I had planned on posting this last week, but I didn’t get to it. So goes my life these days.
The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. Despite the fact that this is actually a misquote from a Robert Burns poem, truer words have never been spoken for me these past few weeks.
Every autumn when the boys go back to school, I have grand plans and good intentions to accomplish a series of projects. Things like reorganizing the study/office and redecorating the guest room. Once we establish a new schedule and get into a rhythm, I’m usually good to go. But not this year. This year, I just can’t seem to get anything done. Or even started for that matter. Big or small, it doesn’t matter the size of the task. I’ve become a procrastinator.
Case in point #1: Back in August, I bought an unfinished bedside table to paint for my son’s room. It’s still in my basement, untouched.
Case in point #2: My financial advisor requested a document from me back on July 1. I gave it to him last week … on September 25.
These delays are out of character for me. Procrastination is not my norm. I am usually a highly organized, do-things-right-away type of person. I make lists, take care of business and cross things off those lists. I thrive on that. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me happy.
As a planner, I wake up each morning before everyone else so I can map out my day. I decide what needs to get done versus what I want to get done. I review the color-coded family calendar (don’t hate!), consult my never-ending “To Do” list, take inventory of time-sensitive deadlines and factor in time for my workout and a shower (if I’m lucky). Before I know it, the day is full of thankless, mundane “mom jobs.” No time to write or start/finish any of those fabulous home projects I have lined up, like painting that bedside table or cleaning out the garage. On the off days when I do have time, I seem to be stuck. An overwhelming feeling of being out of time has me frozen.
So what gives? Why do I feel more overwhelmed this school year? I think I may have finally figured it out …
I lost almost four hours of my day. Four hours!
Having two kids in two different schools means my “work day” starts earlier and ends later. There are now two “shifts” to every aspect of my life, from the morning routine to the evening protocol. (Thanks to long football practices, late showers and a second round of dinner are the norm now.) Add in those unplanned time-stealers, like having to drive back to school to retrieve forgotten text books and homework assignments (yup, twice last week!), and I have even less time to handle my business. No wonder I’m feeling squeezed.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for sympathy. I know I’m not the only one juggling multiple schedules. And I know plenty of moms with more on their plates than me. I’ve just come to the realization that my life has changed and until my youngest gets to middle school in three years, this will be my new normal. I’m saying it aloud so it sinks in.
So what’s a highly organized, list-making, get-things-done person like me to do? First, stop dwelling on how it used to be. Next, change my attitude. Then, make a new plan, leave room for the unexpected and get to work! I’m sure there will still be days when the floors don’t get swept or someone arrives late to practice, but I’ll do my best and remember that there’s always tomorrow.
As for all those personal projects I am hoping to accomplish, there’s still time. How? I’m bringing in the big guns to get me started … my mom. She’s coming to visit for a couple of days to teach me how to sew. I don’t expect to be making Halloween costumes anytime soon, but I should be able to hem a pair of pants by the end of the week … and cross something off my “To Do” list.
Now let’s keep our fingers crossed that everyone brings home their homework so I don’t have to make that extra trip back to school again.