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Q is for…Quota

20 Apr

Every day I set certain goals for myself. Things to get done that if I don’t poke at them a little bit, I’m never going to accomplish the goal.

I like breaking up my life into bite-size pieces and am always amazed at how much I do actually get done when I go and put my mind solidly on it.

Right now I feel like I’m not making quota. For example: I need to score a certain number of entries daily in order to have them all done by the deadline next month. While I love being a judge on contests of this nature, I know that I’m falling behind.

Though I’ve learned recently to finally let that all go.

I landed in bed on rest like this because of stress for the most part (stress compounding my already present physical problems at any rate). I can’t control my diseases, but I can control the stress. I COULD sit here and fidget and fuss over not getting done today what I needed to do. Or I can remember that tomorrow is another day. I’m not so far behind I can’t reach my goal. I’ll just have to put a little more effort into things this week.

I’m a whole lot more relaxed since I figured this out. I wish I had years ago.

 

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Restless

25 Mar

I can’t sleep tonight. Moving back and forth between things, between people, between books. It’s one of those nights where I feel like I SHOULD be doing something (at this hour, sleep maybe?) but I can’t put my finger on quite what it should be.

Do you ever get restless nights like this? This odd anxiety that pushes you to stay up when the rest of the house is slowly going quiet…what is this? What is it that’s pulling at me….?

I think sometimes that I’m supposed to start writing again. I used to write all the time, back in the day when I thought I was meant to be an author and not all these things I am now. This is as good a time as any to begin, but I have no idea what to write, and no characters are calling my name.

So here I am.

Awake.

Restless.

Still….at rest…

3 Mar

Well, it’s after March 1st, my self-imposed deadline for this sabbatical I started back in December. I’d like to say that everything is better, but it’s not. The problems I had with inflammation have improved, but a lot of the pain and weakness are coming from another illness that I seem to have developed in this last year.

No diagnosis as of yet, but it’s looking like Lupus, something that isn’t anywhere near as fun as it sounds (c’mon, admit it, you were thinking about werewolves too, weren’t you…)

So. Work?

Not really. Small doses, little amounts certainly. It’s past time for me to stagger forward and attempt some semblance of normal life. Will I ever go back to work full time? My doctors say probably not. That in fact I’ll most likely be working a couple of weeks and then having a couple of weeks off, back and forth like that. Because I will need to rest and recover.

And of course, having been so quiet the last three months have made me very very weak.

So where does that leave me?

Still at rest. Still reading and resting and spending most of my time in bed. Getting up occasionally and getting work done as I can. Not feeling bad about curling up under the blankets and just resting for the remainder of the time.

This is an adjustment, but it’s part of living with auto-immune disorders. The diseases are real and not going away.

But I’m doing the best I can with them.

Coughing (optional)

1 Feb

Well, I’m not quite over this THING yet, but I’m working on it. The problem is, I’ve let the current state of the house also work on ME a bit because today I decided that I didn’t care that I was still sick, I was going to do my Flylady Weekly Home Blessing. In 10 minute increments. Slowly.

For those of you not familiar with Flylady, she’s the brilliant mastermind that taught mankind they could do ANYTHING for 15 minutes. It’s why my massive monthly To Do list is designed so that no task on it takes longer than 15 minutes. Ever. (This is the subject of a whole other post). Flylady starts us with something simple – shining your kitchen sink. Next thing you know, you’re completely flywashed, decluttering, wearing shoes with laces that tie at any moment (except when in bed sleeping) and yes, even taking time to pamper yourself.

The Weekly Home Blessing is pretty simple. Straightforward stuff that I wish I’d learned growing up. Sadly (and sorry to say this, mom) I grew up rather ignorant of most things, never having done a single load of laundry in my life until AFTER I’d finished college and moved into my first apartment at the age of 23. Yeah, I had a long way to go.

Flylady!

So the mysteries of cleaning a bathroom were also brand new to me then. As was that whole concept of how to keep a house clean. I found Flylady in total desperation after too many years of “Crash and Burn” and have been following her for almost 11 years now. Whew! And my house is STILL a mess.

