The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

Trying to alleviate yucky, anxious feelings July 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 4:17 pm
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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble with anxiety. Not “worrying” that something bad will happen, like a car crash, but more of a generalized feeling of anxiety that feels like butterflies in my stomach or tightness in my chest.

I’ve had a lot of this anxiety today. I realized that it may stem, in part, from all of the loose ends and unfinished business I have right now. What does the rest of July look like? What still needs to be done to plan my son Adam’s birthday party? What steps can I take right now to move certain projects forward? Which projects can be put on the back burner for now? How and when will I get back on the low-carb wagon (low carb is how I manage my weight and my health)? When will I work on photos from our recent European trip? ¬†What’s for dinner tonight?

At the moment, I’m insisting that the kids play outside so that I can work out some of these things. I do get pretty antsy when I want the kids to just play on their own for awhile so that I can work on things. Surely mothers of previous generations did not spend their days constantly entertaining their kids and taking them on fun outings — there were too many other things to do!


Down in the dumps and off-track lately October 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 7:24 pm
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The last 1-2 weeks have been unusually busy (out-of-town doctor appointment; MIL visiting; son Mark’s birthday party) and I have been way off-track with eating, exercising, and housekeeping.

In general, I’ve been feeling more like taking a break (giving myself a vacation?) than dealing with real life. And while it is important to take breaks, I also find that if I spend too much time off duty, it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle where the house gets messier and messier, and I feel less and less like dealing with it. The cupboards get more and more bare, and I feel discouraged about meal-planning, so I put off going to the grocery store. Etc. etc.

On the GTD end of things, I have been letting “stuff” accumulate in my inboxes, while also ignorning my whiteboard and GTD coordinator (where my lists live). As a result, I dread the process of catching up, and I put off the processing of everything. Another self-perpetuating cycle.

Eating right and exercising also become part of a negative cycle. And with all kinds of candy and sweets in the house … yikes.

So yes, I have been way off track and down in the dumps lately. Today I am making a very good effort to stop these negative cycles and get back on the right track, while also keeping in mind the need to take breaks and take care of myself.


Checking email when I already have unprocessed “stuff” around September 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 4:46 pm
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Here’s a question that just popped into my mind.

When I have unprocessed stuff around that I still need to deal with (notes, ideas for projects, etc.), then why do I sit down to check my email, where I will potentially have more “new stuff” come my way that I have to process?

I guess one reason that I check my email under these circumstances is that I’m wondering whether someone – Hubby, friend, etc. – has sent a reply to me that will answer a question for me or move a project forward.

Another reason is that I tend to sit down at my computer when I am taking a break, and naturally I tend to check my email at that time.

And, finally, there is new “stuff” coming in daily via email that I want/need to deal with in a timely manner, such as friends making plans to go out to dinner that night.

But it still leaves me in a bit of a quandary when I sit down to check my email and find a new item, such as a friend wondering about making plans to take a trip. I could decide to leave it unread until later; or, read it and see whether I can deal with it in two minutes or less; or, read it and put a stake in the ground somewhere to remind me that I need to deal with/reply to that email.

I am certainly not at black-belt level when it comes to email, but I am thankful that I am, at the very least, aware of the pitfalls that email can create.


GTD and FlyLady: What they look like in my life right now September 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 1:45 am
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Lately I’ve been spending some time revamping my use of GTD and thinking about my time, priorities, and so on. I did some looking into Mind Organization for Moms, which is based on GTD, and while I didn’t buy their system, I did realize that I could improve some of my GTD strategies/tools.

I have a large dry erase board next to my kitchen, and I re-claimed it from whatever junk had been cluttering it up. On the board I now have a daily checklist for my 5-year-old son, Adam, to help ensure that certain things get done every day, preferably as early in the day as possible. Having this checklist helps Hubby and me to be on the same page about “where we’re at”; it also helps Hubby to be aware of what things need to be done (brush teeth/get dressed/take meds/put on eye patch), particularly for mornings when it’s Hubby’s turn to get up with the kids. My day gets off to a good start when I come downstairs and find that things are rolling along nicely. I am a big believer that we are both responsible for our kids and that it is not solely my responsibility to do things like give Adam his meds or put his eye patch on.

I also set up areas on the dry erase board for Next Actions (@Phone, @Computer, @Errands) and Waiting and Current Projects. In one corner I have a space for a basic plan for the day [Baths for Kids (Yes/No), Mom to Gym (Yes/No), Dinner Plan].

Overall I’m finding it quite handy to have all of these things right in front of me all the time. I still keep lists in my GTD Coordinator, and it does feel sort of strange to have things “living” in the Coordinator and on my dry erase board, but somehow it all works. It seems that I have so many interruptions in my day that by the time I open up my GTD Coordinator and find the proper page and find a pen, my chance to complete my thought is already gone and my 2-year-old is running off with my pen. Since the board is out of the reach of my toddler, and markers are always at the ready, I can easily jot down a Next Action or erase an item. (To think I used to take such things for granted!)

On the board I have my daily FlyLady list (Kitchen/Bathroom/Laundry/Floors) and it’s nice to check these things off as I complete them. I have never figured out how to get these things done first thing in the morning, but they are generally my first priorities in the day even if they don’t get done until lunchtime.

In Ready for Anything, David Allen (the creator of GTD) talks about how the brain isn’t good at reminding the self to do things, therefore it’s best to have a system in place to take care of those reminders. I am finding this to be true during my daily grind: When I have a chance to work on something, instead of flipping through my mental checklist to think of what to do next, I simply glance at my board to see what remains to be done.

Granted, there is a lot more to my life than churning through a daily checklist of things to be done, but it’s difficult (impossible?) to get to the “more to life” stuff as long as I’m still wallowing in the chaos and confusion that results when the basic things are still undone.