Sep 29, 2009

Good Things Come To Those Who Procrastinate

A friend and I recently had a conversation about taking/making time for our self's. I can hear all you moms out there snicker. Yes...this is a common challenge for moms. This friend has been feeling that she needs some time out with the girls WITHOUT talking about the kids. Those of you who are moms will know how unlikely that is. When moms get together the conversation inevitably always falls back to the kids. When she asked me what I like to do or want most I said to be alone and get organized. Not exactly as fun as a night out with the girls and surely a response that might leave one quizzically asking "Really?", but in all honesty it was the truth. When you live in a 1919 Craftsman Bungalow fixer-upper and lead as busy and complicated a life as I do it can become a necessity (to reorganize), especially if one is prone to procrastination and biting off more than one can chew, which I am. Even being a somewhat fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person I still require a certain amount of order in my life. And I just wouldn't enjoy sitting around having a drink with girlfriends when my mental state is scattered. I constantly feel the pull of what else I "should" be doing because I have so much to do. But I realized after talking with her that I really could make the time if I made it a priority.

So Monday after carpool (when the kids were at school and I had a nurse to watch Ainsley) I spent an hour and a half sitting alone in my car with a cup of coffee and my notebook getting organized instead of doing my usual Monday grocery shopping and errand running. It was wonderfully quiet at the park except for the occasional rustle of the leaves on the trees hinting at a change in the weather to come, the sun was warm and I was totally able to enjoy having this time completely to myself with no interruptions other than the occasional jogger who caught my attention. Oh, the blissful quiet that a mom seldom hears. It isn't the weekend at the beach alone that I crave but it'll have to do. I reviewed and updated my 6+ college ruled pages of to-do and projects lists, thought at length about how I could best organize my week to reduce stress and be more effective and mapped out Ainsley's therapy needs in the 4 areas of gross motor, fine motor, speech/language and feeding (specifics are, of course, yet to be outlined and....on my to-do list, ha ha). It was good! I feel better! I think I might even feel organized enough that (if I could get my husband to stop working so many hours) I could go out with a friend and maybe even enjoy it. Although I couldn't promise not to talk about my kids.

I'm sure all this makes me sound crazy. Perhaps I am but not everyone wants the same thing. I crave a certain amount of order. I'm a to-do list person. I love the satisfaction of crossing items off that list because I feel like things are getting done. If I sound perfectly organized, I'm NOT. I slip up a lot and that is why I sometimes need to regroup. The other big problem is that I can only usually get to half of what I intend to. Sometimes I will come across an old list after months and months and find that some of the items are STILL not done and not only that, I'd forgotten that they needed to be done. Since I was a kid I was always better at starting things than finishing them. But I try to change and that's what the do-do list does....It helps me keep on track.

Still, one person can only do so much. This week's to-do list is 1 1/2 pages long so I know there will be a lot of things that don't get done. One item on the list was to find out what happened to my order of "Childhood Apraxia" by Pam Marshalla. A friend recommended it (Ainsley doesn't have Apraxia but there aren't any books out there on how to get your trached child with a rare cerebellum issue to speak.) and I ordered it right away but became concerned when several back to school clothing orders (also on my to-do list) arrived even though they'd been ordered much later. But sometimes good things come to those who procrastinate. It arrived today so I can cross it off my list even though I didn't have to do anything. Yea! If only everything on my list was that easy.

Now if I can just find time to read it.

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