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Why I never feel caught up March 16, 2013

Posted by phoenixhopes in Goals, life, Procrastination.
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It’s eleven o’clock and I’ve been up for two hours (woo hoo for sleeping in once in awhile). So far today I’ve accomplished the following:

  • Drank two large glasses of water
  • Drank my daily half-pot of coffee (Mexican Chiapas from Dean’s Beans)
  • Took one batch of yogurt out of the yogurt maker and put another one in
  • Put away about a third of the dishes I washed yesterday (I really hate putting dishes away)
  • Listened to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and This American Life
  • Figured out what I’m making for the bake sale at work this week (raising money for a co-worker’s international adoption)
  • Mixed up some marinade (using the fresh yogurt and this sauce) and added chicken. I’m not sure if this will be dinner tonight or lunch after church tomorrow
  • Made a grocery list for the things I need for the bake sale (since I’ve nibbled away at the chocolate chips I thought were in my cupboard
  • Packaged up the “Clean the Refrigerator/Freezer Chili” that simmered away in the crock-pot yesterday into individual servings and fit them in the freezer
  • Caught up on Facebook and e-mail

Whew, I’ve been busy. I think it was the decent amount of sleep last night (plus the fact that the coffee has not yet been diluted with actual food). I still have more that must be accomplished today (or at least by the end of the weekend but it’s better if I get it done today so I have some time this weekend that I can call my own).

  • Mail a package (I’ve already missed the window for mailing from my little local post office. They are only open from 8:30-10:30 on Saturdays. If I don’t get to the bigger post office (in the opposite direction of where I’m going grocery shopping) it won’t get mailed until Tuesday. If I don’t get it mailed today, it will at least be ready to take to the post office. The label is written and the item is in a box, so I’m more than halfway there.
  • Get those groceries
  • Make one of the bake sale items (the other will be done Tuesday evening)
  • Log into work (I’ll either get up early and do this before church tomorrow (and then nap away the afternoon) or work after church)
  • Do some housework (that one never ends)
  • Pick up the library book on hold (Forrest Gump, the novel. I didn’t even know it was a novel before it was a movie until I saw a post on Reddit this week. I was so intrigued it popped to the top of my reading list)

Oh, and I should probably get changed out of my pajamas at some point.

I used to think I was just really bad at time management and honestly, I’m sure there is some truth in that. I make lots of lists, and I like having a routine, but I don’t do well with a schedule. Plus, I generally under-estimate how long tasks are going to take me. When I’m making those lists, I seem to think it’s reasonable for a Saturday to-do list to be twice as long as what I’ve written here.

Today, after I get all that stuff above out of the way, I’m going to spend some time feeding my creative side and sew. Or maybe I’ll get dressed, eat something , run those errands and sew away the rest of the day away. Those other obligations aren’t going away. I need to remember — no one will die if everything doesn’t get checked off the list today.

One step at a time September 10, 2011

Posted by phoenixhopes in Goals, lists, Procrastination, randomness, thoughts.
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When I am feeling overwhelmed, I make lists. Books to read. Knitting to accomplish. Clothes to sew. Spring Cleaning projects to complete (and yes, I am well aware that it is now almost Fall), Closets to organize. Errands that simply must be run. Work projects that never end. Birthdays I don’t want to forget (but probably will). Letters to write. And on and on and on. Writing lists helps me stay sane. If it’s on a list somewhere then I can hope that someday, maybe, if I persevere and my luck holds out, everything will get done.

Lately I found I needed a new list just to keep track of the ever-reproducing stack of lists on my desk. Yes, life is busy and ever-changing. Not that this is a necessarily bad thing – busy is better than bored – but too often the busy-ness of the urgent leaves little to no time left for the gazillion and seven other important things I want to do. Like blogging, for instance.

“Get back to blogging” is high on every list of personal goals I’ve made in the past year. I say that writing is important to me, a way to process the events in my life, a way to move some things from the hamster wheel in my brain to a more concrete format, a way to remember things I would otherwise forget. But do I make it a priority? Not very often. I write in fits and starts, as evidenced by the history here. Of course, I do write things, many things, that never make their way to this public peek into my brain, but even that has been much lower volume than I would prefer lately.

