Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Monday, July 25, 2011

Done for the Week: Always Behind

Another week of activity, to-do items crossed off, milestones in the rear view.  And yet, a deep down feeling of being perpetually behind.  Something systemic, I believe.  Something unlikely to be resolved by making lists and writing about my inability to get through them.

I did, however, do these things.

Done for the Week:  July 18-24, 2011
  1. Completed Week 11 of 15-week triathlon training program; ran twice; swam twice; biked three times
  2. Swam twice, ran twice, biked once with my training partner
  3. Biked once with my husband
  4. Signed up for additional triathlon prep camp
  5. Replaced swim cap & goggles left at the pool
  6. Made appointment to get new contacts 
  7. Went with my husband to pick out his new glasses
  8. Finished The Apothecary Rose, by Candace Robb
  9. Continued to work my two part-time jobs 
  10. Published 2 blog posts 
  11. Shared Happy Hour dinner with my husband
  12. Watched Treme with my husband
  13. Returned to reading Elizabeth George's In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner aloud with my husband
  14. Saw Beginners with my husband
  15. Took my dog to the dog park, with my husband
  16. Attempted (prematurely aborted) game of Pictionary with my family
  17. Saw new Harry Potter movie with my husband and son
  18. Met with prospective web client
  19. Met with current web client; worked on project
  20. Drove with about-to-be licensed teenager several times 
  21. Participated in driving my not-quite-licensed-to-drive son to and from work
  22. Finally cracked the code for road test appointment; succeeded in moving appointment up six weeks, to this Wednesday (Yay!)
  23. Worked for recall candidate
  24. Made major progress on backyard reclamation
  25. Planted more flowers, started putting down mulch; got three bee stings
  26. Went to outdoor jobs prayer vigil (in 100+ degree heat!)
  27. Attended Issues Night
  28. Attended 1 yoga class; sustained hamstring injury
  29. Called my mom
  30. Picked up prize won in library reading program
  31. Listened to my son's amazing hip hop creations online
  32. Continued progress in cleaning/straightening/decluttering work room, bedroom & kitchen  

My most important accomplishment last week was squeezing in time with my family.  This, despite the fact that, to a man/woman, all of them would say that I was too busy, and barely available.  In part, they are right.  In part, they are reacting to the sea change over the past couple of years, as I take back some of my energy and time from absorption in family tasks and responsibilities.  They may not think so, but they are still first in my heart.   

Last week's focus goal, back by not-so-popular demand, was to declutter our house, involving my housemates in the excavation, and starting with the kitchen, my work room, and our bedroom.  I am embarrassed to admit that five straight weeks of "focusing" on this goal have not produced the desired results.  It is beginning to dawn on me that I have left no room in my crowded schedule for this project, depending on "working in" this effort to achieve the desired end.  And like the overflow patients "worked in" to a doctor's bulging appointment calendar, these rooms are still waiting.  And waiting.  Their time in the queue has produced little in the way of real attention.  

Our bedroom saw the most improvement, though it has yet to be completely rehabbed.  But it's close.  The other two rooms see the most daily use, the kitchen in particular.  So reclaiming them requires dealing with continuing accrual of detritus, and making a dent in the significant backlog.

Given the scope of the problem, and my tardy recognition of the real barriers to its solution, I have decided to shift my focus this week to creating a realistic schedule that reflects my many current commitments.  When I can be more strategic about my use of time, it should be easier to defend against additional incursions of responsibility (by using that two-letter word I have so much trouble with), and to prioritize projects in a way that will allow me to feel that I'm making progress. 

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