I want to be everything

I want to be everything 1I want to be everything.

I want to be everywhere.

But the days are short and my dreams are long.

  • I want to make inspired meals - from scratch.
  • I want to be on top of my inbox, responding to inquiries and comments with witty and wonderful replies.
  • I want to be the kind of friend who drops by with fresh pumpkin bread or a bottle of wine at just the right moment.
  • I want to be a wife who touches, who forgives, who lingers.
  • I want to be a Somebody on Twitter (there, I said it).
  • I want to contribute to politics and business and art.
  • I want to be an involved mother, the kind that plays actively and loves fully, with energy to spare.

During the day, I scribble to-do's on my navy blue college-rule notebook.

At night, I lay beside my baby in the dark, writing poetry in my mind.

I want to be everything 2I've been asking myself - how can I stretch my time to its maximum? As it is, I don't watch television or putter around department stores. But I am yearning for more discipline in my life.

Tim & I have been talking a lot about the value of FOCUSing on tasks. We want to set designated times for things, like 9-10am for twitter or 2-2:30pm for working out or Tuesdays for laundry or the 1st Thursday of the month for writing out birthday cards. I don't want to be religious about routines (THAT wouldn't suit my spontaneous soul), but...I think a schedule would help. I'll let you know how it goes as we begin filling in slots.

What about YOU? Do you have allotted times/days for laundry, cleaning, friendship, exercise, being online, etc.? Also - How do you practice discipline in your use of social media?

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29 comments on “I want to be everything”

  1. Oh boy, I can relate. There's so much that I want to do, so much that I want to try, so much that I want to be...but I'm horrible, seriously horrible, at time management. I've been thinking about needing to set up more organized routines, kind of on the idea that you mentioned above -- set times for playing around on the computer or dealing with the never-ending laundry, set days for grocery shopping or vacuuming. I'm interested in hearing about how you decide to cope with this!

  2. I do spread the needed chores (laundry, vacuuming, etc) throughout the week so that I'm never overwhelmed. The downside is that the house is never completely clean, but it seems to work just fine for us!

    for all that other stuff...it's a constant struggle. For example, baby is crying as I type this, so as much as I wanted to write more, it's just not meant to be!

  3. Scott and I constantly want to fit more into our days. I wish I had the formula. The one thing that I've found is that when I'm happier I get WAY more done. When the cold weather kicks in and the sky is grey, I have a much harder time getting things done. If things at work are hectic or going badly then I have no energy to get anything done after work. So for me, the most important secret to getting things done is to be truly happy.

  4. Oh! I love this because I SOOOOo relate! My husband and I both lament to each other how we are so interested in so many things but don't have time to give any of our interests the time they really need. Kids definitely have to come first.

  5. Wow! This would certainly shed light on much time wasted in my life, I bet! I've done a tiny bit of this already. I tend to get really stressed out if my house isn't clean. It's a weakness of mine. So now I've dedicated Wednesdays as my cleaning day. It's my one day out of the week to straighten everything up. Mon & Tues I have learned to let the messes go. And Thurs & Fri I love being in my orderly home. So on Wednesdays I don't guilt myself if the kids watch too much TV or if I don't get on the floor to play with them as much as I should. It's my one day out of the week. And it makes the rest of the days so much more pleasant.

  6. so right there with you. I don't over schedule, yet I feel like I don't have any time. I think I'm still getting used to working full time outside the home and having two young children. It is difficult. But I try and have everything ready to go for when I need to get out the door, use my crock pot to make dinner easier and try and see my friends once a month. I definitely get sucked into social media vortex but I try and stay offline in the evening, that makes a difference for me. (basically have it so at some point in the day I stay away from the internet)

    I'd love to hear what you are doing!

  7. yes. yes. yes. yes. yes. I used to be so much more disciplined BEFORE I had a baby. Like in THIS Post: http://www.ayearwithmomanddad.com/2010/10/work-your-plan.html where I talk about how I schedule my days. I really try to follow this "plan" (it has a lot of flexibility built it and keeps me accountable) but I find now with the baby the day just isn't long enough to do EVERYTHING on the plan!)
    But it helps to have goals... as far as social media disciple - AH you made me think (again) about how I NEED TO HAVE SOME. I get "sucked in" to the vortex of Twitter & Facebook and an hour later - I think "what happened to the time!" I need to do better about that.

    1. I hear you! I definitely want to institute a "time limit" for Twitter and Facebook. They're both great tools for communication and learning, but...boundaries are definitely needed in my life.

  8. this is a sweet post, love the picture, oh my is she ever growing. Those are beautiful dream, I like them all. I use the nursing time for computer time, keyboard on my knee, little girls nursing and comforting away while rocking her to sleep. I don't have those fancy gadget that you have internet access where ever you are, just a old PC :-)

    Love
    Renee

  9. Great post & the comments are very interesting! I just completed a coaching course and tackling our time was the start of the course. In a nutshell, what has helped me is having a 1 year goal list with all areas of my life included. Break it down into quarterly & monthly goals. Break it all the way down to daily goals (that will eventually lead to your yearly goals) along with the items that need to get done that day. Schedule in-between time is critical to make sure your day goes how you have planned.

    Our time is precious and my calendar helps me balance all the things that are important in my life. My calendar has playtime, keeping the house clean time, work time, time for friends & family and everything in between. I've learned that if something is important to me, I have to allot it the time in my calendar. If I can't find time in my calendar for it, it's just not that important for now. After all, we only have 24 hours in a day and how you use it determines how you lead your life :)

    1. Follow-up question for you: Where are your kids when you have keeping the house clean time, work time, time for friends, etc.? Do you take them along with you? Are they playing? Do you have a sitter? Are they with your husband? Etc. I'd love to hear how you make your schedule work. :)

  10. The only way that I cross all of my t's and dot all of my i's with a schedule. I'm very spontaneous, like you, and I also have the need for nonsense time--to me, that's getting a manicure, strolling through the mall with a coffee in hand, etc. Lately, my life has become very hectic and busy between having both kids in school & activities, my blog, my online magazine, and now I am teaching Zumba classes. Phew! Let's not forget the household chores and other important things like paying bills and making sure birthday cards and such get sent out.

    I started using an online service to send cards, http://www.sendoutcards.com, where I can preschedule cards to get sent up to a whole year in advance. I've designated Mondays as my "to do" day--where I don't do things that matter to my household--the bills, the birthday cards, the paperwork for school, working on my online magazine. Thursdays, are my dowhatever days. We have no committments on Thursdays. Friday mornings have been my cleaning mornings. Stuff like that.

  11. I can so relate to this! I work from home and I find myself being pulled into two pieces. My son wants to play 24-7. Truthfully, I WANT to spend my time just playing with him and not worrying about schedules or a to-do list, but I NEED to finish projects for work (quitting my job is not an option for our family at this time) and obviously, we need to eat healthy meals and have clean clothes and a semi-tidy home! I try to do as much as I can when he's napping but I also need some down-time. He goes to bed at 8, but I try not to plan too much to do after he's in bed because I like to spend quality time with my husband, who works outside the home during the day.

    I would be fine with a schedule...my problem is dealing with the guilt of focusing on something other than my son who just wants to play with mommy. Stephanie - maybe in a future post, you could address how you and Tim incorporate your girls into the schedule?

    As for discipline with social media...I only go online when my son is napping or is playing quietly on his own. I also do not do much on Facebook and I do not have a Twitter account or a blog. With me working from home, I just don't have the time for those things.

    1. Great idea for a post, Sarah! I'll try to write one that addresses your question soon.

      A few questions for YOU:
      1. What kind of work-from-home job you have?
      2. What kind of activities do you and your husband do together in the evenings?

      1. I work for a bank as an analyst. I write 20-30 page documents analyzing a company's financial data to decide if the company should get a loan at the bank. Our loans generally range from $1 million to $10 million, so I need to focus when I'm writing, and can't have a 2 year old distracting me!

        In the evenings, I wouldn't say that my husband and I do actual activities other than just talking. We mainly just use the quiet time to focus on each other and talk about our days, things that happened, current news events, etc.

