Getting back on track with everything in one day

I made some resolutions at the start of this year.  I am working at them, at my own pace.  This week I feel like I am falling behind.  We had a lot of snow early last week.  I missed two days of work just digging out from under it.  My husband, who normally does the shoveling, hurt his back, and is still recovering.  So I did it myself.  It was a lot of work, and the reason I missed the second day is because I spent more than 4 hours shoveling, and it exhausted me.

So I rested for 2 days, when I wasn’t shoveling.  Eat; shovel; sleep; repeat; for 2 days.  I didn’t get much done inside the house for those days.  We managed.  We averted the crisis of having no Pepsi in the house for my husband.  It was a close one, though.  He doesn’t enjoy coffee, he likes Pepsi.  I enjoy coffee, and today, I am home without the car, so I can focus on what needs doing inside the house, and drink a lovely bucket of coffee.

I prep cook on the weekends.  It is on my list of things to do.  I need to get at the dishes and laundry.  I want to finish the kitchen and move on to other rooms, but life happens.  Other projects have popped up in the last month, so it was not a productive couple of weeks in my kitchen.

If you are following my blog, you are familiar with the Tish-ism in Bouncing the House.  It is what I do.  I crank the tunes and clean.  This is in my plans for today.  But where do I start?  There is SO much to DO and only ONE DAY.  I am a weekend warrior when it comes to cleaning, and someday, when I am more energetic or have things under control so that I only need a half hour a day in the week for maintenance house cleaning, that won’t be the case.  I will be able to manage it this way at some point, and then I will have the time I need to focus on writing and crafts.  What I WANT to do.

At the start of the year, I decided on three things as my resolutions.  Work on me by living a healthier lifestyle, clean my house, really clean it, top to bottom, and write a book.  I will not begin writing in earnest until the house is done.  I will never get the cleaning done if I jump into writing and get lost in my creativity.  I have a plan, but it takes dedication to stick to it and get it all done.  One thing at a time, one project at a time, and one day at a time.

My creative mind travels in circles, and this can be distracting when I am working on something.  I start loading the dishwasher, and go through the house to collect dishes.  I find empty bottles and cans that also need to be relocated to the kitchen for rinsing and recycling.  I fill the sink with really hot water, dish soap, and dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher.  I wander into the bedroom and find laundry that needs doing.  Get the laundry started.  And realize that the dishwasher door is still open, the dishwasher is still not full and running, and the sink now has cold water with bubbles and dirty dishes in it.

So I add more hot water to the sink of dishes, and finish loading the dishwasher and take a break at my desk for a few minutes, only to realize that I lost track of time and the water in the sink, which was too hot when I sat down, is cold again and the dishwasher is finished and needs to be unloaded and the clothes in the washer need to be put into the dryer and a new load put into the washer but there is a load in the dryer that needs to be folded and put away.  That was a long and busy sentence on purpose.  It is demonstrating how I get in a loop.

Putting things away is a hard thing for me.  I get so far with the cleaning and I just leave it for later which essentially is never and the clean clothes get piled up and the dishes are just used straight from the dishwasher so they pile up again as the dirty dishes can’t go into the dishwasher if there are clean dishes in there and you get the idea.  I go in circles, constantly, if I let myself, and when I do this, the chances of me finishing anything are slim.

What do I do to fix it?  Well, I am stubborn, and that means if I make myself do all the dishes, I can get them done.  If I don’t start ten other things at the same time.  Some of the chores in my list are the kind you start and have to walk away from, so I try to get them going first.  That is also a trap.  I need a break, and I lose three hours.  I have no concept of time at all.  

Turning the music up LOUD helps, as long as I don’t turn it down on a break.  I can’t sit at my desk for too long if the music is loud.  That is another tactic I use.  It works if I don’t just grab the remote and turn the music down so I can spend more time at my desk procrastinating from the things I really should be doing.

Another thing I am going to implement today is a list.  I find crossing things off of my list gives me a small sense of accomplishment, it means I finished that thing on my list.  I make lists whenever I travel, and go over them several times to be certain that I don’t forget anything, and I cross items off as I pack.  I don’t forget things when I have a list made.  So I need to make more lists.  This can take time and be distracting.  I can put too many things down and never get back to the list, because I need to start a new one.  Or I can just spend too much time making the list and get nothing else done.  Not productive at all.

I think today I will be making more than one list.  I also think I need to make lists more frequently until I get things back under control.  After all, that is one of the goals here, to get things under control so I can let myself do the things I want to do.  I will make two, on a small piece of paper.  One for cooking and one for cleaning.    If I just use both sides of a small piece of paper, I can flip it over, and not waste paper that way.  If the list is small; maybe, just maybe, I can finish everything on it.  And that would help to get me going in the right direction again, and help me get back on track.  OK.  Time to make my little lists and get my day going in the right direction!  When I finish them, I have two writing projects that do need my attention.  That will be my reward for getting the chores done, I can then work on some other projects that will make me feel good about working on them, not just to finish them, as I may or may not finish them by the end of the day.  Getting time to work on them, though, will be a reward I can work toward.  Progress is progress, and that is my ultimate goal for today.

to-do-list

Friday the 13th, brought to me by an upset stomach and a wardrobe malfunction

There are some things that it is prudent to be superstitious about.  Until today, I never really worried about Friday the 13th.  Then again, today was not like any other that I have experienced.