Writing is only one of the items on my “Feed My Creativity” list. Potential knitting projects take up an entire page there is even a line item for “learn to crochet”. I’ve been hit by a sewing bug lately (fed by a combination of weight loss and the fact that sometimes it’s cheaper to sew than buy new clothes) and have an ever-growing list of projects calling to me. There are recipes I want to try, crafty ideas for Christmas gifts, and practicing the magic of making yarn out of wool.

I think I’ve realized that the only way I’m going to get things done is to learn to be just a bit selfish. That’s not always a bad word, you know. Sometimes “selfish” means “take care of yourself too” or “remember to feed your soul”. I’ve spent most of my life focusing on taking care of others (and let me unequivocally state I have no regrets about that!) but I think I’m moving into another phase. My kids are growing up. It’s not that they don’t need me – I think and hope they will always need me – but they need me in different and less labor intensive ways. I’m not obliged to a spouse or significant other so my time has become more of my own. My challenge now is to decide how to spend that time.

All that to say that you’ll be hearing from me a bit more often. How often? Who knows? One little baby step at a time and I’ll get back in the swing of things. My hope is that very soon writing and blogging will become a habit again instead of just one more item on my wish list.

Christmas in April April 22, 2010

Posted by phoenixhopes in Christmas, Holidays, Kids, marriage, Procrastination, thoughts.
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Why is it so freaking difficult for me to box up and put away the Christmas stuff? Here it is the end of April and the stockings are still hung on the bookcase with care, the few ornaments I used last year and other items are still piled on the coffee table and all the boxes of decorations are sitting in plain view to the right of the TV where I put them weeks ago when I was filled with good intentions.

I know at least part of the answer is that I’m a procrastinator and a clutter-bug with selective vision. I simply don’t quite see what I don’t want to see. It’s rather easy for me to think and say I’ll get to that next weekend. And yet, how many weekends since New Years Day? I don’t think I’ll count them.

Bottom line, I just don’t want to address the memories. I’ve had quite a bit of success cleaning my life of the junk from my marriage. I have new furniture (especially a new bed and everything that comes with it), new location, new music, new friends, etc. I’ve gotten rid of or avoid the things that hold bad memories. If it makes me uncomfortable, I’ve moved on. But the Christmas stuff involves more than just me. These boxes also hold my kids’ memories and so I can’t sweep them into the trash.

Christmas is a time set apart from the rest of our life. The memories found there are segregated from the rest of the memories. It should be a magical time and opening the boxes of decorations each year should be a time of anticipation and joy. For me, the past few years opening these boxes has brought so much dread that for three years I avoided it completely and left the boxes buried in the garage. I’m reminded not so much of the bad times but of the bad man. My memories of Christmases Past are intertwined with memories of my ex. It’s like an inoperable tumor — I can’t cut out the bad memories without cutting out the joyful ones.

I may be dealing with selective memory here, but I don’t have many bad memories of Christmas.  Oh sure, there was stress and expectations, trying to do too much, trying to meet everyone’s needs–but I don’t remember many fights or much anger. Too much alcohol and dealing with a drunk guy– that I do remember that but then again, that was all the time, not just Christmas.  There are ornaments that remind me so much of my ex that I want to burn them, but I can’t get rid of them. I wonder what they might mean to my kids, if they have good memories attached that I have no right to erase.

In the eight years since he has been out of our lives I have spent little time facing the memories with my kids. I’ve come to terms with many things on my own and listened to them when they have wanted to talk, but rarely have we discussed it together. I’m still guarded, careful not to influence memories of their father. They know little of the details about what it was like to be married to him. I tell myself it’s not appropriate or important to share the indignities, the awful things he said. They know how he treated me at home and in public but don’t know what went on behind closed doors or how it all affected my core.

Today I am again choosing to delay dealing with the memories  However, I do have a day off work and my other plans fell through so I will finally get those boxes out of my line of sight. No sorting, culling, organizing or embracing the memories, simply box them up and put them in the closet. Maybe it’s denial but I prefer to think of it as healthy postponement. I’m not pretending this part of my life doesn’t need to be examined, I’m just not ready to face it. It is a difficult job to look my past life square in the face and I’m simply not up to it yet again.