way I learned.  Heck, he doesn’t think about math the way I do.  And I have to be very careful not to pollute his mind with my old fashioned way of approaching things- you know, the way Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Suze Orman learned… *sarcasm intended*.

Add to these new items on my side of the T-bar graph: Design (the fun creative part of it all), Design (the geeky coding required to get my pretties to you) and Design (the serious this is a business side), homekeeping, life in general.. well, time has been a little short these days.

Here’s how I add up the hours in my typical day:
Morning Rush Hour
  • Wake boys up/ demand some semblance of hygiene, make breakfast, pack lunches and drive each to school: 2.5 hours


  • Serious Design: emails, scheduling and Record keeping: 1 hour
  • Geek Design: coding uploading linking: 2 hours
  • Fun Design: Project research and design: 6 hours
  • Lunch: usually something inappropriate and fast: .5 hours
  • Pick up boys from school: 1 hour
  • Get the boys to decompress after school- snack and chat: 1 hour
  • Help with homework: 1 hour


  • Socialize with family, friends and Hubby (phone time and face time) : 1 hour
  • Prepare and enjoy dinner/ catch up on the days events then clean up the whole shabang: 3 hours.
  • Clean up all signs of boy life – laundry/ tidying/ haz-mat attendance to bathrooms  1 hour
  • Prepare for next day: lay out clothes, pack bags, attend to calenders, write notes: 1 hour
  • Sleep 7 hours

Even using Common Core math, this is more than 24 hours. And throw in shopping, some Pinterest clicking, an episode of Walking Dead or Ink Masters or some fun scrapping time- and you’ve got a recipe for a time bomb! 

So what’s a girl to do?  What, on this list is expendable? What can I do without? Nothing.  Yet somehow, it works. And I’m sure, that if you’re like me- you too can bend the principles of time and space to somehow fit a 26 hour day into 24. I think it’s because we all hold secret membership cards to the Magicians league. Not that we work Harry Potter kind of magic, but the kind of magic where the pretty assistant only looks like shes being sawed in half because she’s contorted herself in half inside the box.
We are time contortionists. Multi-tasking- corner cutting magicians.  Crockpots and Pizza deliveries, paper plates, phone calls during commute times, click online while you cook and make it all look easy- magicians.  I believe the “trick” to doing this all is not thinking that you have to- but in getting enjoyment from the way we amazing the crowds. Enjoy the show. How can a children’s magician go to work, gig after gig, pulling coins from little ears and bunnies from hats without burning out in the mundane routine of it all?  I think it by focusing the attention outward- looking at the joy- the amazement on the faces of the audience. The big picture is that we set the tempo for our homes;  the attitude, the routine, the physical beauty. And yes, while we need to always remember that we do it for our own joy- on those days when the math of it all gets a little overwhelming, we need to focus on the audience- and create a little magic.


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