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The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life
By Mary Jo Rulnick and Judith Burnett Schneider

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 The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life

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The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life
By Mary Jo Rulnick and Judith Burnett Schneider
ISBN: 0446690597
Genre: Inspirational & Self-Help

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Chapter Excerpt from: The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life , by Mary Jo Rulnick and Judith Burnett Schneider

Introduction


Franticness has invaded all of our lives at one time or another. For some, living the hectic life is a day-to-day occurrence. For others, the scatterbrained lifestyle might come in spurts like during the back-to-school crunch and at the holidays. Sure, we've all mumbled, "If I can get through this week, life will be easier." And we want to believe it.

Sometimes it even holds true for a few blissful days. Then, pow, another shift occurs in our well-planned agenda. That curve might involve a minor incident like a car pool mom who's stuck in traffic, leaving you to take the kids to practice-although you're already running late for a meeting. Or it might be something as unsettling and uncontrollable as a sudden illness or being laid off from work. The level of franticness and the cause are different for everyone. And yet the very existence of it remains constant for most of us.

Since we've had our share of minor and major incidents (though overall we consider ourselves to be truly blessed), we can identify with you. In writing this book, one snafu after another cropped up, adding to our frantic pace. And yes, we found ourselves repeating, "When this xiv.book is completed, life will return to normal." But did it? Definitely not. Why? Because we choose to pack as much into our days as we can-harvesting from life as much bounty as it has to offer. Though there are times when we would readily welcome five minutes of peace, on the whole, we wouldn't want life any other way.

Between us, we have five kids ranging from kindergarten to college age, two husbands with long, nontraditional working hours, two writing careers, one job outside the home, an hour's driving distance between our homes (and that's without construction traffic) so we can say, "Feeling frantic? Us too!"

From our experiences, then, we've collected the tips and ideas that have helped us get by (along with those of others who were so willing to share) and created The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life. Take your time, browse through the book, and pick and choose which suggestions you'd like to put to the test.

How This Book Works

In The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life, we've developed a system that will enable you to refer back to timely tips month after month, making a less hectic lifestyle more possible. Before you start, we suggest you obtain a notebook or a spiral-bound journal that we'll refer to as your Frantic Journal. Throughout the book, we'll suggest you jot ideas and answer quizzes in your journal-a book that's for your eyes only. It will contain your dreams and wishes, along with your long- and short-term goals.

Part one of this book, "Year Round," addresses the primary responsibilities of a woman's daily life-all those duties that must be accomplished every day, week, or month of the year from the swishing of the washing machine to the sizzling of the frying pan. Though many frantic women have the chance to surface-clean, the nitty-gritty, deep-down (from the closets to the garage) throwaway type of cleaning seems to escape us at every turn. Therefore, in addition to our time-tested traditional tips, we've included suggestions for adding a new twist to the old standbys that will help you zip through those mundane chores.

Part two, "Month-by-Month," focuses on every month of the year.

In chapters covering "January" through "December," you'll discover steps to help you organize life's crazy schedule and the course you find yourself taking whether you want to or not. You'll find memory joggers for everyday jobs, seasonal tidbits, and holiday reminders you might need to execute. Each month is divided into three sections starting with "Whip It into Shape." This segment deals with the organizational, hands-on process of maintaining your household. Next, you'll move into our section called "Darling Little Angels (And the Whole Blissful Bunch)," where you'll come across techniques to involve the gang in the cleaning process, to keep the peace surrounding your immediate and extended members, and to plan family fun, too. And last, but not least, is our "All About You" installment highlighting suggestions for tweaking your family, home, and work life into balance, while carving out the time you need to rejuvenate. At the end of every month, the "One-Step-at-a-Time Checklist" offers a detailed summary of what you should have accomplished throughout the month. For simplicity in tracking where you've been and what you've completed, all you have to do is mark for each task performed.

In part three of the Guide to Life, "A Wee Bit More," you'll read lists detailing everything from what to stock in your pantry, to what to pack when sending the kids off to camp, to the must-have necessities for a college-bound student. These lists can be photocopied and laminated for your convenience.

The final "Resources" segment provides a quick reference for the books, Web sites, software, and organizations recommended and referred to throughout the book, eliminating the need for you to search through the entire text for a specific telephone number or Internet addy (address).

We realize life will still bamboozle you-throwing zingers, obstacles, and roadblocks your way-but our goal is to provide you with the tips we've accumulated along our own frantic paths, leveling the bumps and smoothing the course just for you.

And we're off!
Frantically,
Mary Jo and Judith

Excerpted from The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life , by Mary Jo Rulnick and Judith Burnett Schneider . Copyright (c) 2004 by Mary Jo Rulnick and Judith Burnett Schneider . Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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