Monday, August 30, 2010

Being my own [worst] critic

Papers piled high on every horizontal surface in the dining room, boxes in living room, baskets of dirty laundry in my bedroom, kitchen counters with dishes and food containers, recycling containers overflowing.  Welcome to my empty and messy "nest".



Each day I look over my Day Zero list and annotate a dated document containing notes about the progress I made the previous day.  In that way, I can collect what I need for my monthly update post.  But, right now, I'm obsessing about several goals that I planned to have finished by some date or another in July or August, noting that almost none of them were completed.  Some had no progress at all.     Naturally, because I'm my own worst critic, all I see is the failure to get anything done.   

Then my sane(r) self kicks in and reminds me that I've had Younger Daughter at home for the past month, German Daughter here for 3 weeks, and, more recently, Older Daughter at home for a brief post-surgical stay (emergency appendectomy).  Follow that with delivering her back to camp for a weekend and scheduling a post-op checkup that didn't require 2 hours of driving for a 5 minute appointment.  In the space of one week, there were exactly 2 days that I wasn't driving on the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania turnpike!

After all that fun (?), Older Daughter came home to get unpacked from camp and re-packed for her senior year at college, loading the car, and driving to Washington, DC to move her in -- all in less than 72 hours.  Then poor Younger Daughter got to haul the detritus from the living room to Older Daughter's room (I do have to go to work occasionally), so she could take over the space to pack for her freshman year.  That trip, this past Friday was in the other direction -- just one week after the DC trip.

Maybe all of this activity had something to do with why my self-imposed deadlines (set up in June) weren't met, d'ya think?

So I remind myself that I'm not super-woman or super-mom or super-anyone.   When my energy and time are going in one direction (children), they aren't available to spend on my task list.  (Even this post was begun much earlier in August, but took until the 30th of the month to finish.)  Simple and obvious as that  seems to other people, I need to make a conscious effort to remember it and put down the hammer that I am about to use to beat myself over the head.   

But at least I managed to add one blog post in August -- even if it was about why I feel like I didn't get anything done in August.   Success on item #101.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

101 in 1001: Month 1 progress report (July 2010)

1001 days equals approximately 33 months, so each month would be just over an inch on a yardstick.
 So I've probably reached about here:
I have completed a number of entries on my list!
  2.   Finish sorting and organizing sewing room (7/9/10)
  4.   Organize 3rd floor sufficiently for a bedroom (7/21/10)
19.   Have chimney flue relined (7/9/10)
32.   Monitor mortgage interest rates...  (Papers submitted 7/31/10)
65.   Catch up on birthday blocks  (7/10/10)
100. Learn to add photos to a blog; do it (7/14/10)

Really feels good to have SIX items completed -- all in one month. 

A few are partially completed:
12.   Finish small things around house (About half are finished)
23.   Balanced & closed old checking account
            (Still need to enter data & balance new checking account)
79.   Bought "jelly roll" (Will make a quilt top later)

And a number are in progress:
1.   Catch up on newspapers (Less than 3 weeks behind now)
5.   Empty storage space (Made 3 trips in July)
6.   Organize basement.  (Missed just one week of 2-hr shifts)
7.   Get rid of one thing a day (Ahead on this!)
    Categories:   Fabric                             Food                        Clothing
                        Books                             Household               Craft-y stuff
A few things were given away to individuals or organizations, some was discarded, the majority was set aside for charity pick-up at the end of this week. 
  8.   Get Besta cabinets at Ikea (Bought, but not yet assembled)
29.   Get divorced... (Met with H and he reports he has started paperwork)
33.   Attend M. College "Family Weekend" every year
            (Made hotel reservations for fall 2010)
36.   Resume taking vitamins (Not yet daily but more frequently)
43.   Attend last A. University "Family Weekend" (Bought train ticket)
48.   Watched 6 movies (6/125):                Where the heart is     
                Ferris Bueller's day off
                The Player
                The Wedding planner
                Definitely, maybe
                While you were sleeping
                The Curious case of Benjamin Button
49. Finished 1 book (1/60):
            A Place of hiding -- Elizabeth George (owned)
66/67/68.  Worked on 3 baby quilts (All ready to be machine quilted)
69.   Started C.B.'s quilt (1 of 4 panels done)
84.   Increase monthly contributions
            July: Unicef        
86.    Donate no-longer-wanted fabric to ASHS
            (Cleaned out stash; emailed advisor at ASHS)
99.    Update blog with progress (Here it is!)
101.  Add at least one blog post a month (Posted 5 times in July)

I'm finding that the process of having the goals helps me to prioritize the use of my time.  The one category I see that I didn't address at all was  "RECREATION", but most of those require more planning and setting aside at least a day.   Considering there are 12 items and I'm only one month into this, I'm not concerned.  However, I've realized that my "goal dates" for a few of the items were too ambitious, so I've already missed some.  But I will get the storage space cleaned out on deadline because I don't want to lay out any more money for the rent!

The most perplexing is the daily "de-cluttering".  I can't really count every single thing or I'd have 6 months at a time when I put out several boxes and bags for charity pickup.  Not the purpose.  But I do have a count of "surplus" from the days when I have 8 totally different items -- figuring this will even out for days when nothing I do really lends itself to getting rid of anything.    I think it's working for me -- and that's all that really matters!