Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time Mismanagement

Inspired by Jessica's post, "the Reading Lunch", I decided to try and get my life on some sort of a schedule. The thing is, having a baby throws everything off. No two days are alike. And I love that, because there's no way to get stuck in a rut! Will has only morning and night classes, with three day weekends. My class is online, so with the exception of a collaborate session every other week, I'm completely flexible.

This means I can sleep as late as the baby allows. This means I can nap with the baby whenever we're both tired. This means my days are free to spend time with my family, and if an adventure tickles our fancy, well - off we can go!

This means I (too often...) leave my schoolwork until the last minute. This means I occasionally forget a lot of everything I don't write down. This means I keep thinking I need to read for class, even when I can't focus.

Jessica's post struck me because I too like to schedule and over-schedule, even though I know by now I never accomplish what I think I will. The thing is... her goal is manageable. And it made me think about my days, and how I could make them more manageable.

This means reading for fun will happen when I wake up in the morning, and before bed at night. If I manage to make time for a midday meal, I can read then, too. I'll get to wake up slowly with an enjoyable activity, and drift off to sleep during an enjoyable activity. On the nights I don't pass out on the couch at 10p, that is.

My schoolwork will, whenever possibly, be done in the morning hours. I don't mind sitting at my desk then because the coffee is still hot and the baby is just fine playing by himself.

Afternoons are for chores and/or errands. Or pleasure reading, if I have a particularly productive morning. As I said, our days are pretty unpredictable, so it's not like every day will go like this. But as long as I start getting my work done well ahead of time, and stop forgetting things, then I'll feel like it's a good schedule.

And... go!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Birthdays vs. Achievement Days

I celebrated my birthday last week. When asked what I wanted, all I could come up with was coffee. This is the first gift-getting holiday I haven't wanted anything. As spoiled as it makes me sound, that was a big deal to me. I figure it's partially because I'm a mama now and want stuff for my baby instead, and partially because I'm old enough to get most of what I want or need, instead of having to wait to get it as a gift. Disclaimer: This is not to say that I don't appreciate gifts, because they're generous, sweet, and thoughtful.
Adam Carolla has an approach to birthdays that I've started to agree with. He doesn't think people should be congratulated for being born and for living another year. I love celebrating others' birthdays (and for some people, making it through alive IS a big deal!), so I don't necessarily agree with that. Will had never had a birthday party or homemade birthday cake before he met me, so I love making his day special for him. It makes me feel good to show him how I love him. And making birthdays amazing for Baby T is going to be so much fun! But I digress.

According to Mr. Carolla, once you hit a certain age you don't celebrate your birthday anymore. You celebrate an achievement day. Whatever your biggest achievement to date may be, that's your new day of celebration. For some people, graduating high school or college may be their achievement days. Getting a dream job or a promotion could be an achievement day. Writing a book or inventing an app could be an achievement day.

My achievement day would be my son's birthday. That was the day I endured the worst pain I've ever felt, pain that made me throw up. I gave birth to him naturally, even though there was a time I was begging for drugs, a time I begged the midwife to just get it out for me. I did it all myself (with major support from Will, but still). I was on an adrenaline high for days after; I felt like Wonder Woman. I still do, when I think about it.

Claiming Baby T's birthday as my achievement day will be a little confusing until he's old enough to have his own achievement day. Then again, he rolled over for the first time on my birthday, so maybe he can claim that, and we'll just trade dates.

What would your achievement day be?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Eight Months In

This post is going to be a little sad, because this topic is pretty much pointless now. I barely made it past 2014's halfway point before my resolutions kind of disintegrated... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

In August, I read 7 books, putting me at 61 books towards my goal of 100. I have to read 18 children and young adult books for a class this fall, and I'm not sure if I should count those on my list... I have to read them, even the picture books, because I have to write detailed reviews. So I'm not skimming through, glancing at the pictures and not absorbing the words. We'll see. I'd like to reach 100 adult-ish books, but I read YA anyway, so those should count. I'm not sure about the picture books. I read to Baby T every day and put those books on his Goodreads account, but not mine...

I wrote no articles. I thought I would submit two a month to Huffington Post, but that didn't happen. I had ideas, but the more I tried to flesh them out, the more they fell apart. And I don't want to submit something lackluster. So I just... didn't write. And I didn't write for myself. I had a writing workshop with Will and my writing-friend Alex, but we mostly discussed her work. I'm fine with that - I feel empty when it comes to writing. Maybe because the rest of my life is so full?

I have a chance to do more freelance design work, also, but I haven't accepted any. I just... don't feel ready yet. Part of it is because I'm taking two library science classes this semester, so that's eighteen hours of graduate-level work to ensure I get decent grades. Plus Baby T is pretty much all-consuming. He's changing so rapidly and learning so much every day; I want to be with him all the time. I read for school and for pleasure after he's in bed, and do my online work a day or two before deadline because I spend time with Will, also, so... I keep thinking I should work, to be doing something productive and to bringing in some money, but I'm breastfeeding, which is super productive, and a money-saver. We're doing cloth diapers and put up a clothesline to cut down on energy usage. We have bills, gas, and groceries, and that's pretty much it, so we're doing fine. I need to accept that; I keep trying to justify my choice to stay home too much. Plus I'm still working on a book idea - it's in the research stage right now but I think it's going to happen.

[See One Month In // Two Months In // Three Months In // Four Months In // Five Months In // Six and Seven Months In]