Well that’s me. As Flylady says, “You can’t organize clutter” and with my health, having energy to tackle clutter has come at a premium for the last few years. I’m happy if I tackle the DISHES.

I’m working on it.

So today I started with this. 10 minutes of time spent changing sheets and putting the old ones in the laundry.

  • 10 minutes on dusting with that gorgeous feather duster I bought from Flylady three moves ago and STILL use.
  • 10 minutes of vacuuming the middles – the traffic zones.
  • 10 minutes gathering the trash and taking it out to the trash can.

All this simple STUFF that with the kids help went pretty well. Right up until I started coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Until I was coughing so hard I thought I was either going to throw up or pass out. Yeah, not pretty image there (and I went with the former, not the latter though it got kinda close to call.)

So it seems that coughing is optional. If I lie quietly in bed like a good girl and do nothing at all more strenuous than a little crochet or knit (wait until you see what I’ve been making next – a post for tomorrow?) then I’m fine. Or mostly fine. Or at least breathing like a normal person.

If I get up and move around. Even in 10 minute increments, I will be FLATTENED by this horrible plague (thank you kids) that I’m not quite over.

So tomorrow will be quieter. As you can tell from my blog I’m not doing that great at the whole “At rest” part of things. I WANT to get up and go back to work. And immerse myself in all kinds of wonderful, glorious projects.

My body says no.

I think I see a pattern here. I worked too long the other day on that whole layout thing (got news there too, stay tuned this weekend) and did the same thing to myself.

Yeah.

Apparently I really do need to be resting. Who knew?

(thank you, Flylady. My house looks SO much better.)

How do you stay on top of the household stuff? What methods do you fall back on? 

In the Kitchen

27 Jan
I love this cookbook!

I love this cookbook!

I’m doing a cook-day today and tomorrow with some Once-A-Month Cooking. I didn’t want anything to think I’d dropped off the face of the planet but I also am trying to type with hands that STILL reek of garlic while I wait for several things to cook.

Can’t wait to talk to you all about this later. After several main dishes are safely in the freezer. 🙂

Back to….work?

24 Jan

If  you know me, then you know there is only so long I can sit around before I get antsy and have to start poking at things again. Let’s face it, I still am plagued with those thoughts of “Oooh…what if I just opened this file…tweaked this image…moved this here…”

What can I say, I like doing design work.

So this morning I mustered up a bit of energy (helped by good weather, as fibro and weather shift have been wreaking all kinds of havoc lately) and got to work on one of the projects for Written World Communications again.

Love Poured Out

“Love Poured Out” is a gift book – poetry and photographs – that we’ve been spending some time putting together. The poetry is by the talented and amazing Dee Alcorn. The photographs range a bit but we’re using quite a few from the award winning Lynda K. Arndt so it’s all good. It’s a beautiful and even restful project to work on.

My goal was to spend half an hour at work, and then call it a day. It’s so HARD when I think how I used to put in 12 hour workdays (sometimes even 14 or 15 hour workdays) to be reduced to so little. I love my work, and this is a pleasure. But it’s also tiring. Still, my goal of half an hour turned into 45 minutes once I settled in and starting pairing images and poems and getting everything all pretty on the pages.

But by the time 45 minutes had passed, my body was screaming and letting me know that I was on hiatus for a reason. Still the accomplishment of 16 pages feels very good to me, and I look forward to finishing the book and seeing it in print.

Two pages from "Love Poured Out"

I think I will definitely try for half an hour of work the next time I’m having a good day. But this time I’m going to STICK to half an hour – using my timer to break it into two 15 minute increments.

This is frustrating to me. I want to just get up in the morning, get dressed, and go to work for the day like I used to. I HATE that I’m this weak and am still so sick. On the other hand I have to remain hopeful. Two weeks ago I could not have worked for 45 minutes on this project.

So there’s progress. And where there’s progress there’s room for hope.

What accomplishment (no matter how small you might think it is) can we celebrate with you today?

The sweater is done!

21 Jan

I posted recently about the sweater that never got finished…well I pressed on after posting that, one row at a time sometimes. Over the weekend I finally finished knitting the pieces and even got it all sewed together.

