Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Getting Things Done
Each day is so much work at staying afloat that I often feel very overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, in fact, that some days all I can do is sit there not doing anything. I often feel like Goldie Hawn's character in the movie Overboard, the part where she is sitting on the couch after her first day of being alone with the four boys, and she is staring off into space while they throw grapes at her, saying, "bah, bah, bah," over and over again.
The thing that leaves me feeling overwhelmed is usually just thinking of all the things I need to or want to do each day. When I sit down and make a list, sometimes I get so discouraged looking at the length of it that my body seems to shut down and I can't seem to do anything at all!
Now, I have a small defect in my personality, and that is being a perfectionist. More like an idealistic perfectionist, where I want things to meet up to my expectations of how I think things should be and if they fall short, I beat myself up about it.
Here is an example of what I'm talking about. I want to really get down and spend good quality time with my kids. I think my family spends way too much time in front of the television or computer and we should spend more quality time together. My sister-in-law gave me a book called The Preschooler's Busy Book. I've looked at it and some of the ideas are great! However, the majority of suggested activities require certain supplies, which I don't already have on hand and would need to collect. I compile a list of what I need, based on the suggestions in the book, and realize how much money I would need to spend to get these items together. Since I'm one who can't seem to start a project without having everything in order first, doing the activities that I have supplies for and gathering the rest of the supplies as I go is simply not an option for me. No matter how hard I try to break away from that tendency, I am never successful.
My list includes things like going through toys and "organizing" them (freecycling what I don't want and better organizing the rest into plastic bins), finding a better system for storing and cycling clothes that are off-season or too big/too small for the kids, cleaning out my dresser of clothes I will not likely wear again or clothes that are off-season, starting a filing system for the visual aids and activities we've made for our primary class that could be used for Family Home Evening, making behavior charts and chore charts for the kids, going through food storage and better planning each week's shopping list. The list goes on and on to include more worthwhile free time pursuits, like reading good books, exercising, and writing or scrapbooking, or doing a better job at keeping our side of the house clean.
Whenever my husband is home from work and doesn't have homework to do, he asks me if there's anything that can be done. Honey, there's always something that can be done! Always something more worthwhile to do than watch TV or frequent blogs and other websites (my weakness!). I think I need to come up with some sort of schedule to control how I spend my time. It's just very difficult for me to even be motivated to do it, even though I stress out about not doing it. Like I said, I have high expectations for myself and am constantly beating myself up for not meeting them.