Blair and I had breakfast on Sunday with a couple we're good friends with whose schedule mirrors ours in terms of sheer chaos. The discussion turned to long-term planning and as a group, we all laughed aloud. Long term planning? It's a race to get through each day and get done what absolutely, positively has to be done that day. Who has time for long-term planning?
And yet without it, life stagnates and you find yourself in a whirling circle, chasing your own tail but never moving forward. I'll take the time now and again to write out some long-range goals or dreams and the steps to take me there and sometimes I'll follow the plan, but more typical is that the project of the moment rears its head and I turn my attention and energies to that instead. (And there is always a new project or issue rearing its head).
I'm not sure what the answer is. Blair and I are "watching" life at the moment to see if this has just been an unusually full two months or if the pattern of only seeing each other 20 minutes a day is more of a permanent issue that needs addressed. What do you do if it is a problem? Work less? Turn down work? I have that option but Blair doesn't. And since I like my work and only take on projects that interest me, I'm not sure turning down work is the answer.
I have disengaged myself from several groups which I'm hoping will clear time. I've dropped 2 writers groups and Dale Carnegie ends in 4 weeks so that will free up Tuesday nights as well. Leaving the writers groups not only frees up drive time and meeting time but also the time required to do the prep work to be ready to meet with the group. The trick now is not to take on anything new.
If I ever do clear some free time, here are a few projects I'd like to see completed:
- Update my website - Need to add new book cover, new book page, new headshot photos, possibly overhaul the entire site and lose the maniac kitty-cat at the typewriter or at least move him back to a humor or pets page.
- Wash windows. We have 42 windows, each 16-paned, so this is no small task. But I love looking out sparkling clean windows and ours are approaching the point where the cats are going to start writing "WASH ME" in the dirt.
- Hang pictures. We managed to have them framed, now need to find a home for them.
- Paint the exercise room. The exercise room has the same duck (yes, duck) border it had when we moved in and I've been ready to make it go away for years. However, that means scraping wallpaper, moving heavy exercise equipment, and a large time investment.
- Re-polyurethane the wood floors. Not something I'm looking forward to. I've avoided it for 11 years and I hate to ruin such a strong record.
- Decorate for Halloween. This includes set building as we are "the" house for trick-or-treaters. We do themes every year and now have a reputation we feel obliged to live up to as being the "cool" house on the block--at least at Halloween. We're thinking of building a bridge and doing the Headless Horseman theme this year.
- Pull out winter clothes and pack summer clothes away. Once I get cold enough, I'll do this.
- Play more with the cats. The guilt increases as I too often ignore them.
- Spend more time with Blair. (Goes without saying)
- Finish final draft work on public speaking book and get to critique group.
- Organize scrapbook. The papers and souvenirs from England/Scotland remain piled in a bag, crying to be sorted out.
- Visit friends. A close friend of mine moved back to Durham from DC almost 4 months ago and I haven't been able to find a weekend yet when I'm free to go see her.
There's a host of other things but I'm feeling slightly nauseas just looking at this list, so we'll leave it alone. Although, I'm a bit encouraged too. This was the first morning in months that I didn't have to be up at 5 AM. I slept in until 6 and it was heavenly. Since the festival was rained out this weekend, I got the house cleaned and we completed a few household tasks we'd been putting off. Had breakfast with friends on Sunday. Went for a 50-minute run yesterday. Am meeting friends for dinner before Dale Carnegie today.
I almost feel like I have an actual life going on again.