Day Three – Did I Complete Anything At All?

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You know that list I made yesterday? That mondo, epic, ridiculous list of all the things we’ve started but haven’t finished? Yeah, I laughed while I made it, but only because…holy love! That is a lot of stuff!  What was I thinking???

I decided I wanted to make a list of things I’d actually completed this year, mostly to remind myself that I am, in fact, capable of getting things done.  Except when I sat down to write it, I couldn’t think of anything.

Not

one

thing.

Apparently the thing I completed this year was starting things.  Does that count?  Doesn’t someone famous say getting started is half the battle? Could we up that percentage to around 80%?

Anyway, after a few moments of discouragement over my complete and utter lack of completion, a few meager ideas did, in fact, roll in.  So here’s my Master List of Completed Tasks. Hopefully I’ll be moving some from the former list to this list.

  1.  Getting rid of the old piano
  2. Get off blood pressure medication
  3. Making the wooden growth chart ruler
  4. Having a yard sale
  5. Making raspberry jam for the year
  6. 20 books read (and counting!)

So.  Six things.  Although the 6th on the list is reasonably good for 9 months.  But I really hope to see a lot of progress in the coming weeks.  Update tomorrow on what I’ve accomplished so far.

Day Two – Getting Things Done – The Master List

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I wrote most of this post and decided I had to come back to start with a disclaimer.  If you are a highly organized, efficient person, I’m sorry.  This post is probably going to make you alternately anxious and nauseous.  You might tremble.  Also, do you tutor?  It seems like I could possibly use some lessons…

I’ve learned I’m more of a starter, not so much a finisher.  By the time you finish this post, you’ll realize what an understatement that is.  This has both pros and cons, but lately the drawbacks–namely the zillion incomplete projects laying around my house–have been driving me insane.

At the outset, I’m going to acknowledge that a little grace is in order.  My time isn’t super predictable right now, so it can be challenging to plan projects or make headway.  Take yesterday, for instance.  I can typically count on 10-15 minutes to put Jude down for his nap, and he usually sleeps between 45 minutes and 2.5 hours. It’s a range, but it’s something.  But yesterday, it took 80 minutes to get him to sleep and he napped for a sorely disappointing 25 minutes.  Boo.  A horrible return on investment!  It’s not always naps, but it’s always something!

Also, it’s next to impossible to plan large chunks of time to complete bigger projects.  This means large jobs have to get done in smaller chunks, and I find the lack of obvious progress to be discouraging.  Again, this is mostly a function of our life stage.  While I could decide to forego lunch because I’m engrossed in something on which I’m working, my children…not so much.  They need things like regular food, clean diapers, naps, bedtime, school dropoffs/pickups every single, freaking day!  Gah!

And then there’s the bickering, entertainment, mischief, and the like that keeps things interesting.  Larger chunks of time are rare and precious and often utilized for going on dates or epic laundry.  I’ll let you guess which one’s my favorite.  Hint: it’s not the one that happens more often…

But still, I could make a better effort to tie up loose ends, and that’s what Tahd and I are focusing on this month.  So, to kick off, these are the incomplete projects weighing on my mind.  I’ll probably edit this list throughout the month, and I don’t expect to get everything done in 31 days.  There are probably things on this list that need to be 86’d.  But hopefully in 31 days things will be substantially better than they are now.

  1. Fireplace paint needs finishing
  2. Living room paint needs finishing
  3. Nursery paint needs finishing
  4. Second coat of paint in Gabe’s room (alternately, maybe we should be calling this project The Month of Painting Everything…)
  5. Kitchen trim
  6. Hem Gabe’s curtains
  7. Purchase & hang second set of living room curtains
  8. General decluttering
  9. Week in the Life album
  10. Project Life update
  11. Update gallery photos
  12. Hang new pictures/decor in living room
  13. Word wall
  14. Hang nursery art
  15. Nursery shelf
  16. Paint bedroom shelf
  17. Hang play tent in nursery
  18. Paint toy kitchen
  19. Finish laying patio
  20. Arrange living room workspace
  21. Car brakes
  22. Fix spot in roof that leaks in winter
  23. Get thyroid blood work done before orders expire
  24. Finish the happy mail package for my nephew
  25. Knit 3 hats
  26. Start knitting Christmas blanket
  27. Get a haircut (this hasn’t been done by a professional since before I was pregnant with Jude; ack! I did trim it myself – does that count?)
  28. Finish calm down basket for little kids
  29. Hang ladder in our room
  30. Paint the piano (good grief – more paint!)
  31. Nursery floor
  32. Blackout curtain in nursery
  33. Fix cafe lights in dining room
  34. Finish editing posed photos
  35. Get ball rolling on school meeting
  36. Clean up basement
  37. Life Plan class
  38. Listen to 3 Influence classes
  39. Photography modules
  40. Pick up glasses

