Monthly Archives: November 2011

not crazy

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I’ve got a blog to write, but our internet connection is not cooperating. I wanted to write and post at work just to make sure I got it done today, but, well, work isn’t working that way for me right now. I have 3 more days of work before winter break and quite a bit more than 3 days of work to do. In spite of my vows yesterday, I found myself complaining a bit today. A different form of complaining, though: acknowledging that others have lots of work, that I really shouldn’t complain, but stating that the work I have still to do is more than I can get done.

Interestingly, by the end of the day (I stayed until 5:15 – not bizarrely late by any stretch), things started to feel manageable. Some items I simply bumped to January, when I’ll have time to deal with them. Others I dealt with briefly and handed off. Quite a number I set in motion to be dealt with by others. Some I finally got down to. Some I moved onto particular lists or folders to be addressed when the time is right. The end result is maybe 15 items in red on my task list which I hope to have done by end of day next Thursday. I looked at things at the end of the day – after 2 days of staying a bit later at work and trying to clear my desk – and felt better. I will get done what needs doing.

In the busyness of today I took half an hour to go to the memorial service for the Dec. 6 massacre. I was glad to go. It reminded me that there are more important things than my to do list. I also had the chance to connect with a couple of people I had needed to contact anyways, and an in-person conversation proved much more effective, fun and useful (in terms of building community than email. And beyond that I saw some people I enjoyed seeing, and met someone I’ve seen around campus for a while. All in all, a good use of time even when I was trying to run madly off in all directions.

As for tonight, we’re home, each working on the computer while baby deconstructs my desk one pen or journal at a time. She has an endless capacity for moving things back and forth. I think we’ll try bed again soon, for though she looks supremely energized I suspect that before long she’ll be willing to crash.

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Complaining?

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Hmm. I’ve been noticing a new trend in my conversations lately and it’s not one I’m proud of.

I’ve been complaining. Quite a bit. Blech. I want to be full of positivity, energy and fun, not drag-me-down excuses. Time for some analysis and change.

So where are these complaints coming from? They are pretty much all connected with work. I am feeling strongly that I have too much to do, not enough time or resources to do it, and not a lot of options that make me happy. In my job I do it all. I file budget forms, distribute posters, plan workshops, manage discrimination complaints, lead a group of allies in different units on campus, on and on. Since I’m down to 4 days a week of work, I’m now compressing all this work into 4 instead of 5 days.

On the plus side: I have a super-great student worker this year who is pro-active, positive and efficient. However, student workers are hired to do meaningful work, not make photocopies, so though administrative tasks are part of her job I try to make sure they’re not the main theme.

And with the need to take my vacation days, I now have only 4 days of work left before winter break. And a LONG list of things to do. Some projects, even when I try to delegate, keep falling back on my lap. Information I need to move ahead is challenging to dredge up. Details, details, details need to be planned out excruciatingly for assorted meetings and projects. There is too much to do, and not enough time or resources. Big projects that I want to spend time on and that need energy, thought and depth, are not growing the way they should because there are simply too many other things to manage. And I’m getting burned out.

And that, friends, is why I find myself saying “Well, things have been very busy!” or “Sorry I haven’t got back to you yet, I’ve had too much to do” or “I’d love to plan a meeting but my schedule is crazy” or (to my work-study student) “Sorry I’m a bit scattered today; it’s been so busy I haven’t had time to think.”

Aaah … feel important by complaining. Feel self-righteous by making oneself out to be a martyr. NOT the type of maturity to which I aspire.

So, how to move ahead?
1. In the new year our office will be hiring someone else to work in my office. At a minimum this will be an auxiliary support person which should take a lot of the smaller tasks off my page (no more updating the website? Cool!)

2. I’m going on vacation. Soon. And I’ll simply keep my head down between now and then.

3. Just stop it. Other people don’t really care that I’ve got a lot to do. So do they.

4. I’m sure I’ll figure something else out about how to manage too much work. Streamline, delegate, prioritize … it will happen.

