Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Big To-do about To-dos

A Big To-do about To-dos
A Wings Challenge

It is interesting how these Wings Challenges seem to come just when I need them,  I am not sure this one is going to give me any answers, maybe just questions to look at.

I just had a big birthday.  All birthdays are big, in a sense.  But this one seems somehow bigger.  I am now officially, in this area anyway, a senior citizen and a crone.  I am 62.  I get discounts now, and I get constipated.  I get fat easily and don't have as much energy as I use to.  I'm a lot more forgetful and more disorganized.  I didn't want to look 20 years ahead in case I might be dead or dying.  My parents both died at 83 and weren't doing to well at 82!  I want to be different.  I want to live longer than that.  But there is no guarantee that I will with my genetic time bombs ticking.  I have a brain tumor, a meningioma, same one that essentially killed my Mom.

Does any of that have anything to do with my to-do lists and priorities?  You bet.

First on my to-do list?  Take good care of myself.

First to be ignored?  Exactly that, way too often.

I get tired, I get stressed, I do stupid things.  Unwise things.

So, how do I organize my priorities?  Very poorly, but I keep trying!  Maybe I should mention that I also have ADHD!  AK!

I have tried many systems and read many books on "getting organized" and have tried over and over and always failed.  (A fourth step note:  I am very disorganised!)

Here are some of the things I've tried:

  • notebooks of lists.  Sometimes, this works well, until I lose it in a heap of $#|^!  (otherwise know as piles of unsorted stuff or archaeological dig sites.)  I've tried both loose leaf and spiral notebooks to keep lists in.  Each has its advantages.
  • I keep lists on my computer
  • I keep lists on-line
  • I keep lists at my yahoo calendar
  • I keep lists in my journal
  • I keep lists in my PDA
  • I write notes to myself on scraps of paper and promptly lose them,or some of them.
  • I keep lists in my head.  This works very poorly as I promptly forget anything but the most appealing items.
  • I sometimes make lists for my husband and son--they aren't very task oriented sometimes.  But it's not up to me to take their inventory.  But things need to be done.  Sigh.

OK, like I said, I have no answers, only questions.  Like HELP!  How can I do it better and make it work?

At New Year's and at my birthday and randomly throughout the year, I like to look at how I am progressing toward my goals.  Usually not very well, but I've always made some progress.  Then I reevaluate my goals, set new subgoals and priorities, and march forward.  And promptly get distracted by a variety of mew projects or old projects newly surfacing and rearing their tempting heads.  For example, I have multiple books in progress, poetry books, novels, children's novels, children's picture books.  One goal is to complete each of these in turn and send them off to publishers.  Another goal is to unpack from my not-so recent move.  I try to alternate between these tasks, as otherwise I would only play (eg: do art).  So I was unpacking a box from my move and found an old manuscript.  We were just leaving on vacation and I spent my spare vacation time writing new chapters to this old manuscript rather than working on one of my nearly finished works.

OK, I am not finding any solutions here.

Here are (some of) my goals: 

  1. to be as healthy as possible and take the best possible care of myself
  2. to take good care of my mind if possible (my mother had dementia)
  3. to be a loving partner and mother and friend
  4. to finish my novels, poetry manuscripts and other projects in an orderly way and send them out
  5. to create a sense of order and a pleasing environment for myself and my family (that will never happen at the rate I'm going!)

 There are (some of the) subgoals to each of these:

  1. eat right (a major problem), get sufficient exercise, sleep well (a major problem for me), rest, play, work in balance
  2. use my mind creatively and for various problems, read, etc
  3. take time for husband, son, friends
  4. do the to-do lists associated with each project, in an orderly as possible way, starting with the ones most nearly completed
  5. unpack and get rid of stuff!, clean and neaten

Of course there are lots of other goals, large and small, and ongoing things always cropping up that have to be factored in like my son's upcoming recitals and graduation, etc.  How to organize everything?  I have no answers.  AK!  I tend to feel overwhelmed and unworthy because I cannot seem to be able to orchestrate all this as I feel I should.  The evidence of my failure is all around me.  The world has expectations of me--and so do I!  How does one DO IT?

Simplify simplify simplify?  But the world and I keep trying to make things complicated and overwhelming!

First thing on my to-do list:  take a deep breath.  Change my clothes.  Take my son to Piano recital rehearsal.  Make dinner.  Something healthy.  Put one foot in front of the first.  Cram some exercise int here.  Try to get to bed at a reasonable time.  Stop blogging and start working.  (Blogging can be just another form of procrastination for me.)

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin