Monday, October 27, 2014

"catch-up" mode is a constant

I sent an email yesterday, apologising profusely for the fact that my reply was three weeks late. I feel like I'm in constant "catch-up" mode at the moment and I can't see it changing any time soon. In fact, if anything, I'm only going to get more delayed. 

I'm well aware that the next few weeks will be slightly turbulent; there's still a lot that needs to be done before the removalists arrive in a fortnight. Then, of course, there's the unpacking, the settling, the new routines and...the lead up to Christmas.

Deep breaths.

Ever-growing lists and imminent change would usually have me in a tizz but instead I'm choosing to embrace a different perspective. Whilst spontaneous bursts of panic can only be expected, I'm largely ok with everything that's going on. Pregnancy has a definite grounding effect on me; yes, I have more physical weight but I'm also more likely to succumb to a more leisurely pace - out of both necessity and choice.

I've also been adopting a few techniques to ensure that the gigantic lists don't grow out of control:

- my energy levels do limit me so whilst I'm respectful of my body I'm also sensible about how the practical, day-to-day tasks can get done. The 15-minute-rule has been a lifesaver - always followed by a sit-down with a big glass of water.

- I'm recognising that I have to shift a few things around in order to complete the necessary and maintain a level of calm and happiness. I suppose this is another way of saying I can't do it/have it all - and that's ok. This is ultimately about recognising priorities.

- I get up early (regardless of how difficult it can be) and get things done before school drop-off - washing out (and another load on), dishwasher stacked, lunchbox ingredients packed away. It's simple chores like this that take up all my child-free time if I let them. Knowing that the necessary is out of the way when I get home from school ensures I can spend my time productively; packing, working, resting.

- I go to bed early because otherwise I'm useless. Goodness, the amount of sleep required during pregnancy is unbelievable!

- I'm spending less time online and as a result, I'm more productive when I am working or blogging. I tend not to get lost in the sea of superfluous when my time is restricted. This may be why I'm weeks behind on emails but I feel like I'm more engaged in real life - a very good thing.

Perhaps the most profound realisation I've had over the past few weeks is that I'm never going to get to the bottom of my list. This is, I believe, the reality of motherhood and yet it isn't easy to accept (especially for those who thrive on productivity and perfection). It's not the first time I've discussed this and it probably won't be the last but my goodness, it's a relief when I come back to that place of acceptance; the list is going to keep on growing and the best I can do is take it one tick at a time.

If you feel like you're in constant catch-up mode it's probably best to accept that for now, it is normal.


25 COMMENTS

  1. I wrote the same thing today, and how I need to take my own advice and just slow down. Sounds like you're doing a great job of slowing down : )

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    1. sometimes I am and I thank the belly ;) x

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  2. I am trying to tackle things in small chunks. Like, what can I get done in the next 15mins that will make life easier in the long run? Constant asking and planning and thinking.

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    1. This is sound advice. Thank you x

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  3. Not catch-up mode... more like don't-stop-mode, as in - there's always going to be something to do. Always. So when I stop, it is because I am choosing to stop because there are no in-built stops, esp as parent and high-school teacher. :)

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    1. I think choosing to stop is another way of just letting go....it's entirely necessary! x

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  4. I am a habitual list maker, something which I love doing and get immense satisfaction when I can cross things off but the flip side is that there is always more to add to the list- and so it becomes rather bottomless.
    This physical weight of pregnancy is totally new to me and it is one of the most grounding, slowing experiences I've ever had (I'm a whirling dervish kind of person) - the body is amazing at teaching lessons! Good luck with the next few weeks Jody
    xsx

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    1. Oh, congratulations on your pregnancy! x

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  5. Since being home from our road trip I have done away with my to do list and instead I now have a to do book. It sounds comical I know but I was tired of having lose sheets of paper with new lists each day so now I just have it in a beautiful notebook gifted to me by a friend and I add things as I need to and take much delight in crossing off things as I get them done. Things that need to be priority get stars or marked with a highlighter. It is a simple difference for me that somehow feels better because you're right, the list is actually endless. You sound like you are doing an amazing job of being in this time of big transition. Well done you! xx

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    1. I think using a nice notebook sounds lovely, i might just steal that idea! I'm so disorganised, it might be a lifesaver for me.

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    2. You are very welcome to steal that idea and it will make me very happy to know I might just have helped you! :)

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    3. I'll happily steal it, too ;) x

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  6. Oh I hear ya! Thanks again Jodi for your words of wisdom, I take little snippets and try to incorporate them into my life. I think of you often when using my core when doing the dishes haha. Good luck with the rest of the packing and moving!

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    1. Considering the new house doesn't have a dishwasher I'm expecting my core muscles to strengthen immensely ;) x

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  7. This post is just what I needed to read Jodi. The last month has been hard, and given the year we've had, that's saying something. At the end of last week I felt that last grain of patience slip away and the mountain of to-do tasks overwhelmed me. Thank goodness for Ben and his understanding of my need to get stuff sorted, despite what else is happening. I got two hours downstairs by myself, and was able to iron (the pile had got ridiculous) put on and hang out washing, wash up and tidy Josephine's room. It was bliss and such a weight was lifted. I'm learning to let go and not see my to-do lists as something to stress me out, but to slowly get through at my own pace, and to not let little tasks stack up. All I'm left with on my list now is to catch up with blogging, which has been sorely neglected. Motherhood is about learning new lessons every day, I'm sure. x

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    1. I was thinking the other day about all the spare time I had in my first pregnancy. Goodness, what a leisurely experience that was! I agree with you, I feel so much better when I can spent an hour or two getting jobs done x

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  8. Jodi, I thought of your writing when I saw this book;

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Changing-Magic-Tidying-Decluttering/dp/1607747308/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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  9. I totally agree with getting up early and getting the washing on. Although as it gets closer to summer here I try to put the washing out overnight and get it off in the morning otherwise it dries as stiff as cardboard.

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    1. mine always smells like mildew when i do it that way but that may be the difference between the countrysides. or a sensitive nose! x

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  10. I've been waiting for life to 'get back to normal' for about three or four years now... silly me. x

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    1. We're all a bit silly in that regard x

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  11. I wish I was a morning person! That would solve all my problems, I think I just need to get my butt into gear but I say that all the time and it never happens. Like Bron I just keep waiting for life to return to normal hahaha

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    1. It's hard, I know. However, my mornings are so much easier and much more enjoyable when I do get up at a reasonable time. It sets the tone for the day x

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