Sunday, September 9, 2012

Great Expectations

Ever since I have decided to give myself a break on my self-imposed "great expectations," I feel much more at ease with any progress I make in the house.  Before, I told myself that I must clean/pick-up/declutter for 15 minutes per day.  It sounds good in theory, but after being awake for 24+ hours and dragging my ass home after working 13+ of those hours, the last thing I'm going to do is clean for 15 minutes.  Just sayin'.  Other times, I'm just busy or otherwise occupied (Pinterest is a HUGE culprit.) and I just don't get around to doing much of anything.  Next thing I know, my house looks like a episode of "Hoarders:  The Beginning."

Since my epiphany and subsequent "line in the sand" post from Friday, I have made an effort to not expect too much out of myself.  It makes the feeling of failure much less acute and I can feel better on what DID get done and not focus on what DIDN'T.

Hopefully this new mindset will be more beneficial to me than such a regimented task list that I once imposed upon myself.

By the way, today I climbed on a kitchen chair and decluttered and cleaned the top of my fridge.  I also moved some items around in my kitchen that put them in a more sensible place.

I inherited some pieces of vintage pyrex/bakeware from my great-grandmother (which I originally had stored in a very accessible place in my kitchen) and a creepy looking cookie jar from my great-great aunt.  I adored both of these women and they were a true testament of strong, intelligent women.  I will never use the items that I inherited, yet I can't bring myself to sell/donate them.  So, I put them where they will not be in my way and I can keep them until I can figure out a use for them.

I also spent about an hour picking up and cleaning other random areas of the house.

I feel good about today and that is what matters.  :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Line in the Sand

Today, I draw the line in the sand.  Today I am done with expecting too much of myself.  It is great for me to have goals and dreams, but when I make my goals and dreams too far-fetched, I set myself up for failure and disappointment.

Let's take last month's blog posts for an example.  I believe that I had a total of seven blog posts and I haven't uploaded to the blog in weeks.  Why?  Because I felt overwhelmed.  I felt that if I couldn't do a great job, then I shouldn't even bother with trying.  I had some great ideas for blog posts and I even had a theme for this month.  I had set a tentative goal to blog 3 days a week, and I did pretty well until I got overwhelmed (and probably a little bit lazy).

All this "goal-setting" makes me feel good until I don't follow through and then I feel bad about myself.  I get these awesome ideas for things to do, or think of things that I should be doing and next thing I know, it's time to go to bed/work/do something else that I'm obligated to do.

So, how do I find out where my time goes?  I have a really good idea that a HUGE chunk of it goes to the Internet.  *I'm looking at you Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail.*  I really enjoy spending time on the Internet, but as I check out all these uber-cool blogs, I see how lacking my home-based achievements are.

I have read hundreds of articles on time management and procrastination.  Every single one of them says to make a To-Do list and follow through on it.  Here's how that works for me:

0800--"I should make a to-do list for myself today!  That way I can get tons of stuff done!"
0810--"Okay, now that I have found my favorite pen and pad of paper I can write down all my tasks for today!"
0820--"Now that I have scribbled my tasks done, I see how messy and disorganized it looks.  Let me rewrite it so it looks pretty."  (Note to self:  The list looks disorganized because there are eleventy billion items on it!)
0830--"Much better!  Now, what should I do first?  Oh yes, let's gather the laundry and put some clothes in the washer.  While the washer is doing it's thing, I will create my menu plan for the next week and grocery list.  That way, I can go to the grocery store later today."
0840--"Wow!  I sure have a lot of yummy looking recipes on my Recipe board on Pinterest!  Let's take a look at some of them...."
1000--"Wow!  That went by quickly!  Let me just jot down some items that I know that I need from the store and I will just make a quick trip.  But first, what's going on in Facebook world?"
1145--"Yawn!  I'm sleepy.  I think I will take a nap and THEN get up and tackle my list...."

You get the point...

Before I know it, my husband is calling at 5:30 p.m. saying that he is on his way home and I haven't done the first productive thing.  Well, except make out my "menu plan."  Then I rush around the house trying to make it more presentable before Frank gets home and sees my lack of productiveness.  This process makes me feel lazy and useless, when I know that I'm not really that way.  I just expect too much out of myself and once I realize that I can't do it all, I give up altogether.

After thinking all of this through, I decided that today, September 7, 2012, is the last day that I'm going to look at the past and judge myself on it.  I'm drawing the line in the sand and I am starting from there!

In an effort to not overwhelm myself in "To-Do's," I am going to give myself a to-do list with a maximum of 5 items on it per day.  Once I have completed those items and I want to do more, more power to me.  But, if I can just get those 5 items done, then I can feel good about my progress for the day.