Monday, 18 February 2013

Trying to get it all under control

Yeah, I said "ALL". Because I'm crazy like that.

Every once in awhile, I get this insane idea that with the right organizational tools, the right plan, the right schedule, the right commitment, I can finally figure out how to stay on top of my blogs, keep up with my freelance work, keep the house clean, make delicious healthy creative dinners that never cost more than $10 for the whole family, organize and use my coupons to get tons of stuff for nearly free, be mom to my daugher, spend time with my husband, go to services and Bible class every week, do some kind of hike or other outdoor event every weekend, and still have time for my yoga and pilates classes, journal writing, reading and watching an occasional TV show.

Oh and did I mention, keep some semblance of sanity? Because, yeah, I'm crazy like that.

When I write it all down like that, I can see the insanity. But even then, a part of me thinks it's still possible. Or at least more possible than my daily reality suggests. Because the real, daily me is always running at full speed but still leaving half of that list in the "To be done" column by the time I crash around midnight (or one or two or...)

And I wake up, behind on my blog, opting for a quick but not cheap dinner plan, watching my coupons expire unused, floors in need of cleaning and article deadlines looming, all the while dreading the rush of the approaching (or current) weekend which only seems to double or triple my exhaustion and "behindedness" (my new you like that one?)

Why do we women do this?  Because I know it's not just me. I know there are many heads nodding as you read, recognizing your own never-ending list and that feeling that if you just found the right method, it would all fall into place.

I remember years ago reading an article by a woman who was trying to do just that, with a new planner. She kept adding time onto her morning, by scheduling her wake-up time earlier and earlier, to squeeze in things like exercise or meditation or writing. And at the same time, she kept pushing back her planned bed time, so she would be able to get a jump-start on the next day by laying out clothes, setting the table for breakfast or carving out some time to read. But when she put the two pieces together, she realized that her new "schedule" would have had her getting up before she went to bed.

I laughed, but only because I understood. I could see myself making that same discovery. I've bought the planners. I've created the "Command Center" in the house with white boards and bulletin boards and calendars. I've created online calendars and printed and posted calendars and put calendars on my phone that are shared with my husband and daughter's phones. But still, the list never gets done.

And yet, even with years of momhood experience, and stories that point out the futility, I keep trying. So the real question is, how do I stop? How do WE stop? Because all I can think of is heading out to buy a new and bigger calendar.

Do you have a solution? A tool that really does work? Or a technique that lets you step back from the insanity, and manage it somehow?

Can you share, please? Otherwise, I know I'll be downloading yet another planning tool by midnight.

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