There are some things needing to be done that are somewhat time sensitive. They’re not so much undone as just extras or seasonal items I want to tack on so I don’t lose track of them.  Truthfully, I mostly want to be able to cross them off the list, and if you want to cross something off a list, you have to put it on first…

  1. Order Halloween costumes EARLY
  2. Schedule doctor appointments for everyone
  3. Schedule eye doctor appointments for everyone
  4. Start planning Gabe’s and Jude’s November birthday parties
  5. Take fall family photos
  6. Create and send out all the gift lists (this is a major task I never anticipated, made worse by the fact that all 3 children have birthdays within 6 weeks of Christmas; if I don’t get it going in October, I’ll never make the November birthday deadlines) 😉

Word of advice – don’t have all your children around Christmas.  We start at Halloween and have new festivities every few weeks – Jude’s birthday, Gabe’s birthday, Thanksgiving, big Christmas party, Christmas, New Year’s, our anniversary, Isla’s birthday, my birthday, and Valentine’s Day.  This is a bad plan.  Take my word for it.  You’re welcome.

And then there are the books I’ve started reading and haven’t finished.  I like having a collection of books going at once, but my in-progress collection is currently out of control.  I’d like to finish a few this month, if possible…

  1. Food and Wine
  2. First Mitford book
  3. The Gift of an Ordinary Day
  4. Charlotte Mason’s Home Education
  5. Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  6. Better Than Before
  7. Hold on to Your Kids
  8. Playing Big
  9. Project-Based Homeschooling
  10. Habit Stacking
  11. Smart but Scattered
  12. On Writing
  13. I Love You Rituals
  14. Remember the Sweet Things
  15. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
  16. Writing Down Your Soul
  17. Design Mom
  18. Rising Strong
  19. Simplify (ha!!)

This does not count the list of books I’m waiting to start.  Yes, I’m actually waiting to start a whole bunch of bookish goodness.  At least this many again.  Maybe even double…You guys!!!!! The books!!!  They are a sickness!!!

Off to work…Care to share any part of your list?

Day One – Getting Things Done

I awoke yesterday morning to a strange and wondrous event.

Jude was asleep.

At this juncture, it is necessary to point out that I awoke at a regular time.  It’s not like I awoke at 3:30AM and he was asleep.  At which point I’d be fully expecting him to be asleep.  No, my alarm rang at a regular getting-up time and he was not already awake, pinching and pawing and digging at my stomach.

It was glorious!

Tahd woke up next to me at about the same time and we started our day with delightful adult conversation. Then I got up and got dressed, AND I had a cup of coffee.  You guys, I felt like a real live human!!!

“Someday!” I told Tahd.  “Someday we will start every day without little people’s instant demands and we will feel okay again!”  When that day comes, I know I will miss these days.  But right now–amidst the chaos and clutter and the eighty hundred incomplete tasks that have actually had me in tears over the past few weeks (<ahem>patio…I’m looking at you…)–it was a nice reminder that the crazy I feel isn’t part of my identity, but a transient part of this season.

Okay, maybe I’m a leeeetle crazy on my own.

So.

October brings a giant blogosphere project where bloggers write for 31 days. I have tried to participate in the past and mostly succeeded.  I wasn’t planning to participate this year, though, due to the aforementioned crazy and lack of humanity I feel on a daily basis.  But yesterday I changed my mind.  I decided I’m going to do it.  Actually, I have two websites–this more personal blog as well as a site about motherhood over here–and I’m going to do it on both sites.

We can blame the crazy, right?  Tahd is totally going to kill me.

Here’s the deal–I do not promise to write everyday for 31 days straight.  I do promise to try. Over here, I’m writing about 31 Days of Getting Things Done.  Tahd and I are making a list of all the big and little half-done and undone projects fluttering around our house–the ones where our season of life has taken over and we’ve just never been able to find time to finish–and October is our month of Getting Things Done.

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At my other site, my topic is being a more engaged mom.  More doing, less other stuff (like reading about, thinking about, planning for, getting sidetracked with, etc.).  You can follow along at either or both places.  I’d love to have you!

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Here we go…

31 Days of Getting Things Done and 31 Days of Motherhood: Fully Engaged.  Yeehaw!

(Some of this introduction to the series was cross-posted at Loving Motherhood More, but I promise the two series are entirely different. Just the initial story that spurred me to action is the same.)

You can check back here to see each of the posts in this series:
[catlist name=31-days-of-getting-things-done order=asc]

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