My husband has to be out of town for a few days this week. He’s always had to travel from time to time with his job so although I miss him, I’ve learned to make the best of less than ideal situations. In fact, I usually plan to use the extra time while he’s away to accomplish little projects that I tend to put off when I have the option of hanging out with him instead. However, with age and almost thirteen years (!!) of marriage comes wisdom, at least occasionally. Over time I’ve come to realize some disconcerting facts about myself. One, I procrastinate. Although I may have the best intentions and plans, I can usually find eleventy thousand other things to do instead of what I really should be doing. Second, I tend to overestimate what I can practically accomplish while my husband is away. Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. I’ve made a list of unrealistic goals I’ve set to meet while Mr. Whimzie is away for five days. Keep in mind that two of the days had already passed before I made the list today. After each goal I’ve figured what would have been a more accessible goal and then I’ve given my prediction of what will actually happen. I’m Nostradamus that way.
Let’s look first at my goals for CLEANING AND ORGANIZATION this week.
UNREALISTIC GOAL: Completely spring clean the house. Inventory kids’ and my spring clothes and make list of needed items. Begin preparations for Easter outfits. Unpack spring decorations and have house completely decorated for Easter. Make plans to have friends over for dinner this weekend. Plan outfits for children and myself for the next month of Sundays; have them ironed and hanging together with accessories in the laundry room.
MORE REASONABLE GOAL: Clear a path through the downstairs guest room so the Little People don’t break their legs attempting to scale the mountains of junk that have accumulated there. Do two loads of laundry every day and put the clean laundry in its proper place.
MOST PROBABLE OUTCOME: I will stuff stacks of stuff under all available beds before my husband gets home. I will wash the same load of underwear and towels three times this week because I will forget to transfer them to the dryer. I will put much of the clean laundry that I washed, dried, and folded last week back into the dirty clothes hamper because the Little People will have mixed it up with actual dirty laundry since it never left the laundry basket.
What goals have I set for myself in regards to TIME MANAGEMENT?
UNREALISTIC GOAL: Get up at 5 a.m. to spend a couple of hours in prayer and Bible study. Limit computer time to either 30 minutes before children get out of bed or 30 minutes after they go to bed. Begin on my plan to read the complete works of C.S. Lewis before we move this summer. Go to bed before 10 p.m. each night. Delete at least ten blogs from my Google Reader.
MORE REALISTIC GOAL: Reward myself with 15 minutes of computer time for every five items I complete on my To Do list. Finish the two books I checked out from the library before this weekend. Stop adding blogs to my Google Reader. Go to bed no later than 11 p.m. and get up no later than 7 a.m.
MOST PROBABLE OUTCOME: I will start to make a To Do list on the computer but get sidetracked by something shiny on the Internet. I will catch up on TiVo shows that my husband doesn’t watch and go to bed no earlier than 1 a.m. Of course I have to read a few pages before I turn off the lights so I won’t actually go to sleep until 2 which means I won’t get up until 8ish. I’ll add every blog to my Reader that any other blogger ever mentions and try to find authors I like that might have blogs I need to read.
How about PHYSICAL FITNESS?
UNREALISTIC GOAL: Have “six pack abs,” no jiggle in my upper arms, and a firm backside by the time my husband gets home. I will eliminate all caffeine and sugar from my diet.
MORE REASONABLE GOAL: Figure out how to turn on the treadmill. Choose snacks wisely.
MOST PROBABLE OUTCOME: The only aerobic exercise I will get will be the mad dash and stash I do as soon as my husband calls to tell me he’s on the way home from the airport. In other words, my only contact with the treadmill will be when I remove the folded stacks of clothes that I’ve sorted there. I will eat the vat of chocolate chip cookie dough that I bought at Costco and wash it down with the rest of the Cokes that I told myself not to even buy in the first place.
Yeah, I have a tendency to crater under pressure. And then I want to berate myself for not accomplishing goals that were too lofty to achieve in the first place. Self-sabotage much? I don’t think I realized until today that by not being realistic about my goals, I set myself up for defeat and give myself an excuse to not even try the next time. I’m not saying I shouldn’t push myself to do more than status quo, but I think I’ve realized that by not giving myself room to succeed I have more than enough room to fail. I’m sure most of you are much more disciplined than I am and you don’t need adult supervision to do what you’re supposed to do everyday, but apparently I do. But this week I want to do things differently. I want to be the grown up who does what she’s supposed to do. I want to prove Nostradamas wrong. Why am I telling you this? Because maybe if I put it in writing for my friends to see, I’ll hold my own feet a little closer to the fire. I’ll let you know what I accomplish later on this week. Of course, if you have any tips or guidelines, feel free to share them with me! I’m always open to good ideas!