A leap forward in making use of time

I broke my Saturday pattern today! Didn’t quite shatter it, but made a significant improvement in my usual list of activities, and without having to leave town to do it. Here’s what I did:

  • weeded the front garden
  • sorted three piles of mail
  • organized the vestibule
  • had two naps
  • took the dog and the daughter for a walk to buy garbage bags
  • put away the winter extension cords

There were quite a few other things I wanted to get done, but I count it as a victory that I didn’t sleep half or most of my day away. It helped that my son had to go to a karate workshop at 10 am, so I had to get up at a reasonable time to get him moving, too. And that the sun came out at 11 am, warming it up enough outside to be comfortable. 

I’m always so torn, at this time of year, between being outside as much as possible and using the sunlight to fuel spring cleaning on the inside. There isn’t enough time for both. I want my house to be aesthetically pleasing, as well as clean and organized, but that’s a losing battle. The outside is much easier to manage. It’s just dirt, weeds, and whatever useful plants I put in the ground. And dog poop, but I can handle that. On the inside, there’s the piles of laundry that never seem to end, the stacks of mail that ought to be sorted and filed (I’m sharing that blame with the hubby, because he’s just as bad as I am with opening and filing envelopes. I don’t open his correspondance, and he doesn’t open mine, so between the two of us, there’s a healthy pile of paper to manage!), and all the other stuff that adds up to clutter. 

The good news, though, is that my Bridget is getting better at helping out! She cleaned up her crafting mess this afternoon, without having to be told a second time, and she started cleaning her room (with the help, and perhaps urging, of her little friend Jason). And I have a promise from Jack to sort and fold ALL of the laundry this weekend for some spending money for his upcoming grade 8 trip to Toronto. I also surprised the heck out of myself on Friday evening by vaccuming the couch and finally putting the cushion covers back on — although I can’t find one of them in the laundry pile . . . Remember what I said about the losing battle, though? It’s not just the two-legged family members who are responsible for that. I found a bag of cookies (hard as a rock) and a bag of mashed-up hamburger buns in the couch, and the next morning, when I started on the love seat, I found a — wait for it — stick of butter buried between the cushion and the arm. And it’s not the first time Skittles has buried butter in the couch! But, still, we are making progress — Jack is helping out by cleaning up whatever mess the dog has made when he gets home, though I still have to ask him to do so 75% of the time. Baby steps, right?

Tomorrow, I have a meeting at 12 that will last most of the afternoon. My mission is to get more cleaning done inside and weed another patch of garden. Plus I have my marking, and I have to wrap up the edits / proofreading that are taking me far too long on Crystal and Wand — that latter has been a real struggle to complete. Doesn’t help that I’ve had more days lately where I can’t sit or stand comfortably for more than a few minutes, but the regular visits to the chiropractor are helping with that, little by little. I used a chair to help me with the weeding today, but I found that I couldn’t do much more than 20 minutes without pain. It’s hard to focus on certain things when you’re hurting. For my friends with chronic pain isues — I know I don’t have it as badly as you do, but over the last month or two, my understanding has definitely increased. 

So, goals are set and I will work on being easier on myself for not getting all things accomplished. I feel like I should be some kind of Super Woman, and it’s hard to accept that I am not. Would be much easier to be resolved either way, though.

On catching up with regular life…

Mentioned to hubby today that I wish I were more self-sufficient. Better at recycling (sadly, there is little evidence that our municipality does anything with our recycling, save storing it at the landfill) — I’d like to be better at repurposing, doing things with the stuff I’ve saved for the reason of making crafts and whatnot, making my own paper and improving my garden, etc. 

All of that requires me to get off my ass and DO . . . when all I want after work every day is to crash. 

Case in point: I’d planned to do so much with my day today, cleaning out the garden beds or tidying up the clutter indoors, and I got none of it done. I slept or snuggled with my hubby for most of the day, which felt good after so many stressful days in the past few months, but also left me feeling guilty. 

Tomorrow, there must be no laziness. I’ve got a play read through at noon, and it would be nice to head to that with other chores accomplished. 

I wish that I could get one of those professional organization shows to come up here. That would be so cool.

A long Saturday and Saturnight

Mixed bag today. Stayed up late again last night in an admittedly low-energy, low-yield effort to clean, then fought to wake up this morning to continue before my parents came. Darling hubby got up and took charge of it so I could rest a little longer. Lovely visit with my mom and dad, who brought nice gifts for the birthday boy-to-be, and also took Bridget for her skating lesson to help free us up for cleaning and whatnot. Was able to get a present that he wanted, loot bag stuff, and pick up fruit and meat trays for an early lunch. So a good morning all in all.

Then we went skiing. The air was bitter cold on the first run down the hill, but it improved after that, and the blue sky and sunshine was heartening. I had my music playing so I could swish and glide to the beat, enjoying the way my blades cut through and over the snow. The hour passed too quickly, but in it, I saw Bridget making excellent progress on her own ability to “pizza” down the hill.

Got home and my in-laws had called to say they were in town, checking in at their hotel. I had just enough time for a shower — well, actually, they arrived just as I was finishing up. Thankfully I’d thought to bring up clothing so I didn’t have to parade past them in a towel! What I didn’t manage — and rather wished I had — was a nap.

I rely on my naps to recharge myself in the afternoon. I am an advocate of the daily siesta in order to rejuvenate and be able to attack the world anew. I will admit to having used naps as a means of escape, and sometimes they’re connected to my depression. But when I’m mentally healthy, sometimes I just need that 20 minutes to an hour so I can function again, especially after a stressful week with late nights like this has been. I used to tell my children when they were younger, “Let mummy close her eyes for half an hour so I can be a better mommy for you.”

I didn’t get my post-ski nap. As a consequence, I could feel myself getting a bit snappish when I didn’t mean to be, although my mother-in-law either didn’t notice or understood that I was tired. Sneaking a shot of Bailey’s in the kitchen didn’t help either, but it was sufficiently naughty enough to get my adrenaline pumping a little and help me to smile for another forty minutes. My mother-in-law and her husband are very sweet and generous, but after this long week of exam marking and new courses and party planning (one boy out of the three party guests has stayed for overnight gaming and snacking), and after the rush of endorphins from skiing, I didn’t have my usualĀ patience. I had to be reminded by a dear friend to breathe.

This is actually one of the reasons why I used to be afraid to exercise. I worried about feeling tired afterward and not being able to cope. I sometimes feel like I have too much body to haul around, that I’m too much for gravity and it’s too much effort to try. That’s mostly a skewed viewpoint coming from not enough rest, though, and not enough rest is one of my triggers. Is getting exercise helping me or not? If it leaves me tired and I don’t get sufficient sleep, I’m not sure.

Tomorrow the visiting continues, and there’s an extra ski lesson in the afternoon. We’ll bring Hubby’s mother and her husband to the ski chalet with us, where they can sit by a comfortable wood stove and maybe meet some other people, while the kids and I hit the slopes for an hour. Not sure what we’ll do after that — maybe a board game or two. I may have to excuse myself for that much-needed nap so I feel rested enough for work on Monday, though I hate doing that when guests are here.