Saturday, March 17, 2007

my cup runneth over... (a new twist)

The other day I was at a meeting and a woman remarked that if she didn't work she didn't think she'd get anything done (she would just put everything off). I had to laugh I don't "work" and at many times it seems like i don't get things done (seeing as cleaning the house and organizing with a toddler around is purely lateral movement and yields no quantitative measurable progress) in a day I really do get a lot done. If you know me you know I like a full life, My life is one giant multi-tasking extravaganza- there are always 100 things going on in my life. And most of the time it is all fine and I stay very busy, but very satisfied with my life- sometimes though there are delays, unforseen incidents that get thrown into the mix and that when things get dicey and i push myself or things get more chaotic than I would like. The common response I get though is that i need to learn to say no--(unlike many women I am actually a good limit setter and generally feel very in control of the boundaries in my life) but you know the simple answer is I don't want to say no. Here is reason- if i can work it into my schedule I'll say yes-I say yes because life is short- you get just so many minutes- as much as i would love time to sit contemplatively, to ponder, relax-- I tend to prioritize in the camp of doing etc- I am by nature a doer- a fast and furious doer. And I take my analogy this way- if life is a glass of water would i rather only fill it half way or would i rather fill it so full some sloshes over the side (yes the stuff I don't get to or get to put the time or energy I want into) Now, if i got paid for all i do I would probably be a wealthy woman. I find I am constantly in a state of decision making, prioritization. My to-do list right now has 19 things on it-- None of those are cleaning, meals, child rearing, etc. They are the other responsibilities. See to me the family stuff comes first (okay not all the cleaning does and sorting my food storage shelves doesn't always rank) and the rest are squish ins- which is why my to do list is never done- actually there are things on there that stay on there for months. I wake up knowing that i can never accomplish what is on my to-do list which is at times very depressing...But to me there is a moral element to it. I have to be the kind of mom that lets my kids make messes, that doesn't let them watch much TV, that cuddles them and reads to them because it makes a big difference. I care about the quality of education and not only for my children but the rest of the children in my community and so I go to meetings and volunteer. I believe in helping people in areas where I have expertise it is the moral thing to do. Yes it's alot- but you tell me what i should cut out? what doesn't make a difference? I can tell you i feel better doing these things than watching oprah or getting my nails done.
Here's my week in review (by sub categories):

Town ed foundation- meeting at my house with fresh cookies, shopping for gift basket items (3 different stores), assembling glam baskets for auction dance event next sat, sewing dress to wear to event, working on painting to donate at event, met up with two different people to drop off/pickup items
PTO- meeting this week, researching available grant money, and budgeting out a family book writing event, making posters/sinage for next friday festival.
Church- planning a lesson, helping a few different individuals with personal crises at the time, family night, scriptures, prayers
School- volunteered in smart sons classroom doing learning centers, taught after school painting class
Family- family night complete with games and instruments, made homemade donuts, got tadpole shrimp habitat set up, played countless rounds of legos, read a ton of books, played creative games, helped smart son make a kite for show and tell, took boys to the library, set up after school treasure hunt, practiced piano w/ smart son & took him to music.
Friends- helped two friends on their dissertations this week, spent more that 3 hrs this week on the phone with people providing professional educational counseling, delivered muffins to someone sick, committed to do cake and flowers for a wedding in july,
Home- paid bills, 7 loads of laundry, dinners, cleaning, grocery shopping, lunch making, planned vacations, booked 4 sets of airline tickets, set up 3 appts for the kids
Personal- had a drs appt, painting, listened to a few podcasts, watched dvd of oscar wildes good woman, showered 75% of the time, hair done 50% of the time, blogged!
Other - cleaned major diaper disaster (more than 2hrs), major makeup disaster,

9 comments:

Courtney said...

I like the water sloshing analogy. It's great to see someone so busy by choice and to have such a great attitude rather than playing the martyr card. Keep up the hard work. On the other hand, I think I'll go lie down.

Woodbury Fam said...

Just reading your list has exhausted me and stressed me out! I like the idea of writing down everything you did in categories. I think there are so many times we look back at our day and think "I didn't do anything today" but writing them down completely changes that frame of mind. Hail to you, Super Woman.

Char said...

You only had to do 7 loads of laundry? LUCKY!

:o)

smart mama said...

courtney- sad things is i probably get a lot of sloshing...

michelle- you know i come by this genetically...

char- the funniest was thursday when dh told me smart son only had one pair of pants left and i said (totally seriously) "no there have to be more in there i only have 5 loads in the laundry room- keep looking!"

Alissa said...

i love that you ended with a comma... love.

Nettie said...

I was just thinking about you the other day and the active pace you seem to be able to maintain. It is impressive, and I'm glad that it is something you do by choice. I'm not nearly so involved in so many things (and yet my "to do" list never is done, either)and that is definitely by choice as well. I guess knowing what size "cup" we each have is key to our happiness in this area!

Anonymous said...

I used to be this way with one child--she went everywhere with me, we were involved in everything and I loved it! But then my twins came along and it was all over. I tried to keep up the pace, but the babies let me know in no uncertain terms that they were not up for that kind of lifestyle. Since then we've had another baby and I have learned the hard way that I need to slow down and try to remain sane. I've found that when I am too commited to outside activities, my family really suffers. It has been so difficult to give up things I really want to do. However, as my kids grow up I see more chances to return to my old "super woman" self. I'm trying to be more wise about what I get involved with and make sure it really fits with who I want to become. Thanks for sharing your list!

Lei said...

come over and claim your thinking blogger award!!!

Gabriela said...

2 hour diaper disaster clean up? Yikes!

I like to be busy too. Not quite as busy as you tho...