Organized Thursday

As I've said recently, I'm feeling a *little* overwhelmed with all I have to do. By "a little" I mean A LOT. The crazy thing is that when I look at all I have to do, it's basically good stuff, things I love to do. I have nothing to complain about. We have (more than) enough food to eat and clean water to drink; a safe, comfortable place to sleep; two healthy, wonderful children; a supportive, energetic network of friends; we have the luxury of walking barefoot in our backyard and watching the birds every day (hey, I lived in New York City and not a day goes by when I don't give thanks for this green space we have outside our door); and most of all, I get to spend my day educating my children and cooking up fresh food. It's all good.

Good for me, anyway. I know plenty of people (including many of my near and dear relatives) who would never want to spend the day as I do, but for me, it's perfect. Almost. If it were a little less busy it would be better. Isn't this the chant of most people? I've asked various people for a few years how to slow it all down. I've gotten a lot of answers, but so far not many of them have applied to my life. Most people I ask say, "I don't know how to slow things down." The supermarket magazines all promise that if I buy a new set of baskets or other organizational tool, my life will slow down and I'll appreciate the smaller things. I attend our UU church most Sundays, and there I absorb the lesson that if I keep our family schedule pared down, spend time in nature, and talk with my children about (among other things) spirituality, life will slow down.

What I've learned, after listening to countless women talk about how they spend their time, is that life for mothers of dependent children is never slow. The take-away lesson is this: "You have a lot to do everyday. Get used to it. Steal moments for yourself when you can. Appreciate your children today even if they are acting in a way that exasperates you. They will grow older soon, and you'll look back on these years fondly. Oddly enough, you'll look back on these years as slow years, even though for you, they went by in a flash."

OK, lesson absorbed. If I can't slow it down, how can I at least have a little peace? I'm tired of waking up in the middle of the night, thinking of all the things I have to do. I'm tired of knowing that there's always something that needs to be tended to, and most likely it's something I'm sure I'm forgetting about.

I thought I was addressing this issue a month or two ago when I got my new phone. Wow, internet, calendar, and phone in ONE! What couldn't I do now? Well, I'll tell you what I couldn't do: make a LIST that worked. All my adult life I've been a "list maker." I've always used a pen and paper, and my list includes things that need to be done today as well as things I would like to have done at some point in the future. I would number it, rewrite it, put notes in the margin. With my phone, I couldn't make the list work the way I wanted.

Last night I decided to change that. I downloaded a trial version of a program called DejaOffice and it lets me add tasks with specific time frames, which I like. There's also room to add notes to my tasks, something akin to writing in the margin. I think this might help me get back on the right track. I can write things down and keep better track of what's outstanding, and I won't have to wake up at night wondering about all the things I have to do. That sounds delightful, doesn't it?

I love my "old fashioned" ways of keeping things organized, but I'm learning how to embrace technology. I think I can meld the two together in a way that works for me.

What kinds of technology work for you?


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!