My Plans vs Real Life

Today is Wednesday, January 4, 2023. So far I have not kept to the schedule I set up for myself for the new year. Ugh! How is this even possible?

Best Laid Plans, etc.

It seemed, at the time, to be an entirely feasible notion. Get up early, take care of dogs, make coffee, light a candle, have a time for prayer and meditation, write morning pages, journal, play Wordle, take a short walk alone – dogs don’t allow me to really think as I walk, I’m busy with their stop, sniff, and leave a message mission – then come back to a second cup of coffee ready to write. In my mind this is a perfectly plausible plan.

Plausible if I lived completely alone in a universe where neighbor dogs don’t bark, calling my my dogs out to defend their territory. A world where I had no friends, family or anything to interrupt me and my plans. A world where dishes are always clean, food is prepared, laundry is washed and put away, and my home is spotless and always tidy. I suspect, however, that even living in a bubble where any part of that is possible, I still would not stay completely on task. I am who I am. So, what is a girl to do?

Just Pick Yourself Up and Keep Going

First, just start fresh every day and try to get at least one of those tasks done.

Second, decide which one of those things is the absolute priority that can’t be ignored. Do that everyday then add something new to the schedule.

Next, celebrate every success! We all need a pat on the back and when there is no one around who sees or is willing to do it, we must step up and congratulate ourselves.

I used to think that I am a scattered unfocused mess who can’t get anything done which is why the clutter in my house builds until all I can think about is screaming and running away. But now at my age I say, “Better late than never” as I realize I am not unfocused, rather I am hyper-focused.

I tend to get lost in my task of the moment. Everything else fades to the background. Interruptions, be it by animals or people, feels like a violent intrusion into my inner world. I dig my heels in and become fiercely protective of my time and space. It is not my husband, granddaughter or pet’s fault, they should not pay the price for my personality quirks and subsequent temper tantrums. Somehow there must be a solution doesn’t involve drastic lifestyle changes.

Moving Solves Everything

My family moved three times between 1966 and 1974. All three moves were an effort to create a better life. The message I took away from this was that moving solves problems. Taking this child-like view into adulthood, and thanks to Zillow, I look at homes and dream of living somewhere else. It is my default plan for solving all of life’s problems. Moving to a bigger house always seems like a viable solution in moments of panic. If I just had a bigger house this wouldn’t be a problem. If I have a room with a door people would know to leave me alone. The problem with that is, dogs don’t understand and people can open doors. A closed and locked door is just something for both dogs and people to stand outside of and whine until they get what they want.

A larger home would also enable me to not only keep all the stuff I currently don’t use, but to continue to collect and own things that really should live somewhere else. I have lovely and expensive fiber art equipment in my garage gathering dust because “I might use them again.” It has been more than a year and a half since I have used any of that stuff – more than five years for some of these tools. It is time to let it go.

If moving is not the solution, maybe just add a space in the backyard totally detached, where an extreme effort would have to be made by all to reach me. A space without a cell phone where life and limb would have to be in danger to justify knocking on my door. This idea is still on the table. But I will not allow it to become an extension of the our current living arrangement. Solve the problems first, then have my dream space.

Live In The Present And Get To Work

Currently my home resembles an archeology dig site with remnants of prior targets of my all or nothing flights of fancy. Christmas decorations partially put away for the year, weaving, knitting, crochet and other such yarn hobbies laying about waiting to be finished, books…books…and more books desperately in need of a book shelf, I could go on but you get the idea.

My plan for now is to tackle the living room today. It is way past time for Christmas to go away. I will aim my laser focus on that room and then move to other parts of the house. I CAN do this.

And so, on the fourth day of the new year, though I still struggle to keep to a schedule, I’m OK. I am human not a machine. I forgive myself and will try to do better tomorrow. I will care for my family, pets, home and friends and then focus on making the rest of my time productive. What I will not slack on is writing. Writing for myself with the hope something I say makes someone else’s day just a little brighter.

Until tomorrow, be kind to yourself.







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