        1. Talking is the best activity of all! That's what we usually do in the evenings too! We're not really the kind of couple who sits down to play parcheesi or to watch reality TV.

  12. My mom has an excel spreadsheet taped to her wall where her entire week is broken down into half hour segments from 6 am to 10 pm. Monday is laundry day, Tuesday is piano lessons day, Wednesday is grocery shopping day...etc. (Don't worry, she schedules in "free time" a few afternoons a week!) :)

    I grew up with that, so sometimes I have a bit of a complex about how I'm not organized...I shop on Tuesdays OR Fridays, depending on what we need, I do laundry on Saturdays, and sometimes Wednesdays...etc. But I think probably I'm more scheduled than your average person, just not to the extent of my mother.

    1. Wow. That is some serious scheduling!

      I'm curious: did your mom maintain that kind of schedule throughout your childhood and adolescence? If so, did you like it or would you have preferred more spontaneity?

  13. I have tried and tried to get us on a good productive schedule, but it's like we do great for about 3 days and then it all falls apart. I do have a "one load of laundry every day" rule, so that I'm not drowning in it all the time. But, even that gets away from me now and again. I also plan out a menu before we go grocery shopping (ususally on Saturday) and post it on the Fridge, so there isn't any "What in the world are we gonna have for dinner?" I just pick one of the options on the menu. That helps. And, it has saved us money that we would have spent eating out. I'm interested to hear about others who are able to adhere to a schedule and see if I find something we could stick to.

  14. I have been leaving the computer off after noon due to the fact that we are on a new type of meter from the electric company(charged more during peak, less during off peak). That has paid off in other ways...like keeping me off the internet(checking KM and FB)and fccusing me more on the girls. I try not to answer the phone if I am actively interacting with the girls (playing a game, doing school).

  15. You hit the nail on the head with how I feel! Tonight I intended to get some sewing done. Instead my mom called and I spent my hour and a half of sewing time listening to her. I know this is important, but she likes to just talk and I can't do much and really listen at the same time.
    I find that things do go more smoothly when I am more organized. Meals are easier when I try to think of some ideas and make sure I have all the ingredients on hand.
    A friend mentioned just yesterday at Bible study that her Monday had gone amazingly well when she stuck to a schedule and then Tuesday was horrid without it. I know it's better to be organized, I guess my question is, what happens when something throws you off schedule? If I've taken the time to be that organized I'm not very happy when it gets messed up...
    :)

    1. I agree about meal-planning - it makes the 5:00 hour so much easier if I've planned ahead. Tonight we had chicken & corn chili that I put in the crock pot earlier today - yay!

      I'll let you know how we end up working through "interruptions" in our schedule. Tim & I are actually about to sit down with a calendar right now to plan out the upcoming week...

  16. yeah now I do but i didn't, while she is in bed and he is at weekly poker I write my scheduled blog posts during my breaks but not lunch at work I read blogs and comment If I am feeling stressed or out of control I turn on Doro and twitter for 1 episode.

  17. Oooohhh, I so relate. We do have a routine that works great, but I keep trying to squeeze too much in. Just simplified again, so that always helps. Looking forward to hearing about how your schedule works out :).

  18. I'm really bad about my time management. Seriously. Some days I'm on top of things and I cook 3 homemade meals, stay engaged in social media, have my email inbox all caught up, blog posts scheduled, time with my husband and kids, with time to spare. Other days.... like today.... I have 200+ emails in my inbox, no blog posts written, haven't engaged in social media, haven't eaten all day (and haven't given my kids real meals), have no idea what to fix for dinner, and then when my husband wants to spend time with me, I've got too much to do.

    In short, I have no secrets for you. :)

    But I read Money Saving Mom's recent time management posts, and they're awesome. I'm working on implementing some of the tips in it.

    It starts here (http://moneysavingmom.com/2010/11/time-management-101-stop-trying-to-do-it-all.html) and at the bottom, it has a little section called "Other posts in this series", with the rest of the posts listed in order. I highly recommend it!

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