Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Time Management

Today my friends over at Gracey's Mansion talked about their plan for time management. I'm beginning to think I should consider a similar approach.

Around here it's catch as catch can. How am I feeling physically? Mentally? What can I remember to tackle? Will the weather co-operate with my plans? The Flexcar schedule? What are my Kate responsibilities? What's Pramas got in mind? I'm forever left feeling that things are undone.

And yet...

Take today: we have received our annual shipment of Greek Easter bread from the Pramas ancestral estate so breakfast was an easy Easter bread and boiled eggs. The weather was good and Kate was still away (invited to an unplanned sleepover last night) which offered maximum flexibility. I managed to wash, dry, fold, and put away four or five laundry baskets of clothes, depending on how you count. One entire basket was nothing but socks needing to be matched. Culled socks with holes, put Kate's outgrown items into a HUGE bag for Community Services for the Blind to pick up on Tuesday. Made a run for rabbit supplies and groceries. Did a little bunny dating in the hope of being able to move Sammy out of the living room and into Bonnie's bunny area. Took half an hour to walk with Chris, something we've been doing every day together (barring illness). Got together some of the paperwork I need to get Kate's passport situation sorted out and communicated with her dad about what he needs to provide (she can't got to Canada until we get this taken care of and has already missed one scheduled visitation). Washed dishes. Cooked dinner (pork piccata, balsamic roasted asparagus and a citrus black bean salad). Marked a bunch of shows on the TiVo so they won't delete before I get around to seeing them.

Not bad, I suppose, especially considering I'm still fighting off my weird "flu"/sleeping sickness. But there's always so much still to do and I constantly feel like I'm bouncing from one thing to another. I tell Chris I'm going to take a shower so we can go out to the store. On the way, I walk past Bonnie's cage and decide that her security blanket is so filthy it's time I washed it, so I take it downstairs before I forget which then leads me to go around collecting all the other filthy rabbit towels/blankets and things that need washing together, which takes me past my computer, where I notice I have a new e-mail from Kate's dad so I stop to read and respond to that, which leads me to at least read the rest of my new mail and before I know it I've "handled" a handful of nagging chores or nuggets that needed my attention but I still haven't showered; Chris has and is ready to go.

That's pretty much my life. In the middle of that, scheduling some time for lounging around drinking coffee and reading a book sounds mighty fine. Might fine.



Time: everyone wants a pieces of it

Man, the last couple of weeks have been go go go. Time keeps flying by. I'm still trying to find time to deal with issues that cropped up at the end of February! Every day this week I've looked up at the clock only to realize with a sinking heart that it's approaching 3:00, Kate will be home in less than an hour and even though I've been working hard I'm still not nearly through the pile as I'd like to be.

Yesterday I considered trying to go to the grocery store after 10pm. I scraped together the last bits of ingredients to make some so-called Brazilian cookies for Kate's school potluck tonight but I didn't have enough on hand for more than one batch and that's not enough to even share with her class let alone the rest of the school. I skipped the neighborhood meeting Mayor Greg Nickels was holding at the nearby community center to discuss his new plan for crime prevention in Seattle, something our neighborhood has been dealing with as the population has increased and the number of police stationed in our precinct has decreased. Our neighborhood association (not to be confused with the homeowners association) is trying to organize committees to deal with safety, traffic, clean-up, and numerous other issues which really are of actual concern to me but I just can't organize my time to accommodate the additional responsibilities. I've also had to skip out on the community meetings about the Seattle Public school system, the transition committee meetings to help plan the Orca k-8 program (which my daughter will be attending), the PTA meetings that deal with the hiring of several new teachers and staff people for the school next year or the physical transition to the new building. I feel a pang of guilt for every one of these things I skip because I feel like I'm not being active enough in driving the changes in my community or taking an active hand in my daughter's educational future.

But there's no end to it! The Homeowners association needs board members, neighborhood representatives, people to serve on committees dealing with builder defects or maintenance issues or budgeting concerns. The neighborhood association needs people to be part of their committees for safety and clean-up so we can apply for grants for community improvements and give the Mayor feedback that will help realign the number of police officers assigned to our dramatically-growing community. The school needs volunteers for the auction or the jog-a-thon or the numerous other fund-raising endeavors that are crucial to funding or woefully under-funded public school. Let's not even talk about things like regional or national politics...I could be busy every single day of the week just doing my job and taking care of my family even without this additional stuff.

And so. I carve out time for myself anyway. I know I could be working, volunteering, or tackling problems but I'm stubbornly NOT going to spend all of my time that way. I've been taking a 30 minute walk every morning with Pramas. I've made time to write something for my blog almost every day, even if it's not deep or meaningful or important. I'm cooking meals instead of relying on prepackaged foods, even if it's just some Black Bean Quesadillas with Goat Cheese. I'm exerting some control over my time by claiming it for things that are for me, even if that time has to be clawed away from the avalanche of responsibilities that seems to be dragging me along month after month.