Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Productive day?

Im writing this blog post the night before, and feeling kind of exhausted, and wondering why. I felt more tortoise than hare today as I went about the daily living of my life, and certainly not as productive as I might once have been. While I havent been a full-time working mum for a while, I remember its crazy rhythms, and the sheer effort required to keep on DOING things; managing work and family required incredible endurance. So now that I am working far less, I was expecting things to be different. That I might not only find time to do things more slowly, and thoughtfully, but also that I might actually find small parcels of time in the day to do, well, not much at all... and now the hard part: not feel like a slacker!

Instead of whipping myself for not getting things done more efficiently (im not entirely into self-flagellation, but catch myself thinking unhelpful things now and again) I thought I might try and pull myself up on this kind of negative reflection, and try another approach. So, i thought i would take a minute or two right now, at the close of the day, to think about what i did manage to do.

Hmmm....this will probably only be interesting to me, but this blog is for me, right? Yeah... well maybe it will also serve to remind us all of how much we actually do get done, even when we feel like we ain't doing much at all
  • Getting breakfast ready, getting two kids up and dressed. Packing lunch boxes for one, and entertaining the second, cajoling her to eat something. Anything...
  • Check work emails. Not much there. A few quick responses
  • Clean coffee machine
  • Have breakfast, shower, get dressed.
  • Put on a load of washing, hang that one out, put on another
  • Find dog, call vet, negotiate treatment plan for non-eating behaviour. make appointment for vet
  • Call the wood guy to get wood delivery
  • Put another load of washing on, hang out the previous lot.
  • Tidy kitchen, compile shopping list
  • Clean away camping gear from deck (left there for at least 7 days...sigh)
  • Read 4 year old a couple of stories
  • Call sister
  • Call friend to get a referral for an opthalmologist in Launceston
  • Make lunch, feed little one
  • Read little one tow more stories and convince her to have a nap
  • Put on more laundry
  • Make a dog bed in the car, wake up grumpy sad little one
  • Take dog to vet, looks like he has a bowel obstruction and needs surgery. Poor little guy
  • Ring wood guy to get wood delivered (its getting cold here at night now)
  • Get a few things from the supermarket
  • Pick up older child from school
  • Speed home as it looks like raining, take of washing from line
  • Dealt with urgent mail
  • Fold washing and put away
  • Made a bit of a after school snack for the kids and I (just toasted croissants)
  • short trip to the post office to collect parcels
  • Suggest a clip-making exercise for the girls to get into
  • Clean kids bedroom, vacuum
  • Encourage eldest child to get ahead on some homework
  • Get dinner on (tom yum for S and I, spaghetti for the kids)
  • Rang vet to get latest on poor little guy (hes doing OK)
And its not yet 7pm, so i suppose there might be further things on the list...

But why is it that this list becomes important in making me feel better?
Why is it not simply OK to just sit still and read a wonderful book for half an hour?
Why do the guilt demons arise if I think about doing something thats just for me?

Rhetorical questions, yes, but how did your Monday go?


  1. hmm. it is interesting isnt it. i love lists - the crossing of is so satisfying. i can really enjoy sitting and reading when i feel like my life is in balance, when i know i have done enough of the necessary to justify doing the important. sitting and reading is important. Food shopping/growing is necessary. So maybe you just need to keep balance in mind and then you will be able to better moderate the internal critic.

  2. I have never liked lists much (love the challenge to remember it all instead, write them for groceries and only remember to take them shopping once in every 5 trips...) but I can see the value of them in these instances! It does validate your day big time!
    I totally understand the feeling- I had such a strange sensation the day I stopped and read a book for an hour- guilt, mixed with I deserve it and where are we going that I have to feel guilty about this? But I still do feel a bit guilty when I indulge. You need to love yourself lots, you deserve it! and if you are happy your whole household will be happier too!