Organized Peace

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NaBloPoMo, I’m trying!! Last night the problem wasn’t wordpress but our internet connection. Each time I tried to load, save or post a page I got an error message. I finally was able to write this post and email it to myself, and am posting it from work. I’ll also write a quick post for today since I may not be able to do this once I get home :(. Since I am doing the writing each day, though, I feel comfortable saying that YES, I am still blogging daily!

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Last night was one of those magical nights at our house where time seemed to stand still and endless opportunities for getting things done extended our evening and simultaneously energized us.

After a day of errands, housework and time with baby (my head was much better; oh yay!) we put baby to bed and continued the flow of productivity we had started earlier. Husband wrapped up half a dozen little tasks around the house that had needed doing for a long time. I continued to move things around: recycle, shred, throw away, give away, file. The house got cleaner and cleaner as the evening progressed. We moved to the office where each of us accomplished various projects either on the computer or organizationally. Each completed project gave us more energy to do others.

By 11:30 the house was looking great. The steady elimination we’ve been doing showed its effects with less clutter. Finally completing tasks that had been planned for a while inspired me like you wouldn’t believe. I kept going and remembered even more little things that needed doing: pulling some books from my shelves for a gift, wrapping for that gift, note paper for an early morning meeting, a list of projects to tackle next … the snowball kept growing.

I finally got to bed by midnight or some time after, asleep a while later (time for nursing etc.) I went to bed with the glow that only a clean, organized, clutter-reduced house, harmony with my spouse, and a Getting Things Done streak can bestow. On me, that is … I know things like this are not universally inspiring.

For me, peace, joy and contentment can flow from the material. My space affects me; my hovering to do list drags me down. Ordered space and clearing the mental clutter are true sources of inner peace for me. Aaaah 🙂

Today, admittedly, my head was still slightly muddled and scattered, whether from lack of sleep, a too-busy day or lingering effects of this weekend’s illness it’s hard to say. But if it was from insufficient sleep, it was so worth it.

Wishing you all good rest and happy accomplishment of what needs or wants doing!

Organized Peace

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Last night was one of those magical nights at our house where time seemed to stand still and endless opportunities for getting things done extended our evening and simultaneously energized us.

After a day of errands, housework and time with baby (my head was much better; oh yay!) we put baby to bed and continued the flow of productivity we had started earlier. Husband wrapped up half a dozen little tasks around the house that had needed doing for a long time. I continued to move things around: recycle, shred, throw away, give away, file. The house got cleaner and cleaner as the evening progressed. We moved to the office where each of us accomplished various projects either on the computer or organizationally. Each completed project gave us more energy to do others.

By 11:30 the house was looking great. The steady elimination we’ve been doing showed its effects with less clutter. Finally completing tasks that had been planned for a while inspired me like you wouldn’t believe. I kept going and remembered even more little things that needed doing: pulling some books from my shelves for a gift, wrapping for that gift, note paper for an early morning meeting, a list of projects to tackle next … the snowball kept growing.

I finally got to bed by midnight or some time after, asleep a while later (time for nursing etc.) I went to bed with the glow that only a clean, organized, clutter-reduced house, harmony with my spouse, and a Getting Things Done streak can bestow. On me, that is … I know things like this are not universally inspiring.

For me, peace, joy and contentment can flow from the material. My space affects me; my hovering to do list drags me down. Ordered space and clearing the mental clutter are true sources of inner peace for me. Aaaah 🙂

Today, admittedly, my head was still slightly muddled and scattered, whether from lack of sleep, a too-busy day or lingering effects of this weekend’s illness it’s hard to say. But if it was from insufficient sleep, it was so worth it.

Wishing you all good rest and happy accomplishment of what needs or wants doing!

Oh Lordy

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I’ve found myself using this expression of my husband’s lately as I watch our girl make her way in the world. She amazes me more and more as she grows up with every new thing she does, each emerging aspect of her character and personality.

