Thursday, February 05, 2009

Same Ol' Situation

I apologize. I didn't realize I hadn't posted yesterday until about 11 p.m. last night. And by that time there was no way I was going to stop everything and write a lengthy post. Because that's what it was going to be. 'Cuz I had a fabulous post topic to unravel. But I didn't. Because I forgot to write. Now here I am, Thursday morning, trying to get that same post done.

Man. Why is it feeling so difficult to write on Thursday mornings instead of Wednesday afternoons or evenings? This is all wrong. It doesn't feel right at all. I am too used to routine.

Which - hey! - that just happens to be the point of what I wanted to write about yesterday! Wow! What incredible luck my forgetfulness has handed me!

So, uh... yeah. I am a creature of habit. I like routine. I'm sure I've mentioned this before. I'm sure I've noted how I always used to like Fridays best at work because I always knew exactly what I needed to do to get things done. My whole day was filled with a specific process towards completion of my duties. Sure, monkeys and wrenches, glitches and witches were constantly thrown into the works. But those all provided just enough uncertainly to make the routine interesting. Still, through it all, the "way of things" remained the same. And it was good.

My conformity to routine makes me realize that - thinking back on my full-time-working-outside-of-the-house days - I don't remember feeling as chock full of things to accomplish in a day as I do now. But isn't that odd? Wouldn't you think that, now that I'm not working full time and I'm home so much more of the time, that I'd therefore be getting so many productive things done during the day? Wouldn't you?

Yes. You would.

Or at least that's what I think should be happening. But it doesn't seem to be that way at all. And it's stressing me out a bit - making me feel like I must not be doing things "right" - to think about all the time I have to get things done compared to what is actually getting accomplished.

All this, or - I find that I really am working hard each day, never sitting down, always up doing something or out on the road running errands. So many things! My days can be really packed! And it all makes me wonder - just how the heck did I get anything done while I worked full time? I can barely find a moment for myself now! How in the world did this all work so well during my working days?!

And then it hit me: Working full time provided a full routine to my whole life. Everyday was the same. Get up, get Sweetie dressed and fed, get Sweetie to school or Nana's, go to work, work, pick Sweetie up, go home, eat dinner, give Sweetie a bath, watch T.V., put Sweetie to bed, watch more T.V and/or do dishes and/or pay bills and/or write blog posts (ah ha! There's where life could really get wild and crazy!), take a bath and go to bed. Every single day. I knew what to expect. Not that I even ever pondered what to expect. It was just the way it was. Auto pilot. Routine.

Then - weekends while I worked - those were the times for laundry, for running errands, for general house upkeep. Weekends kept me reasonably - but not crazily - busy.

But now, now, - after how many months has it been? - it's finally occurring to me that - hey! - I've got no routine. No set pattern for how things should be or when things have to get done.

This is not to say that habits haven't formed. Not to say that I'm not in a rut. After all, each afternoon usually finds Sweetie and me at home. And, sure, there's the routine of the morning, what with getting up, dressed, and Sweetie off to school and then picked up a few hours later. But then, the rest of the day, we're typically home. Hours lie ahead of us. Oodles of time to get several things done, but no set schedule during those hours telling me play-by-play when and how to get everything done.

Now, the question is - Am I just no good at creating my own routine, therefore everyday I'm stressed with so many things to get done but no clear cut way to complete everything and thus no motivation to even try? OR, am I digging my own hole by telling myself I need to get an unreasonable number of things done each day now that I'm not working, and so never quite feeling like I'm reaching the goals I've set for myself even though I'm constantly doing something?

I'm sure both are the case. And both are no good. Not healthy. Not calming or satisfying. Annoying, really.

So - I need to create some routine. I need to look at my life week by week, not day by day. Make lists. Prioritize. And most of all, I need to stop thinking about the next thing I need to do while I'm working on the one thing right in front of me.

I need to be present and I need to be realistic. And I've got to make this the standard. The routine. My way of being.

I'll start by carving out specific and scheduled times for me to study for my teaching certification exams. Times when I can go to the library for a few hours each week. Weekend hours when Hubby entertains/watches Sweetie while I hole up in the bedroom reading. And a target date for when I'll take the exams. Knowing the date by which I have to be ready - no matter what - will get me on track to being prepared on time.

But now - I have to get off the computer, do some dishes, wash my hair, make sure I have all my supplies for tutoring later today, make a couple phone calls, go to the drug store, and pick Sweetie up in a little more than an hour.

Phew! Priorities. Real goals. Action. I'll get myself back into a routine and all will be better.

A scheduled life is a happy life for me.

No comments: