I've been playing with my schedule lately. I know I've been all over the map with getting stuff up on the website. Adventures of Cynical Woman is behind and Bitchcraft is WAY behind. It all comes down to having to juggle my work with my responsibilities as a parent and a Girl Scout volunteer. I think if I only had the one volunteer job – troop leader OR cookie mom – I'd be okay. But instead I've spent a good part of this year putting together events for all the troops at the kids' school, and that's turned out to be a lot of work. Handling the email alone on that takes almost 2 hours every evening, and that's just handling the email! That doesn't include filling out paperwork, budgeting for events, meeting with troop leaders to plan events, preparing for meetings with troop leaders to plan events, etc.
I've also been sick most of this school year, which hasn't helped at all.
I've been working on ways to steal back time for myself. Again, 2 hours of Girl Scouts email every evening (unless I ignore it completely, which some days I HAVE to do, if I'm going to get anything done). And those 2 hours really cut into my free time. I consider free time to be any time I'm not spending on taking care of the house or the family. One hour of my free time goes into exercise because if I don't exercise my blood pressure goes up and my head explode (and that's not good). Another hour goes into getting cleaned up after exercise and doing some meditation (again, head will explode with out that). And that leaves me with about 15 minutes of free time, which I usually end up spending going to the bathroom (another thing I have to do to keep my head, or any other body parts, from exploding).
So how to find free time when my free time has all been used up by doing activities to keep my head from exploding? I think the first key may be prioritizing.
By prioritizing I don't mean deciding what's most important for me to do with my free time. I mean deciding whether Girl Scouts, house cleaning, taking care of Hubster and the kids, or doing my own work has the top priority.
I have a huge pile of “everything must be done NOW” tasks, but they can't all be done, so I have to sort through them everyday to decide which ones are going to the top of the heap and which ones are going to sit at the bottom and sort of ferment or compost until I really do have to deal with them. For example, my parents are coming to visit tomorrow. My to-do heap (not even a list anymore, it's a HEAP) includes exercise, plan the upcoming Girl Scout bridging ceremony, wash and fold laundry, clean Pixie's room (where my parents will be sleeping), draw webcomics, draw artwork for new cards and stuff on Zazzle, touch up the hair dye (it needs it, really), plan the next Girl Scout troop meeting, make some new jewelry because I have a really cool idea for a new ring, work on new clothes because my old ones are wearing out, buy new clothes for Hubster and the kids because their stuff is wearing out, go to karate class…
See, it just doesn't end. And I can't do all of this in one day, so I have to pick and choose. When I can, I pick a mix of things – something for Girl Scouts, something for the house, something for the kids and Hubster, something just for me.
Today, I started with me as the first priority. I have a robot drawing I'm working on, so I woke up at 6:30, grabbed a cup of coffee, and promptly went back to bed and read “Adventure Time” comic books. Because I should also mention that I deserve a little down time each day, and the best way for me to wake up is comics and coffee. I read one comic book, and then I pulled out my iPad and worked on the robot drawing for an hour. I didn't get as far as I wanted, but an hour is all I can spend on it, so I've gotten that priority out of the way.
The next priority was the kids and Hubster. Everybody needs clean laundry. So I got up, got dressed, and sorted through all the laundry and put a load into the washer. I'll probably wash and dry 3 loads today. Will I fold those loads? I'm betting not, because what everyone needs is clean laundry, so folding is optional as long as the laundry is clean and dry. If it doesn't make it into a drawer or closet, my peeps know they can dig it out of the hampers in my room.
Next priority is breakfast, which is happening right now as I blog. I gots to eat. And when I eat, I usually think, and it occurs to me that those thoughts could just as easily go on the blog so I have at least SOMETHING new up. I'll finish this up in a few minutes and post it, then finish my coffee and run out the door for the next priority, which is exercise.
I'll spend an hour today at the gym, and another hour getting cleaned up. It'll be noon by then. I'll grab a quick lunch and move on to cleaning Pixie's bedroom, because my folks are sleeping in it. The room doesn't have to be springtime fresh, but I should remove all the tripping hazards from the floor and put clean sheets on the bed. Also, I should probably check for any cat puke that may be hiding up there.
After that, I need to get a new shower curtain rod for the guest bathroom, since the old one broke. Guests need a nice guest bathroom. I'll wait to clean the guest bathroom until tomorrow though, because I've got to switch gears again and move back into “me” stuff. I've got an almost finished webcomic that seriously needs to be a finished webcomic posted on the website. Once that's done, it'll be time to fix dinner so the kids don't start chewing off my legs. And when dinner is done, then it's time to put together the plan for the bridging ceremony. I started on that last week, so there's only an hour or so of work left. Once that's done, I'm going the fuck to bed because it'll have been a damned busy day!
Yep, busy. And you'll notice that I only just barely made a dent in the ever-growing to-do heap. BUT I got the important stuff done. Everything else can wait until tomorrow.
I'm stopping here now and getting a move on my day. Enjoy yours, and while you're at it, enjoy this work-in-progress that I managed to spend an hour on this morning, because I made it a priority.