The List in My Head…and on paper

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January 11, 2012 by Gina

It’s Monday night at 8:37 pm – got up a little after 6, got the boys ready for daycare, kissed them good-bye as Brian loaded them in the car, drove to the post office, worked all day, left early to pick the boys up at daycare, came home, fed, bathed and put both boys to bed, talked to Brian (he flew to Ft. Knox today for most of the week), started the dishwasher, started the laundry, got the roast ready for tomorrow and now am finally sitting down on the couch for the first time since who knows when today.  Does this sound familiar?

As I sit here with my glass of wine I think about all the other things that I probably need to get done either today or later this week.  Finish Getty’s baby book.  Clean the kitchen and bathroom floors.  Make some baby food for Getty.  Dust.  Vaccuum.  Organize and get ready for playdates.  You get the idea here because I’m sure you have your own running list.  Thankfully, I ran to Target for diapers, milk and a few other essentials last night after Finn and Getty went to bed and before Brian left for the week.  Check that off the list!

The list just never seems to end and I replay it in my head often as I go through my day.  As I get older, I have to commit my list to paper or I tend to forget things.  It’s hard for me to relax until I have the majority checked off my list.  Reading, running and yoga help me relax and I’ve recently started running again.  I would love to find the time to do yoga at my local Yogastudio at least weekly and run a minimum of three days a week.  Reading – I’ve got that one covered (just finished this month’s book club choice, “Mrs. Kimble” by Jennifer Haigh).  I ran twice last week and haven’t re-started my yoga practice yet.  Sometimes I feel like my relaxation time is yet another thing I “have” to do and that needs to get checked off the list.  Then I know it’s not relaxing and I need to step back for a minute.

One of my many lists – this could be pages and pages long!

I try not to think about “should haves” and “need tos” since I am the one creating these demands and pressures.  I know the floor doesn’t have to be washed and that the laundry can wait another day.  Sometimes I do let it go more than other times and I re-evaluate what is essential and what is just nice to have done.  My mom used to stay up until midnight when my brother and I were kids to have everything organized, cleaned and ready to go for the next day or the week.  We never knew or realized that as kids – things just seemed to get done (don’t worry – we had our chores and responsibilities to0).

I sound like a really anxious person and I’m not (although I’m definitely “Type A”).  I think I’m somewhere in between anxious and laid back.  But I definitely have times when I’m more anxious than others over my need to have things done.  I was the same way when I worked full time and now my full time job is taking care of my family so I want that to be done the right way too (the right way according to me, of course).  I don’t think my list will ever be complete or finished.  I just need to manage it for myslef in a way that fits in household tasks and the activities that I enjoy individually and with my family.  I think we all struggle with that “balance” and some days we do it better than others.

Well…my glass of wine is almost finished and it’s getting close to bed time.  So, I’ll wrap up this blog post – check that off my list!  I’ll start my list over tomorrow and hopefully, be able to remove it from my brain tonight and sleep soundly!

***UPDATE***  Since writing this post on Monday night, I did wash all the floors in my house, did 20 minutes of yoga OUTSIDE on my deck (it’s January in Minnesota – this is incredible) and had a great chiropractor appointment.  I feel more balanced and centered taking time for myself.

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One thought on “The List in My Head…and on paper

  1. Sue Gainor says:

    When I was a mother of young children, working full time, and on the board of a national non-pprofit organization, a friend asked me, “How will you get everything done?” My answer: “Lower my standards!” My floors aren’t all that clean, which is ok since my children no longer crawl, my sheets sometimes wish they could wash themselves, and I’m always running out of something or another. But in the end, we generally hold ourselves to higher standards than we need to – sometimes we just have to realize it’s ok if the kids eat chicken nuggets instead of a well-balanced meal on a weeknight or two!

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