  • She’s walking – around things, a step here and there (or several if walking from one parent to another), lets go, walks the house with only a finger to hold onto.
  • Her appetite is growing! Sometimes we’re amazed at how much food she puts in. She ate dinner, then wanted to eat before her bath (spoonfuls of rice, almond butter, yogurt), then again as we tried to put her to sleep (almost an entire pear!)
  • She LOVES to help. So far, she’s helped take clothes out of the washer, to hang them up, taking TP out of its wrapper and then putting it on the shelf in the bathroom, and helped dada unload the dishwasher (cutlery tray).
  • This goes along with her LOVE of taking things in and out. Blocks into the bag, out of the bag. Stuffies onto the couch, then the floor, then back up. Into the box, out of the box. On and on!
  • Her voice is growing. She has two laughs, one that seems real and one that’s a loud stage laugh. She shouts, yells, talks at the top of her lungs. Including just before she crashes to sleep.
  • Favourite moments: Sweet nursing baby, soft and quiet, suddenly detaches and declaims “mama mama mama mama” followed by her smile. Big mischief smile. Then back to the boob. Aaaah.
  • She’s really gotten into brushing her teeth. We have a couple toothbrushes for her, a kids’ one and then one of the regular ones we got from our dentist. But what she really, really wants is the toothpaste. She knows it’s there, she knows we use it, and she wants it. Her whole bathtime today was “eh!eh!eh!” pointing to the toothpaste.
  • She’s really definitely figured out her name and who she is. When she hears her name, she taps herself on the chest with her palm. We were very busy tonight (during her second unauthorized snack) with pointing to dada, then at the picture of dada, then at baby, then the picture of baby … repeat ad infinitum.
  • She’s really into independent play sometimes. I was folding laundry and she was collecting her blocks and putting them on top of a table in the back room. Then back to the floor. And so on. She kept trying to grab three in each hand but could only manage two each (her grasping ability amazes us! So strong!).

It’s wonderful to experience how with each new stage we just love her more and more. It’s such a joy to be able to communicate more with her and see her perspective on the world. We are so blessed, and so grateful each day for our girl.

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Today was house cleaning and stuff reduction. More baby clothes gone (she’s really not into sleepers, though we kept a few). a pencil holder. I broke a bowl to go with the cup husband broke the other day. Took some items to the baby store (jolly jumper, ring carrier that’s too big) and got rid of other things that didn’t work (too small socks, shoes she never wears). We did return with some booties for winter, which she’s super happy with 🙂 – something we’ve needed to get. I got rid of a sweater and a bra. We are making progress!

Sick Bonus

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Still sick. Head still throbbing. It’s not as bad as yesterday but still definitely there. I bend down slowly and take corners at a snail’s pace.

I am grateful, though. Time with my daughter continues to be wonderful, even if I sometimes crave a few minutes to myself. Which was provided by my husband today – with their walk and her nap, I had about 3 hours to MYSELF. And since I’m sick: I didn’t work. (okay, well, I did finish putting away my laundry and do a TINY TINY bit more work. But really, it was the tiniest of bits). Then I ate, drank tea, finished a novel (reading, not writing), and sorted through a pile of magazines, pulling inspiring decorating pictures (another bonus: since this is the stack that husband clipped through last night, we can now trash about 2 inches of magazines. Only 3 substantial stacks to go!). I haven’t had a chunk of time like that to myself to do just what I wanted since before baby was born. I would say that time like that, especially on weekends, is probably what I miss most since having a baby. I would occasionally hole up for an entire weekend and read 1 – 2 novels. And watch movies. And just do whatever I wanted. Not as possible now. But on the plus side, I get to cuddle the little sweet girl I love more than anything. So, compensation.

On the decluttering front: things have slowed with this weird illness and a crazy week, but items are still leaving our home. Latest is around 5 pieces of baby clothing. I also scanned & shredded an inch of paper this past week. I am looking forward to making more inroads into SOMETHING but am giving myself a pass this weekend. Enough to do with keeping myself together, caring for baby and prepping for next week.

In sickness

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I’m sick. I don’t know if it’s a cold or flu or what, but driving home last night my head started to fill. It throbs when I move too quickly, my skin is sensitive to the touch and I’m cold and tired. Blech. Husband has been great, taking care of lots around the house and giving me time without baby, plus his own work. I have found that, though I want to be on my own and sleep, I”m focusing more on baby today because multitasking is kind of beyond me. This is nice. And we had a long nap today – over 2 hours – which was really great and needed for both of us.
At the moment she’s sleep-resistant, I’m blogging to get it done and hope she goes down soon. I could use another night’s rest.