I’m pretty proud of myself. I haven’t made a sweater in forever, and this one took me WAAAAY too long to do.

The thing is, I used the excuse many times over of not having time to knit. Or not feeling well enough to knit. But I wasn’t feeling good over the weekend. At all. In fact, I made the goal to knit JUST ONE ROW and then rest for awhile and not touch it again for a bit.

Committing to “just one row” made all the difference.

You see, if you don’t pick up the needles, I can guarantee it’s not going to get done. But even just doing a few stitches every day…got it finished.

I’m not going to belabor the point or hit you over the head with my needles to get you to see it. I think the lesson is pretty clear.

Let’s not give up today, ok? Whatever it is we’re facing let’s take it one step at a time.

As Red Green says, “Remember, I’m pulling for ya. We’re all in this together!”

[untitled]

14 Jan

I promised myself I would blog every day but Sunday. I thought I could get beyond that 14 day burst of energy that takes out most New Year’s Resolutions. And then I let myself down, and let you down by disappearing anyway, right on schedule with most people who have more good intentions and not so much stick-to-it-iveness.

So here I am, making an effort, putting out one more post when I’ve been struggling to find the words the last few days, as I come to terms with a shift in diagnosis that rattled me a whole lot more than I care to admit.

Someday I’ll talk about it. I promise you that much, because let’s face it, I’m not good at keeping things to myself. (Note to readers: Don’t share secrets with me). I guess I’m asking for a little more time, a little more patience as I sort things out.

I’ll be ok because I promised myself I would be. And I’ll be here to talk about books again (probably tomorrow, I have some book reviews I really need to post), and housekeeping, and pets, and children, and all that other nonsense that I fill this space with.

Who knows, I might even talk a little about That New Book I’m Writing, or even a little bit of Work (though I’m not officially working. Shh…).

Tonight, I’m going to curl in bed with “Pride and Prejudice” and read until my eyes close, hoping to dream of better things than I have the last few nights. Maybe some time with Mr. Darcy will improve my outlook.

Tomorrow will be more positive than today.

Tomorrow will be BETTER than today.

Tomorrow will be the start of Moving On. I hope you’ll stick around to see this journey through with me. I think it’s going to be fun.

10 Minutes to Success

10 Jan

On bad days I become very conscious of small things.

Today as I lay in bed, feeling every bit of pressure change of an approaching storm, I contemplated what I could accomplish. That’s the problem with being a somewhat…er…DRIVEN individual. I don’t handle sabbaticals well and need to still be able to say at the end of the day that I did something worthwhile.

Lacking much energy (read that as NONE) my list of options was a little slim. I could read but I was doing that every day. A nap doesn’t feel like much of an accomplishment. And brushing my teeth as the day’s accomplishment feels slightly…er…pathetic?

I opted for changing the sheets on the bed.

(Who knew this was a competitive sport?)

It’s funny how much pleasure we get from such small things. In warmer weather sheets are hung outside on the clothesline which makes them smell so wonderfully of fresh air and sunshine when you snap them open and let them drap delicately down on the bed.

OK, that’s a bit of fantasy on my part. I never could get my sheets to behave the way they do in laundry detergent commercials. Why can’t mine just fall neatly into place?

Regardless, fresh sheets have a niceness to them. They feel crisp when you lay down again. New.

I put off the task because it seems like so much work. A queen-sized bed in a small bedroom takes a little maneuvering around, and to be honest the ache in my body kept telling me to put it off once again.

Yet it only takes ten minutes to have a bed completed. New pillowcases upon which to rest my head. Blankets re-arranged and re-tucked so that feet wandering in the night aren’t going to wind up in the cold. Ten minutes to a blissful night’s sleep.

An accomplishment after all.

Now in better days I might have ironed the pillowcases. I know that’s been argued against as not necessary at least in my household, but I grew up ironing sheets and pillowcases. It’s a blissful thing to sleep upon if you’ve never tried it. I might just indulge in that bit of luxury the next time the weather clears and I’m feeling stronger. In the meantime though, I’m holding up this simple task as my accomplishment for the day. Something to be proud of.

And something to enjoy all night through.