tripping the life unbalanced

Monday, September 04, 2006

Operation: ducks in a row

Returning from summer vacation always gives me feelings of general unrest. I'm a creature of habit, and when I'm away I stray from my regular routine and it fucks me up. I pretend I'm all "hey no problem, dinner is at 9PM! and hey look! The child is still awake at 11PM! and HA HA HA, I'm just so relaxed about the fact that we've all been wearing the same clothes for 5 days in a row..."

Not so much, internet friends.

But yet it takes me awhile to remember that I like structure. (Give me a good rut any day and I'm as a happy as can be). I tend to return to my city life and spend the first few days walking around in a haze, wondering why I feel so out of it. This year was no different. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin upon arriving home. I was standing at my fridge, late last night, pondering the fuzzy yellow stuff that has taken up residence in the crisper, when it hit me: I NEED TO GET MY ASS IN GEAR! (No shit, Sherlock, the internets cry).

So I promptly sat down and did what I do best: make a list. I made a list of all the things I want to accomplish this fall. Some realistic, some not, but still it gives me great pleasure to write them down. And because I know you're all personally invested in my life at this point, I decided to share them with you. If only to remind myself of these goals in say, oh 4 months, when I'm doing some asshat meme that includes my New Year's resolutions.

Some of my bigger, more general goals for this fall include:

1) Finish what I start. Good god, how hard can this be? It's only been my biggest and baddest albatross since I hit puberty. I am the absolute queen of jumping on board at the initial stages of projects. I will convince myself that yes, this is the magical one I will indeed complete. I have piles of unfinished projects sitting on a shelf in my office that can speak to this, each started with the best of intentions. I eagerly start each one, only to lose interest half-way through, at which time they take their rightful place on the shelf of unfinished projects. (Case in point, my 50 book challenge requires a much-needed cleaning out. I actually have been reading the books, but not reporting).

2) Do more with less. This is part of a larger piece of a conversation Matt and I have been having about our life. I mean, it seems easy to say, right? We have so much, yada yada yada, many people don't, yada yada yada, do we really need all the extras in our life yada yada yada. And really, REALLY? It still matters to me. It still matters to actually write that goal down, as Matt and I did the other night. I am working on some of my own bad vices, like taking taxis when I could stand to use my leg muscles a little more than my hailing arm. Sometimes I feel like all the stuff we accumulate in our life just weighs us down. Makes us want more and then more. My house right now is filled to the gills with crap, absolute crap, that I convinced myself we needed. Like digital cable.

3) Enjoy my free time with Alice. Another one that sounds easy, ya think? But yet it's not always that easy, at least not for me. Lately it seems that Matt & I measure any free time with Alice as an obligation and therefore NOT FUN. It's "your turn, my turn" relay races at my house, and we're both losing out on some really great time with our daughter. It's not always the case, of course, but we could definitely stand to just enjoy the time we spend with her. No feelings of obligation or pressure. Just plain old fun with a silly little girl.

Aside from these larger, general goals, I also have some smaller , more immediately attainable ones. For example, I need to clean this place we call home, pack away all the summer clothes, drink a little, donate some stuff to Godowill, try to find the goddamn paperwork needed for the goddamn taxes (don't even say it), return so very many emails, catch up on some gossip, drink a little more, deal with what seems to be a mold problem in my bathroom (sweet jesus), start to prepare for my business trip to France next month, get some fall clothes for Alice, drink a whole lot more, investigate this thing they call "exercise" and finally maybe try to squeeze in some quality time with Matt (which will ultimately translate to: vegging on our respective couches in the living room, schooling ourselves on the fall tv schedule).

Maybe some of these goals are too ambitious. But damnit, I have to try.


  • Fall is a great time to make goals (much better than New Years).

    Good luck!

    By Blogger metro mama, at 8:35 p.m.  

  • Operation "Help Kate Accomplish Her Goals"


    1) Remind her often: You are so much more together than I am - you run a freaking business!
    2) Offer to have Alice for more playdates (if she can stand Josephine after today) so Kate can get some stuff done.
    3) Try to multitask with Kate (i.e. grocery shop together while gossiping)
    4) Trade tips: the five things that help keep me feeling together for her top five things.
    5) Remember to cheer her on with great and sincere enthusiasm, because she is fun to be around and the more ducks she has in a row, the more time we get to spend together.

    By Blogger Marla, at 9:20 p.m.  

  • Goals are good...I love goals, I love lists. Funny how this time of year gets us all organized, or hopefully so....

    By Blogger crazymumma, at 10:32 p.m.  

  • I love to give advice but this is my first time commenting, so I won't be so bold. However, I will say this: we are a culture that is more comfortable buying goods than services. Big mistake in my opinion. If we all stopped buying stuff and bought professional services we'd all be a lot happier. Drop your laundry at the cleaners, open the phone book and get someone to fix the mold problem, use an accountant to do the taxes. Can you do all this yourself? Yeah, probably, but god, who wants to? And when you've got a kid, there are way better things to do. Services baby, its where its at. (Um, so much for not dishing advice. Sorry.)

    By Blogger tania (urban_mommy), at 8:59 a.m.  

  • Ha! I did a similar list this morning. Good luck to you in accomplishing yours...

    Oh, and grocery shop with Marla. My best friend and I used to do that and it sure made a horrid task much more fun.

    By Blogger chichimama, at 6:43 p.m.  

  • OK, I'm still stuck on Business Trip to France. Your business clearly needs another partner. Ahem. Ahem.

    By Blogger tomama, at 10:01 p.m.  

  • I totally understand those feelings. I've been doing a major life rejig/mental shift this summer (details to follow) and it feels GREAT.


    By Blogger Ann D, at 10:09 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Ann D, at 10:10 p.m.  

  • Doing anything with Marla makes life more fun. Highly recommended as a sanity salve.

    By Blogger Ann D, at 10:11 p.m.  

  • Ooh, I'll volunteer to declutter for you. I can be merciless, though.

    By Blogger tomama, at 9:34 p.m.  

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