14 November 2007

When things settle down

I ran into an old friend at the coffee shop today, she's a few years older than I am, and has two kids, one of whom is a teenager now. She overhead me talking to another friend, and saying that if things settle down soon I'd love to resume studying Italian with her. The old friend laughed.

Things never settle down, she said, you haven't figured that out yet?

I laughed too and agreed, if, I said, I said if.

But sometimes it's not funny. As I sit at the kitchen table making sure that I get every freaking detail right for each of the transcript request forms and recommendation letter requests, it's not funny at all. Where's the routine? the rhythm? Where's the down time?

As soon as the car is fixed next week. Once all of my applications are in next month. When the holidays are over, or when the snow is gone and its spring again, things will seem better, things will be better.

I'm not complaining, really I'm not, I just wish I could figure out a way to really make things settle down, make them simple. It should be easy, right? Just stop trying to do so many things, organize my life better. But which things should I give up? I either need or love everything I do. Maybe with a personal assistant I could refocus. That's how famous people do it right? How they keep track of their busy schedules?

My schedule is busy too and I don't know how to slow it down, and you know what? I figured out why. I figured out why a long time ago, but if I tell you, you have to promise not to tell anyone, especially not Steve because then he'd make me stop complaining.

I like it this way.

I hate not having stuff to do, somewhere to be, something to organize. If I'm not busy I have to make up shit to do and then we're all in trouble. There's a part of me that likes playing things by ear, waiting until the last minute to make plans and then throwing caution to the wind - when will these dishes get done? Who knows?!

But when I get caught up in the details - pick Matilda up at 3, PTO meeting at 6:30, sqeeze in a couple hours of work, and make sure dinner gets made, bills get paid, deadlines get met - I often feel overwhelmed. It's not that I want to be less busy, it's just that I'd really like to be a better life manager. It feels like that's the one part of my job that I'm not so good at, and that one part would pull everything else together.


Cathy said...

you just peeked inside my brain and described my feelings so perfectly!

andi said...

It's complete madness, isn't it? I discovered how truly insane my life was today when I was happy to have my dishes done and laundry put away. That pretty much took me all day. Ah, the life of leisure we lead.

Maureen said...

Yeah, you wouldn't want a personal assistant... they would end up living your life for you. What's the point in that?

I know I would get bored to tears if I didn't put so much on my schedule. I just don't stress if everything isn't perfect anymore.

Amy said...

Oh I hear ya! I sort of thrive on the adrenaline rush of being supa-busy too. It feels fulfilling, it feels productive. Until it gets away from me. Until balls start dropping around me. Then, even though I've created it, I want to stop the merry-go-round and get off for a while.

This is why hubs and I take a lot of vacations, even if it's a long weekend. We're hopeless the rest of the time.

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

I could have written this myself. I need something to do, to focus on. But sometimes I think I overdo it, and then we all get overwhelmed. I am trying to get better at prioritizing, and actually scheduling DOWNTIME into the whole mix. I think I am getting a handle on it, but who knows with the holidays coming!

Carrie said...

Everyday I am caught in a whirlwind of things to do... thank goodness I am not alone. Thanks! When you work out a personal assistant, let me know :)

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

This was such a true post. I find myself always just trying to get to the next thing/appt/holiday/week...

However, I'm much happier with a little stress in life, something planned, something to be doing. Now if I would just get off the computer and go pack for our weeklong trip to MO that has me stressed beyond belief.

Blue Momma said...

I've become so disorganized that I can hardly ever believe I functioned in the business world. I was punctual, I was accurate, I knew the how/where/why/when.

Now? I'm lucky if I remember to put on shoes when I go out.

You figure out the secret to managing it all? Please, share.

Steve said...

you think I didn't already know?

mrs. mustard said...

I had a similar conversation with my mother this week about sleeping in. My husband and I still miss sleeping in, and try to give each other one day a week to do it, but it often doesn't go as planned.
When I told my mom about it, she just said: you're parents, now. There is no such thing as sleeping in anymore.
Aw, crap!

Heather, Queen of Shake-Shake said...

Yeah, never settling down is right. Swearyn is kicking my butt, which goes to show that I'm just seeing this post 5 days later.

Uh huh.

I don't want to be idle as in bored. But I dang sure would like to have more time to have fun. Right now, all of my time is work, kids, housework, kids, work, kids, housework, kids again. That's not the kind of busy I enjoy. Not. At. All.