Once in a blue moon, I have issues with my digestive tract.  Today was one of those days.  From when I woke up this morning before the alarm, and even now, the tummy has been off all day.  It is usually related to something I ate, or a virus.  I am hoping for the first one, because it will work its way out faster.  So this morning set the tone for an unlucky day.

Made it to work, safely.  Many years ago, my husband was driving us somewhere on another Friday the 13th, and the wet pavement caused a minor fender bender with a taxi.  Nobody was hurt, just our budget.  Things like this happen, but they tend to stick out in your memory a little further when they happen on a Friday the 13th.

I knock on wood to scare away bad luck.  I don’t walk under ladders.  Some people have routines.  Growing up, there were lots of superstitions in Cape Breton.  Someone was always doing some little thing or blaming the spooks and running the other way throwing salt over their shoulder.

So the tummy trouble was not unusual in and of itself.  Then I made it to my break time. Normally, I make a trip to the ladies room on every break, so I don’t have to take extra breaks for that reason alone.  Some days this works.  Other days, I need the extra trip.  If it’s worse than that I usually stay home.  Today, I decided to go to work, and tough it out.

Don’t be scared, it is not a messy story.

As I was preparing to use the facilities, POP! There went the button on another pair of jeans.  The place it used to be now has a big hole where it was.    So I am thinking that I have 2 pairs of jeans for the next clothing donation day.  Good for my friend, again, not so good for my budget.

In the list of all the things to go wrong in your work day, this is not an optimal situation to be in.  Not the end of the world, in any way, but a small pickle to find oneself in, nonetheless.  I did what anybody in this situation would do.  I blamed the date, and found a paperclip.  I twisted the paperclip in such a way that I needed scissors to break out of it when I got home.  The pants are not too tight, normally, but today I found myself a little more bloated than normal, with the tummy troubles, and it caused this wardrobe malfunction.

So there you have it.  On a positive note, I survived.  The jeans were not so lucky.

Donation Day

After purging my closet a little over a month ago, I had a destination in mind for the clothes that would no longer take up space in my wardrobe.  It is a result of a furniture rearrangement project in the master bedroom.  The clothes were way out of control.  When you don’t like to put things away, they pile up, and one of two things happens.  You give up and live in a place that looks like several bombs went off, or you get fed up and do something about it.  So, during the first full week of December, my husband and I tackled the master bedroom.

Several months ago, he came home one night to find that the project was started without him.  Then I did my thing, and worked on other stuff for a while.  Until I couldn’t stand it any longer.  He had been after me to put the clothes away, and I decided it would be the perfect time to purge them.  We worked together on the furniture rearrangement.  By the time I had sorted the keep pile and was ready to get them all put away, it was heading for 3 AM.  He came to the rescue and helped me finish.  Sometimes he reminds of why I fell in love with him.  He is a keeper.  My 3 AM hero.

Fast forward to today.  I had made a point of keeping the clothing for a donation.  I have a friend that re-purposes clothing into other useful, beautiful things.  Like messenger bags.  It is a source of income for her family, and being a creative person myself, I wanted to give the two and a half bags of clothing to her.  She may find some gems to wear, and that is OK too, although most of my clothing would be the wrong size.

We had decided to go to a movie tonight.  We have seen a few movies together over the years, it is something we both enjoy.  After we delivered 50% of the clothing I used to have in my closet and in piles around the bedroom, it felt good.  There was a little twinge when I saw them one last time, but I’m never going to fit into the black and white polka dot dress I got for my sweet sixteenth birthday again.  So I passed it on, and decided a movie on cheap night was a fitting reward.

Since we had planned ahead, he made supper so we wouldn’t have to eat out.  We made the donation delivery, then rushed home to eat.  I puttered around for a couple of minutes getting ready and he went out to start the car.  That is when irony decided to rear its ugly head.  I got my coat, turned off the lights, locked the door, climbed into the car and that is when it happened.  Another pair of jeans died tonight.  On the left inside thigh, not a little hole, they are no longer fit to be worn in public.

So I sat in the car long enough to realize that I had to go change my pants.  After that fiasco, we went to the movie.  We missed the first of the trailers, but still had time to enjoy the show. (We both enjoyed Rogue 1).   Now we are home again, and I have to start a new donation pile.  Oh, the irony.

Something else came to mind in light of this unfortunate event.  A person with a thigh gap never has this problem, and I am a little jealous of that.  I am overweight, and even when I was not, this thigh gap phenomenon has never been something I have experienced.  Year after year I wear through the inner thighs of my pants.  Mostly jeans, because I love a comfy pair of jeans.  Until I walk my way through them.  It’s not like a seam tear that can be fixed.  The fabric actually wears down to the point where it is almost see through, and then they blow out.  It’s not even a size issue, because they fit comfortably, it is just where they are worn out from being a favourite pair of jeans.

As hard as it was to give away the treasured pieces of my wardrobe by choice, another pair of jeans going down was far more traumatic.  There are times when I notice the fabric is starting to look worn, and I can prepare myself for the inevitable tragedy.  Today was not one of those days.  At least it happened at home, in my driveway, and a change of pants was not a big deal. It could have been worse.  What is the silver lining here?  I have to go shopping for new jeans.  I guess it is time for a new pair.  Time to start looking for a good sale.  One or two pairs of new jeans would be a treat too.