Time Management

October 31, 2007

Weekends are way too short.  And, instead of feeling rested and refreshed after a weekend, I find myself dragging more than ever because I’ve stretched myself too thin trying to do too many of the things I’ve neglected during the week.

On weekdays, my alarm goes off at 4:30 am.  I could get up an hour later, but I like to ease into my day.  I can’t just catapult my body from bed to shower.   After taking Penny out, I sit at the computer, drink a couple cups of coffee, and read email and blogs.

I head for the shower at 6:15, and am ready to leave the house at 7:15.  Because I have been granted permission to work eight periods straight through and take my lunch ninth period, I leave work at 2:00 instead of 2:40.  When I get home, I take the dogs out and feed them.  Then I check the mail and the answering machine, and deal with whatever needs to be dealt with.

From 3:00 to 4:00, if that time period is free, I watch General Hospital. (The only other television program I view regularly is House. Because I can’t stay up until 10:00 [unless I want to suffer the consequences] Daniel tapes the show for me, and I watch it on Wednesday afternoons, after GH.  That’s marathon TV viewing for me)  As soon as General Hospital is over, I prepare dinner and do whatever else needs to be done.  After dinner, I try to do some knitting, which is how I relax.  Before I know it, it’s time to go to bed.

In order to get eight hours of sleep (which is necessary for keeping the aches and pains down to a dull roar.  Unfortunately, I very rarely get those eight hours.), I should be asleep by 8:30.

Since I started knitting, my reading habits have changed dramatically.  Still, if it’s not already too late (which it usually is), I try to read for half an hour or so.  Sometimes I get really engaged and read longer than I should, which means I’m sacrificing the sleep that is critical to managing my pain.  Other times, I can’t keep my eyes open long enough to get through an entire page.

This chronic pain and fatigue business is a major bummer.  I’m tired of having to carefully pick and choose what I say yes or no to.  I am sick of making choices based on physical and time-based limitations.

This past weekend, for example, I had to say no to a trip to the Botanical Gardens.  In this case, it wasn’t a health-related choice.  I simply had too much to do, and couldn’t justify putting certain things off any longer.  The paperwork clutter in the kitchen was one of those things.

The thought of attacking that pile has become more daunting than the thought of climbing Mt. Everest.  It’s a discouraging task because there’s always a new mound of paperwork to replace the old.  As of today, you’d never know that I spent many weekend hours reducing one pile after another until I could actually see counter and table tops.

Another item on my “to do” list this past weekend was to visit my grandmother.  I took care of that on Sunday.  Monday was my ex mother-in-law’s birthday.  We took her out to dinner to celebrate. Now I have to find time to squeeze in a get-together with my own mother.  It’s been quite a while since we last had contact.

Any disruption in my weeknight activities means there will be increased pain and fatigue hell to pay the next day.    Therefore, I try to strictly adhere to my self-prescribed routine.  I can’t help but resent the confines of these restrictions on my life.

Being out on disability for five months spoiled me.  I miss having all that time all to myself.  I miss being able to indulge in long, leisurely phone calls with my best friend.  I miss being able to stay up later at night and sleep later in the morning, instead of having an alarm clock determine the time of my awakening.  I miss the freedom of not having to adapt my life according to the dictates of time and pain constraints.

Song of the Day:  Time  by Pink Floyd

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5 Responses to “Time Management”

  1. Bex said

    I can so identify – sleep (maybe), work, work, work, more work, dinner, more work after dinner, and bed again… it just doesn’t leave much space for more life than this… at least not until retirement age arrives in 6 years…I can’t wait!

  2. marlajayne said

    Interesting that I should stumble across your blog this morning because as I ease into the day, I keep thinking of the “stuff” that never seems to get done regardless of how much I steadily work at reducing the pile. This morning I found myself thinking of some sage advice of a friend of mine who used to remind me to “work smart, not hard.”

    Anyway, I think good time management is essential, and I always try to save a little “me time” into every day even if it’s before daylight.

  3. LA said

    I know, I miss you too. I figure since I’m ‘freer’ that I’d let you call when it works for you. But time isn’t ever on our side. Email. Guess that will have to do. Love you lots! ~LA

  4. Jim said

    Yeah, days keep on sliding by and I shake my head in amazement and wonder at how quickly time passes and things-to-do pile up. What you need is a winning lottery ticket so you can sit back with your millions and not have to worry about work or deal with worker’s comp.

  5. Even though I am not working I still can’t get anything done. You get more done than I do. But I don’t feel like doing much and also the more time I have the more I procrastinate.

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