The Nitty Gritty

Oh, what a crazy couple of weeks! First a flurry of activity surrounding Valentine’s Day, including my having lunch with Avery on Valentine’s Day and a Friendship Dance at Avery’s school that Friday. Then it was his birthday, and suddenly my little boy is 6 years old! We had some birthday fun, then the following day a party for some friends. All in all a busy, but fun, week. This past week, though, was another story. It’s like all the fun got sucked away. We dealt with not feeling well, crazy weather fluctuations (that contributed to the not feeling well), behavior issues, and just a general feeling of chaos and blech.

Whew. I’m glad that’s over. It’s the start of a new week, and I’m hopeful that we’ll all be able to get back on track.

Part of that getting on track will be tweaking my weekly schedule so I’ll be able to better stick with it. (I haven’t been sticking to my daily schedule, either, but that’s more a matter of willpower, or, rather, the lack thereof.) Amidst all the chaos and blech-ness, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, prioritizing, and brainstorming. I feel like I keep making plans, but then I don’t stick with them. Now, this is not a new problem by any means, but I’ve been trying to pinpoint the reason for this so that I can make adjustments and then make progress, rather than get constantly discouraged because I’m failing. So I’ve had to ask myself some questions:

  • Do I not allow enough downtime for relaxing and “me” time (a very real possibility)?
  • Do I need to prioritize more, so less meaningful tasks take up less time (and therefore less energy)?
  • Do I need to shift when I take care of certain tasks, so I’m doing the most meaningful tasks when I have the most energy? (though if I do this, will less meaningful but more urgent tasks fall by the wayside if I’m too tired?)
  • Do I need to set aside some less-pressing tasks to focus more on tasks that will bring in more income sooner (even if the less-pressing tasks are more meaningful for me)?
  • Can I set aside a few large chunks of time more frequently to tackle the “big stuff” that takes a lot of time — rather than wait until Kevin has the kids every other Sunday? (Because doing things little by little is getting me nowhere…)
  • If I actually stick to my daily schedule (with built-in “kid” times), will that be enough meaningful time with my kids to assuage my “mom guilt” or do I need more?

As much as I love to plan and fit things into a calendar, I know I need to move past planning and actually take action to move forward. Sadly there hasn’t been much progress as of late (for a while, actually, it seems). Part of this can be attributed to the insecurity I discussed a while back, and part of this can be attributed to the fact that I honestly don’t know what to focus on (and my gut can only be trusted so much). I don’t want to waste time heading in the wrong direction.

As I’m thinking all this, and typing it all out, I think what I actually need, ironically, is a plan. I’m not talking about a daily and weekly fit-things-in kind of plan. I’m talking about a business-style plan. I need to set some concrete goals, to sit down with that scary checkbook and budget book and make a real plan.

I’ve talked about goals before. I’ve talked about plans until I’m blue in the face. But I’ve never been in my current situation before, so life hasn’t been so urgent, make-or-break before. I’m getting a divorce. Money is tighter than it has ever been. I have two little kids relying on my for just about everything. I need a real, solid, “this is what I HAVE to do” kind of plan. And, I have to admit, I’ve been avoiding it. I’ve been focusing on the little stuff, trying to get by, but that’s not going to help me long-term. Asking myself all these questions just reinforces that.

I’ve taken long, hard looks at my career options. I’ve determined, for the most part, what I want to do. And, yes, I need to find time to make progress in that part of my life. But now I need to take a long, hard look at the rest of my life. I need to really figure out the money stuff — long-term, not just getting-by.

It’s time to make a plan. Now when am I going to find the time to make it?

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